Protecting babies and children against dangerous — sometimes fatal — diseases is a core mission of public health. Everyday, in health departments across the nation, someone is working on maintaining and improving childhood vaccination rates and keeping diseases like measles and mumps from regaining a foothold in the U.S.
A recent study finds vaccine refusals have, indeed, accelerated the resurgence of whooping cough and measles here in the U.S. The findings are making headlines around the country — and comment sections are filling up with vitriol from anti-vaxxers — but it would feel amiss not to highlight the study on a blog dedicated to public health. But first, let’s remind ourselves of the pain and suffering that preceded vaccines.
I usually shy away from getting too personal in my work. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving and as a new mom, I was thinking about things for which I’m particularly grateful. One of the first things that came to mind as a public health reporter? Vaccines. So, in that vein, let’s celebrate some new and promising numbers on the worldwide effort to eliminate measles.
Last week, Nigeria met an important milestone: An entire year without a reported case of polio. This leaves just two countries where polio is endemic.
In a somewhat frightening illustration of anti-vaccine trends, a new report estimates that among groups affected in the recent measles outbreak, the rates of measles-mumps-rubella immunization might have been as low as 50 percent.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine to protect against cancers caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, public health advocates cheered its life-saving potential. Unfortunately, the new vaccine quickly became embroiled in a debate over whether immunizing young girls against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, would lead to risky sexual behavior.
Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014 features two pieces that remind us how public-health interventions can become less effective if we as a society don't use them effectively
New happenings on public health intersecting with activities of U.S. espionage agencies.
It’s not the first study to examine the enormous health and economic benefits of vaccines. But it’s certainly another impressive reminder about the power — and value — of prevention.
Earlier this week, a UN official told AFP that a child in North Waziristan, Pakistan had contracted polio -- the first reported case since tribesman in North Waziristan stopped authorities from conducted a vaccination campaign in June last year