Vaccine News & Notes — January 2019

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Parents PACK

The opioid epidemic and hepatitis A

States across the country have been seeing increases in hepatitis A outbreaks. The outbreaks have been linked to increases in homelessness and the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Hepatitis A is spread through the feces of infected people. Most often we think of this as resulting from food handlers who did not wash their hands properly after using the restroom or travelers who go to places where sewage may be near clean water or food. In the current situation, hepatitis A can spread as a result of living in unclean conditions or not being able to maintain proper hygiene, or similar circumstances that can inadvertently expose someone to microscopic amounts of infected fecal material.

For more information on hepatitis A and the vaccine to prevent it, check out these VEC resources: A Look at Each Vaccine: Hepatitis A webpage and Hepatitis A: What You Should Know Q&A sheet (English | Spanish).

“Going Viral” podcast delves into 1918 influenza pandemic

Last year (2018) marked the 100th anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Many groups and organizations shared information about this important historical event, such as, the Parents PACK interview with Terri Wood about how, even generations later, her family has been affected by the pandemic.

One of the most extensive efforts we have seen and wanted to share was a podcast series called, Going Viral: The Mother of All Pandemics. Each of the eight episodes examines different facets of the pandemic, including its historical ramifications, what we know today about why it was so severe, and how it’s helping us prepare for future pandemics. If you like scientific and medical history, check out this podcast.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.