vaccinations

Pinellas and Pasco counties are starting to see significant declines in the number of hepatitis A cases that are being diagnosed each month, the state’s surgeon general told a panel of senators on Tuesday.

Hepatitis A vaccine
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida had 65 newly reported hepatitis A cases last week, bringing the total number of cases this year to 2,675 as of Saturday. 

Florida Officials Hope CDC Partnership Curbs Hepatitis A Outbreaks

Jul 5, 2019
An electron micrograph of the hepatitis A virus, an RNA virus that can survive up to a month at room temperature.
Betty Partin / CDC

By News Service of Florida

The Florida Department of Health is working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address a hepatitis A outbreak and hopes the “partnership” will help expand vaccinations, state officials said Wednesday.

Hepatitis A Cases Continue To Climb

Jul 2, 2019
An electron micrograph of the hepatitis A virus, an RNA virus that can survive up to a month at room temperature.
Betty Partin / CDC

News Service of Florida

Another 90 cases of hepatitis A were reported to the Florida Department of Health during the final week of June, bringing the number of cases this year to more than 1,700, figures posted on the department website show. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida. Meanwhile the number of cases of Hepatitis A in the state continues to rise.

Measles is surging. Last week the U.S. recorded 90 cases, making this year's outbreak the second largest in more than two decades.

So far this year, the U.S. has confirmed 555 measles cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday. That's 50 percent higher than the total number recorded last year, even though we're only about a quarter of the way through 2019.

And the virus isn't slowing down.

All U.S. states require most parents to vaccinate their children against some preventable diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough, to be able to attend school. Such laws often apply to children in private schools and day care facilities as well as public schools.

New Book: Vaccines Have Always Had Haters

Sep 23, 2018

Vaccinations have saved millions, maybe billions, of lives, says Michael Kinch, associate vice chancellor and director of the Center for Research Innovation in Business at Washington University in St. Louis. Those routine shots every child is expected to get can fill parents with hope that they're protecting their children from serious diseases.

But vaccines also inspire fear that something could go terribly wrong. That's why Kinch's new book is aptly named: Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity.

Pinellas County is in the middle of their first measles outbreak in 20 years, and the number of cases keeps building. Since August 13, there have been seven reported cases in the county, and as of Wednesday, there are nine in the state.

iStock

Health officials are urging parents to make sure their children are vaccinated against measles after three cases of the disease were reported in Pinellas County, among more than 100 cases throughout the U.S. this year.

While a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Florida Department of Health shows a high vaccination rate in Florida. Leon County health officials want to see that number reach 100 percent in time for school starting this August.

With the new school year around the corner, members of Hillsborough County's Back-to-School Coalition are trying to ensure students get their immunization shots, even if they're not able to afford it.

A campaign is currently underway in Florida to educate parents about a childhood vaccine that can prevent cancers associated with the sexually-transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV, in adulthood.

Every year before influenza itself arrives to circulate, misinformation and misconceptions about the flu vaccine begin circulating. Some of these contain a grain of truth but end up distorted, like a whispered secret in the Telephone game.

But if you're looking for an excuse not to get the flu vaccine, last year's numbers of its effectiveness would seem a convincing argument on their own. By all measures, last season's flu vaccine flopped, clocking in at about 23 percent effectiveness in preventing lab-confirmed influenza infections.

While much of the attention in the ongoing measles outbreak has focused on student vaccination requirements and exemptions, less attention has been paid to another group in the nation's classrooms: Teachers and staff members, who, by and large, are not required to be vaccinated.

In most states, there is no law dictating which vaccines teachers and school staff workers are required to get. Some states provide a list of recommended vaccines, but there is no requirement or follow-up for teachers to receive them.

Miami-Dade County school leaders say they are concerned about a measles outbreak spreading across the country, and they urge parents to vaccinate their children.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Florida is a major player in widespread influenza reported in 43 states so far this season.

Levels of transmission have reached epidemic proportions, according to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials say that a mutation in the flu virus may be to blame for the rising number of flu cases this year.

A slight change in the flu virus may be partially responsible for the increased flu activity this season, said Dr. David Berman, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at All Children's Hospital in St Petersburg.

This year’s flu epidemic is well under way across the nation, and Florida is no exception. Each year about 3,000 Floridians die from flu or related complications, health officials estimate.

Recent reports have cited two deaths of pregnant women in Brevard County and 12 deaths in Gainesville; now another two have died in Broward, CBS4 reports.