THIS IS AS GOOD A SEGWAY AS ANY TO OUR LATEST NEWS: FD.COM WILL INTRODUCE A NEW CHARACTER LATER THIS SUMMER, BORN WITHIN THE AMA's PRESCRIBED WINDOW, AND TENTATIVELY NAMED SMALL FELLOW 2.0*


The Journal of the American Medical Association has determined that women seeking to maximize their chances of having healthy babies should space them at least 18 months apart, but no more than five years apart:

The analysis found that spacing babies too close together or too far apart raises the risk of complications such as premature births and low birth weight.

* [No, this is not a joke; We're having a third child in late August, and it will be a boy.]

MUMPS'S THE WORD    


This won't be news to our Midwestern readers, but the mumps is back in a big way in that region's college towns - Newsweek reports that 1,165 people are sickened with mumps nationwide now. Not to mention, whooping cough is making a comeback (we know of cases right here in the Northeast), and what always fascinates a public-health buff like ourselves is the connection to vaccination policy:

Once a childhood disease, the virus has now taken hold in university towns. That's partly because crowded dorms and cafeterias are breeding grounds for germs that are spread by sneezing and coughing. But there's also a factor unique to this generation of college students. In the late '80s, the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine was upgraded from one dose to two, and some of the last kids to get the less effective single-dose vaccine are in college now. Others haven't had any doses at all because some parents, fearing a purported link to autism, did not have their kids vaccinated. And even those who've had both doses aren't fully protected: the vaccine is 90, not 100, percent effective.

Your two takeaways from this:
1. There are consequences to hopping on the anti-vaccination bandwagon.
2. No need to panic for your own kids; they got the better vaccine.

April 25, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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