TalentFIT: August Is Immunization Awareness Month

Have you ever had to consider this word: smallpox?

Do you even recognize the word? Is this disease one you’re familiar with? Most likely, you know very little of it. Why is that? Thanks to developments in modern medicine, smallpox has been eradicated worldwide. The last known naturally occurring case of smallpox was in 1975—sure, that isn’t very long ago, but there haven’t been any cases since then because countries around the world joined forces to curb the dangers presented by this disease.

Why do we get immunizations, or vaccines? Although smallpox is no longer a threat to health, other diseases still are. Mumps, whooping cough, and measles are all modern examples of sicknesses that can significantly damage a person’s health. To try to prevent the spread of these dangerous viruses, we go to our doctors for a vaccine that acts as an immunization to the disease. Within the vaccine, a minuscule amount of the virus is released into our bodies so that our natural immune system can recognize the signature and create defenses against it. With these defenses in our bodies, we can fight a larger strain if it ever enters our bodies again.

Immunizations aren’t just important for individuals—they are important for society. When a person develops an immunity to a disease, there is no chance the disease can be spread from her to another person she interacts with. Immunization protects society at large by preventing large outbreaks of harmful diseases. This practice also protects individuals who cannot be vaccinated.

Is it that time of year? Are you sick of catching the flu from that pesky coworker in the next cubicle? Chances are, you could be lacking some important immunizations that could help your body fight viruses naturally, without all those over-the-counter medications and supplements. Talk to your doctor at your next visit about which immunizations would benefit you!

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