Dec 07 2014

WARNING: CDC Reports Severe Flu Season Coming!

Early data suggests that the current 2014-2015 flu season could be severe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges immediate vaccination for anyone still unvaccinated this season and recommends prompt treatment with antiviral drugs for people at high risk of complications who develop flu. So far this year, seasonal influenza A H3N2 viruses have been most common. There often are more severe flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths during seasons when these viruses predominate. For example, H3N2 viruses were predominant during the 2012-2013, 2007-2008, and 2003-2004 seasons, the three seasons with the highest mortality levels in the past decade. All were characterized as “moderately severe.” Increasing the risk of a severe flu season is the finding that roughly half of the H3N2 viruses analyzed are drift variants: viruses with antigenic or genetic changes that make them different from that season’s vaccine virus. This means the vaccine’s ability to protect against those viruses may be reduced, although vaccinated people may have a milder illness if they do become infected. During the 2007-2008 flu season, the predominant H3N2 virus was a drift variant yet the vaccine had an overall efficacy of 37 percent and 42 percent against H3N2 viruses. “It’s too early to say for sure that this will be a severe flu season, but Americans should be prepared,” said CDC director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We can save lives with a three-pronged effort ...

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Nov 15 2013

Did You Get Your Flu Shot? It’s Not Too Late!

Did you get your flu shot yet? It's not too late! As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, many people think that the flu season ends in November and its already too late to get vaccinated. Well my friends, the answer is that it's not too late. According to Dr. Anne Schuchat, Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service and Director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, "Flu season typically peaks in late February and can last as late as May." Dr. Schuchat also emphasized, " We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated this season to get vaccinated now." Some of the typical flu symptoms for millions of people every season, include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches and pains, fatigue and very miserable days spent in bed, usually home from work or school. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized in the United States every year from flu complications including 20,000 children! Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of the yearly flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3000 to a high of about 50,000 people. The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine to everyone 6 months and older. Flu shots are generally safe (most common side effects of the shot are ...

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Sep 08 2012

Influenza : Facts And Information You Need To Know!! Part Two

What is the best way to protect myself and my family from the flu? Everyone 6 months of age or older should get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available in your area. What everyday steps can I take to stop the spread of germs? There are steps you can take in your daily life to help protect you from getting the flu. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine. Are there medications I can take to prevent getting the flu? If you are healthy but exposed to a person with the flu, antiviral drugs can prevent you from getting sick. The sooner you are treated with an antiviral, the more likely it will prevent the flu. Antiviral drugs are 70% to 90% effective at preventing the flu. Talk to your health care provider if you think you need antiviral drugs. Vaccination Everyone 6 months of age ...

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Sep 08 2012

Influenza: Facts And Information You Need To Know!! Part One

This year’s forecast is for lots of colds, viruses, infections and influenza. So what do you need to know? Well my friends, here it is-everything you need to know about the flu season, brought to you by flu.gov –in a two part article. Print this out and put this on your refrigerator or bulletin board or where ever you can keep checking it. Every family member (and  teachers-every child in your class) needs to read this. Remember this information is meant for educational purposes; always consult with your medical provider regarding any and all medical questions. Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. Approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year. Flu season      typically peaks in January or February. Getting the flu vaccine your best protection against the flu. Flu-related      complications include pneumonia and dehydration. Illness from      seasonal flu usually lasts one to two weeks. What is the seasonal flu? Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It spreads between people and can cause mild to severe illness. In some cases, the flu can lead to death. When is flu season? In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. Seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May. How does seasonal flu spread? Most experts believe that you get the flu ...

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Dec 05 2011

THIS WEEK IN HEALTH NEWS: WOMEN WHO EAT LOTS OF VEGETABLES HAVE A LOWER RISK OF STROKE, VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES AND EFFECT ON BRAIN FUNCTIONING, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE GOES UNTREATED IN MANY TEENS, WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE THE FLU VACCINE?

WOMEN WHO EAT LOTS OF VEGETABLES HAVE A LOWER RISK OF STROKE Dr. Susanne Rautiainen and her research group from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, reported in the journal: Stroke, that after collecting data on the dietary habits of women, they found that those women who consumed the highest amount of antioxidant containing foods (foods that have elevated levels of vitamins C, E, carotenoids, flavonoids and phytochemicals-fruits and veggies and grains) had a lower risk of stroke.  Lesson-Make half your plate fruits and veggies-especially if you are a woman!!! VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES AND EFFECT ON BRAIN FUNCTIONING Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine presented data recently showing that in a test group of young men, ages 18 to 29, that were told to play a violent video game for ten hours, MRI studies and cognitive testing performed afterwards revealed changes in brain function, and cognitive behavior. These changes did revert back almost to baseline, after a week of not playing the games. Lesson: parents, be careful with what video games your children are playing in your home and at the homes of friends. There is an abundance of violent and incredibly popular video games coming out daily, for all of the techno-game boxes and these games seem to obtain viewing access in many homes with young children. Be aware,  stay informed and stay connected ! HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE GOES UNTREATED IN MANY ...

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