What is Influenza

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What Is Influenza?

Influenza is a viral infection also known as seasonal flu or simply flu. While most individuals would use the term “flu” to refer to any sort of mild illness including stomach virus or a cold with flu symptoms, the actual flu is different. The symptoms of flu last longer and are worse than a common cold. The flu might cause diarrhea or vomiting in infants, but this does not occur among adults. Influenza outbreaks are prevalent in winter and late fall. You may pass the virus to someone else before realizing it since the symptoms may not appear in the first few days.

What Causes Influenza?

Influenza is caused by three virus types known as influenza A, B, and C. Influenza virus types A and B cause seasonal outbreaks that occur in Europe and the United States during winter. Type c cannot cause an epidemic and is only responsible for the mild respiratory illness. However, the flu virus has different strains each year.

Who is at Risk?

Any person exposed to an influenza virus is in danger of being infected since they are highly contagious. Being exposed to areas with people in groups such as schools and hospitals may increase your risk of contracting the flu. The probability of getting the flu for some people is usually higher. They include;
  • Expectant mothers,
  • individuals with impaired immune systems,
  • older adults,
  • people with long-term illnesses,
  • and young children.

Symptoms of Influenza

The symptoms of influenza occur almost immediately unlike a cold. You may also experience a fever, which might not be the case with a cold. You may also experience the following symptoms:
  • A dry cough
  • Body aches including joints and muscles
  • Sore or dry throat
  • Warm, flushed skin
  • Headache
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Extreme fatigue and
  • Pain around your eyes
If you contract influenza, you’re more likely to feel less hungry than usual. The first three to four days may be unbearable since the symptoms will be severe. These symptoms appear within the first four days of contracting influenza from an infected person. However, you will be completely healed within a span of two weeks. While most individuals heal without any complications, influenza may cause bacterial infections including bronchitis, a sinus infection or an ear infection. Pneumonia is also one of the severe complications that may be caused by the flu.

When to Consult a Physician

If you’re healthy, you’re likely to get better within a week. While home treatment may help, there are occasions when the situation may worsen, and you might need to call a doctor or seek emergency medical services. Such cases include;
  • Severe vomiting
  • Difficulty when breathing
  • Severe headache
  • Extremely high fever
  • Pain in your belly, ear, threat, or chest
  • Stiff neck


The best way to prevent influenza is through Immunization by use of an influenza vaccine every year. The nasal spray vaccine is advisable for healthy individuals between the ages of 2 and 49 years rather than going for the flu shot. The nasal spray should not be administered to people with chronic health conditions including lung or heart problems. People in close contact with individuals having acutely impaired immune systems should be immunized using a flu shot with an activated virus rather than nasal spray. This is done to eliminate chances of transmitting an active influenza virus from the nasal spray vaccine. Vaccination with either the nasal spray or the flu shot is regarded as safe if you’re going to be in close contact with individuals in all other high-risk categories.

Sterilizing your Lab

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Sterilizing Your Lab

You may think that lab cleanup procedure should be common knowledge. However, this isn’t the case as every laboratory might be different, and contain various chemicals both liquid and solid that can be dangerous to you. Having a sterilized lab is important for a variety of different factors with a top priority having good test results. If a glass flask, tool, or a work environment is unsterilized it could throw off test results. Safety is also a priority within the lab, and it’s important to understand what you’re dealing with while cleaning the lab properly. Today, we will go over the safety and dangers in the lab, as well as how to sterilize the lab properly.

Know Your Surroundings

It’s important to know what hazards exist in a lab environment. You have to remember that there are irritants that can have effects on your skin. Even sensitizers can cause allergic reaction to your skin or respiratory system. There may be chemical hazards that you should be aware of such as:

  • Toxic chemicals which will cause death or disease at certain levels
  • Carcinogens that cause cancer in humans or animals
  • Corrosives that cause destruction of living tissue or metals
  • Teratogens cause physical defects in developing embryos
  • Anesthetics depress the central nervous system
  • Mutagens like formaldehyde can induce mutations in DNA
Besides that of chemical dangers you have to be aware of physical dangers like that of flammable liquids like acetones, alcohol, and ether that can ignite below 141 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also flammable solids like sulfur, magnesium, or aluminum can catch fire through friction.

Sterilize the Lab, General Surfaces

When you sterilize your lab it’s critical that you wear safety equipment like protective eyewear, gloves, and other safety gear. Also shoes and long clothing in the lab is a must to help protect you from dangerous chemicals during the cleanup process. Most labs will have warning postings for cabinets that carry dangerous chemicals that are flammable or toxic. There also may be areas where chemicals are mixed that have protective glass. It’s a good idea to clean this area with the proper sterilization chemicals provided to clean glassware and countertops. Drawer’s and cabinets should be closed if found open and floors should be swept and cleaned of any stains that might be found. As a general rule, you should never assume any chemical is safe when cleaning your lab.

Sterilizing the Lab Glassware and Tools

Dirty glassware and tools are one of the leading causes of experimental errors. Often it may appear to be clean, but may be chemically dirty. Traces of soluble substances or different solvents cause errors that can be prevented with some extra effort from washing and rinsing. Soap solution or detergent may be used to clean inside of glassware and tools. If you are dealing with stubborn stains, you should soak glassware or tools in a detergent solution. After soaking, rinse with tap water followed by a distilled or deionized water rinse. For exterior cleaning of glassware use methanol on a towel. Never use hand cleaner soap, which contains additives that leave an oily film on the glass or tools. Flasks and test tubes shouldn’t be brushed with ordinary brushes as they tend to scratch the glass and can change the calibration. Special brushes are available for this type of cleaning.


It’s important that you do a thorough job when sterilizing your lab. Besides having a clean safe environment a sterilized lab will allow you to get the correct tests done without worrying about coming up with the wrong test results.

Protecting Your Child from Diseases

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Children have sensitive immune systems and are more prone to catching infections than adults. The main reason for this is that they share most of their items and are usually in groups. You need to find ways you can protect your child from getting infections. Here are some of the ways you can do this;


Vaccines are not just for small children. Even older children and teenagers need to get the recommended vaccines. Vaccines are not only a way to protect your children but also for the protection of other children. Immunization prevents many diseases including some that are known to cause death and disability. Vaccines are also used to protect schools and communities from experiencing outbreaks. Immunizations have very few side effects and are usually needed before a child can attend daycare or start schooling.

Basic hygiene at home, school, and daycare

It is not possible to protect your child from all contagious diseases. However, you can minimize the risk of them getting ill by teaching them basic hygienic practices. These include the following:
    • The importance of washing their hands. Germs spread when people touch their nose, mouth, and eyes without washing their hands. They should be encouraged to wash their hands especially after visiting the toilet and before any meal. After washing hands, they should be completely dried. If you are not sure about the water in an area, you can use hand sanitizers as they also kill disease-causing germs.
    • Also, it is important to keep your mouth covered when coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading germs to others.
    • Children like sharing their things. However, teach your child not to share personal items with other children. Personal items include hats, combs, toothbrushes, silverware, food among others.
    • Children should also use tissues or a handkerchief to cover the mouth when coughing and sneezing. They should be taught the correct way to use them so that the drainage does not go to the hands. When using tissues, ensure that they are thrown in a trash can after use.
    • When drying the hands, they should use clean and dry paper towels that have not been used by other children as they can get germs from there.
    • They should also not touch the body fluids of other children. They should tell an adult or the caregiver if a child is bleeding or has accidentally passed urine or stool.
    • Also, ensure that all eating and drinking utensils are clean and children learn to wash fruits before they east them.

Basic hygiene in public places

  • When in public places, the child should not be allowed to eat with their hands until they are thoroughly washed.
  • Avoid letting your child be in contact with people with an obvious illness. Do not be afraid to force people to wash their hands if they want to interact with your child.
  • If you are putting your child at a daycare center, ensure that good hygienic practices are followed. Especially in food preparation areas and bathrooms. Also, ensure that there are clean bathroom facilities and there are procedures followed when your child becomes ill.
  • Also, follow instructions from a physician on the health of your child when they advise you to avoid public areas in specific situations. In case of an outbreak, avoid taking your small child or newborn to crowded areas since they can easily catch the infection.
The above measures will go along way in ensuring your child is healthy and protected against diseases.  

Flu versus the Common Cold

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If you get sick during flu season, it can be difficult to tell whether you have a cold or the flu. This is because these symptoms tend to be very similar. What can make it more confusing is that flu season is between October and March and colds are more common during the winter. This is because the rhinovirus that causes a common cold can replicate easier in cold temperatures than in warm temperatures, which makes it much easier to catch a cold during the winter.

If it is the flu, you need to take care of yourself. The flu can lead to serious complications. Also, if you have the flu and you see your doctor when the symptoms first begin, you will be prescribed Tami-Flu, which will lessen the symptoms and the duration of the disease. Since it is so important to know if it is actually the flu that you have, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself.

Do You Know Someone Who Has the Flu?

The people who you have been spending time with can indicate whether you have a cold or the flu. If you have been with someone who had the flu, chances are you got it from them. If not, it is likely you picked up a cold. This can’t tell you for sure if it is the cold or the flu, therefore, you need to take a few other things into consideration.

Did You Get a Flu Shot?

If you had your annual flu shot, the chances that your illness is the flu are very slim. The flu shot is not 100% effective. Your chances of developing the flu if you were immunized are reduced by 60%. You could still have the flu if you were immunized, however, it is unlikely. To be able to tell the difference, you should consider your symptoms.

Did You Take Your Temperature?

Your temperature can tell you whether you have a cold or the flu. If you have a low-grade fever that is above 98.6 but below 100.4, you likely have a cold. If you have a temperature between 100.5 and 103, it is likely the flu.

Do You Have Muscle Aches and Pains?

Muscle aches and pains are a symptom of the flu, however, they are not a symptom of a cold. Many people who have the flu report that the aches and pains can be so bad that their skin hurts to be touched. You won’t feel this way if you have a cold.

Are You Extremely Tired and Fatigued?

When you have a cold, the symptoms can make you feel a bit run down. With the flu, the fatigue is much more significant. When your body is trying to fight off the virus, it takes every bit of energy you have. Most people who have the flu have trouble walking down a flight of stairs without becoming exhausted.

What Type of Cough Do You Have?

If you have a wet, productive cough, you likely have a cold. The wet cough is triggered when mucus drains down the back of your throat. When you cough, the mucus will come back up. If it is the flu, it will usually be a dry, hacking cough. Many people with the flu compare their cough to the sound that a seal makes.

A cold and the flu are two different diseases with similar yet different symptoms. If you are sick for over a week, it is likely the flu since a cold lasts just a few days. If you suspect the flu, see a doctor.


Setting Up Your Lab

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Labs are being launched every day. It may seem like an easy process, but it has its challenges. If you are an academician and thinking of launching your independent research lab, you need to know the procedure and concentrate on your goals.

There are three things tenure committees consider when it comes to independent research labs. First, you need to be clear on the kind of research you will be conducting and whether it will have an impact. Next is your source of funding for the entire project. Also, your goals on being a valued member in your field. These should be your priorities for the first five years.

A research lab is like a small business whereby you are the owner. You need to secure capital to support your work. Also, you need employees to help you carry out your work, and you need to market yourself while keeping your focus on the main goal.

You should know that being a boss in a research lab is not as easy as it may seem. You need to develop a hypothesis and experiments which can be challenging. Managing and mentoring others is a bigger task. Being a research boss is not a natural task, and since most of them do not receive formal training, most of them can stumble in the process.

To make things easier for you in your research lab, there are a few things you can do in each of these three processes:


Ensure you tie up any loose ends with your post-doctoral work before launching an independent lab. Ensure you close any remaining research and complete those that are in your mentor’s name. The tenure committee will not consider them since they do not demonstrate your independent research.

Consult your mentor on ways you can strengthen your independence and consider changing geographical locations.

Set up

When it comes to setting up your lab, ensure you get people who have talents that you do not possess. Do not make yourself the center of the lab. Set high standards and hire people who meet them and have the necessary talents. When hiring fellow researchers, get those who are hard workers, and are accomplished in their fields.

You should also be prepared to make hiring mistakes. Even the best planners have their flaws. You might find that you diverted from the goal. However, if you make your vision statement specific and write out what the lab will do including the goals, strategies, and expectations, you will find yourself getting back on track.

Share your vision with your team. It will help keep them on track. Do not hesitate to replace any member who deviates from the main goal. You only have a limited time to check the progress in your research. You can collaborate with human resources to know how you can get everyone on the same track so you can all focus on achieving your goal.

Getting established

Establish yourself by networking within the institution. Knowing a new person every week will help you learn about the institution’s culture. It will also help you identify potential mentors outside your department who will be crucial to your research. Networking will also help you find ways to add to your strengths and how to build on your weaknesses. It helps to familiarize yourself with the available resources and see where you stand.

What you need to know about the Flu Season

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With the cold weather approaching, germs are on the rise again. Chances are high that you have started to hear about the flu vaccine being offered at a number of locations in your area and you may want to consider getting a flu shot this year. It can drastically reduce your chance of contracting this year’s flu virus and if you do get sick, the illness should be shorter in duration. However, there are some things you should know about the flu season in order to prepare and keep your family as healthy as possible this year.

It Thrives In A Cold and Dry Environment

Most people think that a virus or even bacterial illness will thrive and multiply when it is in a warm and humid location like inside a school, inside a hospital, etc. In actuality, the flu virus thrives when it is present in a very cold and dry spot. When the weather is very cold outside, the air is usually very dry, This is when the flu rapidly spreads. The most common months for the flu to occur in our area is throughout January to March. Once March passes, the flu starts to die down because of the weather changing and temperatures starting to go up. Don’t assume just because you are outside that you are breathing in healthy, fresh air. If you are around a number of other people, you could be in harm’s way and contract the flu. Be prepared no matter where you are.

The Flu Vaccine Can Help

Each year there is a new flu vaccine that is offered across the United States. These vaccines are based off that current year’s flu virus and is designed to be as effective as possible when it comes to helping your body build up immunities to the flu in case you do come into contact with it. If you do become symptomatic from the flu at some point during flu season, it is likely that you will experience less severe symptoms than someone who did not receive the flu shot. There are now two different ways to receive the flu vaccine. You can get the traditional shot in your arm or you can receive the nasal mist in the nose. Keep in mind that the nasal mist contains live flu virus and you could experience mild symptoms from either of these options.

Nutrition and Self Care Helps

If the flu season is peaking in your area, make sure you are taking care of yourself. A healthy body will be better able to fight off an illness if you do get sick despite getting the flu vaccine. Aim for eight solid hours of sleep each night, eat healthy (plenty of fruits and veggies gets your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to fight off illness), wash your hands frequently, stay hydrated and stay away from people that you know have recently been sick.

Nobody wants to get the flu and you surely don’t want to see anybody in your family become so ill that they need to seek medical attention. Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can attempt to prevent contracting the influenza virus this year. Maintaining an all-around healthy lifestyle can ensure that you stay healthy this year whether you come into contact with a simple cold or the flu virus. Also, stay informed and pay attention when the news in your area reports on the flu. You can get valuable information that will help you protect yourself such as the areas, schools and businesses that are experiencing the highest reporting illness numbers.

Vaccinating your Child for School

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Vaccinations are conversational these days. Some parents believe children who attend school should be vaccinated while others do not. Depending on your beliefs, it is important to know that while vaccination are typically designed to protect children from harmful illnesses and diseases, they do come with side effects for some people whether healthy or unhealthy. Regardless, vaccination should remain a freedom of choice.

What are the common vaccinations recommended for children attending school?

The recommended vaccinations that are most required to begin school are Polio, Tetanus, DTaP, MMR, Hepatitis B, and Chickenpox. On top of those vaccinations doctors and schools are also asking parents to vaccinate their children against are whooping cough, HPV, and meningitis. The good news for those who are against vaccinations is that most states do not require children to get vaccinations to begin school.

How can you opt out of vaccinations and still have your child attend school?

Most parents believe if they opt out of vaccinating their children, they will not be able to attend school. However, this belief is a myth. In most states, parents can request a medical waiver from their MD. Unfortunately, the medical waiver is the only thing that can allow your children to skip out on the vaccinations and still attend school. If you for some reason cannot get this waiver, you will either need to find an MD who will sign off or start homeschooling your children.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of vaccinations?

For those who decide to vaccinate their children before school starts, it is wise to keep in mind that side effects can occur from vaccinations such as:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Illness
  • Autism
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Learning disabilities
With that said, those side effects alone are reasons why some parents opt out of vaccinating their children. The benefit your children can receive from vaccinations if you decide it is best is protection from certain infectious diseases if any were to breakout in your community.

Bottom Line

Shots or no shots come with risks. Whatever you decide needs to be the best choice for you and your family. After all, there is no wrong or right decision with vaccinations. They are provided to communities as an option for protection against illnesses that could potentially infect a community. It is however hard to say if any potentially infectious disease ever would, but many who go without vaccinations live long and healthy lives.

Choosing Equipment for your Lab

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When deciding to choose what kind of equipment you need in your lab, there are a variety of things you need to consider. One of the main factors is what do you use your lab for. Is it for research and development? Is it biology based? Do you interact with hazardous chemicals?

Regardless of these questions, it’s important to go over the basics you might need for your lab, and you should take these items as a standard within your lab.

The Standard Purpose of Lab Tools

Within your lab you have multiple purposes, which include:
  • Measure
  • Test
  • Magnify
  • Dissection
  • Transfer
  • Separate
  • Clean
  • Safety

Standardized Items within Your Lab

We quickly went over the multiple purposes in the lab as we saw in the last section; however, it’s common to see the following items within your lab that you might consider purchasing.

A triple beam balance, or a digital scale are common items you might see to measure out weights of an object. You will also have measuring devices as well from that of common rulers to digital rulers and thermometers. Pipets and droppers are also common tools within a lab to extract liquids.

Also expect to use microscopes, slides, and slide covers that go along with this equipment. Microscopes can vary in price and the higher the resolution the more expensive you can expect to pay for this type of equipment.

You might also find these common items:
  • Scoopers are used to take power substances from its container.
  • Safety equipment, including goggles, gloves and lab coats.
  • Glassware including graduated cylinder, beakers, and test tubes.
  • Holders for test tube tongs and beaker tongs which allow you to pick up extremely hot glassware without effecting you.
  • Bunsen burners.
  • Custom Procedure Trays so you can have all the right tools at your disposal with nothing going to waste.

High End Equipment

Besides having common items you will most likely need high-end items that are a bit more expensive. In this category, you would expect to see items like computers, biological safety cabinets, freezers, CO2 incubators and the like.

Using Your Due Diligence

Before purchasing merchandise for your lab you should take the following considerations to heart:
  • Brand – It’s important to go with brand names that are of high-quality in the scientific community. Not only can you rely on the safety aspects, but also knowing that the item will perform at peak levels for years to come without worrying if a unit will break or wear out.
  • Price – We mentioned earlier a good brand will be likely to be more expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend excessively. The market is very competitive when it comes to lab equipment.
  • Warranty/Service Contract – If you’re going to spend top dollar on some of these high-ticket products for your lab you should double-check the warranty, and what kind of service is available. Will the company come out ASAP and fix it, or will it take a week to schedule it. As a quick tip, you can search the internet for complaints on a product’s warranty/service contract to see how effective a company is.
  • Complexity – Is the unit you’re purchasing easy to operate or will it through your lab personnel into the twilight zone in terms of it will be easy to learn to operate.


There are a variety of considerations you have to look into before you buy the right equipment for your lab. Common items are easy to incorporate into your lab; however, you will have to do a bit more research when it comes more expensive items.

Symptoms of the Flu

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Influenza is more commonly known as the flu. Most times, it may seem like the common cold since you experience sneezing, sore throat and a runny nose. However, while the common cold develops over time, the flu comes suddenly. Also, the flu makes you feel worse than if you had a cold. You need to know the difference between a cold and the flu so you can know when to see a doctor.

Common signs and symptoms you may experience with the flu include:

  • Chills and sweats followed by a fever of over 100.4F
You may get chills and sweats even before the fever develops. If you have chills, you can raise your body temperature by wrapping yourself in a blanket. A fever is a sign that the body is trying to fight off an infection. If you get a fever, you can use over the counter medication to bring it down.

  • Aching muscles
Most people attribute aching muscles to a recent activity like exercise. However, if the aches are in the head, back, and legs, you might be catching the flu. You can take painkillers to relieve the muscle aches.

  • Headache
A headache is common if you have the flu or common cold. You can also notice an increased sensitivity to light.

  • Fatigue and general body weakness
Extreme weakness and fatigue can affect your performance. If you feel tired, you should avoid extreme activities and rest. Resting will help you recover more quickly since your immune system will have time to become stronger.

  • Sore throat
You can develop a sore throat from flu-related coughing. You will notice your throat feeling irritated and scratchy, and in some situations, it might get swollen. Keep your throat hydrated and try gurgling salty water to bring the swelling down.

  • Nasal congestion and sneezing
It is common to experience nasal congestion when you have the flu. You can use anti-congestants to clear your nasal passage.

You can also start sneezing if you have the flu. It is one of the warning signs that you might be catching the flu. Practice proper etiquette and cover your mouth to avoid spreading the infection.

  • Dry, persistent cough
A persistent cough is an indication that you might be catching the flu. A cough can also be accompanied by chest tightness and wheezing. If you have respiratory infections like asthma, you need to consult a doctor before you develop further complications.

You can take cough medicine to clear a cough and keep the throat hydrated by taking a lot of water. Also, cover your mouth when coughing to prevent spreading it to other people.

When to visit the doctor

Most of the people who catch the flu do not visit the doctor but treat themselves with over the counter medication. However, if you are at risk of developing complications, you should visit the doctor. Some risk factors that increase the chances of getting the flu and its complications include:
  • Age since it targets young children and the elderly.
  • Living conditions for people who live in facilities with others.
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People suffering from chronic illnesses
  • Pregnancy
  • Obese people

Causes and treatment of the flu

The flu is caused by a virus. Therefore it can be treated with antivirals. However, if the flu led to a bacterial illness, the illness can be treated using anti-bacterial. To relieve a headache and muscle aches, you can use painkillers.

Vaccinating Your Child

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Vaccination is the perfect way to shield your child against many killer diseases. Immunization has been proven to be the most powerful defense that is safe and effective for children. In fact, vaccinations are said to be one of the most crucial health advances in history. Today scientists have been able to provide vaccinations for the following childhood diseases;
  • Rotavirus
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Chickenpox
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rubella
  • Diphtheria
  • HPV
  • Pneumococcal diseases
  • Meningococcal diseases
It’s every parent’s wish to raise a child in perfect health and safety. For this reason, it’s critical to protect your home and kids against any potential hazards. While physical hazards may be a threat, unforeseen illnesses can also cause severe damage to your young children including disabilities and even death. Through vaccinating your children, you will be able to protect them from the above named 14 childhood diseases. There are numerous reasons why you should vaccinate your children regardless of whatever parenting challenges you face.

Why Vaccinate your children?

Vaccinating your baby is one of the best things you can do for them. The following are some of the reasons why you should vaccinate your child;
  • Vaccinations are safe and effective
  • Vaccinations are cost effective
  • Vaccinations can save your child’s life
  • Vaccination protects future generations

What vaccinations your children should receive

You should ensure that your kid gets all the recommended vaccines. The timing for each vaccine may slightly differ depending on where you live. Most pediatric societies recommend the following;
  • MMR Vaccine – safeguards against mumps, rubella, and measles.
  • Rotavirus vaccine – shields infants from getting rotavirus; that accounts for most cases of diarrhea in young children and infants.
  • DPTP-Hib (also called Hib vaccine, DPT-polio or 5 in 1/ 6 in 1 vaccine) – Protects your child against Hib disease, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and polio
  • Varicella vaccine – protects your child against chickenpox; a very uncomfortable infection for kids. It can be serious sometimes.
  • HPV vaccine – shields your child from contracting HPV types that could cause genital warts or cancers including cervical cancer.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine – safeguards your child against hepatitis B which is a dangerous infection of the liver.
  • Meningococcal vaccine – Protects your kid against illnesses caused by the meningococcus bacteria such as meningitis and septicemia, a dangerous blood infection.
  • DTaP vaccine – shields adolescents from getting diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus
  • Pneumococcal vaccine – Protects your child against illnesses caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, such as ear infections, pneumonia, and meningitis (an infection of the brain)
All these vaccinations are safe to use. If your child is six months or older, you should ensure they get a flu shot annually. The flu shot is particularly critical for children who are less than five years old. The vaccine is also recommended for kids with chronic health conditions who have a high probability of getting complications from the flu. The flu shot is also advisable for expectant mothers and breastfeeding women. Breastfeeding helps mothers transfer antibodies against the flu to their infants since babies less than six months of age cannot get the vaccination (it won’t work). Some antibodies are also transferred to the baby before birth.

If your baby has a chronic health condition, you can consult your physician since there are many other vaccines that may be recommended. You can also consult your doctor about shots that can protect your child while traveling.

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