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What Are Vaccines?


When you hear the word “Vaccine,” you may get this word confused with two other words, “Vaccinations” and ” Immunizations.”

This article will explain simply and exactly what a “Vaccine” is and is not. First of all, a vaccine is administered one of three ways by needle injection, orally by mouth, or by a nasal spray, depending upon the vaccine administered.

There are different kinds of vaccines on the medical marketplace today. All vaccines contain a weakened organism or a killed organism. The vaccine’s purpose is to produce in your body a certain level of immunity against the organism of which its contents are made. Each vaccine’s purpose is to offer you protection against certain diseases or at least minimize the effects of the illness on your body.

Are Vaccines Safe?

Even since vaccines were born, there has been a controversy within the medical community and individuals alike as to the necessity and safety of certain vaccines. Many people do not believe the worth of these vaccines, while much more people know that vaccines lessen all kinds of disease processes and save lives.

For you to understand the risks and benefits of any vaccine that is offered to you, you must that the responsibility of delving deeper into any information available and weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision as to whether you or your family should take any vaccine. Discover how the medical community monitors and makes any vaccine safe, providing many more benefits to you.


  • Prevent serious diseases, for example, polio, chicken pox, and German measles
  • Increases your immunity
  • Protect you and all those around you from spreading diseases
  • Eliminated certain diseases
  • Prevents disease outbreaks which in turn protect those who cannot be vaccinated for one reason or another
  • Decrease in deaths from different diseases

How Long Do Vaccines Last?

  • Some vaccines are given yearly such as the flu vaccine
  • Some vaccines have an active age limit such as five to ten years such as the tetanus vaccine
  • Some vaccines given as a child require a follow-up booster injection after several years.
  • Some vaccines that are given to you as a child remain in your system, protecting you for life

Side Effects

As with everything else in life you are unique. The way in which you may react to anything is unlike your neighbor. Individuals respond differently to vaccination.

For example, when receiving the flu vaccination, you may have no side effects. Another person may complain of generalized ill feelings. Someone else may complain of some flu symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

None of these side effects are long-lasting and are short-lived causing a bit of inconvenience.

In Conclusion

Making an informed decision regarding vaccinations is vital to you and your children’s health and well-being.

Research shows that some of the diseases that were called “Eliminated” due to this prevention process are now starting to rear their ugly heads.

This surge in some rarely seen diseases is because many people feel that vaccinations are not necessary or important in this day and age. People are refusing any protection that vaccinations offer them. Many parents are refusing to have their children vaccinated with routine childhood vaccinations due to possible side effects.

Each state has certain requirements as to what protection they require children and adults have as a resident of that state. Check with your state regarding the rules and regulations regarding vaccinations.

When traveling abroad, certain vaccinations are required before you can enter your chosen country. You must present documentation that you are protected by certain disease processes prevalent in that country.


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Different Types of Immunizations

ivImmunizations have helped safeguard young and old from potentially life-threatening diseases and the spread of harmful viruses for decades. Thousands of fatalities occur each year from infections that could have been prevented by vaccination. How can you stop the spread of intrusive and life-altering diseases from infiltrating your livelihood? Identifying the various diseases that strike frequently will ensure you know what to do next to keep infections from wreaking havoc on your peace of mind. And knowing what different types of immunizations are available can help you know what to expect.

How to Fight these:

Receiving vaccinations for any of the detrimental diseases listed below protects those most vulnerable to succumbing to infectious illnesses such as children, the elderly and those who suffer from weak immune systems.

  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Diptheria
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Pneumococcal
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Chicken Pox
  • Pertussis( known as a whooping cough)
  • Tetanus
  • Meningococcal
  • Hib
  • HPV

Types of Immunizations/Vaccines

  1. The Inactivated or Killed- This type is administered to prevent afflictions such as influenza, cholera, bubonic plague, and polio. Created from small pieces of bacterium or virus or protein.
  2. Live Virus or Attenuated- Applied to prevent yellow fever, measles, rubella, tuberculosis, and the mumps the live virus uses a weakened or modified form of the virus to trigger a better immunity response.
  3. Toxoids- Carrying a toxin or chemical created by viruses, these immunizations make you immune to the detrimental effects of diseases rather than the virus itself.
  4. Biosynthetic- Synthetic man-made substances found in this immunization type are very similar to portions of a bacteria or viruses. This vaccine prevents Hib viruses otherwise called the Haemophilus influenza type B.

Prevention with a Purpose

Why make sure vaccines or immunizations are up-to-date? Here are a few reasons that make sense to those who are trying to achieve a higher quality of living:

  • Vaccines are cost-effective. Millions of adults go to work every day, a virus can trigger illness that lasts weeks, and cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars in lost wages. Immunizations are the affordable way to prevent such untimely occurrences from happening.
  • Even the young and healthy can get sick. Ensure you stay that way with vaccines that protect your best interests.
  • Convenience is the bread and butter of society today. Vaccinations play to the need for convenient and logical solutions to any number of inevitable outcomes.
  • Stop the less serious curable illnesses before-hand to lower the likelihood of getting incurable diseases like cancer later on. Hepatitis B and HPV are some of the leading causes of cancer. How do you keep deadly infections away? You get vaccinated.

Whatever type of immunization you or your family is considering, being informed allows you to make the best decisions for your life. Something as common as the flu can infiltrate your household. How you take action to prevent disaster from striking in the form of debilitating illness could change the outcome of your future. Find out how you can live better and longer when you decide that prevention is the practical answer to unwelcome disease.

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Causes of Group B Strep



What is Group B Strep?

Group B strep are bacteria that can colonize in the vagina, rectal, and intestinal area of healthy adults and pregnant women. Statistically, about 25% of all healthy adults will at one time have a GBS infection.

While pregnant women do not often show symptoms of a GBS infection, there is a risk that they can transmit the infection to their newborn baby. Once transmitted, some newborns may develop complication which can cause pneumonia, meningitis, and even sepsis, so infants who are at risk need to be monitored. The best way to prevent this is through early detection in the mother and administration of antibiotics to treat it.

Group B Strep infections can also occur in nonpregnant adults who suffer from chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, or cancer. Typically those over 65 are at higher risk, but the incident rates of GBS infection in nonpregnant adults has been steadily increasing throughout the years.

Causes of Group B Strep

Healthy people can carry Group B Strep in their body at any time, it can also come and go or can stay permanently.

GBS can be found in some pregnant women and if not treated can pass to their newborns. When newborns contract Group B Strep infection in the first week of life it is called early onset. For babies who are 1 to 3 weeks of age when they develop the disease, it is termed late-onset.

How Can Group B Strep be Transmitted?

Group B Strep is transmitted by a pregnant mother to their babies during a vaginal birth. Typically mothers who test positive will be given antibiotics during delivery to reduce the risk of transmission. This will occur in about 50% of mothers who have an active infection during birth.

Out of this 50%, only about 100 to 200 of these babies born will develop a GBS infection requiring treatment.

Who’s at Higher Risk for Group B Strep?

When it comes to having Group B Strep, the incident rates are higher among African Americans than Caucasians. While there are not many statistical differences with a mother becoming a GBS carrier, there are some instances where there is a higher risk of transmission to the infant, including:

  • Early onset of labor
  • Fever during labor and delivery
  • An active urinary tract infection
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • Previous Group B Strep infection
  • Positive GBS culture after 35 weeks or pregnancy

Symptoms of GBS Infection

When an active Group B Strep infection is present, there can be some symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include.

In Newborns

  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Bluish color
  • limpness
  • Stiffness
  • Breath complications
  • Diarrhea
  • Fussiness
  • Problems with heart rate and blood pressure
  • Problems feeding

In Adults

  • Skin infections
  • Sepsis
  • Lung infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Meningitis
  • Joint infections

Treatment of GBS

While the most common form of treatment is to treat the mother with antibiotics during labor to prevent the transmission, once contracted a GBS infection is typically treated with IV antibiotics and sometimes a surgical procedure if a bone or joint infection is present.

While GBS infections can result in severe complications, they are often preventable in newborns with routine maternal screening which makes prenatal care essential to protecting your newborn against such infections.


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Significance of International Group B Strep Awareness Month


July the Awareness Month for Strep B

July is the awareness month that helps educate expecting moms and individuals about Strep B. Strep B stands for Streptococcus a dangerous bacterium that can cause illness in newborns and individuals with weak and even strong immune systems.

Most of the time there are no symptoms presents when a person is infected with the bacterial infection, which is why it is essential for expecting moms to be screened for it before they give birth. If the infection is not caught before the newborn arrives and it is present, the infection can pass right onto the newborn during delivery. If a newborn ends up catching the illness there is potential for it to become serious and even fatal.

Why is Strep B so dangerous?

Strep B is so dangerous because it can turn into meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia without proper diagnoses and treatment. People with strong immune systems can typically survive and fight off these types of infections, but newborn babies during the first weeks of life tend to struggle. This is due to their weakened immune systems, and why so many babies who contract the Strep B illness pass away. Other health problems that can arise from suffering from a Strep B infection are hearing loss, and mental and physical disabilities.

How is Strep B tested?

Expecting moms and individuals are tested for Strep B through a genital swab test. Sometimes testing can be done with a simple urine or blood test. Pregnant women get this test done by their OBGYN or midwife at 37 weeks of pregnancy. Those who suspect they may have it can ask their family doctor to test for the infection.

With that said, the only true way an individual can know for themselves that they could be potentially infected with the bacterium is by experiencing symptoms. Without symptoms, individuals don’t usually suspect any can of infection until it becomes so serious staying in the hospital is essential for intense treatment to help rid the infection from the body.

What are some of the symptoms of the infection?

  • Infection setting into an area of skin
  • Painful urination with a UTI
  • Constant fever with chills
  • Lethargy
  • Skin rashes or infections
  • Vaginal discharge and discomforts
  • Inflammation in the lungs or joints of the body
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches and dizziness if the infection spreads to the brain

Where does the Strep B bacterium live within the body?

Strep B bacterium is found in the mouth, throat, genital area, rectum and sometimes even bloodstream of the body. It is passed through bodily fluid contact, or simply encountering the bacteria hanging out on an individual’s skin. If an individual does become infected with Strep B, thankfully there are treatments that work effectively with curing the illness.

What are the antibiotics for most useful for treating the infection?

The antibiotics most commonly used for treating the Strep B infection are ampicillin, penicillin, cefazolin and clindamycin. These medications are provided orally, but with serious infection they are given through IV in the hospital. You can only get these medications through prescriptions from doctors.

End Thoughts for the Significance of Strep B Awareness Month?

The best way to save lives from Strep B is by becoming educated and educating others about the infection. July’s awareness month is the perfect opportunity to get the word out there to help promote proper screening for it in individuals of all ages. After all, everyone deserves to know about potentially life threatening infections that are preventable through proper screening and testing and treatable with simple antibiotics.


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What is Salmonella?


Image is from USDA Blog

Every year one million people fall victim to the debilitating effects of salmonella. An invasive food-borne illness this rod-shaped bacterium causes an estimated 380 casualties annually. Identifying the source of salmonella plays a key role in stopping a potentially dangerous epidemic from spreading to your loved ones or yourself. Know your enemy, know your defense. Here are a few important ways you can help prevent salmonella from affecting your day-to-day:

Understand the Threat:

Salmonellosis, the gastrointestinal infection resulting from exposure to salmonella is consistently reappearing each year. With over 2,300 strains of bacteria under the proverbial umbrella of salmonella, frequent reports of contamination are commonplace. Enteritidis and Typhimurium are two of the more popular serotypes (strains) that are known to attack residents of the United States. The intestinal tracts of humans and various types of animals are the starting place for salmonella-producing bacteria growth.

One of the more recent outbreaks, occurring in 2016, was linked to the handling of live poultry. Humans in contact with chicks, chickens, ducks and ducklings at multiple hatcheries pointed to the spread of salmonella to close to 900 people. Other outbreaks of the illness came from contaminated cucumbers, various types of butters, peanuts, ground turkey, tuna and eggs in previous years. By adhering to a few simple prevention procedures such outbreaks could have been avoided.

Prevent to Circumvent:

Young children, the elderly, those pregnant or people who have weak immune systems are the most vulnerable to salmonellosis. In these instances the effects of the illness could be life-threatening. Cut off the circulation of salmonella by avoiding the hazards and applying tried-and-true preventative tactics.

Here is a list of the various ways invasive salmonella can find its way into your world:

  1. Improper food handling and storage procedures are notorious culprits in the spread of salmonella.
  2. Unwashed hands can transmit human or animal feces that are tainted with salmonella to food or other hands.
  3. Reptiles can carry salmonella on their skin. Holding a reptile then preparing food or touching others is a recipe for salmonella contamination. Young birds often have salmonella in their intestinal tract. Handling live poultry then coming in contact with others also encourages harmful bacteria transfer.
  4. Raw foods, such as meat or eggs and unpasteurized dairy products are spawning grounds for bacteria production. Unwashed produce is also a known salmonella carrier.

Be aware of the many possibilities for contamination. If you know what to watch for, your awareness could stop painful infections. Washing your hands thoroughly, and employing preventative food handling procedures stops salmonella from spreading. If you have or someone you know has been infected, avoiding contact with others is the best way to ensure that the illness doesn’t continue down its destructive path. Recognize the symptoms to know the next step to take towards future prevention.

Recognize the Symptoms

If you are suffering from one or more of the symptoms below, make a mental note of what you (or a family member) did in the previous hours or days before the illness. It may help doctors diagnose your malady more efficiently. Salmonellosis usually appears 12 to 72 hours after contamination has occurred. Typically the infection runs its course in 4 to 7 days. Depending on the severity, or other risk factors involved, a physician visit may be necessary.

Below are some symptoms that are synonymous with salmonellosis:

  • abdominal cramping
  • headache
  • fever
  • acute watery diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting

The importance of washing hands and food cannot be stressed enough. Sometimes the obvious solution is the best one. Wash away harmful bacteria and acquire invaluable peace of mind.

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Understanding Foodborne Outbreaks


Image is from

A foodborne outbreak occurs when there are two or more cases of confirmed illness after consumption of a specific food product. These outbreaks involve the CDC as well as other public health officials as staff members try to control, manage and prevent these types of occurrences. Many times, investigative work is needed in order to determine the scope of the outbreak, the extent and the original source. Learning from each situation is what helps prevent these outbreaks from occurring again in the future.


Once reports are made that a foodborne illness was contracted, public health officials work with regulatory officials to collect a large amount of data. They want to know what the food or product was that caused the illness, what were the symptoms, what was the outcome, what batch was this from and so on. This information will be used long term for better quality control and regulations that are enforced by the U.S. Sometimes a recall will need to be issued in order to prevent more people from getting sick. Often times, a warning is all that is needed.

Some data will point specifically to a foodborne outbreak and this includes:

  • A pattern to the illness. Either all the cases were in a short period of time or from the same germ.
  • A larger number of people are ill within the same area than normal.
  • People who otherwise have no connection to one another are ill but ate at the same restaurant or purchased the same product.
  • Common point of confirmed contamination.
  • A certain germ of pathogen is found at a suspected restaurant or store.


Ultimately, United States regulatory agencies want to protect the public and prevent foodborne outbreaks from occurring again. Investigation is important when an outbreak occurs, but ongoing research is also part of successful prevention. While not every case of foodborne outbreak is solved, many times there is at least a suspected source of the problem. This leads to better prevention at food producing facilities but also better prevention and investigation methods on a nationwide level.

Ongoing Reporting And Monitoring

An original complaint or report comes from a local or state level in most instances. From there, public health authorities will investigate the claim and involve the CDC when multiple states have become affected by a certain issue. Reports are compiled that include the number of illnesses that are present, hospitalizations, deaths, symptoms, toxins and chemicals that may have caused the issue.

Common symptoms of a foodborne outbreak typically include symptoms that are similar to food poisoning. Stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, aches, etc. Seeking medical assistance can help reduce the severity and danger of the illness and can also lead to preventing other people from getting sick. It takes many different people to prevent foodborne outbreaks from occurring. It starts with the farms that produce our food and ends with the location selling and manufacturing our food. Proper quality control and agricultural practices are ideal for keeping everyone in the United States safe.

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