April 20, 2014

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Vaccines reduce dangerous diseases

Dr. Paula M. Farner

The goal of flu vaccine is to eradicate the disease from the entire world. Dangerous diseases have been reduced because of effective vaccines.

Influenza viral infections cause fever, chills, headache, body aches and a cough. Pneumonia and encephalitis due to influenza cause 36,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. Transmission is through respiratory droplets. Although some treatment is available with antiviral medicines, prevention is preferred. The 2009 seasonal influenza vaccine is available as a single dose for adults and two doses given to young children.

The H1N1 subtype of influenza, called swine flu, caused 700 deaths worldwide in 2008. Six companies are attempting to produce enough vaccine to meet world demand. In the United States, the method and timing of the distribution of this vaccine will be directed by County Health Departments. Announcements regarding this are expected to occur through newspapers and other news media.

Until all diseases have been eradicated, we are left with the responsibility to promote immunization and wash our hands and clean our homes frequently with soap and other antimicrobial cleaners.

Dr. Paula M. Farner is located at 36595 Detroit Road in Avon. Phone: (440) 934-4070.