Summer is a Good Time for Moms to Learn About Certain Diseases That Can Affect Their Preteen and Teen

June 9, 2011

NEW YORK, June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Preteens and teens are at risk for certain diseases, including human papillomavirus (HPV), meningococcal disease (meningitis), pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus. With kids soon out of school, summer is a good time for moms to talk with their child’s healthcare provider about ways to help prevent these diseases.

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A recent survey, conducted online on behalf of Merck by Harris Interactive from March 29-31, 2011 and April 4-6, 2011 among 346 moms of children aged 11-18, found that 86 percent of moms are aware that preteens and teens are at risk for contracting certain diseases.

“Preteens and teens are at risk for certain infectious diseases,” said Dr. Jaime Fergie, Director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. “Many parents vaccinated their children as infants, and it’s important that they also vaccinate them now that they are preteens and teens to help prevent certain diseases.”

Preteens and teens tend to have fewer regular healthcare visits as they get older, and visits are usually for sports physicals or because of illness. Moms can take advantage of doctor visits in the summer to talk to their child’s healthcare professional about ways to help prevent these diseases.

About Certain Infectious Diseases

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV): HPV is a virus that will affect an estimated 75 to 80 percent of males and females in their lifetime. For most, HPV clears on its own. But there’s no way to predict who will or won’t clear the virus. For those who don’t clear certain types, HPV could cause cervical cancer in females and other HPV types can cause genital warts in both males and females.
  • Meningococcal disease (meningitis): Meningitis is a very serious infection of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Infection can be spread from person to person by close contact.
  • Pertussis (whooping cough): Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection spread by coughing and sneezing.
  • Tetanus: Tetanus is a disease of the nervous system caused by bacteria that enter the body through a cut or wound.

About Dr. Jaime Fergie

Dr. Jaime E. Fergie is the Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiologist at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. He has an appointment as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Texas A&M University College of Medicine, and Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

Dr. Fergie received his medical degree from Caracas Central University of Venezuela, and did his pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. He completed an infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center. After finishing his training he became a consultant in pediatric infectious diseases at Trinity Teaching Medical Center in Caracas, Venezuela.

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Merck & Co., Inc from March 29-31, 2011 and April 4-6, 2011 among 2,200 adult females ages 18 and older, of whom 346 are the parent/legal guardian of a child aged 11-18. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jennifer Riek at jennifer.riek@edelman.com or (312) 233-1316.

About Merck

Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Riek
(312) 233-1316


Source: newswire

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