Discovering YOU Magazine April 2018 Issue - Page 15

HEALTH MATTERS

deadly, spawning pneumonia, blindness and even encephalitis. One especially alarming complication lurks in the brain for years after a person has recovered and mysteriously reawakens, causing seizures, coma and death. No one who has con- tracted that complication has survived.

Low uptake of HPV vaccine

It's not just childhood vaccines that parents are refusing. According to the BCBSA report, only 29 percent of adolescents received a first dose of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine before their 13th birthday. The HPV vaccine rates lag far behind other adolescent vaccines, meningococcal and Tdap, which have rates of 72 percent and 82 percent, respectively. And that's a problem. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31,500 people die every year from cancers caused by HPV. It's a heartbreaking statistic, especially because the American Cancer Institute estimates that, if all teens were vaccinated against HPV, cervical cancer would be eliminated within one generation.

What parents can do

The key to protecting children and teens from diseases like measles, rubella and HPV is vaccination, according to the CDC. Talk to your child's doctor about the safety and benefits of vaccination, if you have any doubt. Vaccinate your children according to the CDC-recommended Seven-Vaccine series: Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP), Heamophilus Influenza (Hib), Hepatitis B (Hep B) Polio (IPV), and Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR). Vaccinate your adolescent against HPV, Meningitis and DTaP.

For more information, or to download the Health of America report, visit www.bcbs.com/healthofamerica.

ABOUT BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD ASSOCIATION

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Index. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit BCBS.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.

".... only 29 percent of adolescents received a first dose of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine before their 13th birthday."