Dr. Joanne Langley

Local doctor and researcher Dr. Joanne Langley has been appointed Dalhousie University’s first chair in pediatric vaccinology.

The creation of the endowment, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and GlaxoSmithKline, and Langley’s five-year appointment were announced Monday at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

Langley is a professor of pediatrics and community health and epidemiology at Dal’s medical school and a specialist in infectious diseases at the IWK.

Dr. Bob Bortolussi

TORONTO – Angela Di Paolo enjoyed good health during the maternity leave she took after giving birth to her daughter, who is now two. But when the elementary school teacher went back to work last fall, the miasma of germs that hovers over young school-aged children quickly engulfed her.

In the first week of school she picked up hand, foot and mouth disease, which she unwittingly brought home to her two kids. A bout of bronchitis quickly followed.

Dr. Bob Bortolussi & Dr. Robin Walker

Pediatricians want to add another shot to the panoply of vaccines Canadian children receive, urging that every baby in the country be vaccinated against a virus that sends thousands of children to hospital each year.

Rotavirus is the leading cause of gastroenteritis – inflammation of the stomach and intestines causing diarrhea and vomitting – in infants in Canada. The virus, which is highly contagious, can cause dehydration and shock in extreme cases. Infants under two are at the greatest risk for severe infection.

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