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Childhood Diseases Making a Comeback: Health Department

Will County Health Dept. observes National Infant Immunizations Week, cites resurgence of measles in U.S.

Childhood Diseases Making a Comeback: Health Department
The Will County Health Department is urging parents to take part in National Infant Immunizations Week (April 26 to May 3), saying that vaccine-preventable illnesses continue to occur throughout the state.

According to the health department, some diseases, like measles, are making a comeback because many parents choose to delay or decline vaccinations for their children.

"Babies need to visit a doctor or clinic for vaccines at least five times by their second birthday for protection against potentially serious childhood diseases," according to Will County Health Department Executive Director John Cicero. "Immunizations provide important protection for each child, and they protect the health of the entire community."

The Health Department's immunizations program works to prevent the spread of illness by vaccinating adults and children against a wide range of diseases. Many of these diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children. In 2013, Will County provided immunizations for more than 2,600 infants and more than 6,000 persons in all.

According to the health department, there has been an increase in measles cases and outbreaks reported in 2013, including 58 cases in New York — the largest reported measles outbreak in the U.S. since 1996.

The list of diseases vaccines protect against include: chickenpox, diphtheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, rotavirus, haemophilus influenza type b, pneumococcus, and seasonal influenza. For the 2014 infant immunizations schedule, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html.

Immunizations are available at Health Department offices in Joliet, Bolingbrook, and University Park. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 815-740-8143. You may also call toll-free:877-942-5807. Visit us online at  www.willcountyhealth.org.

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