Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Boys and Young Men Should Be Vaccinated Against Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Passport Health Ready to Assist in Vaccination Efforts Nationwide

BALTIMORE, MD – 10/26/2011—The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new recommendation for the HPV vaccine yesterday.  The ACIP recommends the vaccination for boys ages 11 and 12.  It also recommends vaccination of males ages 13 through 21 who had not already had all three shots. “The HPV vaccine may be given to boys as young as 9,” said Fran Lessans, CEO of Passport Health, the nation’s largest private provider of travel medical services and immunizations in the nation.

“The ACIP recommended this vaccine for girls and young women between the ages of 11 to 26 back in 2006, but vaccination rates in the United States have so far been very disappointing,” she added.  By age 50, up to 80% of women in the U.S. will have contracted HPV.  While most infections will clear out on their own, some will progress to become genital warts and cancer and this is the main concern for health care officials. 
HPV is also linked to other types of cancer beyond cervical cancer. “According to the CDC there have been over 8,500 cases of HPV-positive head and neck cancer cases in 2010, including throat cancer,” commented Lessans. Passport Health’s nationwide offices carry all ACIP-recommended vaccinations for travel and general wellness vaccines, including the HPV vaccine.

By vaccinating young boys against HPV the incidence of HPV-positive cancers is expected to decrease in both men and women.  When discussing routine childhood and adolescent vaccinations, Dr. Alex Lupenko, Corporate Medical Director of Passport Health and infectious disease specialist, underscored the importance of these vaccinations. “This vaccine plays an extremely important role in preventing the transmission of HPV,” he said. “It is as important as any other childhood vaccination like Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Tetanus & Diphtheria and all the other vaccines that young kids receive.”

Here are some U.S. statistics to consider:
·      There are new data suggesting that there is a link between HPV and heart disease in women. 
·      80% of women will have an HPV infection in their lifetime.
·      Only 49% of women have had at least one of the three recommended doses of the HPV vaccine.
·      Less than 30% of them had received the entire 3-shot series. 
·      8,500 HPV-positive head and neck cancer cases in 2010 alone.
·      Hispanic women had the highest incidence rate for cervical cancer. African American women had the second highest rate of getting cervical cancer, followed by Caucasian, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander women.
·      Persistent infections with high-risk HPVs are the primary cause of cervical cancer.
o      2010 Cervical Cancer cases: 12,710
o      2010 Cervical Cancer Deaths: 4,290
·      HPV infections also cause some cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, and oropharynx.

“This concerns all of us.  As a developed a nation we do not understand why vaccination rates are so low and why 4,000 women must die of cervical cancer every year,” stated Lessans.  “By vaccinating boys and men against HPV we not only protect them against infection or certain cancers, but we are also protecting unvaccinated women,” she concluded.

Passport Health has HPV vaccinations available in all of its offices nationwide. Please call 1-888-499-PASS(7277) to make an appointment.  Ask your Passport Health representative about our evening and weekend hours.  For more information or to learn more about HPV visit

-Jorge Eduardo Castillo

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Legionnaires disease in Ocean City, MD


Legionnaires' disease has been detected in an Ocean City, MD hotel.  Six cases have been confirmed so far and one death has occurred.  You can read more about this outbreak in the article below.

Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia. Most people get Legionnaires' disease from inhaling small droplets of water in the air that have been contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. The most likely sources are whirlpool spas, complex air-conditioning systems (usually in large buildings), and water used for drinking and bathing.  Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease usually begin 2 days to 2 weeks after exposure to the bacteria.  The most common symptoms of the disease include, a high fever, chills, and a cough.  If you think you may have been exposed to Legionella bacteria talk to your doctor or health department. Older adults, smokers and people with weakened immune systems are at high risk for contracting Legionnaires' disease.  If left untreated Legionnaires' disease can be fatal.
Things you can do to protect yourself from complications of Legionnaires’ disease are to live a healthy lifestyle, and vaccinate against pneumonia and influenza.  These vaccines are always available at all Passport Health locations.  
Please visit to find a location near you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Get your 2011-2012 flu shot

Thanks to for this video. Flu shots are available at all Passport Health Locations nationwide. Please call 888-499-7277 or visit to find a convenient location to get your flu shot today!