What is Ebola and How Does it Spread?

West African Nurse washing hands

 

The largest Ebola outbreak in all of history is happening in West Africa, right now. The uncontrolled outbreak has primarily affected the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Previously, the disease had not affected large cities; however, the pandemic has made its way to all three of the West African capitals. Most recently, Ebola has spread to Nigeria, where there are now reported cases of infection.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is the virus that causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF). Ebola HF belongs to a group of diseases called “viral hemorrhagic fevers” (VHF). It is a severe and often deadly disease that infects humans and non-human primates (which include chimpanzees, gorillas, and moneys). Ebola HF is caused by the virus, Ebolavirus, which has five subspecies. Only four identified subspecies infect humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly known as Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth subspecies, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has only caused disease in non-human primates.

The current outbreak is of the Zaire strain. This strain of Ebola is known to be the deadliest of the five.

How does Ebola spread?

Experts believe that the virus is zoonotic, or animal-borne. Although the natural reservoir of the virus is unknown, they believe that bats are most likely the reservoir. Four of the five subspecies of Ebola are identified in an animal host native to Africa.

Once the disease is present in humans, it is spread human-to-human through close contact. Human-to-human transmission is not airborne. The virus cannot pass through air, water, or food, but occurs through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. These bodily fluids include blood, semen, sweat, and vomit.

There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola. The treatment given to people who have been infected with Ebola is supportive care to make them as comfortable as possible while the disease runs its course.

How can I keep from getting Ebola?

Although there is currently no vaccine for Ebola, the following steps are recommended to prevent from getting the virus:

  • Staying away from people who have Ebola; avoiding contact with their bodily fluids, secretions, or objects that have been contaminated by them
  • Wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Do not touch and/or eat sick or dead wildlife (particularly bats and “bushmeat” from chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys)

For family members, health workers, and others coming into contact with Ebola patients:

  • People infected with Ebola need to be isolated
  • Universal barrier precautions need to be used when coming into contact with someone who is suspected to have
  • Make sure all equipment is properly disposed of
  • Ebola patients should not have sexual intercourse for 7 weeks
  • Be sure to bury those who have died from Ebola while wearing protection, and do not let mourners touch the body of the deceased patient

It is important to note that these precautions are highly recommended for those who are in or traveling to areas that are of high-risk of Ebola. The current outbreak is in West Africa and does not pose a threat to many countries far outside the borders of the area, such as the United States.

If you are planning on traveling to West Africa, be sure to stay up-to-date with health alerts on what is happening in the area. Scheduling a travel health consultation with a travel health specialist is also a good way to prepare yourself by receiving vaccinations for any other disease that may pose a risk in the area.

Sources:
CDC: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
WHO: Disease Outbreak News
International SOS: Ebola in West Africa

Are You a “Silent Traveler?”

travelers using smart phone

 

You walk out of your hotel room and go down to the lobby, unsure of what you want to eat. Do you stop at the concierge desk for a recommendation? How old fashioned! You ask Siri for her recommendation, and continue on your way. Whether it’s Siri on an iPhone, Cortana on your Windows Phone, or the nameless entity that inhabits your Android, travelers are increasingly taking recommendations from devices instead of living, breathing human beings.

Indeed, as Skift recently reported, more and more people are turning away from the physical concierge to their phones in order to find the best restaurants and activities when they are on vacation. And, they wouldn’t want it any other way!

Yelp!, Amazon.com and other sites have made reading reviews before buying something as common place as the ads in the Sunday paper used to be. You always want to know what is best and comes with the highest recommendation, and, when in a foreign country, those tips can make the difference between a great trip and a just okay one.

If a concierge suggests a somewhat adventurous restaurant (monkey brains, anyone?), you might be a little afraid to go. “Sounds great, but that guy LIVES HERE, so he’s used to the food,” you may think to yourself. It’s a common worry that websites and social media can assuage. You’re much more likely to go somewhere a friend or trusted reviewer suggests than the guy the hotel pays to tell you what’s good.

This applies to check-in as well. A Skift report shows that while 81% of people believe that in-person check-in is important, 59% of those individuals claim that they would use self-service check-in if it were faster. The digital age is upon us, and it likely means fewer (real) faces once you get into the lobby.

We’d like to hear from you; are you a silent traveler? Or, do you prefer to interact with the service staff? Feel free to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

New Polio Strain Is As Scary as It Looks

Republic of Congo Map
New polio strain first detected in 2010 outbreak in Pointe Noire, Republic of the Congo

 

A recent report out of Germany shows that a new polio strain that killed 209 people in the Congo in 2010 might be able to overcome current polio vaccinations.

In a study conducted at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, researchers found that this new strain changes its form “at a decisive point,” making it resistant to some of the common polio vaccines.

Researchers isolated the virus from several fatal cases and then tested it on the blood samples of 34 medical students at the University of Bonn. Between 15% and 29% of the test samples were entirely unprotected from the mutant strain, despite being vaccinated against polio previously.

It is estimated that anywhere from 20% to 30% of the students sampled could have been infected by the new strain of the virus. However, it is possible that the vaccine would still have helped their immune systems combat the disease.

This finding comes four years after the initial outbreak of the new polio strain in Pointe Noire, Republic of the Congo, and confirms what initial research stated. Nearly half the victims of the outbreak were immunized at birth.

While no instance of this new strain has been found in the United States (or anywhere in the developed world), it is something to be aware of that could affect future research.

For more information on the polio vaccination and how you can protect yourself and your family, please contact a Passport Health travel medicine specialist.

Doing Good Globally: GAVI Alliance

Happy Healthy Group

 

Immunization has long been recognized as one of the most efficient, successful, and cost-effective health investments in human history. Studies prove that immunized children have higher cognitive abilities, are more likely to attend school, and are more likely to go on to be productive, healthy adults than their un-immunized counterparts. Unfortunately, even with this compelling evidence, 23 million children, mainly in the developing world, are still not vaccinated against life-threatening, common, preventable diseases. Due to the lack of access to some of the most basic vaccines in these poor and remote communities, precious lives are unnecessarily taken. Every child born, no matter the location of his or her birth, has the right to have the opportunity to live a healthy life, and GAVI Alliance avers that vaccines are the best way to assure this basic human right to life.

In the year 2000, global immunization rates were stagnating, and nearly 30 million children were born every year in developing countries without full access to routine immunizations. In order increase access to life-saving and health preserving vaccines, a unique public-private partnership was created with the help of numerous skilled immunization specialists; the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) was born. The Alliance’s mission was (and continues to be) to save children’s lives and protect global health by increasing access to immunization in the world’s poorest countries. GAVI has brought together low-income countries, donor governments, the WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other private philanthropists and influential individuals into one decision-making body. Working together, these Alliance members have been able to achieve goals no single organization could realize on its own and have made significant strides in closing the gap between children for whom immunization is a given and the millions of children worldwide with no access to basic vaccines. Each partner has brought something different and critically important to the effort to immunize children in the poorest countries, and, together, they have been able to make a huge difference in the world today.

Since GAVI was founded, the partnership has significantly increased immunization coverage and improved the health systems in over 70 countries. By focusing on funding immunization programs in low-income countries and supporting the strengthening of national health systems, GAVI has been able to ensure vaccines for meningitis, maternal neonatal tetanus, yellow fever, measles and other diseases reach individuals in need. The way GAVI works is quite unique, and the Alliance focuses on building on country commitment. Countries that are eligible for GAVI support take the lead by determining what their immunization needs are, applying for funding, and overseeing the implementation of their vaccination programs. GAVI requires that recipient countries contribute towards the cost of the vaccines with GAVI’s co-financing policy. By doing this, ownership of the program is strengthened and long-term sustainability of immunization programs is created. Involvement of recipient country governments and organizations in the vaccine programs demonstrates a strong commitment to improving the health of their populations.

Currently, GAVI is finishing up a second five-year strategy to support its mission and assist developing countries to immunize an additional quarter of a billion children by 2015, potentially saving four million more lives. This strategy, which began in 2011, has four main goals, all of which support GAVI’s overall mission: accelerate the uptake and use of underused and new vaccines, contribute to strengthening the capacity of integrated health systems to deliver immunization, increase the predictability of global financing while improving the sustainability of national financing for immunization, and to shape vaccine markets. This strategy also includes a series of programmatic targets and a range of indicators to monitor the progress towards fulfilling GAVI’s mission.

Since GAVI was founded, over 440 million children had been vaccinated due to the Alliance’s work, saving over 6 million lives. With the help of direct contributions, public-private partnerships, and caring individual donations, GAVI is able to continue with its commitment to save and protect millions more lives around the world. As new opportunities arise to prevent additional diseases, GAVI plans to continue making additional vaccines available and hopes to prevent more than 11 million child deaths by 2030.

To make a donation to the GAVI campaign, please visit this webpage, and click here to learn more about the Alliance in general.

How Do I Make My Workplace Flu Shot Program a Success?

Healthy Employees
Keep your employees healthy this flu season and schedule an onsite flu vaccination clinic.

 

People in good health should receive a flu vaccination each year so that they are protected against illness during the flu season, which typically starts in October and ends in the spring. No matter what the size of your company, now is the time to start thinking about holding a workplace flu shot program in order to guarantee the health of your employees later on in the year. However, organizing an on-site flu clinic might seem a bit daunting and you may have concerns about how to maximize the number of vaccinations while not affecting the operation of your business. Thankfully, the process is much easier than you might expect! Here are some tips on how to make your flu shot program a success.

“Advertise” the Event in Advance

You should start making your employees aware of the upcoming event at least three weeks before the vaccination program is set to take place. This will give them ample time to learn about the benefits of flu vaccination, so they can decide for themselves as to whether or not they want to get vaccinated. If you have a company newsletter, you should strongly consider writing a small article about the upcoming vaccination event. Closer to the actual date or dates of the event, you should send out a mass email, reminding employees to sign up if they are interested. Informational posters placed around the office may also help.

Ensure an Ample Supply of the Vaccine

You should make sure that you have enough vaccines for everyone who wants to get one. The best way to do this is to have everyone sign up in advance. Passport Health makes this easy with our unique online signup portals. This way, you can purchase enough flu vaccines and be assured that no one will miss out. If you cannot guarantee an adequate supply, encourage your staff to contact their health specialist and ask for a vaccination. They can also contact pharmacies and clinics in the area in order to schedule a vaccination.

Be Flexible

You probably don’t want to have everyone rushing to the workplace vaccination site at once. As soon as your employees have started to express an interest in receiving an influenza vaccine, ask them to schedule an appointment with you or any other organizers. This way, you can ensure that everyone gets their turn and no one is held up or pulled away from important work duties.

Set a Vaccination Goal

The best part about setting a goal is that you will provide an incentive for your employees. People enjoy encouragement and praise, and if you reach your target, you can send out a congratulatory letter to your employees. You may even want to bring in small treats to the office if you meet the goal. In addition, you can try and exceed this year’s goal with next year’s influenza vaccination clinic if you choose to hold one.

Focus on the Positive

The ultimate goal for any workplace flu shot program is for employees to stay healthy during the height of the flu season. Every completed vaccination is a success. Planning and executing a workplace vaccination program can seem complicated, but the end results are worth it. Contact Passport Health today for more information about setting up an on-site vaccination clinic for your company or business.

Sources:
Informational Pamphlet from the New York City Department of Health and Hygiene
CDC Facts about the Seasonal Flu Vaccine
CDC Page on Key Flu Facts
Passport Health’s Flu Shot ROI Calculator

How Much Does the Flu Cost My Company? Find out!

Nausea. Chills. Fever. Aches and pains all over. We all know the flu is awful. However, did you know the flu is awfully expensive too? Sick employees cannot come to work, or, if they attempt to work from home, illness and general feelings of misery significantly cut into productivity. Additionally, the costs from flu related medical visits pile up quickly.

That’s right – the flu costs companies a lot of money each year.

How much does your company stand to lose from the flu? Fill in the number of employees in your company and their average annual salary in the calculator below to find out the financial risk the flu poses to you.

Luckily, this is one risk that is easily mitigated. Schedule an onsite flu vaccination clinic to keep your employees, and your bottom line, healthy and flu free!

How Much Does the Flu Cost My Company?

FIND OUT! Fill in the first two fields, and then press the TAB key.

Total employees:
Average employee salary :
Don’t know your average salary? Median U.S. income is $51,371
Each lost lost workday, per employee, costs you: $0
Each sick employee will lose 5 workdays: 5
Statistically, this many of your employees will get the flu*: 0
Flu-related absenteeism will cost your company: $0
Flu-related medical visits will cost your company**: $0
At a minimum, the flu will cost your company: $0

*Assume 15% of employees get the flu.
**The average cost of a doctor’s appointment is $154.55, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

Flu-Mist More Effective in Children

Happy Healthy Children

 

Flu Vaccines: Mist vs. Injection for Children

Healthcare officials have long recommended the flu vaccines for children. However, in a rare move, federal health experts recently indicated a preference for the nasal spray influenza vaccine over the traditional injected version. The recommendation came as a result of studies, which indicated the inhaled version may have greater efficacy. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a group of healthcare professionals who advise the CDC, made its recommendation after comparing the two formulas.

What is the Flu?

A contagious virus that is caused by the influenza virus, the flu is spread from one infected person to the nose or throat of another. According to the CDC, everyone over 6 months of age should receive a yearly influenza vaccination. The flu may pose serious health hazards as it may lead to pneumonia as well as high fevers and seizures in children.

Inhaled Vaccination

Flumist is an influenza vaccination that takes the form of a mist that is inhaled into the nostrils. The formula is made from a weakened virus. The nasal spray is approved for children 2 and older and adults under the age of 50. People who are allergic to eggs or previous versions of the flu vaccine should avoid Flumist. The inhaled vaccine is also not recommended for anyone who has pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and renal, neuromuscular, neurological, hematologic or hepatic disorders. Flumist is also not for individuals who suffer from immunosuppression.

LAIV vs. IIV

Although both weakened, active virus vaccines and inactive virus vaccines (IIV) have been deemed safe for children, researchers believe LAIV may have additional benefits. In 2011, researchers concluded that LAIV had an 83-percent rate of efficacy in children between the ages of 6 months and 7 years. However, results from the trials did not support efficacy in people over the age of 7. Despite the evidence of a higher level of efficacy, healthcare professionals remind physicians and healthcare providers not to delay vaccination or forego administering IIV vaccines if the nasal LAIV is not available. Furthermore, LAIV vaccines should not be administered to children who have shown signs of asthma or wheezing within the previous 12 months. Higher cost may also be a concern for patients and healthcare providers as the nasal mist is priced slightly higher.

Overall, ACIP recommends that health professionals maintain both LAIV and IIV vaccines on hand and administer both. The advisory group has also urged the importance of informing parents that their child will not be at a disadvantage if he or she receives the IIV vaccine instead.

Sources:
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – Immunizations for Children
Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Ebola Vaccine is Ready for Clinical Trial

Vaccine Research - Ebola Virus

 

GlaxoSmithKline recently announced that it will begin testing its Ebola vaccination as early as mid-September in human volunteers.

With the help of the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center, GSK will start recruiting patients in the Gambia, Mali and the United Kingdom to take part in the trials. If the vaccine is proven safe and those inoculated show immunity to the disease, the company would like to speed up delivery of the medicine to West Africa where Ebola has been most prevalent.

“A vaccine will be enormously important in the prevention effort for this deadly disease,” observed Melanie Kohr, RN, Passport Health’s Vice President of Clinic Operations. “Although public health measures like correct use of personal protective equipment and patient isolation have an important role to play in preventing disease spread, vaccination adds yet another tool to the disease prevention kit.”

Since the Ebola outbreak began in March of this year, more than 1,550 people have died and 3,069 been infected by the virus. While these are small numbers in comparison to the toll that diseases like malaria or influenza take, the fear of Ebola spreading further and current estimates that point to 20,000 more potential deaths before the outbreak ends has lead groups like GlaxoSmithKline to invest more heavily in Ebola vaccination efforts.

Ebola, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), is a disease that so far has been contained to Africa mainly in the sub-Saharan region. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash along with internal bleeding in some cases. The virus is spread through contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected being (either human or animal). There are no documented cases of an outbreak starting anywhere outside of the sub-Saharan Africa region.

To find more about immunizations against diseases like Ebola, malaria, yellow fever or even the common cold, contact a Passport Health travel health specialist by visiting our website at www.passporthealthusa.com, or by calling 1-877-499-7277.

Drive Safely This Labor Day

Happy Labor Day

 

Labor Day marks the end of summer and the summer vacation season. Throughout May, June, July and August many people travel around the world to see all kinds of amazing destinations, but Labor Day weekend marks a shift back to road trips and more local excursions. This means a lot of driving will occur, and, with that, comes a need to stay safe on the roads.

The National Safety Council estimates that more than 395 fatalities will take place over the coming holiday weekend accounting, for almost 15% of the overall accident related deaths for the month of September. The NSC has found that from the Friday before Labor Day through the Monday holiday, fatalities rise 35% and even stay 16% higher than normal on the following Tuesday.

However, the NSC’s report isn’t all negative. The group estimates that more than 150 lives may be saved by simply using a seatbelt and avoiding distracted driving.

These three holiday driving tips will also help you and your family avoid any kind of hazardous situation:

Get It Fixed

The first step to becoming a road warrior is to make sure that your vehicle is in peak working condition. Nothing turns a trip from fun to miserable faster than having something break. Try to schedule a vehicle checkup before you travel. A quick look at a vehicle’s engine, radiator, fluids and (perhaps most importantly) tires can help avoid any unexpected pit stops, or at least those not caused by a 44oz drink.

Building out an emergency bag isn’t a bad idea either. Ideally, this bag should include: a flashlight, tire gauge, tool kit (with wrenches and screwdrivers), duct tape, emergency stop sign, jumper wires, a small first aid kit, water, and a few rags or towels (both for cleaning and to help protect your knees from hot asphalt if you have to do any maintenance).

Avoid the Madness

You wouldn’t go to West Africa without checking on the status of the Ebola outbreak, so why would you travel without checking traffic? Be sure to plan ahead and try to avoid the holiday rush. Starting your adventure either before 4 p.m. or after 10 p.m. can help alleviate the stress that comes with rush hour traffic jams.

Additionally, plan for secondary events that might be taking place around your own home. Parades, street fairs and sporting events are just some of the activities that will occur this weekend, and all of them could pose a potential headache for anyone trying to get around town, let alone take a long road trip.

Be Smart

These are the same basic rules that apply to travel anywhere, at any time, but they are extra important during high traffic times like holiday weekends. If you are tired, feeling sick or especially if you have been drinking, either hand the keys to someone else or delay starting your drive. You’re better off calling a cab or waiting a few hours than ending up as front-page news for the wrong reasons.

Be sure to watch out for other drivers as well. The NSC says that defensive driving is one of the key factors in avoiding accidents and suggests being a defensive driver at all times, especially during bad or unexpected weather conditions. In those cases, pulling over can be your best option.

Finally, if you have to use a cellphone or some type of electronic device like GPS while driving, please be careful. Passengers are almost always willing to help by talking to somebody for you or being a navigator to allow the driver to focus on the road. If you have to make a call while driving, either use a hands-free device, or pull over and then make the call.

We hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend, and, if you do find yourself traveling to any exotic regions or have any questions about international travel, feel free to contact one of our Passport Health travel health specialists today!

Vaccines are not Associated with Autism

Happy, Healthy People

 

Childhood vaccination has been a subject of controversy among parents since 1998. The topic is as contentious if not more so than working versus staying at home and bottle versus breast-feeding. Vaccinations are heralded by the medical, scientific and public health communities as being among the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century. Millions of lives have been saved by preventing infections with deadly diseases. Countless cases of disabilities have also been prevented by halting the spread of infectious diseases through the use of routine vaccinations during childhood. One dishonest study by a British researcher threatened to halt this public health achievement and put the well-being and lives of countless people at risk. The most recent Centers for Disease Control estimates show that 1 of every 68 children have an autism diagnosis. As the rate of autism has increased, ensuring that parents have access to correct, honest and ethical information about vaccinations is essential to the public health.

The Article That Caused Vaccine Fears

In 1998, British surgeon Andrew Wakefield published an article in the renowned journal The Lancet. In the article, Wakefield presented evidence later found to be dishonest and erroneous that revealed eight of 12 children may have developed autism and bowel disease after receiving the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations. Because parents of autistic children and scientists had searched in vain for a cause behind autism, the small Wakefield study went viral. Seemingly overnight, celebrities and parents alike turned to the MMR vaccine as the cause of their children’s ailments.

Repercussions of the Wakefield Article

As the Wakefield study went mainstream, he became a household name. Parents began to refuse the MMR vaccination with some opting for an alternative vaccination timetable while other parents refused any and all vaccines for their children. As a result, vaccination rates in the United States and Canada significantly declined. When fewer members of a population are vaccinated, outbreaks of disease increase. In recent months and years, outbreaks and epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases including whooping cough (pertussis), measles and mumps have occurred throughout North America. Children and teenagers have developed serious complications such as deafness and seizures, and many have died due to contracting a disease that could have been prevented by following the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule. It is for these reasons that physicians and researchers such as University of Sydney’s Associate Professor Guy Eslick delved further into the issue.

Disproving and Debunking the Wakefield Article

As soon as the Wakefield study was published, medical researchers attempted to replicate the findings. None were able to do so. As article after article from researchers around the world poured into scientific journals, none were supportive of Wakefield’s findings. Eventually, Wakefield was accused of dishonesty and unethical behavior and The Lancet retracted the paper and published an apology. That, however, did little to dissuade people who developed firm beliefs about the issue. University of Sydney scientist Associate Professor Guy Eslick set out to combine the hundreds of individual studies in what statisticians and epidemiologists refer to as a meta-analysis.

Mechanics of the University of Sydney Analysis

Associate Professor Guy Eslick at the Sydney Medical School put together all available published data from seven studies involving more than 1.25 million children around the world. He concluded that there was no evidence to support a relationship between common vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough and the development of autism and related disorders such as Asperger’s. In order to conduct the review, which is in press in the journal Vaccine, Eslick used data from publicly available research studies. He and his co-authors identified relevant articles using search terms associated with autism diagnoses. Data was collected from the published articles and examined for publication bias. Pooled odds ratios were calculated for the effect of vaccinations on the development of autism using a random effects model. The data was also divided into sub-groups to examine the risk of an autism diagnosis alone. The subgroups were after the MMR vaccine, after mercury exposure or after exposure to a vaccine containing thimerosal preservative. The group conducted vigorous statistical analyses of the data including tests of heterogeneity, Egger’s regression model for publication bias and Rosenthal’s fail-safe number for publication bias. Eslick and the group thoroughly examined the risk of publication bias because of the well-known fact that studies finding null results are less likely to be published than those finding non-null results.

Results of the University of Sydney Analysis

After eliminating data from studies that were not related to autism or that showed any bias of publication, Eslick and his team were left with five cohort studies and five case control studies. They pooled the data from these studies and found no evidence of a link between autism and vaccinations. Of special importance is the fact that four of the five cohort studies were of large populations and had sound scientific methodology. Since no evidence of any linkage between autism and vaccinations were found in the meta-analysis, the currently recommended immunization schedule should be adhered to by children as well as adults.

Are There Any Risks to Vaccinations?

While there is no evidence linking vaccinations to autism, vaccinations do occasionally cause side-effects such as fever or rash, which are generally mild and brief in nature. Only rarely is there a serious medical complication resulting from a routine childhood vaccination. Any adverse events after vaccination are reportable to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System which is accessible by the public as well as physicians and researchers.

The Benefits of Routine Immunizations and Travel Vaccinations

Vaccines offer the ability to protect oneself against disease without having to acquire immunity through a natural infection. When a person becomes naturally infected with a disease, there is a real risk of complications and death. Thanks to routine childhood vaccinations, cases of serious infections such as measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b, have declined by 91 to 100 percent. Preventing disease is less economically costly than treating it. For every dollar invested in vaccinations, $5 to $11 is saved in healthcare costs. Once a high number of people in a population are vaccinated against a disease, that disease is much less likely to cause an outbreak. This type of immunity, referred to as herd immunity, helps to protect those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Staying Up to Date on Your Vaccinations

If you’re behind on any vaccinations or you’re planning an international trip, a pre-travel health exam at a Passport Health clinic can get you up to date. Travel health specialists offer travel vaccines, medications and guidance on packing travel supplies for optimal health.

Sources:
University of Sydney: Vaccines Are Not Associated with Autism: An Evidence Based Meta Analysis of Case Control and Cohort Studies (in press)
Centers for Disease Control: Vaccine Safety and Concerns About Autism
New York Post: No Links Between Autism and Vaccinations: Study
CDC Study Debunks Vaccine Autism Link
Herald Sun: Childhood Vaccinations Not Linked to Development of Autism, University of Sydney Finds
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: Vaccine Benefits