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Physicians urge parents to get children immunized

The Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, representing more than 3,000 family physicians across the state, today urged families and parents throughout the state to have their children vaccinated against measles and other infectious diseases with outbreaks on the rise across the Midwest and the rest of the nation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 214 children have been infected with the measles across the country this year alone, a 300 percent increase over typical years and the largest outbreak in the last 15 years.

"This year more than any other in recent memory, it is important that parents immunize their children against preventable but devastating diseases like the measles," said MAFP President Peter Graham. "Immunizations are a simple step that can keep Michigan kids healthy, even with outbreaks on the rise and children being hospitalized by the dozens in nearby states like Indiana and Minnesota."

Immunizations help stop the spread of preventable infectious diseases like measles and have never been more important for Michigan kids. According to the CDC, a recent measles outbreak in Indiana infected 14 residents, while this fall an outbreak in Minnesota resulted in 21 infections and 14 hospitalizations.

Measles is an infectious disease that causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. The infection can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis and is fatal in one or two cases out of every thousand. Measles spreads through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. It is so contagious that any child who is exposed to it and is not immune will probably get the disease.

MAFP recommends Michigan parents observe the following vaccination tips to help keep their children healthy and prevent a serious measles outbreak in Michigan:

  • Contact your family physician or pediatrician to make sure your child's immunizations are up to date. If not, make an appointment.
  • If your child is getting a winter sports physical, schedule vaccinations at the same time for convenience.
  • If your family's health insurance does not cover your child's immunization, check with your local health department about free immunization clinics in your area.
  • Talk with your local school. Many now offer immunization recommendations and opportunities on-site during school registration.

Additional facts about immunizations in Michigan can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/mdch. Vaccination facts and schedules are also provided through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/vaccines. Additional information about the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians can be found at http://www.mafp.com.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

 

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