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Study Shows Long Term Health Risks from Measles

Study Shows Long Term Health Risks from Measles

girl in tree, measles, vaccines

As the vaccine debate rages among parents, more studies show the effects of measles may last long after a patient recovers. Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children often cite the measles symptoms as one reason vaccinations may not be worth the perceived risks. A new study from the Netherlands suggests patient’s risks continue long after they recover from the initial illness.

Measles begins with a high fever 10-12 days after exposure to the virus. A cough, runny nose, red watery eyes, and white spots in the mouth may accompany the fever. A few days later a rash appears on the face and neck. The rash spreads over the entire body in the next 3 days. The rash lasts 5-6 days.

The new study shows a decreased immunity to other viruses and infections after the measles rash fades. The virus appears to wipe out the immune system’s memory. Illnesses the person had previously built immunity to were no longer recognized. The measles effect made patients even more susceptible to those illnesses and their dangerous complications. While the immune system still works, it must relearn all the viruses it one recognized.

Infants who are not yet old enough for the vaccine, children under age 5, and adults over age 30 are most susceptible to other complications of measles such as ear infections, diarrhea, and dehydration.

Yet another reason to protect our children with the MMR vaccine. If you have questions or concerns about vaccines and your child, schedule a wellness visit with one of our providers to discuss how best to protect your family’s health.

Let’s Talk Infant Immunizations

Infant Immunizations Week

The last week of April we recognize as National Infant Immunizations Week. We’ve heard a lot of discussion about vaccines in the news lately and want to provide you with the most information possible. Vaccinations are designed to protect not only your child from serious diseases but to protect those with compromised immune systems who are unable to receive the vaccine themselves.

You can find a lot of information online, but your child’s medical provider offers the best information on immunizations. Seeing the same physician or nurse practitioner for your child’s wellness exams and illnesses supplies the provider a complete history and understanding of your child’s health. Together you and your child’s health provider can make the best decisions for your child.

What illnesses do childhood vaccines protect against?

The typical course of vaccines covers fourteen illnesses:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Diphtheria
  • Hib Disease (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • Pertussis
  • Pneumococcal Disease
  • Polio
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella (German Measles)
  • Tetanus
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve never heard of some of these illnesses and have never known anyone who ever experienced many of them. You can thank vaccines for that protection. Want to know more about each of these diseases? Check out this article which describes each disease and potential complications.

Why do my children receive so many vaccines at one time?

Infant immunizations and childhood vaccines are scheduled to be given when a child is most at risk of developing the disease and when a child’s body is most responsive to developing protection after the vaccine is given. Some vaccines must be given in multiple doses spaced at specific intervals to create and maintain full, optimum protection.

What’s the recommended infant immunizations schedule for children?

The CDC provides informative guides for when you should expect your child to receive specific vaccines. You should also receive an updated vaccination record when your child has new vaccines.

Download the CDC’s guide in English

Download the CDC’s guide in Spanish

Where can I have my child vaccinated?

While some pharmacies offer certain vaccines for adults, it’s important to schedule time with your child’s regular medical provider for their vaccines.

Mantachie Rural Health Care, Inc., offers vaccines to children who are covered under Medicaid or private insurance as well as children who do not have insurance. We’re also part of the federally funded Vaccines for Children program which offers vaccines at no cost to children who might not be vaccinated due to an inability to pay.

If your child has received vaccinations at another clinic, we are able to pull those reports from our office which ensures your child receives the correct vaccines in the right order.

Make an appointment for your child’s next vaccines by calling our office at (662) 282-4226.

The Importance of Adult Vaccinations

adult vaccinations

In America today, vaccinations have changed our lives. Not only have they reduced many infectious diseases that once plagued our lives, they have even eliminated some of these viruses and bacterias from our lives. That means much of what harmed or killed infants, children and adults 50 years ago isn’t a threat to us today. But that doesn’t mean they are gone. These viruses and bacterias still exist, and that’s why it’s crucial we stay vaccinated, even as adults.

Vaccines Today

Vaccines go through years of testing before they make it to us. They are routinely tested and monitored by the CDC and the FDA to ensure safety for everyone. And that’s exactly what they are meant to do. Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect your and your family’s health. While side effects can occur, they are usually mild and disappear after a couple of days. Most commonly, vaccine side effects include soreness, redness or slight swelling at the injection side.

Protecting your loved ones

Vaccines don’t just protect you. They also protect your loved ones, especially infants, small children and elderly adults who have weakened immune systems, from life-threatening illnesses.  In fact, age and health conditions can make certain family members unable to get certain vaccines. This could be an infant who is too young to be vaccinated for whooping cough. They rely on you to help prevent spreading those diseases by being vaccinated yourself.

Protecting yourself

Vaccines are derived to work with your body’s natural defenses. They help your body safely develop immunities to diseases. This process lowers your chances of contracting certain diseases, like cancers and chronic lung disease. In fact, flu vaccines can lower your risk of certain flu-related conditions like heart attacks.

Risk for Serious Disease

It’s simple. Vaccines are created so you can help protect yourself from unnecessary suffering. Thousands of U.S. adults become ill every year from diseases that vaccines can help prevent. With the busy lives of most Americans, you can’t afford to get sick, and vaccines can help prevent just that.

Overall, vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect yourself. Schedule an appointment with us to discuss your and your family’s vaccination options.

Who Needs A Pneumonia Vaccine?

Pneumonia VaccinePneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. Often the inflammation causes the air sacs to fill with fluid making breathing difficult. Viruses, bacteria, or fungi can all cause pneumonia. Symptoms often include:

  • a cough with phlegm or pus
  • fever
  • chills
  • sharp pain in the chest
  • dehydration
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • malaise
  • clammy skin, or sweating

Antibiotics can treat many forms of pneumonia. Some forms of pneumonia can be prevented by vaccines.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) some kinds of pneumonia, not all, can be prevented with vaccines. A pneumonia vaccine does not prevent all cases of pneumonia. Walking pneumonia, for example, currently has no vaccine and is preventable with good hygiene habits. However,the vaccine can lower your chance of catching the disease. It can also decrease the severity of symptoms if you are unfortunate enough to catch the disease.

Who does need the pneumonia vaccine?

Not everybody needs to get a pneumonia vaccine. If you’re a healthy adult between ages 18 and 64, you can skip this vaccine.

People age 65 and over

As we age our immune systems don’t work as well as they once did. That’s why everyone over the age 65 should receive a pneumonia vaccine.

People with weak immune systems

Some illnesses and procedures weaken our immune system and make us susceptible to other diseases. People with the following chronic illnesses are susceptible to pneumonia and need the pneumonia vaccine:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • HIV
  • AIDS

The same goes for anyone who has recently had chemotherapy or had an organ transplant.


If you smoked for many years, you’ve done definite damage to your lungs. You may have damaged the little hair like structures called cilia that help your lung filter out germs. If you’re a smoker, you’re susceptible to pneumonia and need to consider the vaccination. Fortunately, quitting smoking can actually help you prevent pneumonia.

Heavy drinkers

If you drink every day, you might notice that you are sick with more colds, flus or other illnesses than people who don’t drink. Alcohol can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to infections. If you drink often, you need to consider a pneumonia vaccine.

People getting over surgery or recovering from a severe illness

If you have been in the ICU (intensive care unit) and needed a ventilator to help you breathe, you are at risk of pneumonia. The same goes for those healing from surgery or serious injury.

Is there a pneumonia season?

Contrary to popular belief, pneumonia doesn’t have a season. Not in the same way we have flu season anyway. If your medical care professional suggests a pneumonia vaccine, you can get them anytime of the year.

Now that we’ve mentioned the flu…flu often becomes pneumonia. In fact, about one-third of all pneumonia cases in this country are caused by respiratory viruses, most commonly influenza.

If it’s flu season, you can even get a pneumonia vaccine at the same time that you get a flu vaccine, as long as you receive each shot in a different arm.

If you are in need of a flu vaccine or a pneumonia vaccine, give us at call at 662-282-4226. We’d be happy to make you an appointment.

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