Thursday, January 4, 2007

Thank you!

A hearty thanks to Flea for his shout-out today welcoming me to the blogosphere. Lately he's been running a great series on vaccine-preventable diseases. And he's also nominated for the 2006 Medical Weblog Awards (I've yet to check out all of the nominees, but I can assure you he's in good company). Of course, you probably already knew this since there is a good chance you came across my blog via his.
Speaking of vaccine-preventable diseases, yesterday I saw a child with what is most likely Hepatitis A. If it is, that's good, because it's a self-limited virus that just runs its course--for her. Her family and preschool face a different situation, with vaccine and immune globulin shots all around.
HepA is widespread in the west and southwest, but relatively rare here. In fact, I think this is the first case I've seen in seven years. I talked to a Pedi Gastroenterologist in New Orleans who confirmed he hasn't seen much either.
Just last year the immunization schedule was updated, recommending Hepatitis A shots for all kids 12-24 months. Prior to that, it had been just for children in high-risk areas. This is one of those indirect vaccination strategies, since infants and toddlers usually don't get sick or have severe symptoms, but the older kids and adults are the ones that end up suffering (and even face a risk of fulminant liver failure). The toddlers share and spread the disease, so you vaccinate them to protect the older folks. I can't comment on the public health costs and benefits of universal vaccination in term of dollars and cents, but I think it's fair to say that this one case is probably going to cause a lot of worry and work for a lot of people around here.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've just found your Blog via Flea today, and from what I've read so far, it looks like I'll enjoy coming back often to see what's new.

Congratulations and good luck!

Laura said...

came over to say hello by way of flea.
i am a nicu rn but also mom to 5 and blog about those things among the other things that i juggle and that rattle around in my head.
welcome to blogistan!

Ashley C aka Kitten said...

Found your blog via flea, via junkfood science and wanted to say hi. I'm a public health epidemiologist in New Orleans with two kids, 4 and 22 months. I'm the parent all peds hate, as I often preface questions with "So, did you see the recent article in Pediatrics about...."! I love reading medical blogs, especially by peds, especially by peds who know what it's like living in the Katrina zone. Welcome, I look forward to your posts!

Chrysalis Angel said...

I'm new, but still wanted to say hello and send out best wishes to you.

Rob said...

Yes, that ol' rapscallion Flea, he just lights up the switchboard. Would that we were all so influential.

Welcome to the blog community. I have a Summer Sausage I could give you, but I think I'll eat it myself.

Rob

Chrysalis Angel said...

Rob makes me chuckle. He's too modest. Check out what a great job he did with Grand Rounds. Again, welcome.

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