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5 things every parent should know about immunization

Within the first few months of your child's life, your pediatrician will likely start talking to you about immunizations. Even if your house is stocked with hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap, it's important to know what options are out there to keep your kid safe from diseases that could have harmful consequences.

>> On AJC.com: What you need to know about mumps

With all of the talk out there about the pros and cons of getting your child immunized, here are five things you need to know about how the process works and why doctors recommend it:

What is immunization? 

The World Health Organization defines immunization as the process that makes a person immune or resistant to an infectious disease. The most common way to achieve this is by giving the person a vaccine. Over the past 200 or so years, doctors have been able to use vaccines to fight diseases that used to kill millions of people, including young children, every year.

How does immunization work? 

Vaccines are usually given through a needle injection, though Verywell noted there are some that can be given through the mouth or the nose.

According to WebMD, once a vaccine enters the body, it helps the immune system develop antibodies that fight the virus or bacteria that causes that specific illness. (The process can take a few weeks, so your child won't instantly become immune.) The next time your child runs into that virus or bacteria, his body will have the tools it needs to fight off the illness.

Does my child really need to be vaccinated?

If you plan to enroll your child in a daycare or school, there may be minimum vaccination requirements before they can get started. According to he National Vaccine Information Center, exceptions can be made based on certain medical or religious grounds, but an application is required.

If you don't have any medical or religious concerns, vaccines are strongly encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control to help slow the progress of infections. When more people get vaccinated against a certain disease, outbreaks can be prevented because the germs won't be able to travel as fast through the population. This is called community immunity.

>> Read more trending news 

Which vaccines are recommended for kids?

The CDC website lists 16 potentially harmful diseases that their recommended vaccines can protect against. Those diseases are:

Each vaccine should be taken during a specific age range, so be sure to talk to your child's doctor to find out the right time to bring them in for their shots.

What are the risks involved with vaccines?

KidsHealth says the most common reactions to vaccines are fever and redness, swelling and soreness where the shot was given. In rare cases, patients have had seizures or severe allergic reactions. If you're concerned about side effects, Parents Magazine has some tips for easing the sting and making your child's first immunization experience as comfortable as possible.

If you have questions about vaccines or side effects, it's best to talk to your child's doctor.

Homeless, quadriplegic veteran living outside VA hospital struggles to get health care

A Navy veteran who is a quadriplegic has many health care needs. But he – and the people trying to help him – say the Veterans Affairs hospital in Seattle continues to reject him for care. 

>> Watch the news report here

Mike Mikesell of Washington state is 49 years old. He’s a Navy veteran who was honorably discharged, according to a document from the Department of Veterans Affairs office. 

He needs medical service so often he's living in a tent just feet from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. Mikesell said he had a good-paying job, but then he got very sick and became homeless.

Mikesell said he worked at Boeing until he developed an infection while on a trip to Mexico in 2016. 

“I went from that to this overnight,” Mikesell said. The infection spread to his spine and left him a quadriplegic. 

“I’m dead from the armpits down,” he said. 

Shortly after that, he lost his housing. 

>> Grieving military mom says coins stolen from son's grave: 'It just makes me sick'

In October 2017, he started living in a tent just outside the VA Hospital in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. 

“I can’t leave the hospital because there’s always some ailment happening. It wouldn’t be this way if I could wash up in a bathroom,” Mikesell said.

Since becoming homeless, his situation has continued to decline. His reclining electric wheelchair is broken, and now he struggles with a manual one that doesn’t recline. 

“I’ve been sleeping in this chair for a long time,” Mikesell said. 

“It’s torturing me not to give me an electric wheelchair. I can barely move myself along the ground with this thing and it’s really made things really difficult just trying to get into the hospital. I have that hill to go up,” he said. 

In June, Linda Soriano learned about Mikesell’s story. Soriano lives in Lynnwood and tries to help people who are homeless.

“It hurts me a lot,” Soriano said after learning about Mikesell’s story. 

She and a friend, Pam Keeley, shared it on Facebook with Mikesell’s consent

>> See the post here

They detailed what Mikesell is going through – how he needs a catheter, a colostomy bag and deals with chronic infections. 

“He suffers. He suffers!” Soriano said. “We’re not asking to treat this man like royalty. But that they would pay more attention and have a little more empathy and compassion.” 

The Facebook post has been shared more than 11,000 times as of Wednesday evening. But Soriano points out despite all the shares, Mikesell is still living in a tent outside the VA. 

“What does it take? Does this man have to die?” Soriano said. 

She and Keeley contacted the office of Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and a staff member helped Mikesell secure a visit with a doctor and got him a housing voucher. 

>> Police kill Vietnam vet who killed intruder attacking grandson

But just hours later, Mikesell was back out on the street. 

“He’s a high-needs individual, and many of our services, including the veterans' hospital, are not set up to take up these high-need individuals. He now is back on the streets and I think it is a tragic situation,” Jayapal said. “Mike’s conditions – they make it challenging for him to get housing. So even though he has a housing voucher, we can’t get him in.” 

She plans to work on legislation that would bring more federal money to high-needs veterans. 

But Mikesell can't wait for legislation. 

He’s worried he won’t survive another winter.

“Hopeless,” Mikesell said with tears in his eyes. “I don’t know how much longer I can do this.” 

The VA said Mikesell needs to sign a consent form before they can say anything about his case. As of Wednesday night, KIRO7’s Deedee Sun got Mikesell to sign the form and sent it to the hospital. The VA said it will provide more detailed commentary about why it is not able to provide the level of care Mikesell believes he qualifies for and deserves. 

A spokesperson for the VA said the hospital will be contacting Mikesell directly to address his concerns. 

>> Read more trending news 

In the meantime, it sent this statement: 

“We care passionately about the health and well-being of our Veterans. We take pride in providing each of our patients with evidence-based medicine, and in our ability to help them understand the recommended courses of care as well as the programs and services available to them. Ultimately, it is the choice of each of our Veterans about the care they pursue. And we respect their rights and privacy about the choices they make. Veterans can find out more info about our services and programs by visit our website: www.pugetsound.va.gov.” 

Jayapal said she is also working with Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., who represents the district where Mikesell lives, to follow up with his case. 

Chipotle illnesses: More than 400 report sickness after eating at Ohio restaurant

An Ohio Chipotle Mexican Grill has reopened after reports of illness caused the restaurant to voluntarily shut its doors Monday.

>> Wraps, salads sold at Kroger, Trader Joe's recalled over possible parasite

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Delaware County Health District had received 413 inquiries from customers who believed the Powell restaurant’s food made them sick, said the district’s public information officer, Traci Whittaker.

“Our staff has been fielding calls all day long yesterday, so what happens when we get calls is we have to follow up and investigate,” Whittaker said.

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: Chipotle website crashes for some customers ordering free guacamole

The cause of the illnesses is still unknown, as Whittaker said that investigation takes a significant amount of time. If everything went by the books, the health district would know the potential pathogen by Friday, but it never goes by the books, she said.

First the health district employees have to follow up and interview all of the customers who called, and if they’re willing to provide a stool sample, the health district will send them a kit, pick it up and send it to a lab for testing. More than 30 stool kits have been delivered to those who reported illness.

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: MoviePass frustrates customers with higher cost, fewer movies

The Delaware County Health District will also test leftover food samples some of the customers provided.

The restaurant at 9733 Sawmill Parkway reopened Tuesday after correcting one critical and one noncritical violation related to pinto beans and lettuce being kept at the correct temperature. The restaurant threw all of its food away as well, Whittaker said.

“Our inspection saw no reason for them not to reopen,” she said.

The investigation will continue into next week, she said.

>> Read more trending news 

“We want to look at the whole big picture of what the potential pathogen is, where it came from, what is making these customers sick,” she said

Whittaker said if others were affected and have not yet called the health district, they should do so immediately.

Ron Simon and Associates, along with co-counsel DiCello Levitt and Casey, has filed the first lawsuit in the case against the restaurant.

Wraps, salads sold at Kroger, Trader Joe's recalled over possible parasite

Have you recently picked up a salad or wrap from the grocery store? It could make you sick, according to a new health alert.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service said Monday that "beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products" recently distributed by Indianapolis-based Caito Foods may be contaminated with a parasite called cyclospora.

>> On USDA.gov: See the full list of recalled products

The products, produced July 15-18, have "sell by" dates of July 18-23 and were sold at Kroger, Trader Joe's, Walgreens and other retailers across the country, WRTV reported. The recalled items also have an establishment number of EST. 39985 or P-39985, the FSIS said.

>> On USDA. gov: See the labels here

Health officials issued the alert after Caito Foods' lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, said "the chopped romaine that is used to manufacture some of their salads and wraps was being recalled," according to the FSIS.

>> RELATED STORY: Listeria concerns prompt recall of grab-and-go sandwiches in 11 states

Symptoms of cyclospora infection include watery diarrhea with frequent bowel movements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its incubation period could last up to 14 days, officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

If you have any of the recalled products, you should throw them away or return them to the store, officials said. If you think you are sick, visit your health care provider.

Read more here.

Man's limbs amputated after dog's lick likely caused bacterial infection

A Wisconsin man's limbs were amputated after doctors said he contracted a bacterial infection – likely from a dog's lick.

>> RELATED STORY: You probably shouldn't let your dog lick your face

According to WITI, Greg Manteufel, 48, of West Bend, believed he had the flu when he went to the emergency room in late June. But doctors later determined that capnocytophaga, a type of bacteria found in dog saliva, had caused the infection that left him bruised, dropped his blood pressure and decreased blood flow to his limbs.

To keep Manteufel alive, doctors had to amputate both legs to the knees and both arms to the mid-forearm, according to a mid-July update to a GoFundMe page for the family. That campaign has raised more than $27,000.

Manteufel's wife, Dawn, told WITI that her husband has "been around dogs all of his life."

>> Read more trending news 

"We can't wrap our heads around it," she said.

Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, who specializes in infectious diseases, told WITI that "99 percent of people that have dogs will never have this issue."

Read more here.

Longhorned tick: New invasive species found in more states

new invasive tick species has been confirmed in Pennsylvania for the first time, just weeks after agriculture officials found one in North Carolina.

>> Watch the news report here

>> Lyme disease cases on the rise: What is it, and how to avoid it

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, recent testing found an Asian longhorned tick on a deer in Pennsylvania’s Centre County, where Penn State is.

This particular species is tough to tell apart from others.

>> ‘Very aggressive tick,’ whose bite causes red meat allergies not a hoax, CDC says

As the name suggests, they have horns, but they're so tiny that you can't see them without a microscope.

The discovery is not good news for Pennsylvania’s already bad tick problem.

>> 10 ways to prevent tick bites on people and pets

The deer ticks that are prevalent in Pennsylvania are carriers of Lyme disease, and Pennsylvania has consistently had the most cases of Lyme disease in the country.

>> Lyme disease: 7 questions about tick-borne infections

These Asian ticks haven't been found to carry Lyme yet, but scientists are concerned they could.

Scientists say the tick does carry a disease that has infected hogs and cattle in Asia, but they have not found any disease-carrying "longhorns" in the United States.

>> Read more trending news 

The Asian ticks, which made their first U.S. appearance in New Jersey last year, have since been found in several other states, such as Arkansas, New York, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, the Tribune-Review reported.

Efforts to eradicate the ticks have failed.

The female ticks can reproduce asexually and can lay up to 2,000 eggs after feeding on a single host.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

9 healthy-sounding foods that have more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut

American Heart Association experts recommend men shouldn’t eat more than 36 grams of added sugar a day and women should limit their sugar consumption to 25 grams.

For example, a single Krispy Kreme doughnut, which has 10 grams of sugar, takes up a good bulk of your recommended daily intake.

>> Read more trending news 

But healthy-sounding snack replacements like yogurt and raisins actually rack up more sugar than you might think. Some options even have more than double the sugar of a Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut.

Here are some foods and drinks with more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut:

  • Bottle of Naked juice green machine smoothie: 53 grams or about five Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts
  • One-fourth cup of Sun Maid raisins: 29 grams or three Krispy Kreme doughnuts
  • Chobani blueberry greek yogurt: 15 grams or 1 ½ Krispy Kreme doughnuts
  • Nature Valley oats and honey crunchy granola bar: 11 grams or about one Krispy Kreme doughnut
  • Vitaminwater: up to 32 grams of sugar or about three Krispy Kreme doughnuts
  • One cup of Motts apple sauce: 22 grams or about 2 Krispy Kreme doughnuts
  • Odwalla mango protein flavored soy protein shake: 47 grams or about 5 Krispy Kreme doughnuts
  • Quaker instant oatmeal in apple cinnamon: 12 grams, a little more sugar than one Krispy Kreme doughnut
  • Nesquik low fat chocolate milk: 22 grams, or about two Krispy Kreme doughnuts

To learn more about added sugars and your recommended intake, visit heart.org.

This story has been updated.

Hot Cheetos, Takis under fire after mom blames spicy snacks for daughter's gallbladder surgery

A health warning tonight for parents: Doctors say popular spicy snacks are making many kids sick.

A doctor at LeBohneur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, told WHBQ that more kids have been checking in with stomach pain.

They believe the spicy snacks are the main contributor, and they are encouraging parents to know what their kids are eating.

>> Goldfish crackers recalled over possible salmonella contamination

“There's a YouTube video called 'Hot Cheetos and Takis,'” said Dr. Cary Cavender.

The video was made by elementary school kids and has more than 16 million views on YouTube. 

The music video is from 2012; it helped to skyrocket the popularity of spicy snacks.

>> See the video here

“We are seeing a bunch of kids in clinic with tummy pain. That's about our first question now: Are you addicted to Hot Cheetos and Takis? Hot chips?” Cavender said.

Cavender is a specialist at LeBohneur Children’s Hospital and said he is seeing more toddlers to teens with stomach pain.

“Probably 100 to 150 patients a month, between our group,” he said. Many of the young patients have inflammation and stomach pain, such as gastritis.

“A lot of them have to get put on medication to block acid because they have got actual inflammation in there,” Cavender said.

>> Taco Bell cheese dips being recalled due to possible botulism risk

Rene Atkins said her 17-year-old daughter was addicted to the chips.

“Four bags a week,” said Atkins, whose daughter is also named Rene.

Atkins said her daughter experienced the problems firsthand.

“My daughter had to get her gallbladder removed for eating those hot chips,” she said.

Cavender told WHBQ that it’s hard to connect the chips directly to that surgery, but they’re causing issues, in large part due to quantity.

“Generally, kids eat the whole bag, so they don't pay attention to that,” said Dr. Cavender.

The expert says whatever the brand, eat spicy snacks on rare occasions.

The stomach pain “will disappear if they quit taking on as much heat in their diet,” Cavender said.

Atkins said she is going to watch her daughter’s – and other neighborhood kids' – consumption closely.

“Even little kids coming down the street, if I see you with some hot Cheetos, some hot fries, some hot Takis, I am taking it,” she said.

The doctor said many of the patients’ parents had no idea how many bags their kids are eating.

>> Read more trending news 

One reason: There are dealers at school who sell little Ziploc bags of the snacks.

If your child is having stomach pain, consider going to the hospital, but the cause may not be chips.

If they are having issues for days, have them drink water, eat a balanced diet and monitor the pain.

Fritos sent WHBQ a statement regarding the recent advice from doctors:

“At Frito-Lay, we aim to delight our consumers and food safety is always our number one priority. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos meet all applicable food safety regulations, as well as our rigorous quality standards. That said, we realize some consumers may be more sensitive to spicy foods than others and may choose to moderate consumption or avoid spicier snacks due to personal preference. When consumers have questions or concerns about any of our products, we are available to answer their questions through our dedicated Consumer Relations team.”

Salmonella: Signs and symptoms of infection

With waves of products being recalled with potential salmonella contamination, many people may be wondering what salmonella is , how it is contracted and how to treat the illness.

Salmonella was discovered by Dr. Daniel Salmon and his team about 125 years ago, according to the National Institutes of Health. Salmonella is the bacteria that causes salmonellosis.

>> Read more trending news 

When infected, people normally develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that will begin between 12 and 72 hours after infection,  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For most people who come down with the illness, it lasts four to seven days and most people don’t need to seek medical treatment, but some cases where diarrhea is too severe, people could need hospitalization. 

In those extreme cases, the infection can spread from intestines to the blood stream and be spread throughout the body. 

It can cause death if left untreated with antibiotics. Elderly, infants and people with compromised immune systems could be vulnerable. 

The CDC says that about 1.2 million people are sickened with salmonella every year leading to 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths each year in the United States. In most cases, food is to blame for the illnesses. 

Normally, when the infection is cured, patients will recover completely but it could be months until the digestive track returns to normal, the CDC says. 

But some patients can have what’s called reactive arthritis that can last for months or years. Reactive arthritis can lead to chronic arthritis, eye irritation or painful urination, the CDC reports.

How to prevent salmonella infections

  • Cook foods like poultry, ground beef and eggs completely. 
  • Don’t eat or drink foods with raw eggs or unpasteurized milk.
  • Wash hands, kitchen surfaces and utensils with soap and water after they are in contact with raw meat or poultry.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after touching reptiles, birds or baby chicks or after coming in contact with animal feces.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Keep uncooked meats separate from cooked foods, produce and ready-to-eat foods. 
  • Infected people should not prepare food or drink for others until symptoms subside. 

Information compiled from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Backyard chickens, ducks linked to salmonella outbreaks in 44 states, CDC says

They may look cute and cuddly, but your backyard chickens, ducks and their babies could be making you sick.

According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 212 salmonella cases in 44 states have been "linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks."

>> On CDC.gov: Read the full report here

As of July 13, 34 people had been hospitalized in connection with the outbreaks since February, the CDC reported Monday. Nobody has died.

About 26 percent of those sickened are children under 5 years old, the CDC said.

>> Salmonella: Signs and symptoms of infection

"Epidemiologic, traceback and laboratory findings link these outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from multiple hatcheries," the CDC said, adding that 72 percent of sick people who were interviewed "reported contact with chicks or ducklings in the week before their illness started."

>> Read more trending news 

Health officials are warning anyone who comes into contact with live poultry to immediately wash their hands afterward and avoid eating or drinking near the birds. 

Another tip? "Don't kiss your birds or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth," the CDC said.

Read more tips here.

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