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Study: No Significant Rise in Seizure Risk From Common Kids' Vaccine
Date:2/21/2012

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Children who receive a combination vaccine known as DTaP-IPV-Hib have no significant increased risk of febrile seizure, a convulsion triggered by a fever, during the week after vaccination, researchers in Denmark report.

The vaccine protects children from five life-threatening illnesses: diptheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b, a bacterium that causes meningitis.

The study also found no association between febrile seizures and developing epilepsy, a seizure disorder.

"These data indicate there is no significant risk associated with the combined DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine," said Dr. Gary Freed, director of the child health evaluation and research unit at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who was not involved with the study. "There is no increased risk of epilepsy, and the risk of febrile seizures in the seven days following immunization showed no differences between those who were vaccinated and those who weren't."

The study is in the Feb. 22 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

According to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about one in 25 children, mainly between 6 months and 5 years old, will have at least one febrile seizure. They typically outgrow them.

Although scary for parents, febrile seizures are harmless, said Dr. David Kimberlin, a professor of pediatrics at University of Alabama at Birmingham. "They're not dangerous at all," Kimberlin said.

The full name for DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine is "diphtheria-tetanus toxoids-acellular pertussis-inactivated poliovirus-Haemophilus influenzae type b."

In the study, researchers from Aarhus University analyzed records on nearly 400,000 children given the combined vaccine.

In Denmark, children get the combination vaccine at 3, 5 and 12 months.
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