Saturday February 29, 2020

Misinformation About The Flu Shots Creating Problems

Infectious disease experts recommend getting vaccinated before the flu season begins.

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Vaccination, vaccine
Researchers have discovered new species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the blood of two patients in China, according to a recent study.

The 2017 flu season was particularly bad in the Northern Hemisphere. Nearly 80,000 people died in the U.S., including 180 children. Already this year, the virus has claimed the life of a child in Florida.

A Florida hospital has surveyed parents throughout the U.S. to find out why some don’t get their children immunized even though it could put them in danger.

Why get the shot?

Kids are very effective spreaders of disease. Just ask Ehren McMichael, mom of three.

“My husband and I just assume if one kids gets it, it’s do the best you can and then hope for the best because more than likely, someone else in the house will come down with it as well,” she said.

Even though kids don’t like getting a shot, McMichael’s kids, including her daughter Hannah, know why they get one.

“It helps protect you from the flu, and so when you go to school, your friends don’t catch it,” Hannah said.

The same is true for her son Brayden.

“It’s better to get a shot than get sick,” he said.

Flu shot myths busted

Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Florida surveyed parents and found a significant number of them are misinformed about the vaccine. The survey found that more than half the parents questioned think children can get the flu from the shot, a third don’t think the vaccine works, and almost that many think the flu vaccine causes autism.

Dr. Jean Moorjani, at Orlando Health, tries to help parents understand why their kids should get vaccinated against the flu.

 

Vaccination, vaccine
A child receives a measles vaccination in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 6, 2018. (VOA)

 

“Doctors recommend the flu vaccine because we know, based on science and research and facts, that it is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu,” she said.

“You cannot get autism from the flu vaccine. It is not a conspiracy for doctors to recommend the flu vaccine. The parts of the virus that are used are completely dead, so you cannot get the flu from the flu shot,” she added.

Get your shot early

Scientists try to figure out what strains of flu are likely to circulate in a given year, but even if they guess wrong, Moorjani said, the vaccine still offers some protection.

“When your body receives the flu vaccine, your body starts to think, ‘OK, I’ve got to start making antibodies to help protect against the flu virus.’ So even if it’s not a perfect match, getting the flu vaccine will still give your body some protection,” she said.

Also Read: Top Healthy Habits Which Parents Can Teach Their Children

Infectious disease experts recommend getting vaccinated before the flu season begins. This goes for adults, as well. It helps protect those who are vaccinated as well as babies who are too young to be vaccinated. (VOA)

Next Story

Air Pollution Increases Risk of Developing Kidney Diseases

India may face kidney diseases due to air pollution

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Kidney disease pollution
People living in countries with higher levels of air pollution such as India and China may face higher risks of developing kidney diseases. Pixabay

Researchers have found that people living in countries with higher levels of air pollution such as India and China may face higher risks of developing kidney diseases.

The findings may be especially important for parts of the world with higher air pollution where fine particulate matter levels are five to 10 times higher than in the US, the study said.

It’s known that breathing in air pollution can have detrimental health effects beyond the lungs, but few studies have shown how it impacts the kidneys, which act as filters for the blood.

“As rates of chronic kidney disease rise worldwide, it is important to understand whether and how exposure to air pollution plays a role,” said study researcher Matthew F. Blum from the Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Kidney disease pollution
It’s known that breathing in air pollution can have detrimental health effects beyond the lungs, but few studies have shown how it impacts the kidneys, which act as filters for the blood. Pixabay

For the findings, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the research team examined information on 10,997 adults across four sites in the US who were followed from 1996-1998 through 2016.

The researchers estimated the monthly average levels of tiny particles of air pollution–called fine particulate matter–based on participants’ home addresses.

Fine particulate matter comes from a variety of sources including fossil fuel combustion, industrial processes, and natural sources, they said.

Also Read- 4 in 10 American Adults are Obese: Survey

The team found that exposure to higher amounts of fine particulate matter was associated with a higher degree of albuminuria — a marker of kidney dysfunction — at the start of the study as well as a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease over time.

According to the researchers, future studies should examine whether efforts to improve air quality yield health benefits, including reducing rates of chronic kidney disease. (IANS)