Healthy Sumner Blogs

Jan Lovell is the Nursing Supervisor at the Sumner Co. Health Department. She has been involved in Public Health for 26 years. She has an epidemiology certificate from U.T. and a BSN degree from Olivet Nazarene University. She is married with one daughter and became a grandmother last year.

Measles Outbreak Updates

Make sure that your child is protected with MMR vaccine.  We are now experiencing an unusually large measles outbreak in the U.S. Before traveling, protect your child by making sure that they are up-to-date on vaccinations, especially before traveling abroad.

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What's all the fuss about the HPV vaccine?

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccines are given as a series of three shots over 6 months to protect against HPV infection and the health problems that HPV infection can cause. Two vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) protect against cervical cancers in women. One vaccine (Gardasil) also protects against genital warts and cancers of females private areas. Both vaccines are available for females. Only Gardasil is available for males. Gardasil is the vaccine that we widely use in Sumner County.  HPV vaccines offer the best protection to girls and boys who receive all three vaccine doses and have time to develop an immune response before being sexually active.  HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years. This is the only vaccine that is currently available . The vaccine is new and parents and caretakers have expressed some questions and concerns about the vaccine. If you want to discuss this with a healthcare professional, call your physician or local Health Department or go to www.cdc.gov. This website also has a detailed discussion on HPV dosage and uses.

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Getting Ready for Middle School

How many of you remember the big transition from elementary to middle school? I remember how nervous I was about changing classrooms and not having a single room to be in all day. I remember going shopping for school clothes that were going to reflect the level of maturity I felt leaving elementary school behind. There are lots of thing to do to get ready for this transition and one of those things is to get the immunizations required by the school for Middle School admission. As kids get older, protection from some childhood vaccines begins to wear off. Plus, older kids can also develop risks for other diseases. Health check-ups and sports or camp physicals can be a good opportunity for your preteens and teens to get the recommended vaccines.

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Remembering Measles

When I was 3 years old, I had almost every childhood disease that existed. I had Mumps, Strep infection, followed by Scarlet Fever, and the Measles, Rubeola is the medical term. I remember lying in bed with the curtains pulled and lights off because my eyes were so watery, having to stay in bed, having a feverand a blotchy rash and even having to eat my meals in bed. I got so tired of having to stay in bed. It took about a week to get over. This happened to me in the decade before the measles vaccination program began. At that time, an estimated 3–4 million people in the United States were infected each year, of whom 400–500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and another 1,000 developed chronic disabilities from measles encephalitis. Then, in 1963 the Measles vaccine was introduced and as people started getting the vaccine the numbers of measles cases dropped so much, that people don't remember how bad it was to have the disease. As more people are vaccinated, we protect those in our midst who are too young to take the vaccine as well because they aren't exposed to the disease. Recently, in TN, we have had a small outbreak of the Measles. 18 states have had outbreaks this year. Some of these cases have been from traveling to countries that don't have measles immunization programs on par with the United States. Some parents have been afraid to vaccinate their children due to fears of autism and a link with the MMR vaccine. Much research has been done and has proven that there is not a link between the vaccine and autism. Being properly vaccinated is critical in preventing measles. As it gets time to get ready for the school immunization season, discuss the importance of vaccines with your health care provider and make the decision that is best for you and your family. For more information go to CDC.gov

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