...Immunizations are the most important public health discovery after the drinking water system.
Immunizations help produce the antibodies
that protect us from disease
Throughout history, infectious diseases caused great epidemics until immunization programs started.
• How did immunizations come about?
The origin of immunizations is much older than generally thought. The first form of immunizations was developed in 200 B.C. in China and Turkey, where in 1718, Lady Montagu, an English writer and wife to the Ambassador to Istanbul, wrote a letter in which she described in detail the inoculation process and system used in Turkey.
However, it is Edward Jenner who is recognized worldwide as the father of inoculations as he was the one who marked the beginning of a new phase in public health history.
Jenner spent many years doing research after hearing a farmer say she had been affected by cowpox. In May 14, 1796 he inoculated young James Phipps by administering the liquid/pus obtained from a cowpox lesion on milkmaid Sara Nelmes. Later, he inoculated the same boy but this time with smallpox to prove the result and the boy never became sick. The results were published in a journal titled Variolea Vaccinae in 1798 and, in less than 10 years, this vaccine extended to the rest of the world.
Toward the end of the 19th century important research had been conducted in the field of microbiology and immunology, including the discoveries by French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur, who discovered the vaccine for rabies in humans in 1885. Young Joseph Meister was the first human protected against rabies. In that same year, bacteriologist Jaime Ferrán developed the first cholera vaccine, which was used in the epidemic in Alicante with satisfactory results.
Photo: Louis Pasteur giving Joseph Meister a rabies vaccine
• Vaccines protects our community!
Nowadays many serious diseases can be prevented, but we must take into account that in San Diego we are in a border region characterized by the presence of many tourists, migrants and people who come here on business. In addition to having world famous tourist attractions such as Sea World, Legoland and the San Diego Zoo, we have important military bases, renown universities and a multimillion-dollar tourist industry.
Outbreaks in San Diego a reminder of how important are the vaccines.
Since the Measles outbreak began in early February, the number of confirmed cases were increasing daily. Hundreds of children were pouring in hospital emergency rooms since the measles outbreak was announced. In the entire county there have been 12 confirmed cases and 70 people are in quarantine.
Measles causes a high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by a rash; symptoms usually last one to two weeks. The disease is contagious from four days before the rash appears to four days afterwards.
A child with the measles or other infectious disease taken to a hospital emergency room could potentially infect everyone in the ER. If they aren’t sick, taking them to the ER puts them at risk for getting any number of other diseases.
On mid -February Chicken Pox outbreak was reported at Fallbrook and a Chula Vista Student has whooping Cough.
“This underscores the importance of vaccinating children for measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer.
The best way to prevent measles and other vaccine-preventable disease is by getting the vaccines on time. Most of the cases were of children who had not received the vaccines or the booster shot necessary for them to be protected.
This happens because children who are not vaccinated are a point of transmission when there is a disease in the community. The main risk is that they can infect those babies who are too young to receive the vaccines as well as those children who, because of medical exceptions, cannot be vaccinated, as is the case with children with leukemia or a medical condition that keeps them from being vaccinated.
“It’s important for parents to ensure their children are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. We urge parents to ask their physicians about their kids and adolescents vaccines and get update the vaccine." Said Dr.Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer.
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