Aware (Articles & Information from Vaccine News Daily, WHO reports etc.)

Don't be afraid to go out and about, just be aware and take precautions. Always use the wipes on carts and change clothes once home and wash your hands. I keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my car and use it right when I get in now.
I will also post current news releases about new discoveries and developments to support immune compromised people.
Please add your own methods for supporting a healthy environment where you live or work.
Thanks, kb

(Founded in October 2009, Vaccine News Daily (VND) is an Internet-based newswire dedicated to 24/7 coverage of communicable diseases and vaccine development.)
http://vaccinenewsdaily.com/medical_countermeasures/327148-texas-pertussis-levels-on-track-to-reach-highest-levels-in-50-years/

Texas pertussis levels on track to reach highest levels in 50 years
Published on September 9, 2013 by Bryan Cohen

Pertussis

The Texas Department of State Health Services urged Texans to get vaccinated against pertussis on Tuesday after projections showed the number of cases could reach the state’s highest level in more than 50 years.

The DSHS reported close to 2,000 pertussis cases this year. Projections show the annual total will likely surpass the recent high mark of 3,358 cases in 2009. Two pertussis-related deaths occurred this year in Texas in infants too young to be vaccinated.

“This is extremely concerning,” Lisa Cornelius, an infectious diseases medical officer at the DSHS, said. “If cases continue to be diagnosed at the current rate, we will see the most Texas cases since the 1950s. Pertussis is highly infectious and can cause serious complications, especially in babies, so people should take it seriously.”

The DSHS issued a health alert on Tuesday advising doctors on how to diagnose and treat pertussis. The department strongly urged people to ensure their children’s and their own vaccinations are up to date.

The department recommends pregnant women get a dose of pertussis vaccine during each pregnancy, preferably between the 27th and 36th weeks of pregnancy. The vaccine helps protect the baby before he or she can start getting a vaccine series at two months of age. Family members and medical providers who will be around newborns should also be vaccinated.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that typically starts with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough. After a week or two, severe coughing can start and last for several weeks. The whooping sound that follows the coughing fits gives the disease its other name, whooping cough.

This story filed in Medical Countermeasures and tagged Medical Countermeasures, Pertussis. Bookmark the permalink.

.West Nile virus and EEE found in Rhode Island mosquitoes
Published on September 11, 2013 by Ryan Parrish

Mosquito

The Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Department of Health announced on Wednesday that two mosquito pools in Great Swamp have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus.

This is the first time this year that mosquito samples have tested positive in Great Swamp, located in West Kingston. The positive results for EEE was found on August 26 in a pool of 37 Culex species of mosquitoes, which are known to bite both birds and mammals. In a second pool of 50 mosquitoes of the Culiseta species, which feeds only on birds, WNV was confirmed.

Because of these results, more traps will be set up in the South County area for further assessment of the situation. There are also 147 mosquito pools from 33 other traps waiting to be tested.

Rhode Island has seen four pools of mosquitoes test positive for WNV and one pool test positive for EEE this year with no human cases of either disease reported in the state.

The Rhode Island Department of Health asks that all residents take the necessary precautions to protect against contracting one of these diseases. These measures include wearing long sleeves and pants, using bug spray and avoiding outdoor activities during the peak mosquito hours of dawn and dusk.

Massachusetts health officials alert residents to potential measles exposure
Published on September 9, 2013 by Paul Tinder

Measles

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health warned Boston and Framingham residents on Tuesday about potential exposure to measles after cases were diagnosed at hospitals in each city.

The measles cases were diagnosed during the last two weeks of August at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Metrowest Hospital in Framingham. Massachusetts residents who visited the two hospital locations at the same time as the measles patients who are not immune could be at risk for developing measles.

Hospitals and the DPH are reaching out to individuals who visited Massachusetts General Hospital’s medical walk-in clinic on August 17 and August 19, emergency department on August 20 and inpatient area between August 20 through August 23. The other measles patient visited Metrowest Hospital’s emergency department and inpatient area on August 23 and August 24.

Individuals who were exposed who start to develop measles symptoms should contact their healthcare provider before visiting a clinic, office or emergency department to avoid putting others at risk.

“Fortunately, most people have been vaccinated against measles,” Al DeMaria, the state epidemiologist, said. “Our efforts now are to identify people who may be at risk for getting ill and who may spread the disease further, and asking them to telephone their providers rather than going directly to a healthcare facility.”

Measles symptoms occur 10 days to two weeks after exposure and include cold-like symptoms with a rash occurring two to four days following the development of symptoms. Individuals with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after it appears.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children receive their first dose of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at 12 to 15 months and that adults have at least one dose of MMR. The CDC recommends that certain high-risk groups receive two doses of MMR. School-aged children require two doses of MMR vaccine as well.

Microneedle influenza vaccine shows 100 percent efficacy
Published on September 10, 2013 by Jessica Limardo

Influenza

Scientists recently developed an influenza vaccine that has shown 100 percent efficacy against infection in mice and has potential to be used in developing countries.

The findings of the study were reported in the September issue of the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. The new vaccine uses a microneedle patch to protect the patient against infection for more than one year after vaccination.

The microneedle patch is seven tenths of a millimeter in length and delivers a fraction of the amount of vaccine a typical immunization would deliver, causing less pain than a traditional vaccine would. The minimized dosage also decreases the risk of side effects, such as inflamed lungs.

The new vaccine uses dry virus-like particles instead of liquid containing the whole or an attenuated virus, as a traditional virus would. The dry substance simply needs to be placed on the needle, which eliminates the needs for refrigeration, a key concern in the developing world.

“This method can induce higher levels of IgG2a antibodies as well as rapid recall immune responses following lethal challenge infection,” Sang-Moo Kang, a researcher on the study of Georgia State University, said. “Our previous study showed that microneedle vaccination induced higher levels of antibody-secreting cells in spleen and bone marrow compared to intramuscular vaccination.”

Previous studies for VLP-coated microneedles against influenza showed higher protection against infection than the traditional intramuscular immunization. The new vaccine also showed higher long-term efficacy, keeping mice protected 14 months after vaccination.

The new vaccine offers a pain-free and easy-to-administer method of vaccination, which may increase demand for the vaccine. Kang said it is likely patients can administer the vaccine themselves, ideal for developing countries where access to health care may be limited.