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Importance of maintaining high child immunization rates is focus of National Infant Immunization Week April 24-May 1


Thu, Apr 22nd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Infant and childhood immunizations are responsible for nearly eliminating many diseases that once killed thousands of children each year in the United States. While Minnesota's rate of childhood immunizations is relatively high, many children are under-vaccinated, leaving them vulnerable to illnesses that were once thought nearly eradicated and making it easier for some diseases to get a foothold in communities and spread.

With National Infant Immunization Week April 24-May 1, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is calling attention to the importance of infant and childhood immunizations. MDH is suggesting story ideas that highlight various aspects of childhood immunizations in Minnesota including:

While relatively high, Minnesota's immunization rate has been stagnating recently at about 80 percent - and there are indications that in some areas it may be declining. What are the factors that contribute to immunization rates? Why is it important to maintain high immunization rates? How does Minnesota compare to other states?

Reasons for low immunization rates are multifaceted and hard to address, but we know from Census data that these areas typically parallel areas of poverty. The federally-funded Minnesota Vaccines for Children program pays for vaccine for those who don't have insurance to cover them. No child age 18 and under need go without vaccine because their parents do not have health insurance or their insurance does not cover vaccination. Many new parents are not aware of the program, and parents who have recently lost their insurance coverage after losing their jobs may not be aware that they are eligible for the program.

Lower or stagnating immunization rates may also be due to parents' misunderstanding and misperceptions about vaccines. For example, we know that some parents have been reluctant to vaccinate because of beliefs in a connection between vaccines and autism, or that too many vaccines at once can harm a young child. The scientific evidence does not support these contentions. Interview a nationally known, Minnesota-based immunization expert on some of the common myths and truths about vaccines.

Find out what can happen when vaccination rates fall in a community and vulnerable children are left exposed to disease. (Hib in MN in 2008; measles in England and Europe).

Interview a parent whose child suffered a life-threatening disease after being infected by unvaccinated children in the communi .....
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Recycling 101

Fri, Apr 9th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Each county in Minnesota has its own recycling guidelines. That is why your brother in Brown County or your aunt in Itasca County recycles somewhat differently than you do here in Fillmore County. That is not to say that one way is much better than ..... 
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Talking birds and bees with kids and teens

Fri, Apr 9th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Discussing sexual health with your children can be difficult or feel awkward, but it is a crucial part of parenthood and important to your child.  It is best for youth to learn about appropriate sexual behaviors from their parents, school, or o ..... 
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Minnesota STD cases decline in 2009

Tue, Apr 6th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

The total number of reportable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in Minnesota dropped slightly to 16,702 in 2009, a 5 percent drop from the previous year, state health officials reported today.

According to a new report from the Minnesota ..... 
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Bloodmobile in Harmony on April 6

Fri, Apr 2nd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Harmony will be hosting a bloodmobile at the Harmony Community Center from 1-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, 2010. All donors will be required to provide identification before donating, so please remember your donor card or driver's license.

Typ ..... 
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Four new cases of asbestos-related cancer to be included in University of Minnesota's Taconite Workers Health Study

Tue, Mar 30th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

As part of its ongoing participation with a University of Minnesota study of respiratory health issues in Minnesota taconite workers, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has identified four additional cases of mesothelioma in a group of 69,000 p ..... 
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Private water well owners in flood prone areas urged to take precautions

Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

State health officials are warning that contaminated private water wells pose a major public concern during the flooding now threatening various parts of Minnesota.

Although simply coming in contact with flood water shouldn't pose a signifi ..... 
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Controlling blood pressure prevents many health problems!

Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the artery walls. It is often written or stated as two numbers. The first or top number represents the pressure when the heart contracts. This is called systolic pressure. The second or bottom number repr ..... 
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Now is the time to prevent diabetes-know your risk

Mon, Mar 22nd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

St. Paul, MN-On American Diabetes Alert Day, Tuesday, March 23, the Minnesota Diabetes and Heart Health Collaborative has good news about diabetes. People who keep their blood glucose (sugar) as close to normal as possible in the early years followin ..... 
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