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updated: 4/8/2013 10:43 AM

Immunizations protect children

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Dave Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--National Infant Immunization Week is April 21-28 and the DuPage County Health Department is reminding parents to follow the recommended immunization schedule to protect their children from disease.

Each year, approximately 170,000 babies are born in Illinois and they need to be immunized against 14 diseases before the age of two.

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Immunizations not only provide individual protection to each child, but protect the health of the entire community. Vaccines have been so successful that parents may not have heard of some of today's vaccines or the serious diseases they prevent.

Even when diseases are rare in the United States, they can be brought into DuPage County, putting unvaccinated children at risk. One example of vaccine-preventable disease is the increase in pertussis (whooping cough) cases in Illinois and other states. DuPage County also reported increases in pertussis cases in recent years. There were 195 cases of pertussis reported in DuPage County in 2012, compared to 268 cases in 2011 and 92 cases in 2010.

The Health Department reminds parents that vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. For information on immunizations available at the DuPage County Health Department, call (630) 682-7400, and speak with a Customer Service Representative.

For the 2013 infant immunizations schedule, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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