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- The ARC - California Edition -

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Food for Preventive Thought

NATIONAL FAS DAY ó On Sunday, September 9, 2001, our country will observe National Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Day. This seems to be a great time for local, state, and national chapters of The Arc to conduct a public awareness project or public education program, including media releases, about this major preventable cause of mental retardation.

SMALLPOX - Smallpox has been reinstated as a reportable disease by the Los County Department of Health Services. This new reporting requirement is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) effort to uncover possible bioterrorism threats to the United States.

The disease was declared to be eradicated by the World Health Organization 20 years ago, and the chance of smallpox again becoming a health threat remains extremely low, according to the CDC. The reporting requirement was brought into play in order to acquaint or reacquaint many physicians and laboratory specialists with the disease.

During the smallpox era, the only known reservoir for the virus was human as there were no known animal or insect reservoirs, or vectors existing. Overall, the smallpox disease would be fatal in approximately 30% of the cases. A few forms of the smallpox virus had mortality rates approaching 100%. 

There is a vaccine available which protects against catching the disease. Itís highly effective immunizing agent enabled the global eradication of the disease. The last case of smallpox reported anywhere in the world was during 1977 in the country of Somalia.

RESOURCE GUIDE ON VACCINES ó The National Partnership for Immunization Resource Guide on Vaccines and Vaccine Safety is now available on the NPI Web site. 

This publication provides a summary of why vaccines became an integral part of public health programs in the US, the vaccine research studies that have provided the safety data necessary for the licensure of each vaccine, and the studies that continue to assess each vaccine's safety profile during its use by the general public. 

In addition to the information presented, each section provides references and Web resources to find even more information on each topic. 

To access the Guide online, go to:
http://www.partnersforimmunization.org/guidebook.html

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