Measles Cases in Europe Tripled Last Year

A total of 14,451 measles cases were reported from 30 countries across the European Union (EU) in 2017, more than triple 2016’s case count of 4,643… SOURCE:  Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) is a global leader in addressing public health preparedness and emerging infectious disease response. Founded in 2001, CIDRAP is part of the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota. READ THE FULL STORY HERE >>

Milwaukee Health Official’s Comments Draw Sharp Criticism from Medical Community

Comments from New Milwaukee health official draw sharp criticism from medical community; Appointment could be rejected. SOURCE: Detroit Free Press Milwaukee’s newly picked top health official told a radio audience that “the science is still out” on whether there’s a link between some vaccines and autism. “Unfortunately, she couldn’t be more incorrect,” said James H. Conway, a pediatrics professor at University of Wisconsin-School of Medicine and Public Health. “The science is clear and has been reviewed over and over not just by the CDC, but by NIH and numerous studies. The information is clear that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine does not cause autism.” READ THE FULL STORY HERE >>

The Catholic Church Says Common Good Outweighs: Vaccinate

The Catholic Church says the common good outweighs, and people should get vaccinated. While some historical issues exist, “…The Church is active around the world and in some places, provides the only medical services available to people. The Church knows well the impact that diseases can have on an unvaccinated population.”

BREAKING NEWS: Mississippi Vaccine Exemption Bill Not Coming Up for Vote

AP:  Mississippi vaccine exemption bill not coming up for vote… CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY FROM AP >>

After a Debacle, How California Became a Role Model on Measles

“Changing minds on vaccination is very difficult, but it isn’t so important when a law can change behavior.” SOURCE:  THE NEW YORK TIMES By Emily Oster and Geoffrey Kocks READ FULL STORY HERE >> “After a Debacle, How California Became a Role Model on Measles”

National Geographic: “Here’s Why Vaccines Are So Crucial”

“If children in poor countries got the shots that rich countries take for granted, hundreds of thousands of young lives could be saved…” Here’s a moving photo essay/article about the world’s vaccination-preventable diseases, by Cynthia Gorney, photographs by William Daniels>> GO TO NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE’S STORY >>

Childhood Vaccination Rates Remain High Say Speakers @ 2017 American Academy of Family Physicians’ Conference

2017 American Academy of Family Physicians’ State Legislative Conference discussed successes in vaccination—which has prevented an estimated 381 million cases of illness among those born between 1994 and 2016—and what physicians can do to maintain or even expand those success stories. READ MORE >>

Minneapolis, MN: Measles Cases Rise to 79 in Largest Outbreak in 30 Years

THE STAR TRIBUNE:  Latest outbreak emerged among Somali-American children attending the same child care facilities; 22 hospitalized. 

Somali-American Community Experiencing Minnesota’s Worst Measles Outbreak in 30 Years

Minnesota’s largest Somali-American community has state’s worst measles outbreak in 3o years, with 44 confirmed cases across three counties. Minneapolis health officials draw a line between targeted misinformation campaign and the current measles outbreak. WIRED has the story…

Who Needs Vaccines?

Unsure which vaccines your child needs, when to get them, or why? Check out this great video from our friends at Maris, West & Baker!

Bills Target High Rates of Texas Schoolchildren Lacking Vaccinations

Bills target high rates of Texas schoolchildren lacking vaccinations (Austin-American Statesman) Statewide last school year, 44,716 students were exempted from at least one vaccine requirement for nonmedical reasons, which include moral, religious or personal beliefs. The latest number is a 19-fold increase from the 2003-04 school year, when nonmedical exemptions were first allowed. Nonmedical exemptions tend to surpass the number of medical exemptions each year. Howard has filed bills to be considered next year that would require students to opt-out of the state’s immunization registry called ImmTrac rather than opt-in and physicians to counsel parents on vaccinations before they obtain an exemption. Jamie Schanbaum, a 28-year-old Austin resident who attended the event Wednesday, said that if parents knew more about vaccinations, they wouldn’t avoid them. Schanbaum lost her legs and fingers to meningitis eight years ago when she was a University of Texas student, she said. She successfully pushed for a law in 2011 that requires every entering Texas college student to receive a meningococcal vaccine or opt out. “Like most people, I didn’t know what meningitis was or what it could lead to. I watched my limbs turn from red rash to purple to black. I didn’t know if I was going to survive. If people knew about meningitis more, I don’t think there would be a question to opt-out of the vaccine,” she said. Read the full story here.

Fox News Special Report: U.S. Seeing Largest Mumps Outbreak in Over a Decade

Watch: Mumps Outbreak Spreads Across U.S.   Parents in multiple states are feeling anxious after top U.S. health officials said they’re closely monitoring the largest mumps outbreak in more than a decade. “What we are seeing is a highly infectious disease moving in a community,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County Health. King County, near Seattle, has reported a growing number of cases. In at least five public schools. Harvard University has been coping with handfuls of infected students since the beginning of the school year. At the University of Missouri more than 200 people have come down with the virus. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention said mumps cases have now surfaced in all but three states, with nearly 4,300 infections reported. Arkansas is the epicenter, with nearly 2,200 cases, in mostly school-aged children. “What everyone around the state can do is just make sure they’re up to date with their immunizations,” said Dirk Haselow, Epidemiologist for the state of Arkansas. Lack of immunizations in general could largely be to blame for the nationwide outbreak, according to public health officials. Several years ago, rumors circulated that certain vaccines could cause autism in children, while that was later de-bunked. It still terrified many parents to the point of completely opting their kids out of vaccine programs. Something doctors do not recommend to prevent future spread of disease. “There is no doubt that the number of cases of mumps has decreased dramatically, in the areas we have the mumps vaccine,” said Dr. Michael Cooperstock, University of Missouri School of Medicine. The virus can be extremely contagious since it’s transmitted through saliva, capable of spreading with a sneeze orcough. Symptoms can include high fever, swollen cheeks and extreme headaches.

Texas Mumps Outbreak Continues to Grow

Texas’ worst mumps outbreak in years grows with new cases in Dallas area DALLAS NEWS: The number of mumps cases in North Texas has surpassed 50 as an outbreak in Johnson County has grown and cases have been found in Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant counties. Dallas County’s Department of Health and Human Services said in a release Tuesday that 48 cases of mumps have been diagnosed in Johnson County in the past two weeks. Most of the cases there are school-age children from Cleburne and Keene. Health officials said last week that they had traced the virus to an outbreak in Arkansas, where several children from Keene had visited recently. In Dallas County, eight adults have been infected with mumps. Six of the cases were related to a party Oct. 29 in the 75219 ZIP code, officials said, and the other two were related to out-of-state travel or visitors. The entire state of Texas hasn’t reported more than 20 cases of mumps in a year since 2011. Dr. Elvin Adams, Johnson County’s public-health official, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he doesn’t think the virus will infect many more people there. “I think we’ve peaked,” he said, adding that it’s likely more cases will be diagnosed because of the disease’s 16-to-18-day incubation period. Mumps, which is spread through the saliva or mucus of an infected person, is known for its symptoms of puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw and may be accompanied by a fever, aches and fatigue. Some people may remain asymptomatic. There is no treatment for mumps, but most people recover completely in a few weeks. Read the original story.

Arkansas Legislator Proposes Bill to Make Vaccines Mandatory

Good news for kids in Arkansas: State Rep. Karilyn Brown has plans to introduce a bill that would make childhood vaccines mandatory. Brown wrote the bill in response to the active mumps outbreak that began in northwest Arkansas. Officials are now reporting over 2,089 current cases. The proposed legislation adds five viruses to the list of required immunizations (Hepatitis A and B, rotavirus, pneumococcus, and haemophilus) and eliminates philosophical and religious exemptions for children who attend public and private schools and day care.

Spanish Language Vaccination Schedule for Babies: VACUNAS PARA BEBÉS

Consulte a su médico o enfermera para estar seguro de que su bebé esté recibiendo todas las vacunas a tiempo. Muchas veces las vacunas se combinan para no tener que poner tantas inyecciones. Asegúrese de pedir su comprobante de vacunación con las fechas de las vacunas de su bebé; llévela todas las veces que vaya al médico. (PDF)  

Arkansas Mumps Update: Over 1,500 Cases

The following report published on November 22, 2016,  from the Arkansas Department of Health outlines the ever growing number cases of mumps in northwest Arkansas that has now moved to two counties in central Arkansas and an additional county in southwest Arkansas.  In early September it was reported that 12 students in Springdale had been confirmed with mumps, the first mumps outbreak Arkansas has had since 2010 when there were five cases.  Since early September the number has swelled to over 1,500 cases. CURRENT CASE COUNT: The ADH will now report all suspected and lab confirmed cases of mumps as part of the total case count. Total Cases Under Investigation: 1,558* *This is an active outbreak. Mumps case counts are provisional and include cases that are currently being investigated. Because this number is provisional, the numbers reported may occasionally decrease if lab tests are negative for mumps. Throughout this outbreak, 90% to 95% of school-aged children and 30% to 40% of adults involved in the outbreak have been fully immunized. The vaccine is not perfect. Two doses of the MMR shot are about 88% effective at preventing the mumps. That means that if you have 100 people who are fully vaccinated, 88 of them will be fully protected. The remaining 12 will still be vulnerable to mumps. If it were not for the vaccine, however, we would be seeing many, many more cases of the mumps. Also, we have only seen a few cases with complications, like swelling of the brain or testicles. Normally, we would expect to see many more persons with complications. This tells us that even though some vaccinated individuals are still getting the mumps, they are experiencing mild disease. The vaccine remains the best protection we have against the mumps. Updated 11/22/16  12:30 p.m. Mumps Update Report Mumps Report Q&A

Vaccine Schedules for Kids and Babies

The CDC’s recommended immunization schedule is designed to protect infants and children early in life, when they are most vulnerable and before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Below is an easy-to-read schedule for children from birth to six years old. To download a printable version, click here. Or to create a customized vaccine schedule for your child, click here.

Mumps Outbreak on Several Maine College Campuses

Bowdoin and Bates colleges have experienced an outbreak of mumps this fall, officials said Friday. Eight students at Bates College in Lewiston have been diagnosed with mumps since early October, but they have recovered and the college does not have any current active cases, according to a spokesman. The outbreak is the first time campus health officials can recall students with mumps in more than 30 years, according to Bates spokesman Kent Fisher. Bowdoin, which has two confirmed cases, hasn’t had a previous case since 2007, when an employee was diagnosed. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is working with the schools on the outbreak.  Read more >>

MUMPS ALERT: Mumps at the University of New Hampshire

Recently, there has been an outbreak of Mumps at the University of New Hampshire. Diane Atwood, who writes the blog, ” Catching Health” tells us what we should know about how to spot it and how to prevent it. Read more >>

Mumps Outbreak in Northwest Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is investigating an outbreak of Mumps in northwest Arkansas. CURRENT CASE COUNT: The ADH will now report all suspected and lab confirmed cases of mumps as part of the total case count. Total Cases Under Investigation: 1,085* *This is an active outbreak. Mumps case counts are provisional and include cases that are currently being investigated. Because this number is provisional, the numbers reported may occasionally decrease if lab tests are negative for mumps.  Read more >>

Over 850 Cases of Mumps in Arkansas Outbreak

The Arkansas Department of Health reports that a mumps outbreak continues to be primarily focused in the northwestern portion of the state. As of October 28, 2016, Benton, Madison, Pulaski, and Washington are the counties involved. There are currently 26 workplaces, 3 school districts, and 2 private schools impacted. As of today, there are a total of 856 cases under investigation, which include individuals who have displayed symptoms related to mumps or have received lab confirmation that they are positive for the virus. “We are very concerned about this outbreak,” said Dirk Haselow, MD, PhD, State Epidemiologist and Outbreak Response Medical Director for ADH. “Mumps can have serious complications. We continue to see a high number of new cases. Pulaski County residents should be aware of this outbreak and the potential for infection and should ensure that they are up-to-date with their MMR vaccine.” More information is available on the Arkansas Department of Health mumps update page.

CDC now recommends just two HPV vaccine doses for preteens

WASHINGTON POST: Children who start getting vaccinated against human papillomavirus before 15 need only two doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided Wednesday. Its previous recommendation was for a three-shot regimen, but studies have shown that two doses work just as well. Experts predict that the simpler, more flexible timeline will result in higher rates of HPV vaccination, which has lagged among both girls and boys. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which counsels the CDC on the nation’s vaccine schedule, voted Wednesday for the change. Several hours later, CDC Director Tom Frieden accepted the panel’s action. Under the new schedule, the first of two doses of the HPV vaccine should be administered at 11 or 12, although it could be given as early as 9, as under the previous guidance. The second dose would be administered six to 12 months after the first dose. The new recommendation does not apply to adolescents who begin getting vaccinated after they turn 15. They should still get three shots over a six-month period, the panel said. The HPV vaccine prevents cervical, vaginal, anal, and head and neck cancers, as well as precancerous lesions and genital warts. The most widely used vaccine is Gardasil, manufactured by Merck. Read more.

Anti-Vaxxer Mom Changes Mind After Her Three Kids Fall Ill

  (Yahoo News) Kristen O’Meara chose not to vaccinate her young daughters because she was a big believer in anti-vaccination research. That changed when all three were stricken with a case of rotavirus, which causes acute stomach distress. “It was awful, and it didn’t have to happen, because I could have had them vaccinated. I felt guilty. I felt really guilty,” she told ABC News. O’Meara and her husband also fell ill. A teacher living outside Chicago, she added that she had “scoured everything” about why vaccines might be harmful and had become “pretty convinced.” She chose not to vaccinate based on the results of her research but had read only material that cast doubt. “I put my kids at risk,” she said. “I wish that I had taken more time to research from both sides before my children were born.” Her three children — all under the age of 7 — are now fully vaccinated, after an aggressive regimen to bring them up to date on recommended shots. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccinations for practically every child, but in a study published last month the group says the number of parents who are refusing to vaccinate their children appears to be on the rise. In 2013, 87 percent of pediatricians surveyed had encountered patients who refused a vaccine for their child, up from 75 percent in 2006, according to their research Among the most common reasons cited by parents for their refusal to vaccinate their children was their belief that vaccinations are unnecessary, the report said. Parents also cited a purported link between vaccinations and autism — a link that has been repeatedly disproved because the research it was based on was proved fraudulent. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and dozens of other public health groups have stressed for years that vaccines are safe and necessary. They also say that the large majority of children must be immunized from diseases such as measles, mumps and chicken pox not only to protect individuals but also to confer herd immunity on communities. After her frightening wake-up call, O’Meara is encouraging others to vaccinate their children. “I’m here because I wanted to share my personal story … and if it does help someone change their mind, then that’s great,” she said.

Arkansas Mumps Epidemic Escalates to 360 Cases

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is investigating an outbreak of Mumps in northwest Arkansas. CURRENT CASE COUNT: The ADH will now report all suspected and lab confirmed cases of mumps as part of the total case count. Total Cases Under Investigation: 360 Mumps Update Report Mumps Report Q&A Updated 9/28/16  4:15 PM In response to the outbreak, ADH is requiring students in the same school with vaccine exemptions for the MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella) vaccine to be excluded from school for 26 days from the date of exposure and until the outbreak has ended. Students with non-medical exemptions, who receive the recommended doses of MMR vaccine, may return to school immediately. Right now, this outbreak affects schools in the Huntsville, Rogers, and Springdale School Districts. ADH is working with people who have potentially been exposed and contacting area clinics and hospitals to make sure they are aware that they may see cases of Mumps. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mumps is a viral illness that is transmitted by direct contact with respiratory droplets or saliva from an infected person. It is best known for painful, swollen salivary glands thatshow up as puffy cheeks and swollen jaw. Boys may also have painful, swollen testicles. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscles aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. There is no treatment, and symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few weeks. Mumps is usually a mild disease in children, but adults may have more serious disease with complications. The MMR vaccine is safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine is 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. It is a live virus vaccine and is not recommended for pregnant women or patients with a weakened immune system. Adults born before 1957 are generally considered to be immune to mumps and do not need to receive the MMR vaccine. The current CDC recommendations for MMR vaccination are as follows: For children younger than 6 years of age, one dose of MMR vaccine or MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella) vaccine at age 12-15 months, followed by a second dose of either MMR vaccine or MMRVvaccine at age 4-6 years. For children age 7 through 18 years not previously vaccinated, one dose of MMR vaccine or MMRV vaccine, followed by a second dose of either MMR vaccine or MMRV vaccine at least 4 weeks after the first dose. For adults born in 1957 or later and not previously vaccinated, one dose of MMR vaccine. A second dose of MMR vaccine is recommended for adults born in 1957 or later, who are students in a post-secondary educational institution, work in a health care facility, or plan to travel internationally.The second dose should be administered a minimum of 28 days after the first dose. MMR vaccines are available at the Local Health Unit in your county, and may also be available at your doctor’s office or your local pharmacy.