FLU SEASON IS HERE
......The Flu (influenza) is a contagious disease caused by respiratory viruses that mutate from year to year. Since most people have no immunity to new viruses, they cannot fight it, get sick, and begin to spread the flu. In recent years, outbreaks of influenza have reached high levels of expansion. When the flu spread rapidly an epidemic occurs covering long distances, and infecting millions of people causing a large number of pneumonia cases and deaths. However, without becoming pandemic influenza, the seasonal flu results in more than 20,000 deaths and 100,000 hospitalizations nationwide.
......We all know the symptoms of flu, fever, runny nose, cough, watery eyes, sore throat and muscle fatigue. These symptoms usually last three to five days but can last more if the flu is complicated, which can cause severe respiratory infections.
......The best way to prevent the flu is to be vaccinated against influenza (influenza vaccine) every autumn before the start of flu season.
..> It's NOT Too Late to Get Your Flu Shot This Year!
......Getting the Flu is serious for many. It can be particularly dangerous for certain people at high risk, including pregnant women and young children, people 65 and older, people with chronic illnesses such as asthma,diabetes, cancer, kidney or heart disease, and pregnant women and young children. An otherwise healthy person may be sick in bed for a week with the flu, but passing the flu on to someone in one of these groups could kill that person.
......According to the CDC, during the second week of January 2009, influenza activity was in a continued slowly to increase in the United States. Influenza season most often peaks in February, but influenza viruses can continue to cause illness into the spring. While the timing of the flu season and its severity are unpredictable, flu is certain to be in your community; and Early Spring is not too late to get vaccinated. To learn more about the flu, call CDC at 1-800-232-4636 or visit Centers For Disease Control And Prevention/Flu at FLU ACTIVITY IS INCREASING
California Department of Public Health
......“Flu activity continues to increase statewide, including reports of hospitalizations, severe disease and the number of deaths,” said Dr. Chapman. “We are clearly in the midst of what appears to be an earlier peaking, severe flu season, and I encourage everyone who has not yet gotten a flu vaccination to do so. The influenza vaccine remains the most effective way to protect yourself from the flu.”
......There is no shortage of influenza vaccine. There are many more doses available on the private market for private providers. It is possible that private health care providers in California may temporarily run out of stock from time-to-time, but ample supplies of vaccine are still available for order. There are also no known widespread shortages of anti-viral medication to treat influenza.
......Those at highest risk - the elderly, pregnant women, infants, or those with other health conditions - who show flu symptoms should contact their physician immediately in order to get the most effective treatment. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
......Sometimes the simplest things are the best. Take hand washing. Done properly and often, it’s a good habit and a great way to help protect yourself and those around you from colds and flu.
A Call For All Children Age 6 Months Through 19 years,
......A new American Academy of Pediatrics AAP policy statement recommends that all children, 6 months through age 18, receive an annual influenza vaccine. The policy statement,"Prevention of Influenza: Recommendations for Influenza Immunization of Children, 2008-2009," expands the previous recommendations to include all school-aged children, the population most likely to contract the disease and need influenza-related medical care. The policy statement also recommends that household contacts and out-of-home care providers of children with high-risk conditions and healthy children younger than age 5, pregnant women, and health care professionals, also receive a flu vaccine each year. Influenza vaccine administration should begin as soon as the vaccine becomes available, and immunization efforts should continue until May 1.The policy statement, which mirrors a similar recommendation on this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Children and flu vaccine
......CDC recommends that healthy children aged 6 months through age 19, receive an annual influenza vaccine, also their close contacts (people who live with them), and out-of-home caregivers (nannies, daycare providers, etc.) should get a flu vaccine. This expands last year’s recommendation to now include vaccination for all children to be immunized during the 2008-2009 influenza season.
Protect Yourself, Your Family and Your Community!
......Did you know that…more than 36,000 people in the U.S. die because of the flu? More people die from the flu or its complications than from any other vaccine-preventable disease.
......Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be bought at your local drug store or grocery store without a doctor's order. This does not mean that OTCs are harmless. Like prescription medications, OTCs can be very dangerous to a child if taken incorrectly. You need to read and understand the instructions before giving OTCs to your child.
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