Monday, August 9, 2010

Random Thoughts on Childhood Illnesses

I was reading about an outbreak of Whooping Cough (Pertussis) in California and  it got me to thinking about why it was happening.  Some say because many parents won't vaccinate for fear of side effects and though no connection has been found that their child might become autistic.  Others just don't think vaccinations are important and others have religious reasons.
I had whooping cough as a young child, young enough that I don't remember it, but my Mother told me that I'd had it.  That got me thinking about whether or not I'd been vaccinated, the vaccine was developed in the 30's and widely available in the 40's, but I have no idea whether I had it and sadly my Mother is gone and I can't ask her.
This in turn,  led me to thinking about other vaccines and illness's.  The only vaccine I can actually remember having as a child was the polio vaccine, I was among many other children who were the guinea pigs for early polio vaccinations, and in fact, to this day I don't know if I had the real vaccine or a placebo, we were never told.
So when I started school, about a 100 years ago I probably had few vaccinations, so out of curiosity I looked up the vaccinations to start school in Georgia, quite a list:
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Varicella (Chicken Pox)
Influenza B
Hepatitis   A and B
I know I had chicken pox as a child, again from family memories, not my own, but as to whether I ever had measles, mumps or rubella I have no idea.  I sure hope I've kept a better record for our daughter.
The biggest round of vaccinations I can remember taking was when Mac was in the Army and we were being sent overseas and I had to take Tetanus, Thyphoid, and Small Pox.  When we were stationed in Turkey I also had a gamma globbin innoculation for Hepatitus.
Because we're outdoors a lot we renew out Tetanus shot every 7-10 years and this year we broke down and took the  Pneumonia shot, have never taken the flu vaccine and probably never will.
It's a wonder I've survived all these years, but most of my Grandparents made it to their 80's and 90's and I doubt that they were ever vaccinated for anything.

1 comment:

  1. Vaccinations are a good thing, so many illnesses that were common are more or less a thing of the past in the UK now - cholera,diphtheria and polio spring to mind. I had all the common childhood illnesses apart from German measles(rubella)which I must have a natural immunity to. I don't remember whooping cough as I was only 3 when I had that but I can remember having measles, mumps and chicken pox. Having travelled a good deal I've had quite a number of vaccinations over the years but none of the really nasty ones thank goodness. The most recent was a booster for diphtheria when I went to Roumania where the disease is still very prevalent. Until then I'd thought that it had been wiped out everywhere but not in Eastern Europe apparently.


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