May STEM Café to explore vaccines, quarantines

Photo of a vaccinationDiseases that were once nearly eradicated in the Western world are again threatening both young children and adults.

Although numerous studies have proven the safety of vaccinations, low vaccination rates in some communities are causing outbreaks of whooping cough, measles and other serious but preventable diseases.

At the next STEM Café, DeKalb County Public Health Administrator Jane Lux will explore the facts about 21st century vaccines, the future of vaccinations and the necessity of vaccines locally and internationally.

The talk, “Vaccines and Quarantines: It’s Not Really a Question,” will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at O’Leary’s Restaurant & Pub, 260 E. Lincoln Hwy. This event is free and open to the public. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from O’Leary’s.

Lux earned both her Bachelor of Science in nursing and Master of Public Health at Northern Illinois University.

She began her 34-year career at the DeKalb County Health Department as a public health nurse, working in the department’s maternal and child health and communicable disease prevention programs, and has been the public health administrator since July 2011.

Jane Lux
Jane Lux

Lux is passionate about helping people understand the facts behind their health decisions.

“As a nurse and a public health practitioner, I have seen the importance of immunizations on both an individual and community level,” Lux said. “Because the world is so interconnected through international travel, I have also seen the impact of vaccine-preventable diseases worldwide.”

Immunization with vaccines is one of the greatest achievements of biological science and public health, said Lux, adding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called vaccination one of the “Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century.”

Lux stresses that immunization protects not just individuals, but also the health of the overall community. She hopes that her talk will dispel myths surrounding vaccines.

This talk is part of NIU STEM Outreach’s popular monthly STEM Café events, which invite people to meet at restaurants throughout the area to eat, drink and have lively discussions about the latest innovations in science, technology, engineering and math.

For more information about STEM Cafés and other learning opportunities from STEM Outreach, email jdymond@niu.edu.

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