I was probably 4 years old in the early sixties when I fell ill with whooping cough (Pertussis). It is one story that my father never failed to tell me because it was such a harrowing experience. It is rare that my father is involved with child care since mom took care of us. It is this one whooping cough incident that my father could never ever forget. He thought I would never survive after each coughing spell.
Consider the scenario: ” During a coughing spell, which can last for more than a minute, the child may turn red or purple. At the end of a spell, the child may make a characteristic whooping sound when breathing in or may vomit. ” My dad to get off work just to help around the house because our helpers left, perhaps it was just too much for them to handle.
Whooping cough is preventable now with vaccine.
Whooping cough epidemic in California started as far back as July 2010. The state has “confirmed 1,189 cases for January through April – nearly double the number from the same period last year, and 10 times the number from the first quarter of 2009.”
Today, I received an email from Cristina who helps out with the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health (LADPH) seeking help in LADPH public awareness campaign that urges people to protect themselves and their loved ones from preventable disease through proper vaccination. In her email, she added that:
Los Angeles County is currently experiencing the worst epidemic of whooping cough in 60 years, with more than 870 cases last year alone. Effective of July 1, 2011, a new California school immunization law will require all 7th-12th graders in public and private schools to receive a pertussis booster (Tdap) shot, protecting them from whooping cough.
Though you are based in the Philippines, I am humbly requesting your powerful blogging support to reach the Filipino American and Asian American population in Los Angeles, California, and the United States.
If you have relatives in the Los Angeles area, please share this information to them. I have added the Fact sheet given by the LADPH. As a parent, I would not want you to go through the same harrowing experience as my dad.
FACT 1: Vaccines are the best protection available against many serious diseases.
The spread of serious diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, measles and polio has greatly decreased thanks to vaccines. Washing our hands with soap and water, covering our coughs and sneezes, and staying home when we’re sick all help to limit the spread of disease. But, these practices alone aren’t as effective as vaccination in stopping the spread of serious disease. In fact, they’re so successful that following the recommended vaccine schedule can prevent children from 14 diseases by the age of two.
FACT 2: Vaccines keep serious diseases from coming back.
The effectiveness of immunizations makes it easy to forget how many infants, children, and adults were once sick with diseases that we now prevent with just a few shots. However, polio, measles, hepatitis B, and other diseases still devastate many places around the world. International travel and commerce makes spreading diseases from country to country as easy as boarding an airplane. That means we need to continue vaccinating our loved ones to keep the numbers of new infections low. Further, Great Britain, Sweden, and Japan’s efforts to reduce vaccination levels proved only one thing—decreasing vaccinations only causes an increase in serious preventable diseases.
FACT 3: Vaccines are made with ingredients that improve their safety and effectiveness.
Every ingredient used in vaccines helps our bodies respond safely to the vaccine and produce disease-fighting antibodies. For example, aluminum, a naturally occurring metal, creates a better and longer immune response in the body. Thimerosal, a form of ethyl mercury, effectively prevents germs from growing in multi-dose vaccine vials. Further, all the ingredients used in childhood, adult, and travel vaccines are available for you learn more about.
FACT 4: Vaccines don’t cause autism.
Autism is a very serious disease that we still don’t know very much about. Many studies have looked at the link between autism and vaccines, specifically at what’s most frequently called into question—the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine or thimerosal, a preservative that keeps germs from growing in vials of multi-dose vaccines. Study after study do not show any link between vaccines and autism.
FACT 5: Vaccine protection heavily outweighs any vaccine risk.
The number of children who experience side effects is very small compared to the number of children who benefit from vaccines. However, all medical procedures, including vaccinations, have a risk of side effects. The risk of serious side effects is very small compared to the many benefits vaccination provides. Any common vaccine side effects such as soreness or redness at the injection site or body aches and a slight fever, are signs that the body is working hard to produce antibodies that will protect it from the disease.
Vaccines go through rigorous safety testing and monitoring. They’re also studied to assure they effectively work together to protect your health. Any common vaccine side effects are signs that the body is working hard to produce antibodies that will protect it from the disease. The diseases that you are protecting against can be far worse than any of the possible minor side effects of vaccination.
FACT 6: Vaccines schedules recommended by doctors protect people when they’re most at risk of disease.
The CDC recommended childhood, teen, and adult vaccine schedules are designed to provide the best protection at the times when people are at most risk for getting. These schedules also reflect the best combination of vaccines needed to provide the best protection.
FACT 7: Children under 5 years of age and older adults should get vaccinated.
Children under 5 and seniors are most likely to have serious health problems if they get infected with preventable diseases like whooping cough and flu. That’s because their immune systems aren’t ready or strong enough to effectively fight off infection.
“Stay Healthy. Vaccinate”
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health launched a multi-media public education campaign called “Stay Healthy. Vaccinate”, urging parents and caretakers to get their loved ones vaccinated against serious disease like whooping cough and the flu. More information can be accessed through a new website (www.vaccinateLA.com), Facebook and YouTube page.
Photo from mercedsunstar