Roundup: Back-to-School Immunization, Salad-Wrap Alert, and Lung Cancer Death Rate

Parents, Don’t Forget to Review Children’s Immunization Records, Health Officials Urge

As students get ready for a new school year, the Florida Department of Health (FDH) is reminding parents and caregivers to review their children’s immunization record to ensure they have the required vaccinations before the first day of class.

The FDH is helping parents track their child’s immunizations through Florida SHOTS, a free, statewide, centralized online immunization registry. The registry is a tool for healthcare providers, parents, and schools to track immunization records  —- even after moving or switching doctors.

School-age children, from preschoolers to college students, need vaccines as protection against the flu and a range of potentially serious diseases.

“Vaccinations help develop immunity to many serious diseases and infections, and they help keep students healthy and in school,” said Florida’s State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip, in a statement. “Making sure your child is fully immunized not only protects them, but it also protects children who cannot receive immunizations for medical reasons.”

If your child is due for a vaccine, consult with your family physician. Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect infants, children and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases, according to publish health officials and healthcare providers. Some diseases, such as polio and diphtheria, have become rare in the U.S. because of vaccinations.

“Some diseases that are prevented by vaccines, like pertussis (whooping cough) and chickenpox, remain common in the United States,” states the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “On the other hand, other diseases are no longer common in this country because of vaccines. However, if we stopped vaccinating, even the few cases we have in the United States could very quickly become tens or hundreds of thousands of cases.”

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USDA Health Alert Involves Beef, Pork and Poultry Salad/Wrap Products

Federal authorities are warning the public about potentially contaminated beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said the products, distributed by Indianapolis-based Caito Foods, could be contaminated with cyclospora, a parasite that causes intestinal illness.

The USDA says Caito Foods was notified from their lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, that the chopped romaine used in some of the salads was being recalled. The products were sold by grocery stores that include Trader Joe’s, Walgreens and Kroger. They have the establishment number “EST. 39985 or P-39985.” Click here for a list of products involved.

The USDA says it “is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators and that consumers may be at risk due to the length of the Cyclospora incubation period.”

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. The products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

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Lung Cancer Death Rate Among Women Projected to Increase Worldwide

Lung cancer death rate for women are expected to increase worldwide over the next 12 years, according to a new study published in the Journal of Cancer Research.

And the rate increase could be worse in “high-income countries” such as the United States, the study says.

Currently, cancer death rates overall have been on a decline for women. But the new study by researchers in Spain projects that lung cancer deaths among women will rise 43 percent globally by 2030. Breast cancer deaths are expected to increase at a slower rate — just 9 percent in the next decade or so. Researchers reviewed data for 52 countries between 2008 and 2014 from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Mortality Database.

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the world, registering 1.69 million deaths in 2015 alone, according to the WHO. Lung cancer death rates have been declining among men after years at an “epidemic” level, researchers note. But the , the lung cancer epidemic in women has generally started later.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancers that lead to death among women most frequently are breast, colorectal, lung, cervix and stomach cancers. Breast cancer death rates have fallen steadily because of improved prevention and management, the study says.

Lung cancer causes more preventable deaths than any other cancer in the United States, and cigarette smoking contributes to about 80 percent of the 154,000 total deaths it causes each year. Rates of lung cancer are higher among women born since the mid-1960s, according to the new study jointly conducted by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

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