Gail Kuwahara: Be Responsible To Yourself And Others, And Vaccinate – September 24, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

As the school year begins and students are returning to classes, the question many parents are asking is, what vaccines does my child need? In the past few years these requirements have changed. It is not just kindergarten students who need shots, but also students entering seventh grade and college students.

With the passage of Assembly Bill AB354, all children entering seventh to 12th grade are required to receive a Tdap booster in 2011,. In 2012, all children entering seventh grade are now required to get a Tdap booster (and older students if they missed last year). Tdap is the only immunization available in the United States that protects individuals over the age of 10 against pertussis.

Pertussis, more commonly known as Whooping Cough is a serious disease that can be fatal to infants. This year alone there have been 1,154 hospitalizations in the state of California, three-quarters being infants younger than six months of age. Thirteen deaths attributable to pertussis occurred in 2011, most were in infants not old enough to receive the vaccine.

It is important that anyone who is anticipating contact with an infant under the age of six months be vaccinated for this disease to protect the infant from exposure. In teenagers and adults the illness can include a long convalescence and loss of time from school or work.

It is estimated that one case of undiagnosed pertussis can infect up to 17 other people and that 80 percent of all households will be affected by this disease unless family members get vaccinated.

While August and September are the peak season for outbreaks of Whooping Cough in our area, according to Humboldt County there have not been any reported cases in the county so far this year. Pertussis is a viral illness which starts with cold symptoms, mild cough, runny nose and fever which can last up to two weeks. The infected person is most contagious during this time.

The illness progresses to a severe prolonged cough with the classic whooping sound at the end for which it is named; this stage can last up to three months. It is possible that we can attribute the fact that we have not had any reported cases this year to the efforts of the county health department and our local medical providers to get our population vaccinated last year.

Students starting college this year should also receive a Meningitis vaccination. For many of these young adults it is their first time in a group living situation. Residence hall living some newfound freedoms, like kissing, not getting enough sleep, being exposed to smoke, sharing utensils, glasses and water bottles and being in crowed situations for prolonged periods of time put students at risk of contracting this serious illness.

Meningitis is a devastating viral illness that can progress from no symptoms at all to death or disability in just a single day. Meningitis can present with swelling of the brain or spinal cord or as a blood infection. It is difficult to recognize in the early stages because symptoms are very similar to other viral illnesses. About 10 percent of all Americans who get this disease will die from it, while 20 percent who survive the illness are left with serious medical problems including amputation of arms, legs, fingers and toes, brain damage, deafness or kidney damage.

All students should get an influenza vaccine to protect them from this common illness. The CDC has recommended early vaccination this year and it should be available in most medical offices, pharmacies and the health department now. Influenza (the flu as it is more commonly called) can cause mild to severe illness and is easily prevented by vaccination.

Signs and symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. It is spread by droplets so always cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing to prevent spreading the disease to others.

Parents please remember this is an exciting time for your child whether they are one of the “big kids now” entering middle school or a young adult heading off to college and getting their first big taste of independence. It is important to keep them safe from illness. Vaccinations are the best defense.

Finally, this is a time of changes for your child and getting established with a local medical provider will give them an opportunity seek needed treatment and discuss physical, emotional and social concerns. A medical provider can be more than someone to visit when you are sick. They can help your child make appropriate health and life style decisions that your child may not feel comfortable talking to teachers or parents about.

Establishing a relationship with a medical provider can assure that your child will continue to make healthy decisions long into the future.

Gail Kuwahara is a mother of four, grandmother of six and has worked at Open Door for 13 years.

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214 Responses to “Gail Kuwahara: Be Responsible To Yourself And Others, And Vaccinate – September 24, 2012”

  1. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    all they are asking is that u talk 2 a doctor before the waiver is signed, its not much different. A lot of us who arent immunized are now grown and we are doing fine as are our kids. At what point is it safe to say we made it fine without it? Its a boogy man mentality! boo!

    #64283
  2. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    all they are asking is that u talk 2 a doctor before the waiver is signed, its not much different. A lot of us who arent immunized are now grown and we are doing fine as are our kids. At what point is it safe to say we made it fine without it? Its a boogy man mentality! boo!

    #65651
  3. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    all they are asking is that u talk 2 a doctor before the waiver is signed, its not much different. A lot of us who arent immunized are now grown and we are doing fine as are our kids. At what point is it safe to say we made it fine without it? Its a boogy man mentality! boo!

    #65899
  4. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    all they are asking is that u talk 2 a doctor before the waiver is signed, its not much different. A lot of us who arent immunized are now grown and we are doing fine as are our kids. At what point is it safe to say we made it fine without it? Its a boogy man mentality! boo!

    #67059
  5. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    all they are asking is that u talk 2 a doctor before the waiver is signed, its not much different. A lot of us who arent immunized are now grown and we are doing fine as are our kids. At what point is it safe to say we made it fine without it? Its a boogy man mentality! boo!

    #67864
  6. Kevin Hoover

    It's socially irresponsible not to vaccinate; it puts one's children and others at risk. All the anecdotes, random observations and logical fallacies in the world will not change that.

    #64284
  7. Kevin Hoover

    It's socially irresponsible not to vaccinate; it puts one's children and others at risk. All the anecdotes, random observations and logical fallacies in the world will not change that.

    #65652
  8. Kevin Hoover

    It's socially irresponsible not to vaccinate; it puts one's children and others at risk. All the anecdotes, random observations and logical fallacies in the world will not change that.

    #65900
  9. Kevin Hoover

    It's socially irresponsible not to vaccinate; it puts one's children and others at risk. All the anecdotes, random observations and logical fallacies in the world will not change that.

    #67060
  10. Kevin Hoover

    It's socially irresponsible not to vaccinate; it puts one's children and others at risk. All the anecdotes, random observations and logical fallacies in the world will not change that.

    #67865
  11. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    ill post 1 link , read it if you like, if not ,dont , beyond that ,im done. What ever you choose, i wish u all health n strength. good night! http://homeopathtyler.wordpress.com/2012/09/

    #64286
  12. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    ill post 1 link , read it if you like, if not ,dont , beyond that ,im done. What ever you choose, i wish u all health n strength. good night! http://homeopathtyler.wordpress.com/2012/09/

    #65653
  13. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    ill post 1 link , read it if you like, if not ,dont , beyond that ,im done. What ever you choose, i wish u all health n strength. good night! http://homeopathtyler.wordpress.com/2012/09/

    #65901
  14. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    ill post 1 link , read it if you like, if not ,dont , beyond that ,im done. What ever you choose, i wish u all health n strength. good night! http://homeopathtyler.wordpress.com/2012/09/

    #67061
  15. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    ill post 1 link , read it if you like, if not ,dont , beyond that ,im done. What ever you choose, i wish u all health n strength. good night! http://homeopathtyler.wordpress.com/2012/09/

    #67866
  16. Kevin Hoover

    Seriously, homeopathy? And now we're on to magic water. This is all pre-scientific hocus-pocus.

    #64287
  17. Kevin Hoover

    Seriously, homeopathy? And now we're on to magic water. This is all pre-scientific hocus-pocus.

    #65654
  18. Kevin Hoover

    Seriously, homeopathy? And now we're on to magic water. This is all pre-scientific hocus-pocus.

    #65902
  19. Kevin Hoover

    Seriously, homeopathy? And now we're on to magic water. This is all pre-scientific hocus-pocus.

    #67062
  20. Kevin Hoover

    Seriously, homeopathy? And now we're on to magic water. This is all pre-scientific hocus-pocus.

    #67867
  21. Ian Ray

    I'm not trying to be prejudiced, but I can tell by the link name "homeopath tyler" that anything contained there is probably going to sound like nonsense to me.

    #64288
  22. Ian Ray

    I'm not trying to be prejudiced, but I can tell by the link name "homeopath tyler" that anything contained there is probably going to sound like nonsense to me.

    #65655
  23. Ian Ray

    I'm not trying to be prejudiced, but I can tell by the link name "homeopath tyler" that anything contained there is probably going to sound like nonsense to me.

    #65903
  24. Ian Ray

    I'm not trying to be prejudiced, but I can tell by the link name "homeopath tyler" that anything contained there is probably going to sound like nonsense to me.

    #67063
  25. Ian Ray

    I'm not trying to be prejudiced, but I can tell by the link name "homeopath tyler" that anything contained there is probably going to sound like nonsense to me.

    #67868
  26. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Just because the article is on that page ,doesnt mean it has anything to do with homeopathy. I dont use homeopathy but the article is informative.

    #64289
  27. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Just because the article is on that page ,doesnt mean it has anything to do with homeopathy. I dont use homeopathy but the article is informative.

    #65656
  28. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Just because the article is on that page ,doesnt mean it has anything to do with homeopathy. I dont use homeopathy but the article is informative.

    #65904
  29. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Just because the article is on that page ,doesnt mean it has anything to do with homeopathy. I dont use homeopathy but the article is informative.

    #67064
  30. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Just because the article is on that page ,doesnt mean it has anything to do with homeopathy. I dont use homeopathy but the article is informative.

    #67869
  31. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Mark Sailors . I dont think its ok to divulge her name because just as there is doc/patient privacy, I as her patient dont feel comfortable sharing private info about her.

    #64290
  32. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Mark Sailors . I dont think its ok to divulge her name because just as there is doc/patient privacy, I as her patient dont feel comfortable sharing private info about her.

    #65657
  33. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Mark Sailors . I dont think its ok to divulge her name because just as there is doc/patient privacy, I as her patient dont feel comfortable sharing private info about her.

    #65905
  34. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Mark Sailors . I dont think its ok to divulge her name because just as there is doc/patient privacy, I as her patient dont feel comfortable sharing private info about her.

    #67065
  35. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Mark Sailors . I dont think its ok to divulge her name because just as there is doc/patient privacy, I as her patient dont feel comfortable sharing private info about her.

    #67870
  36. Kevin Hoover

    If I was you, I'd get a real doctor – fast.

    #64292
  37. Kevin Hoover

    If I was you, I'd get a real doctor – fast.

    #65658
  38. Kevin Hoover

    If I was you, I'd get a real doctor – fast.

    #65906
  39. Kevin Hoover

    If I was you, I'd get a real doctor – fast.

    #67066
  40. Kevin Hoover

    If I was you, I'd get a real doctor – fast.

    #67871
  41. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    google "why doctors dont vaccinate their children" theres tons of articles from docs who chose not to.

    #64293
  42. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    google "why doctors dont vaccinate their children" theres tons of articles from docs who chose not to.

    #65659
  43. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    google "why doctors dont vaccinate their children" theres tons of articles from docs who chose not to.

    #65907
  44. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    google "why doctors dont vaccinate their children" theres tons of articles from docs who chose not to.

    #67067
  45. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    google "why doctors dont vaccinate their children" theres tons of articles from docs who chose not to.

    #67872
  46. Ian Ray

    I see. All you had to do was cite Jon Rappoport directly, then I would know it was nonsense prior to clicking.

    #64294
  47. Ian Ray

    I see. All you had to do was cite Jon Rappoport directly, then I would know it was nonsense prior to clicking.

    #65660
  48. Ian Ray

    I see. All you had to do was cite Jon Rappoport directly, then I would know it was nonsense prior to clicking.

    #65908
  49. Ian Ray

    I see. All you had to do was cite Jon Rappoport directly, then I would know it was nonsense prior to clicking.

    #67068
  50. Ian Ray

    I see. All you had to do was cite Jon Rappoport directly, then I would know it was nonsense prior to clicking.

    #67873

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