Vaccines give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from over a dozen serious diseases before the age of 2. Diseases such as flu, measles and whooping cough (pertussis) can be life threatening to newborns and young babies. Women should receive the Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, pertussis) vaccine with each pregnancy between the 27-36 week time frame.
Children age 4 to 6 need boosters for DTaP (diptheria, tetanus, pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and polio. At 11 or 12 years of age preteens and teens need Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, pertussis), MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccines. Yearly flu shots are recommended for children 6 months and older.
Young men and women who have not started or finished the HPV vaccine series can be vaccinated through 26 years of age. Meningococcal vaccine is recommended especially first-year students who will be living in residence halls.
Immunization helps prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles and tuberculosis adults need to get their shots—-just like children do. All adults get the yearly flu vaccine and Tdap once if not received at adolescence to protect against pertussis (whooping cough) and a Td (tetanus) booster every 10 years. Other adult vaccines such as shingles (caused by the chicken pox virus varicella), pneumococcal, hepatitis and HPV depending on life style and health status.
Vaccines protect not only individuals but entire communities and that is the reason vaccines are such a vital part of the public health goal of preventing diseases.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer and UV damage can cause wrinkles and blotchy skin.
Skin cancer is preventable and communities, health professionals and families can work together toward prevention. Wear sunscreen, hats, UV blocking sunglasses and learn the most dangerous times for UV exposure.
Skin cancer affects people of all ages, including older adults.
Dr. Anna Lovett is a second year resident at the University of Virginia’s Medical School and following are some of her impressions and thoughts she gained while in rural Southwest Virginia.
Spending time working with family medicine physicians in Lebanon and Honaker, VA, through the GMEC Rural Rotation has provided a realistic and refreshing perspective on what it means to practice medicine through serving rural communities and patients in an environment based upon love for God and one another. From seeing coal miners or welders after small accidents that result from their occupational hazards to COPD patients with pneumonia who refuse hospitalization until the family is forced to call 911 to interesting rashes of all kinds on patients of all ages, there have been countless opportunities to expand my understanding of medicine and what it means to practice whole person care in a beautiful setting with down to earth patients with a variety of health care needs.
Thank you, again, for everything. This has been a wonderful and refreshing month! I am grateful I had the opportunity to come to SW VA and have been blessed in so many ways.
Anna Leigh Lovett, MD
UVA Family Medicine
A leading cause of disability is injury which is the number one cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44. Practicing safe behavior can prevent many injuries. Points of interest are:
- Prescription drug abuse
- Slips, trips and falls
- Awareness of surroundings
- Distracted driving
- Keeping safe in summer heat
- Proper use of seat belts
Behavioral Health in Rural Areas of Virginia – Ralph Northam’s article from the Richmond Times Dispatch
May is the month when we focus on Behavioral Health. In Southwest Virginia, we are designated as federally underserved in Behavioral Healthcare. We especially seek pediatric behavioral health specialists, but we’re always happy to talk to anyone interested in doing a residency rotation or being recruited to the area in this underserved field.
It’s Autism Awareness month – let’s light it up blue, Virginia!
1 in 68 children in the SW VA schools is diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Let’s shine a light on autism awareness and research!