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College students may benefit from booster shots

Category: Infectious Diseases

Although childhood vaccinations provide protection against diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, immunization may grow weaker with time. A lab test can help older children and adults find out whether they need a booster shot.

This is an especially important consideration for young adults who are either starting college or returning to campus after vacation. Living in close quarters with many other people increases the risk of spreading pathogens by sharing eating utensils and cigarettes, kissing and inhaling throat secretions that have been coughed or sneezed.

A lab test can help college students find out if they have sufficient protection against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis, chickenpox and influenza. All of these conditions may be averted with a booster shot, if necessary.

"If your busy, college-bound children can't squeeze in a doctor's visit before setting off for school, make sure one of their first stops is the college's office of student health," said experts from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School.

Furthermore, those who are entering college may also have to worry about bacterial meningitis and the human papillomavirus. The former may cause swelling in the nervous system and death, while the latter may lead to genital warts and various types of cancer.ADNFCR-2248-ID-800818878-ADNFCR

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