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Health Talk Recommends: Watch polio disappear across the world

You can literally watch polio disappear from countries across the world in this Vine video posted by the Gates Foundation.

The quick but powerful video shows there are still three countries to go to fully eradicate the disease, but we’ve come so far as a global society in battling this once crippling disease.

The Health Talk team thought this was pretty cool. Take a look!

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Health Talk Recommends: Measles, the most infectious of all infectious diseases

Measles is a rare but potentially deadly disease in children. According to a recent article by Tom Frieden, M.D., director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 60 cases of measles in the U.S. each year. In 2013, however, there have been 175 reported cases in the first 11 months.

And while that number doesn’t seem outrageous, measles is a very serious disease. According to Frieden, “Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 of 10 people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.”

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Study shows pertussis vaccine in teens may help reduce infant hospitalizations

A new study by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital shows that increased efforts to vaccinate teens for pertussis is actually having a positive effect on hospitalization rates among infants.

The study, published this week by the journal Pediatrics, found that hospitalization rates were 30 percent less than researchers would have seen had there not been a vaccine according to the study’s authors.

The reason: data shows that many children and infants contract the disease from older siblings.

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Health Talk Recommends: I’m Coming Out… as Pro-Vaccine

For most parents, getting a child’s regularly scheduled vaccines is a normal part of the parenting process. Most don’t talk about their decision because for decades, children getting vaccines was simply status quo across the United States. In the process, many diseases were forced into submission.

But in recent years, thanks in large part to some very outspoken celebrities (like Jenny McCarthy) and the force of social media, claims that vaccines cause autism, spread throughout the country despite zero medical or scientific evidence to support the claims.

Some parents even framed their opinions around research that was entirely fabricated and subsequently retracted. In what became a dangerous trend, for years some parents have gone against traditional medical guidance and refute the medical and public health benefits vaccines provide.

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Seven flu myths, debunked

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared on the University of Minnesota Physicians web site last week.

You’ve heard them all before.

The flu vaccine can make you sick. Don’t bother getting the shot if you’re young and healthy. Pregnant women should avoid the flu vaccine.

Simply Googling the word “flu” turns up a bevy of tips and advice for staying healthy. But how do you separate the good information from the bad?

Here to help you debunk some of the common myths or misconceptions around influenza and the flu vaccine is Susan Kline, MD, who specializes in infectious diseases and serves as the infection control medical director for the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

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Could a universal flu vaccine become a reality in the near future?

In a recent study out of Great Britain, researchers discovered a key that might unlock a universal flu vaccine: blood.

Not just any blood, though. The researchers said the answer to what they call a universal flu vaccine may be in the blood of those who became infected with the H1N1 strain of influenza present during the 2009 influenza pandemic, but who beat the strain without getting sick.

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