All posts by Wendy Bons

Chickenpox — It Isn’t Child’s Play

It’s ba-a-ack! Chickenpox (also known as Varicella) is doing the rounds in Upwey,particularly in schools and kinders in the area. Being one of the most contagious diseases around, it won’t be long before chickenpox starts making things very unpleasant up here in the hills community too.

What can you do to avoid it?

Make an appointment to be immunised against it … today! If you and your children have not been immunised against chickenpox, or if you can’t recall whether you’ve had it or not, book an appointment and discuss it with your doctor.

Children who missed out on their chickenpox vaccination are eligible for a free ‘catch-up’ shot. Adult injections are available too for a cost. The vaccination will give you a lifetime’s immunity. Not only are you likely to avoid being sick in the future, you may avoid serious health complications.

Isn’t it ‘good’ for kids to get Chickenpox?

In a word, NO! And while we’re on the subject, the thinking behind ‘Pox Parties’, so that they can all catch chickenpox together, is seriously flawed. Because it’s so highly contagious, it only takes a minimal sharing of toys, drink bottles and sneezes to infect everyone. And of the unvaccinated people — bearing in mind it isn’t just the kids, everyone else is at risk too — 90% will become infected with nasty rashes, lesions and flu-like symptoms showing inusually 10—21 days. It typically takes at least three weeks to recover.

Isn’t Chickenpox a ‘kids’ illness’?

No it absolutely isn’t. Children who have chickenpox may develop a natural immunity but that’s not always the case. It can reactivate at any time in the future. Unvaccinated children, teenagers, and adults (especially pregnant women) who get chickenpox can have a much more serious time of it. There is the risk of complications in adult chickenpox that can lead to skin infections and scarring, pneumonia, vertigo, meningitis and/or encephalitis.

Chickenpox is definitely not child’s play. It is a serious but vaccine-preventable disease. We hope to see you for your vaccination soon. Book by clicking here.

Information source; accessed 21 April 2015:
Government Health/immunise-varicella

Whooping Cough immunization for all ages

(Because love and good intentions aren’t enough to protect a newborn.)

Right now, there is a sense of urgency in community health sectors around the world because, after years of effective immunization and disease control, Whooping Cough (also known as Pertussis) is coming back with a vengeance.

For decades, the unimmunized among us had a reduced risk of infection thanks to ‘herd protection’. But that is no longer the case. Fewer immunized people have resulted in more people getting Whooping Cough. And that is putting our newborn babies at risk.

Whooping Cough immunization wears off after a few years.

That Whooping Cough injection you received years ago no longer protects you. There is a mistaken belief in the community that adults ‘can’t get Whooping Cough’ and consequently they don’t need immunization… Wrong! Here in Victoria, most cases of Whooping Cough are in adults aged 20 years and above.

Whooping Cough is terrible — and it’s vaccine-preventable.

Whooping Cough is a particularly terrible illness for those most vulnerable. A newborn cannot be immunized until he or she is at least three months old; seeing a little baby struggling through repeated, violent paroxysms of coughing, then ‘whooping’ in a desperate reflex to breathe, is shocking and distressing for everyone, and it’s made all the worse because it is utterly preventable.

Expecting a baby in the family? Get immunized today!

If you are a doting parent or grandparent, a breastfeeding mum, a childcare worker, carer, sibling or babysitter or someone who will come into contact with babies, talk to your doctor about being tested for your immunization status. That annoying cough you’ve got just might be the milder version of Whooping Cough (sometimes called ‘Ninety Day Cough’) which means you could easily infect a baby and not know it. The vaccine combines whooping cough with diphtheria and tetanus protection. This vaccine is effective within a few days and immunity will continue for the next couple of years and then gradually decrease over the next 10 years, when your immunity will have ceased and another immunization will be advisable.