Posted in January 2015

Protect yourself from HPV….Get Vaccinated!

What is HPV? Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the U.S. HPV can lead to cervical cancer in women, as well as other oral and genital (sex organ) cancers in men and women. HPV also causes genital warts.

Is there a vaccine to prevent HPV? Yes! HPV vaccine is cancer prevention. However, HPV vaccine is underutilized in our country, despite the overwhelming evidence of its safety and effectiveness. While vaccination rates continue to improve for the other adolescent vaccines, HPV vaccination rates have not.

HPV – associated disease: Approximately 79 million persons in the United States are infected with HPV, and approximately 14 million people in the United States will become newly infected with HPV each year. Each year, an estimated 26,000 cancers are attributable to HPV; about 17,000 in women and 9,000 in men. Cervical cancer is the most common HPV-associated cancer among women, and oropharyngeal cancers are the most common among men.

When should my child receive the HPV vaccine? The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends routine vaccination of girls and boys at ages 11 or 12 years with the 3 dose series of HPV vaccine. Vaccination is recommended for females through age 26 and for males through age 21 who were not vaccinated when they were younger.

Is the HPV vaccine safe? Yes. More than 175 million doses of HPV vaccine have been distributed worldwide and 57 million doses have been distributed in the United States. More than 7 years of post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring in the United States provide continued evidence of the safety of HPV4 vaccine. Data on safety are also available from post-licensure monitoring in other countries and provide continued evidence of the safety of HPV vaccine.

For any questions, please contact your local provider or the Langlade County Health Department at 715-627-6250.

 

 

 

Flu illnesses causing epidemic across America

The flu slipped just below epidemic levels over the holidays but spread even farther across the USA and took the lives of six more children. Over twenty children have been killed by the flu this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Almost all flu cases this season have been a strain known as Influenza A (H3N2). H3N2 seasons are generally worse than others, and this year’s flu vaccine is not a good match for that particular stretch, so it will provide less protection than in other years. CDC officials still encourage people to get vaccinated due to the other strains that are still circulating.

Young children and elderly are most likely to require hospitalizations and have life-threatening cases of the disease. This is due in part to decreased physical health associated with age and weakened immune systems.

That’s why, although the vaccine generally takes two weeks to take full effect, CDC officials still recommend vaccination. Even when it is not a perfect match for the year’s main strain, the vaccine can reduce the infection’s severity.

Flu vaccine is still available from the Langlade County Health Department or your local provider. For answers to flu related questions and/or to schedule an appointment for a flu shot, contact Langlade County Health at 715-627-6250.

 

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