Infectious Diseases

Doernbecher offers free flu vaccine to its patients’ parents, close family contacts

OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital is offering free flu shots to the parents and close family contacts of its established patients. The “Free Vaccine for Parents Cocooning Project” is intended to protect OHSU Doernbecher’s youngest and most vulnerable patients. Babies younger than 6 months, for example, cannot receive the flu vaccine.The next best means of protection is to “cocoon” the infants, or insulate them from infection, by immunizing their family members. Providing free vaccine to pediatric … Read More

Flu vaccine decreases a child’s risk of serious illness

Each winter or spring, millions of people are infected with influenza, thousands of children are admitted to pediatric intensive care units, or PICUs, for complications of influenza infection, and as many as 200 of them die. Influenza, or flu, virus infection causes a respiratory illness with symptoms that may include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headaches, body aches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent flu infection and its complications, … Read More

Q: I think my child has the flu. Should we go to the Emergency Room?

A: You should first contact your pediatrician, but if your child has an extremely high fever — more than 104 degrees — or is acting unusual, for example very sleepy or irritable, you should consider seeking immediate medical attention. Winter is a common time for infectious illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, or lung infections, or the flu; ensuring your child gets a flu shot can prevent or reduce the severity of influenza. Flu shots are especially important … Read More

It’s not too late to get a flu shot!

You can help control influenza activity in our community by getting vaccinated. It’s important to get vaccinated every year against the flu. The vaccine is given each year because immunity decreases after a year, and because each year’s vaccine is formulated to prevent that year’s anticipated strains of influenza viruses. Once again, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital will be offering free flu vaccines to our patients’ parents and other adult close contacts. This “Free Vaccine for … Read More

Why should my newborn get the hepatitis B vaccine?

What is hepatitis B? Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is spread when a person comes in contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person. The virus can enter the body through cuts or bites on the skin or through unprotected sex with an infected person. Newborns can get hepatitis B during birth if the mother is infected. However, many people who get the virus … Read More

What parents should know about over-the-counter cold medications

I often have families come to me looking for a magic formula that will cure their child’s cold and get rid of all the symptoms. Simply put: There is no magic formula for treating a cold, and there are no over-the-counter (OTC) products that are safe and effective for treating young kids. You should never use OTCs in kids younger than 6, and I never recommend them in general. Before we talk about the meds … Read More

Help control the spread of flu in your community: get vaccinated!

Flu season is in full swing across the country, including the Pacific Northwest. In our state, influenza activity remains moderate — thus far, Oregon hasn’t been severely affected. There have already been 29 pediatric flu-related deaths in the United States this season alone, but none in Oregon. You can help control influenza activity in our community by getting vaccinated. It’s not too late to protect yourself and your loved ones!  This season, OHSU Doernbecher has … Read More

When kids get stomach bugs, preventing dehydration is priority No. 1

This time of year, we pediatricians are inundated with all sorts of sick kids. Colds, influenza and a host of other respiratory illnesses fill our waiting rooms with mucus and coughs. We also tend to see lots of intestinal viruses, and nothing is less fun for a parent than caring for a child with constant vomiting and diarrhea. What about stomach flu? First and foremost, stomach flu is not really flu. We reserve the term … Read More

Keeping newborns safe from whooping cough: It takes a village!

Whooping cough is a respiratory infection sometimes called the “100-Day Cough,” or simply pertussis. This infection, which is caused by the bacteria Bordatella pertussis, has been on the rise since the 1980s. Washington State currently is experiencing an outbreak of whooping cough and the number of cases in Oregon is much higher than the national average. People of all ages can contract this highly contagious illness, but it can be especially dangerous for infants. Most babies … Read More

The importance of vaccinating our children

Vaccinations are a powerful, proven tool in our fight to prevent childhood infections. Because of the widespread use of vaccines in the United States, we have seen a dramatic decline in the number of children who suffer from deadly diseases such as polio, chickenpox, hepatitis B and whooping cough. Vaccinating children with all the recommended vaccines, on schedule, is one of the safest and most advanced means of preventing infection. Parents commonly ask whether it … Read More

Doernbecher Children's Hospital

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