Vaccines

HPV and cancer: The underappreciated connection

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Human papilloma virus (HPV), a common viral infection, has been linked to cancer of the genitals, anus, mouth, and throat, as well as cervical cancer. Yet a survey of US adults found that many people are not aware of this connection.

Bad flu season predicted — did you get your shot?

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

This year’s flu season may be severe. Almost everyone should get vaccinated, but which vaccine might be best for you? And how else can you avoid the flu?

Why do parents worry about vaccines?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The ongoing measles epidemic spotlights the importance of vaccinations –– and the concerns some parents have about vaccine safety. If you have such concerns, talk to your child’s doctor and learn more about vaccine safety.

HPV vaccine: A vaccine that works, and one all children should get

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Human papilloma virus (HPV) causes about 40,000 cases of cancer every year. A long-term study of the HPV vaccine finds it offers protection against many strains of the virus, yet many teens haven’t had this safe, effective vaccine.

Measles: The forgotten killer

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

Measles has serious, even fatal complications. A worrisome multistate outbreak underscores why preventing measles is so important. Here’s how to protect yourself, your circle, and your community –– and why you should.

4 things everyone needs to know about measles

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The number of measles cases in the US in 2018 more than tripled over those in 2017, and early numbers for this year suggest a continued surge. It’s important for everyone, but especially parents, to know about the virus, its potential complications, and the facts about the vaccine.

Diet and age at menopause: Is there a connection?

According to a recent study, there may be a connection between diet and age at menopause. Foods like legumes and oily fish appeared to delay the start of menopause, while refined pasta and rice were associated with an earlier start.

Meningitis vaccines: What parents need to know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most people who get viral meningitis get better without treatment, but bacterial meningitis is much more serious, and can be fatal. Meningitis vaccines can help protect against the most common bacteria responsible; two are given in infancy, and the third should be given before adolescence.

3 ways to help get more children immunized

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

In order to increase the number of children who receive all the recommended vaccinations, greater effort must be made in providing health care access to all children, and doctors must understand the wide range of reasons for parents’ resistance to vaccines.

Celebrities get shingles, too

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, though it can be dormant in a person for decades before flaring up suddenly. Not everyone who has had chickenpox will develop shingles, but it is more common in those who are older or who have a weakened immune system.