In Part I, we took a look at increased numbers of scarlet fever cases in the UK, dating back to 2013, when the numbers started to increase and coincidentally, when the free, nasal flu shot was first being given out to children at doctors' offices but also at schools. Now, let's look at the reported news and any connections.
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1- Live attenuated influenza vaccine administered intranasally (licensed for 2–17 years of age, inclusive, in the UK) (available mainly in the UK)... the live attenuated vaccine is quadrivalent.
2- Has your child had the FREE flu vaccine? In 2016, 50% of people at risk of flu were vaccinated across Hampshire, The Isle of Wight and Dorset, compared to only 46% in 2015. This year's campaign aims to continue to increase uptake of the flu vaccination, with a minimum uptake target of 55%......For healthy children aged 2-8 years, the flu vaccine is given in the form of a nasal spray, administered by a health professional. Scarlet Fever Cases Rising On The Isle Of Wight https://iwradio.co.uk/2018/02/08/scarlet-fever-cases-rising-isle-wight/ : That’s according to the Isle of Wight Council’s Public Health Department, which says GPs across the Island have noticed an increase in the number of reports of the infection.
3- Manchester Evening News, October 3, 2017 : More pupils than ever to get flu vaccine in school as health drive is extended -Despite what the name suggests, the children's form of the vaccination is a nasal spray rather than a jab and is given as the country gears up for winter. For the first time, children in Reception class will be offered the spray in school rather than at their GP practice and the programme has also been extended to take in older children in Year 4. All primary school children in the years between will also be covered, while two and three year olds will be given it by their doctor. Each year the vaccination programme adds another year group to ensure wider coverage.
Manchester Evening News, January 12, 2018 : Number of scarlet fever cases has DOUBLED. There have been more than 100 cases of scarlet fever reported in Greater Manchester in the past six weeks, almost double the number in the same period last year...The number of reports is much higher than in the same period in the previous five years.
4- NHS Kent Communty Health -Flu vaccination programme update -- The KCHFT Immunisation Service delivered the nasal flu vaccination programme to all schools in Kent, Medway and East Sussex between October and December last year. We also held more than 30 clinics to make sure we vaccinated as many children as possible.Kent Live, 31 JAN 2018 - The scarlet fever hot spots in Kent have been revealed as the number of cases trebles in just one year : The number of reported incidents has also gone up week on week...Medway has seen the highest number of reports over the four week period to January 28, with 17, up from 11 in the same weeks in 2017.
5-The Telegraph, 27 November, 2017- Give children flu vaccine before Christmas to protect grandparents, NHS bosses warn : Doctors are appealing for parents to take up the free flu vaccination for children to curb infection over the Christmas holidays. The Telegraph, 5 Aptil 2018 - Scarlet fever outbreak is worst for nearly 40 years : The highly contagious infection mainly affects young children and is not usually serious if treated. Official figures from Public Health England (PHE) show there were more than 15,500 cases reported in the first three months of the year – twice as many as last year.
6 - Record number of Welsh schoolchildren given flu vaccine, 28 November 2017 : A record 70% of children aged from four to eight in Wales have been given the flu vaccine so far this winter. Health teams have been visiting schools to offer vaccination to all children in reception and Years 1 to 4. They are offered nasal spray vaccines, which Public Health Wales says is "quick, safe, and completely pain-free". This is the first time Year 4 children have been included in the annual, free flu vaccination programme. A total of 67,936 children aged four to eight have received the vaccine so far this winter. A further 23,433 two and three-year-olds have been given the vaccine at GP surgeries. Next year, the in-school vaccine campaign will also include Years 5 and 6, Public Health Wales said.CASES OF SCARLET FEVER HAVE SOARED IN WALES OVER THE PAST SIX WEEKS, 12 JAN 2018
Wales online Cases of scarlet fever have rocketed in Wales over the past six weeks – and are almost twice as high as in the same period last year. In the six weeks to January 7, covering December and the festive period, 170 suspected cases of scarlet fever were reported in Wales to Public Health England (PHE), which gathers all the data for both England and Wales. The number of reports is much higher than over the same period in the previous five years. There were 98 cases reported in 2016-17, as well as a previous peak of 112 in 2015-16 – and just 12 in 2013-14.
7- Figures for cases of scarlet fever in Scotland and Northern Ireland are not available. . They are not tracked, just like in the USA, where "a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that they don’t track noninvasive infections caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. These infections include common infections like strep throat and rarer ones like scarlet fever. Scotland and Northern Ireland may not track cases of scarlet fever but the news did pick up increases in scarlet fever. They also use the nasal flu vaccine in schools.
8- Northern Ireland, part of the UK, and so follows the UK Flu vaccine plan - Belfast Telegraph, September 4, 2013- Children to receive flu vaccine : All children in Northern Ireland aged two and above are to receive a flu vaccine by 2015, it was revealed. Most will receive the dose via a quick and painless nasal spray, used because it provides greater protection than an injection, the Public Health Agency (PHA) said. Dr Richard Smithson said: "This vaccine has been used in America now for several years and millions of doses have been given. We can therefore be very confident in knowing that it is a safe and effective vaccine." (Actually, starting in 2015, the effectiveness of FluMist, nasal vaccine, went way down, according to research, and the USA stopped using it in 2016 and 2017 flu seasons.) This autumn all healthy children aged two and three on September 1 and those in Primary 6 will be offered the vaccine as part of the seasonal flu programme, the health protection consultant added. Health chiefs intend to offer the vaccine to all pre-school and primary school children next year and to all aged two to 16 from autumn 2015. Belfast Telegraph, March 31 2016 - How to keep little ones safe from scarlet fever : As recent reports have highlighted, scarlet fever has made an alarming comeback. Like scurvy and rickets, it was thought of as a Victorian era concern, not something that anybody still needs to worry about, but cases have been steadily rising and are currently the highest they've been for five decades... According to Public Health England, 6,157 children have been diagnosed since September, while 17,586 cases were reported in England during 2015, compared to 1,678 in 2005. In Northern Ireland, there were 363 cases in 2015, though that was a fall of 41% on 2014 when 625 cases were recorded. In 2013, Northern Ireland had 199 cases. Experts aren't entirely sure why the disease has returned..........BELFAST LIVE, 10 JAN 2018 - HEALTH CHIEFS INSISTING FLU VACCINE PROGRAMME WILL PROTECT AGAINST NEW STRAIN OF THE VIRUS : Health chiefs in Northern Ireland are insisting their flu vaccine programme will protect against a new strain of the virus. It was reported in the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday that authorities are concerned over the ‘B Yamagata’ strain because the vaccine available there is not designed to protect against it. The vaccine does deal with the widely reported Aussie flu, which is an ‘A strain’ of the virus. However, the Public Health Agency says a nasal spray being offered to children as part of their seasonal flu vaccination programme does protect against the B Yamagata strain. A vaccine offered to adults in Northern Ireland does not protect against B Yamagata, however the PHA says it is children who are “most likely to be affected by flu B”. A spokesman for the PHA said that “eligible adults are offered a trivalent vaccine, and eligible children are offered a quadrivalent nasal spray vaccine”. THE IRISH NEWS, 20 May 2018 - Scarlet fever cases rise by 47 per cent compared with 2017 : MORE than 50 cases of scarlet fever were reported in the first three weeks of the year - almost four times as many as 2017. The Public Health Agency recorded 53 cases in Northern Ireland at the beginning of January alone. During the same period last year the total stood at just 14. The number of people falling ill during rest of the first quarter of 2018 have been more in line with previous years, but the high number of cases at the beginning of the year means a 47 per cent increase on the number of cases reported in 2017. The latest figures from the Public Health Agency (PHA) reveal 192 people fell ill with the disease during January, February and March, compared with 131 last year.
9- Falkirk (Scotland) parents urged to look out for scarlet fever Published: 14:00 Monday 16 April 2018 - The number of cases of scarlet fever is currently said to be at its highest level for almost 50 years in parts of the UK. However, with no need to report the disease in Scotland compared to England and Wales where it must be notified to health chiefs, there are no exact statistics. Although cases of scarlet fever have been reported in Forth Valley Royal Infirmary’s children’s ward...Scarlet fever in Scotland is not a notifiable disease as it is in England. “Because of this we do not know where cases are occurring”....
Like other parts of the UK, the nasal flu is also given here. Parents Urged to Join Fight Against Flu -Child Flu Vaccination Programme Now Underway - Oct 6, 2017 - Parents of 2-5 year olds in Forth Valley are encouraged to join the fight against flu this winter, by ensuring their children get their flu vaccination. GP practices across the NHS Forth Valley area are providing the free nasal flu vaccine in a bid to ensure young children are protected. Primary school children will receive their vaccination at school.
10- The Republic of Ireland has NO scarlet fever epidemic. It also does NOT use the nasal flu vaccine, nor has it been giving flu vaccines to healthy children as a prevention to flu. That all looks to be changing. The Republic of Ireland is considering using, for the first time, the nasal flu vaccine, in Fall 2018 : All children over the age of two may be offered the flu vaccine from next year, it has emerged. A panel of experts attached to the Royal College of Physicians, who advise the HSE on vaccinations, is to examine the proposal. It follows moves by health authorities in Northern Ireland to routinely offer the flu vaccine to all children aged two and over since September, 2014….. The flu vaccine can be given to children in the form of a nasal spray........
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In Part III, we will look at published research related to this phenomenon.
-- When you inoculate children with polio vaccine, you don’t sleep well for two or three months. --
Jonas Salk, October 1954