Commentary

MILAM COUN TY HEALTH

Immunizations shaped modern public health
By PATSY GAINE S
Milam County Health Director

Vaccines havealong and storied histor ythrou gh- out modern medicine. The nu mbe r of lives that have been saved by immuni zations are literally immeasurable.

Vaccines are one of the greatest achievements of medicine and have sav ed mil l ion s of peop le from the ef fe cts of de vast ating dise ases. The cu rrent child hood immun iz ation schedule protects again st 15 serious dise ases. We know the se diseases are dangerous. In 1920, before the dipht heria vac cine was develope d in 1923 , there were close to 150,000 diphther ia cases reported in the U. S. with 13,170 deaths. In 1964- 1965 , before the rubella vaccine was developed in 1969, there was an epidemic of rubella that resulted in app rox imate ly 20,000 infants born with congenital Rubella syndrome; a sy ndrome that can result in, among ot her things, hearing, visual and neurological problems. There were also 2,100 neonat al deaths. Bet ween 1951 and 1954 , before the polio vaccine was developed in 1955, over 16,000 paralyt ic polio cases were rep orted in the U. S. with 1,879 deaths. By 1989, immunization rat es were waning in the U. S. Vaccines had been so successful that parent s began thinking they did not need to immunize their children any more.

In199 0,the Unite dState s exper ienced a me asles outbrea k. Close to 28,0 00 meas les cases wer e rep orted . Of the se cas es , over 20 percent were hospitalized. There were 123 measles- as soci- ated deaths. More than half of the deaths were children less than 5 years old. Recently, pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, has made a comeback. We kno wthatvac cinat ing yourself and you r family is one of the most important de cisions you can make to protect your family from preventable illness. A decision not to immu niz e yourself or your chil d invol ves great risk. This is the risk of putting an unvaccinated person and those who come in cont act wit h him or her at risk of contracting a dangerous or deadly disease. So in su mma r y, be wise and vaccinate to protect yourself and everyone around you. ADULT VACCINE S— Many of us believe once we reach adultho od ou r va cc inat ion day s are over; well not so fast.

Ther e are five vaccine s that adu lts should consider getting not only to prevent themselves from get ting sic k but al so to prevent spreading these diseases to young children and adolesants. • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) (Tdap)— You need if it’s been 10 ye a rs since your last Td vac cin e, you are under 65 and have never had a Td ap or you are around infants and your last Td was more tha n two years ago. • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) —Yo u nee d if you we re bor n bet ween 1957 and 1975 and/ or have ne ver had a MMR vac - cine, especia lly if you are around in fant s. Bab ies do not rece ive their first MMR until at le ast 1 year of age.

•Pne umonia— Youneed if you areover 65yea rsof age; you are under 65 years old and have hea lt h pro bl em s, su ch as lung, he ar t and/ or liver disea se or other conditions like diabetes; or you have a condition or ta ke medicines that lower you r body ’s resistance to infection. • Shingle s— Yo u nee d if you are over 60 yea rs old and had the chicken pox. •Flu—You need aflu vaccine each ye ar because the virus st rains included in the vac cin e cha nge an nually. So last year’s vac cine may not pr otect yo u against thi s year’s flu. For mor e inform at ion ab out these vacc ines contact you r doctor or the Milam County Health Depar tment. SEP TIC NEWS— The Milam County Health Department would lik etorem indcitizen sthat a ma intena nce contract is required on allaero bic septicsys tems. AsperTitle 30 TACChap ter 285.7( d)( 2), it is the homeowner’s re sponsibility (not the main te - nance provider) to submit a signed copy of the maintenance cont ract to the permitting authority. The per mi tting authority for Milam County is the Milam County

Hea lth Department.

In order for the contract to be valid it must be signed by both the homeow ner and the maintenance provider. Failure to keep a current maintenanc e contrac t on file with the permitting authority is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500/ each day. MAINT ENA NCE PROVID - ERS —Maintenanc e for aerobic systems must be perfor med by a state certified maintena nce pr o- vider. All ma intena nce prov iders ar e require d to send inspec tion repor ts to the permitting authority and owner within 14 days after the date the test is per formed. Th e maintenance prov ider mu st comp lywithinsp ectio n report s as outlin ed in the con - trac t. An inspect ion mus t be completed and an inspe ction repor t mu st be subm itte d onc e ever y four months at a minimum. Failure to inspect the system or pro - vide an inspe ction rep ort to the permitting authority is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500/ each day. The per mi tting authority for Milam County is the Milam County

Hea lth Department.

Th e maintenance prov ider could also face civ il and adm inistrative penalties as well.

If you have any questions about maintenanc e cont racts or ot her issues please feel free to contact the designated representative for Milam County, Kenny Sch neebeli at (254) 697- 7039. Milam County Health Department • Local hours— Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a. m.- noon and 1- 4: 30 p. m. • Phone— Rockdale office: 512- 446- 4026. Cameron of fice: 254- 697- 7039. • Web site: www.milamhealth.com. Provides immunizations, TB tests, a well- child clinic, septic inspections, vision and hearing screenings, blood pressure checks, diabetes screening, STD tests, indigent health care applications, food handlers inspections.


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2011-01-06 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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