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News Release

Vaccine still your best bet against infectious disease

Apr 23, 2012
Pertussis, tetanus, measles: You may think they’re long gone, but they are waiting for a chance to infect you and your family.

Pertussis, tetanus, measles: You may think they’re long gone, but they are waiting for a chance to infect you and your family.

Over the last decade, every time vaccine rates dropped in a country, there has been a sudden surge in illnesses caused by that disease.

In 2002, North and South America were virtually measles free, with just a few cases reported each year. But around the world, it remains one of the leading causes of vaccine preventable death among children. Last year in Quebec there were more than 750 cases of measles. Health officials blamed a low percentage of people being properly vaccinated, including a booster shot. France experienced more than 14,000 cases of measles last year, including six deaths.

Since an effective vaccine was developed for pertussis (whooping cough) in 1943, the number of cases in Canada has dropped by more than 90 per cent. It has been slowly creeping back into the population in recent years, however.

If you’re an adult between the ages of 19 and 64 and you haven’t received a booster shot for pertussis, there’s a booster available that covers pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus.

During National Immunization Awareness Week, from April 21-28, take the time to check your family’s immunization records and get those vaccines updated.

For more information about immunization, look up the Health Stats Focus Report on Immunization, on the health unit’s website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Your Health Connection, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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