Blog Posts

Anti-Vaccination Movement Causing Growing Concerns

Posted on Tue, Mar 17, 2015

The anti-vaccination movement and the parents in favor of the movement, known as anti-vaxxers, have been in the news lately, particularly due to the measles outbreak at Disneyland in December and January. More than 24 cases of measles have been linked to Disney theme parks in Southern California, and these parents are attracting widespread attention and vilification since measles was virtually eliminated from the U.S. nearly a decade ago and is now becoming prevalent again. The reported rising numbers (along with rising anxiety) proved that this highly contagious disease is still circulating around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been at least 170 measles cases reported in 17 states including: California (113), Illinois (15), Michigan (1), Texas (1) Nevada (8), Washington (7) and Arizona (7), Pennsylvania (1), Utah (2) and New Jersey (2). As cases continue to stack up, so does the risk.

Anti-Vaxxers

Experts say that several (avoidable) diseases are now making a comeback due to anti-vaxxers who are opposed to vaccinating their children. According to the CDC’s findings, the following 10 states have the highest rates of children enrolled in kindergarten with a reported exemption to vaccination which is a direct reflection of the states listed above with the most measles cases reported: 1. California 2. Illinois 3. Michigan 4. Texas 5. Florida 6. Washington 7. Arizona 8. Oregon 9. Pennsylvania 10. Utah

Symptoms of Measles

The highly contagious virus can take four to 12 days for symptoms to appear and before you even notice the symptoms and recognize it as measles, you can be infecting other people. Measles starts as a fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and a red, pinpoint rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. If the virus infects the lungs, it can cause pneumonia. Measles in older children can lead to inflammation of the brain, called encephalitis, which can cause seizures and brain damage. Measles kills about once in every 1,000 cases.

Vaccines Prevent Disease and Save Lives

Going into your local urgent care center and getting vaccinated is one of the easiest ways to fight preventable contagious diseases. Vaccination acts as a firewall in the spread of disease, preventing further transmission of the disease. The more individuals who are resistant to disease, the smaller the probability that a susceptible individual will come into contact with an infectious individual, which is called herd immunity. The principle of herd immunity, also known as community immunity, applies to a variety of contagious diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, influenza and pneumococcal disease. The MMR vaccine is a two-part vaccination recommended for all children. It protects against three serious illnesses (measles, mumps and rubella). Two doses of this vaccine can provide 97% protection against infection and is proven safe by the CDC. eMedical Urgent Care offers MMR vaccines to both children and adults (adults may first take a simple blood test, an antibody titer, to find out whether they are already immune to these three diseases). If you have an unvaccinated child (or are unvaccinated yourself), contact the Middletown or Berkeley Heights, NJ eMedical Urgent Care today to learn more about vaccinations like the MMR and how it can help protect you and your family from the resurgence of measles in America.

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Fall Sports: How to Recognize a Concussion

Posted on Thu, Sep 22, 2011

It’s a brisk fall afternoon. You’re sitting in the bleachers, watching your son’s JV football game. In the scuffle during a play he hits his head on the turf. You see him get up a bit slowly, but he shakes it off and lines up for the next play. Should you be concerned? It is estimated there are 3 million head injuries each year related to contact sports, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For teens and young adults aged 15 to 24 years, it is second only to motor vehicle accidents as the cause of traumatic brain injuries. Concussions can be caused by mild or more severe blows to the head. They may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Recently, more attention has been placed on recognizing and treating concussions earlier to decrease the risk of long-term neurological damage. The Signs of a Concussion Early signs of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Vision changes
  • Unequally sized pupils
  • Lack of awareness of surroundings
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Lack of coordination
If your child is injured and shows any of the above signs, he or she should stop participating in the sports activity immediately. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association requires that any student athlete who sustains a possible concussion or any loss of consciousness be removed immediately from play. A medical evaluation is required to determine if a concussion was sustained. If it’s determined that your child did have a concussion, he or she must be symptom-free for one week before he or she can return to play. You should seek immediate medical attention if your child’s symptoms persist for more than 10 minutes. If the symptoms are mild, such as mild headache, dizziness, nausea without vomiting or loss of memory for a few minutes, watch to see if the symptoms worsen. The physicians at eMedical Urgent Care can help determine if further care is needed. When to Go to the Emergency Department You should bring your child to the nearest emergency department if the injury involves:
  • Large cuts
  • Prolonged loss of consciousness
  • Severe headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Inability to walk
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
What to Expect After a Concussion A few days to a few weeks after having a concussion your child might experience:
  • A persistent, low-grade headache
  • Light-headedness
  • Poor attention and concentration
  • Memory issues
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety and/or a depressed mood
  • Trouble sleeping

The recovery period for concussions can vary from patient to patient. Some may develop “post-concussion syndrome,” which can last weeks or months and includes chronic headaches, dizziness and nausea.  If your child sustains a more severe concussion, he or she should be seen by a neurologist in addition to your primary physician to manage ongoing care.

 

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