By Briana Sprague, Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Coordinator at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
When I found out I was pregnant, my dream of having a child finally came true. There was nothing I wanted more in this life than to be a mother. I had known as long as I could remember that I was destined to become a mom. The birth of my son, Jackson, was singularly the best moment of my life. I knew instantly that I loved him more than anything and that protecting him was my new life mission. The first three days home from the hospital were probably the hardest days of my life but also the most rewarding. Each day that I get to watch my son grow tops the day before.
One thing I learned about myself after becoming pregnant is that I am scared of everything. While I’m not afraid to admit that, I am afraid of not being able to protect Jackson from everything that could potentially harm him. But that just isn’t possible.
By Elizabeth Abbott
Just over 30 years ago, at 15 months of age, I was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis as a result of Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) infection. The vaccine that protects against Hib had not yet been introduced. At that time, Hib was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among children under five years of age in the U.S. Each year, about 20,000 children under five years got severe Hib disease, and about 1,000 died. As many as 1 out of 5 children survivors of Hib meningitis end up with brain damage or become deaf.
Since vaccine introduction in the late 1980s, the number of cases of invasive Hib disease has decreased by more than 99 percent. By 2012, less than 50 U.S. cases of Hib disease occurred each year in children under five, and most cases we see today are the result of parents choosing not to vaccinate. While some parents may believe their child is not at risk of rare Hib infection, the bacteria still exists and can cause severe harm through the diseases it causes.
In honor of World Meningitis Day (April 24) and National Infant Immunization Week (April 18-25), I sat down with my beautiful mother to remember the “traumatic experience” she faced as her child overcame this life-threatening illness. Read more
In honor of National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 18-25, 2015, our friend and guest teammate shares why vaccines are important for protecting her infant and keeping her family of five healthy.
My husband keeps asking me, “When does BabyGirl get her shots?”
“At six months,” I remind him.
“Measles?” he’ll ask again.
“Not until she’s at least a year old.”
“So we’re waiting on pins and needles for six more months?” he’ll ask. Read more
By Edwin J. Asturias, MD
This editorial appeared in The Denver Post Feb. 5.
Though dormant for years, measles reemerged this year with a vengeance. The first cases erupted in Disneyland before spreading outward, involving 14 states and counting. Now there are 102 confirmed cases, making it the largest measles outbreak since 1990.
This growing epidemic is fueling fierce debate over how to balance public health risks against the rights of increasing numbers of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children. Read more