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May 04, 2019

The Measles Epidemic
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Measles is an extremely contagious virus. And reportedly, the disease is spiking worldwide. But most donít realize that measles can be fatal, and there are dangers for those who survive the disease. Then, despite safer designs and warning labels, the rate of injuries from lawn mowers remains high. Too often, youngsters are victims of these accidents
Episode Segments:
The Measles Outbreak
Measles outbreaks are spiking worldwide. Michael Mina, PhD, MD, Resident Physician in Clinical Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical Schooldiscussed the reasons behind the soaring rate of infections. He noted that for even those who survive an outbreak, measles can compromise a personís immune system for up to two years afterwards. He said the MMR vaccinations are proven to be very safe and parents should not hesitate to have their children vaccinated.
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Lawnmower Injuries
Deborah Schwengel, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Childrenís Center led a comprehensive nationwide study that found that the rate of lawnmower injuries remains at a consistently high level, with most of them requiring surgery and hospitalization. She explained how the most common incidents occur and how adults can take steps to protect children from injury.
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Regular Books are Best
Tiffany Munzer, MD, Pediatric Developmental Behavioral Fellow at the University of Michigan led a study that examined parents reading to their children in different book formats: enhanced electronic (with sound effects and/or animation), electronic, and print. The study found that traditional books provide the greatest opportunities for discussion, conversation and parent/child bonding. She said the flashing lights and loud sounds in most e-readers detract from the potential benefits of a shared reading experience.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Michael Mina
Michael Mina, MD, PhD is a resident and clinical research fellow in the Dept. of Pathology at Harvard Medical School / Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Mina earned his AB at Dartmouth College in physics and engineering, his MD and PhD degrees at Emory University and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Immunology, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Infectious Diseases, and completed his post-doctoral training at Princeton University, in mathematical modeling of infectious diesase dynamics, with Prof. Bryan Grenfell. Dr. Mina‚Äôs research draws on biological and mathematical models to investigate infectious diseases from the molecular and immunologic levels through to population dynamics and epidemics. Much of his work has focused on non-specific effects of vaccines on phylogenetically distinct human pathogens ‚Äď mediated through perturbations of the innate and adaptive immune systems. A major focus surrounds impacts of influenza vaccines on bacterial pathogenicity and transmission. Work on this has recently moved into human trials through collaborations with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Additionally, his work on non-specific vaccine effects led to the discovery that measles infections may cause ‚Äúimmunologic-amnesia‚ÄĚ, leaving children at risk of infections for multiple years. He found that by preventing measles, measles vaccines may have had significant though previously unrecognized benefits, reducing non-measles childhood infectious disease mortality by as much as 50%.