Varicella Vaccine Slashes Cases of Chickenpox

Posted: October 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Varicella Vaccine Slashes Cases of Chickenpox

Chickenpox cases in the United Statessank almost 80% between 2000 and 2010 in 31 states, with the help of Merck’s ($MRK) varicella vaccine. The CDC published the findings Aug. 17 in the organization’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The findings show a two-dose round of the vaccine–recommended for children in 2006–caused cases of chickenpox to decline 70% over the course of four years.

Merck has the chickenpox vaccine market cornered in theU.S.There are two chickenpox vaccines licensed in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both made by Merck: Varivax and ProQuad. ProQuad is a combination measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine that the company plans to roll out in theU.S.in October. Varivax, however, is already on the market. In 2011, total sales for the vaccine hit $902 million, according to data from EvaluatePharma. For ProQuad, worldwide sales were at $70 million last year.

CDC figures show the biggest drop in chickenpox cases occurred in children ages 5 to 9. The varicella vaccine made it into the rotation of childhood shots in 1996 and a second dose was recommended in 2006. That second dose helped cut chickenpox incidence 72% from 2006 to 2010.

Chickenpox, an uncomfortable and sometimes serious disease, causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness and fever. Before a vaccine entered the picture, about 4 million people in the U.S.came down with the disease each year.

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Client Story: Healthy Travels in Chennai

Posted: September 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Client Story: Healthy Travels in Chennai

I recently visited Passport Health in anticipation of a two-week trip to India.  The purpose of my trip was to improve upon the meditation that I practice here at home.  My main destination of interest was a large celebration at an ashram in Chennai.  A couple of weeks before leaving, the location of the celebration was changed.  At first I was worried about the sudden change of plans, but it ended up allowing me the opportunity to visit three different locations and have a very interesting and wonderful time.

My travels started with a series of flights stopping in New York, Brussels, and then finally in Chennai, India.  I then caught a domestic flight to Coimbatore, and a taxi ride from Coimbatoreto Tiruppur.  I was fairly tired after almost 35 hours of traveling, but I was immediately welcomed with a delicious lunch and a cup of chai tea as I arrived in Tiruppur.  There was already a large gathering of nearly 60,000 people from around India and the rest of the world.

Meditating at an Ashram

This is the interior of the main meditation tent.

The accommodations were just large tents shared with fellow travelers, but were completely comfortable and even cozy.  I also really looked forward to the three healthy, freshly cooked meals served each day.

This is a photo of my accommodations

My accommodations were nice, even cozy.

After three days of relaxing meditations and inspiring lectures, I had the fortunate opportunity to spend some time at a mountain retreat center located in the jungles of Kerala.  It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  It was also a perfectly tranquil atmosphere that allowed for plenty of introspecting, relaxing, and recharging.

The Mountain Retreat

The Mountain Retreat was the perfect place to relax and recharge

It was easy to make new friends at the retreat center, and we traveled together to the ashram in Chennai, where I spent my last two days in India.  I didn’t do very much traditional tourism while in India, but I did get to spend a few hours traveling to markets in the city center.  We traveled via an open, motorized rickshaw in heavy traffic, which was a bit of an adventure.  After returning to the ashram, I enjoyed some great conversations with people from around the world.  While everyone had different experiences and perspectives in their lives, there is a definite bond and camaraderie in a place like the ashram.  Overall it was a pretty amazing journey, and I would encourage anyone who is at all interested to pursue a similar experience for themselves.

Ashram in Chennai

A statue in the Ashram in Chennai


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