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Tag Archive | "CDC"

How and when to seek care for Flu 


 

From the Kent County Health Department and area hospitals

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports flu is now widespread throughout Michigan and many surrounding states. Area hospitals, urgent care facilities and doctor offices are experiencing an increase in the number of people presenting with flu and flu-like symptoms. They give tips below on preventing it and caring for yourself if you get it. Also note, in order to help limit exposure to flu, area hospitals and clinics are also limiting the number of visitors patients can have visit them or accompany them. All the info is below.

It is important for our community to know how to prevent flu, when to seek care and where to seek care. Although the flu shot does not always prevent the flu, it can lessen the severity and duration. There is still time to get the flu shot if you have not done so already. 

WHAT IS FLU:

Influenza is a respiratory illness. It is especially harmful to children, people over 65 years of age, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems or chronic conditions. Common symptoms include: 

  • Fever (but not everyone will have fever)
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Runny or stuffy nose 
  • Body aches 
  • Headache 
  • Chills 
  • Fatigue 
  • Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting 

PREVENTING FLU: 

Area health care providers and the CDC recommend the following to avoid flu: 

  • Get a flu shot. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 
  • If you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever/symptoms are gone and you have stopped taking fever reducers. 
  • Take extra precautions to stay away from children, people over 65 years of age, 
  • pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems or chronic conditions. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue away after it has been used and wash your hands. 

WHEN TO SEEK CARE:

Most people with flu will have a mild illness and can treat symptoms by staying home and avoiding contact with others. 

If you have flu-like symptoms and are in a high risk group or are very sick, contact your health care provider, such as a doctor, physician assistant or nurse. 

If you are in a high risk group, contact your health care provider early in your illness. 

Seek emergency medical treatment if you experience emergency warning signs, such as: 

In children 

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing 
  • Bluish skin color 
  • Not drinking enough fluids 
  • Not waking up or not interacting 
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held 
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough 
  • Fever with a rash 

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs: 

  • Being unable to eat 
  • Has trouble breathing 
  • Has no tears when crying 
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal 

In adults 

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen 
  • Sudden dizziness 
  • Confusion 
  • Severe or persistent vomiting 
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough 

WHERE TO SEEK CARE:

Try to treat your illness at home with over-the-counter fever and pain reducers, cough medicine and other products. If you are in a high-risk group or cannot control symptoms, seek non-emergency care through one of the following: 

  • Primary care provider office 
  • Urgent care 

If you or a loved one experiences the emergency warning signs above, seek immediate care at a hospital emergency room. 

EMERGENCY SERVICES: 

If you are experiencing shortness of breath, numbness, facial or arm paralysis, slurred speech or other heart attack or stroke symptoms, call 9-1-1 for immediate medical care. 

LIMITING EXPOSURE BY LIMITING VISITORS

Grand Rapids area hospitals are working to meet the challenge of caring for our community during this CDC-declared flu epidemic. One of the most important tools in fighting the transmission of flu is limiting exposure. 

The flu can be especially dangerous to the young, frail or elderly. For the safety of patients and staff, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health, Metro Health – University of  Michigan Health, Mary Free Bed and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services are limiting visitation to their hospitals. In addition, they are asking patients to limit the number of people who accompany them to office and clinic visits. 

Visitors are asked to respect the following restrictions: 

  • If you are ill or have been exposed to someone who is ill, please refrain from visiting the hospital. 

All visitors are expected to be healthy and the hospitals are taking active steps to protect patients, staff and visitors. A healthy visitor is someone who does not have the following symptoms: 

  • Fever, greater than 100.4 F 
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Runny nose or congestion 
  • Vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Rash or draining sores 
  • Only healthy visitors should visit patients in the hospitals or outpatient clinics 
  • Hospitals strongly recommend only two visitors or family members visit a patient at a time in order to limit exposure to patients, visitors and family members. 

These conditions apply to visitors at all Grand Rapids area hospitals and at all Spectrum Health hospitals outside of Grand Rapids and are effective until further notice. These measures are designed to protect vulnerable patients. 

To avoid getting influenza, Kent County area physicians recommend: 

  • Get your seasonal influenza vaccine 
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly 
  • Avoid contact with people who have flu-like symptoms 
  • Get plenty of rest 
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet 

Influenza Facts 

  • Most symptoms can and should be treated at home. Only the most severe illnesses require a visit to an urgent care location or emergency department. 
  • It will take anywhere from five to 10 days for the illness to run its course 
  • Most people who contract influenza should try to stay home, rest, drink plenty of liquids and take acetaminophen or an anti-inflammatory medicine.

For more info go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/

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Make Zika virus precautions a part of your winter travel plans


 

MDHHS confirms 69 cases of Zika virus among Michigan travelers 

For many Michigan residents, the winter months often include travel to warmer climates. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging travelers to protect themselves from Zika virus while travelling to places with active Zika transmission. Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which have not been found in Michigan, but are common in tropical areas and some parts of the United States.

This year, the CDC is making it possible for you to get travel updates about the Zika virus on the go. By texting PLAN to 855-255-5606, you’ll receive helpful tips on how to:

  • Pack and plan for your trip.
  • Stay protected on your trip.
  • Stay healthy when you return home.

“Before you travel, find out if Zika virus is a risk at your planned destination,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “Pregnant women and couples who are planning to conceive in the near future should avoid nonessential travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission because infection during pregnancy is linked to serious birth defects and miscarriage. Travelers can prevent Zika virus infection by taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”

People who travel to an area with Zika should:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay and sleep in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.
  • If your plans include travel to more remote areas, take along a permethrin-treated bed net to use while sleeping.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or paramenthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.

To date, Michigan has confirmed 69 cases of Zika virus disease in travelers, including three pregnant women. In the U.S., over 1,200 pregnant women have been identified with possible Zika infection, resulting in 41 Zika-affected infants to date. MDHHS is participating in the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry, an effort to learn more about the effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

All of the Zika cases in Michigan are travel related. While the virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, it’s important that residents of reproductive age are aware of the risks associated with sexual transmission of Zika virus. Zika can be spread through sex without a condom. Most cases of sexual transmission have involved people who had symptoms of Zika virus infection. However, recent evidence suggests that asymptomatic males may be capable of transmitting Zika virus to their sex partners.

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Zika.

Zika virus illness is typically mild. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes) lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an uncommon condition of the nervous system following infections.

Zika virus is an emerging disease and recommendations are changing as new information becomes available. The CDC currently recommends the following for travelers:

  • Pregnant women should not travel to areas with active Zika transmission. If they must travel, they should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
  • For non-pregnant women who travel to areas with active Zika transmission, it is recommended they prevent pregnancy for at least eight weeks from symptom onset (if ill) or last possible exposure (if illness does not develop).
  • For men who return from travel, it is recommended they use condoms and avoid conception for at least six months, regardless of whether they develop an illness consistent with Zika virus disease.
  • Men who have been in an area with active Zika virus transmission and have a pregnant partner should either use condoms the right way every time they have sex, or not have sex for the duration of the pregnancy.

MDHHS is working closely with the CDC to find additional Zika cases in returning travelers or their partners, and is coordinating with local health departments to enhance mosquito surveillance programs.

Additionally, the MDHHS laboratory has added capacity to test for Zika infection to help improve public health response time. For the most current information about Zika, visit www.cdc.gov/zika.

Statewide case counts and Michigan-specific information can be found on the MDHHS Zika webpage www.michigan.gov/zika. MDHHS will provide updates on the total number of cases statewide, including the number of pregnant women. Additional information about the cases will not be made available due to health privacy concerns.

National statistics about pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes are available on the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/pregnancy-outcomes.html.

For information about Zika in a specific Michigan county, contact the local health department.

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Crash fatalities could drop by half with proven strategies 


 

From the CDC Newsroom

About 90 people die each day from motor vehicle crashes in the United States, resulting in the highest death rate among 19 high-income comparison countries. Our nation has made progress in road safety, reducing crash deaths by 31 percent from 2000 to 2013. But other high-income countries reduced crash deaths even further—by an average of 56 percent during the same period, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Lower death rates in comparison countries, as well as the high prevalence of risk factors in the U.S., suggest that we can make more progress in saving lives. Compared with other high-income countries, the US had the:

  • most motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 population and per 10,000 registered vehicles;
  • second highest percentage of deaths involving alcohol (31 percent); and
  • third lowest front seat belt use (87 percent).

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If the U.S. had the same motor vehicle crash death rate as Belgium—the country with the second highest death rate after the U.S.—about 12,000 fewer lives would have been lost and an estimated $140 million in direct medical costs would have been averted in 2013. And if the U.S. had the same rate as Sweden—the country with the lowest crash death rate—about 24,000 fewer lives would have been lost and an estimated $281 million in direct medical costs would have been averted in 2013.

“It is important to compare us not to our past but to our potential. Seeing that other high-income countries are doing better, we know we can do better too,” said Debra Houry, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “People of our nation deserve better and safer transport.”

For this Vital Signs report, CDC analyzed data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). CDC determined the number and rate of motor vehicle crash deaths in the U.S. and 19 other high-income countries and reported national seat belt use and percentage of deaths that involved alcohol-impaired driving or speeding, by country, when available. Countries included in the study were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Each country included in the study was a member of OECD, met the World Bank’s definition for high income, had a population of more than 1 million people, and reported the annual number of motor vehicle deaths and vehicle miles traveled. In addition, the difference between the country-reported motor vehicle crash death rate and the WHO-estimated rate could not exceed 1 death per 100,000 population.

“It’s unacceptable for 90 people to die on our roads each day, especially when we know what works to prevent crashes, injuries, and deaths,” said Erin Sauber-Schatz, Ph.D., M.P.H., transportation safety team lead, CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “About 3,000 lives could be saved each year by increasing seat belt use to 100 percent, and up to 10,000 lives could be saved each year by eliminating alcohol-impaired driving.”

The researchers recommend using seat belts in both front and rear seats, properly using car seats and booster seats for children through at least age 8, never drinking and driving, obeying speed limits, and eliminating distracted driving. In addition, states can use proven strategies to support these actions that save lives, prevent injuries, and avert crash-related costs. (See the proven strategies at http://www.cdc.gov/psr/national-summary/mvi.html.)

CDC’s Injury Center works to protect the safety of all Americans, every day. For more information about motor vehicle safety, please visit www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety.

For this Vital Signs report, CDC analyzed data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). CDC determined the number and rate of motor vehicle crash deaths in the U.S. and 19 other high-income countries and reported national seat belt use and percentage of deaths that involved alcohol-impaired driving or speeding, by country, when available. Countries included in the study were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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Test reveals positive case of mumps on Calvin College Campus 


 

This image depicts a child with a mumps infection. Note the characteristic swollen neck region due to an enlargement of the boy’s salivary glands. Photo from the Public Health Image Library at CDC.gov.

This image depicts a child with a mumps infection. Note the characteristic swollen neck region due to an enlargement of the boy’s salivary glands. Photo from the Public Health Image Library at CDC.gov.

GRAND RAPIDS – Last Friday, May 13, the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) received the test results from a sample obtained from a student at Calvin College. The results, provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed mumps infection.

The Kent County Health Department is aware of approximately 16 students on the campus who have not been vaccinated for the mumps virus and strongly recommends that those individuals now receive proper immunization. Calvin College will be offering vaccinations for those students.

For those students who are not willing to be vaccinated, the Kent County Health Department has strongly recommended to Calvin College administration that they be excluded from all campus activates such as attending classes; gathering in dining halls; attending extracurricular activities; or attending any other public

gathering. These measures are consistent with guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Mumps is a highly contagious vaccine preventable disease that is caused by a virus. It is spread through saliva and can be transmitted by coughing, sneezing, sharing drinks or utensils, or even talking with an infected person.

Mumps is best known for the puffy cheeks it causes. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, tiredness, and loss of appetite. People with these symptoms are advised to contact a physician.

For more information on the mumps go to: www.cdc.gov/mumps/about/index.html.

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Health Department receives grant 


 

To enhance emerging disease preparedness

GRAND RAPIDS–The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is one of only eleven local health departments in the United States, and the only one in Michigan, to be awarded a $25,000 grant to enhance coordination for preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks. The grant is awarded by the National Association of County and City Health Organizations (NACCHO).

With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Lessons in INfection Control (LINC) Initiative awards recipients will test new approaches to prepare for and respond to healthcare-associated infections and other emerging infectious diseases.

“Not only will this funding increase KCHD’s capacity to respond to healthcare associated infections (HAIs) and other emerging diseases,” says Brian Hartl, Supervising Epidemiologist at KCHD, “it will also increase collaboration and communication between public health and health care facilities across West Michigan to strengthen HAI surveillance and control activities.”

The LINC Initiative supports local health departments in improving healthcare and community infection control practices by working with hospitals, long-term care facilities and other healthcare settings to identify and address the needs and opportunities. KCHD and other award recipients will test creative solutions and ways to combat the estimated 700,000 healthcare related infections in the U.S. each year.

Local health departments that received the award include the following:

• Barren River District Health Department (KY)

• Clark County Public Health (WA)

• Eau Claire City-County Health Department (WI)

• El Paso County Health Department (CO)

• Flathead City-County Health Department (MT)

• Florida DOH Pasco County

• Kent County Health Department (MI)

• Marion County Public Health Department (IN)

• Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (WV)

• Public Health – Seattle & King County (WA)

• St. Louis City Department of Health (MO)

The awardees will implement this project throughout 2016.

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Michigan investigating multistate outbreak of listeriosis


 

Some Dole salads being recalled

N-Dole-salad-recallLANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and local health departments in Michigan on a multistate foodborne outbreak of listeriosis, including four cases and one death in Michigan.

Twelve people in six states have been infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes since July 5, 2015, including Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), New Jersey (1), New York (4), and Pennsylvania (1). Ill people range in age from 3 to 83 years, and the median age is 66. Sixty-nine percent of ill people are female. All of the cases reported being hospitalized, and one person from Macomb County, Michigan died as a result of listeriosis.

The source of the illnesses was not known until January 2016 when the laboratory result from packaged salad collected at a Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio, was linked to the illnesses. The CDC is recommending that consumers do not eat, restaurants do not serve, and retailers do not sell packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, OH.

The company is withdrawing all packaged salads currently on the market that were produced at this facility and is temporarily (and voluntarily) suspending operations at the facility. These packaged salads were sold under various brand names including Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice. These packaged salads can be identified by the letter “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code found on the package. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that packaged salads produced at other Dole processing facilities in the United States are linked to illness.

Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness. Symptoms of listeriosis include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, muscle aches, and nausea, sometimes diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. The disease primarily affects pregnant women, newborn babies, older adults, and adults with weakened immune systems. The incubation period is typically between 2 and 3 weeks, but can be as long as 70 days. People experiencing these symptoms and who may have consumed this packaged salad product should seek immediate medical attention.

For more information about the investigation, visit http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/bagged-salads-01-16/index.html

Retailer and consumer questions about the voluntary withdrawal should be directed to the Dole Food Company Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111) (hours are 8:00am-8:00pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday).

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Challenges for blind and visually Impaired 


 

Workshop Feb. 20

The ability to see is something that most people take for granted. Vision loss can be devastating as common tasks such as cooking, the ability to drive and reading the mail become difficult.

This can take an emotional toll on a person. The Kent County Disaster Mental Health and Human Services Committee is planning a blind and visually impaired workshop on Friday, February 20, 2015. This interactive workshop is designed to increase awareness of accessibility differences among people who are blind, visually impaired and sighted. Implications for emergency preparedness and response will be explored at the workshop.

Visual impairments are very common and affect all age groups. However, vision loss tends to advance with age. According to CDC, more than one million Americans are legally blind and 12 million are visually impaired. Half of all blindness can be prevented and the risk of blindness can be reduced with early detection and treatment. National and local governments have established programs and regulations to prevent and control visual impairment, as well as developed campaigns with the purpose of educating and creating awareness about the importance of visual function.

“Not all visual impairments are the same, and we need to be prepared for the needs of our community in times of emergency incidents,” explains Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department. “It is important for emergency responders and public health staff to have a solid understanding of the various challenges in our community.”

Several speakers will be at the workshop, including a client advocate from the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a sociology professor from Ferris State University and a safety and security coordinator at Clark Retirement Community.

The workshop is open to all community members, public service workers, local officials and many others. The workshop will be at the Kent County Health Department located at 700 Fuller Avenue NE in Grand Rapids on Friday, February 20, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please call Pat Draper at 616-632-7292 to reserve your seat.

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State confirms 25 Enterovirus D68 cases


 

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has been notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that 25 patients out of 34 persons tested so far are positive for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). Most were hospitalized and one patient, a child less than 1 year of age from Washtenaw County, developed lower extremity paralysis.

The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of EV-D68 associated with severe respiratory disease. Michigan has seen an increase in severe respiratory illness in children across the state, and the department is working with the CDC, Michigan local health departments and hospitals to monitor the increase.

Enteroviruses are very common viruses; there are more than 100 types. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year. Symptoms of EV-D68 infection can include wheezing, difficulty breathing, fever and racing heart rate. Most people infected with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious requiring hospitalization.

Enteroviruses are known to be a rare cause of acute neurologic disease in children, such as aseptic meningitis, less commonly encephalitis, and rarely acute myelitis and paralysis. Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections but supportive care can be provided.

Young residents with asthma may be at an increased risk of severe complications and are encouraged to be vigilant in taking their asthma controlling medications. Further, Michiganders can protect themselves from enterovirus by taking general hygiene precautions:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

For additional information about EV-D68 or the national investigation, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html.

 

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What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Influenza Season


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From the CDC

 

When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?

The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.

What should I do to prepare for this flu season?

CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.

What should I do to protect my loved ones from flu this season?

Encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available in their communities, preferably by October. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for serious flu complications, and their close contacts.

Children between 6 months and 8 years of age may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected from flu. Your child’s doctor or other health care professional can tell you whether your child needs two doses. Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months of age, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu.

When should I get vaccinated?

CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against flu soon after vaccine becomes available, preferably by October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

Those children 6 months through 8 years of age who need two doses of vaccine should receive the first dose as soon as possible to allow time to get the second dose before the start of flu season. The two doses should be given at least 4 weeks apart.

What kind of vaccines will be available in the United States for 2014-2015?

A number of different manufacturers produce trivalent (three component) influenza vaccines for the U.S. market, including intramuscular (IM), intradermal, and nasal spray vaccines. Some seasonal flu vaccines will be formulated to protect against four flu viruses (quadrivalent flu vaccines).

Are there new recommendations for the 2014-2015 influenza season?

Starting in 2014-2015, CDC recommends use of the nasal spray vaccine (LAIV) for healthy* children 2 through 8 years of age, when it is immediately available and if the child has no contraindications or precautions to that vaccine. Recent studies suggest that the nasal spray flu vaccine may work better than the flu shot in younger children. However, if the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available and the flu shot is, children 2 years through 8 years old should get the flu shot. Don’t delay vaccination to find the nasal spray flu vaccine.

How much flu vaccine will be available this season?

Flu vaccine is produced by private manufacturers, so supply depends on manufacturers. For this season, manufacturers have projected they will provide between 151-159 million doses of vaccine for the U.S. market.

When will flu vaccine become available?

Flu vaccine is produced by private manufacturers, so the timing of vaccine availability depends on when production is completed. If everything goes as indicated by manufacturers, shipments may begin as early as July or August and continue throughout September and October until all of the vaccine is distributed.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

Flu vaccines are offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even by some schools.

Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or work.

For more info visit www.cdc.gov/flu/.

 

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H1N1 detected in three recent deaths


 

From the Kent County Health Department

Testing has confirmed three recent deaths in people over the age of 50 in Kent County who were suffering from influenza A (H1N1) virus. Two of the individuals also had other known medical complications; we do not have a medical history yet on the third person. There are over 400 reported flu cases in Kent County so far this season, and of those reported, at least 26 people have been hospitalized.

“In two of these cases, we are certain there were additional underlying medical conditions,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “We have seen, in other parts of the state, healthy young adults are becoming extremely ill from H1N1, as well as several deaths.”

In late December, the CDC issued an advisory, noting an increase in severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults due to H1N1 this year.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age. The influenza vaccine this year is highly effective protection against the flu, including H1N1. The CDC recently reported that the influenza vaccination prevented approximately 6.6 million illnesses and 79,000 hospitalizations last year. It is critically important that people get a flu shot now. It takes 10—14 days after receiving the vaccination for a person to develop immunity. This is why you often hear people wrongly claim that they got the flu from the flu shot.

Multiple studies have confirmed that the flu vaccine does not cause influenza. People can, however, become ill from exposure to contagious people during those 10–14 days before their immunity develops. Some children ages 6 months to 2 years old may require two doses of vaccine (parents should check with a health care provider for details).

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu viruses can spread when people with flu cough, sneeze, or even talk. Someone might also get flu by touching a surface or object (like a phone) that has flu virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, eyes, or nose. Signs and symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (very tired), vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults). If you think you have the flu, try to limit spreading the illness. Do not go to school or work until you recover.

The Kent County Health Department seasonal influenza program provides vaccinations for all individuals six months of age and older. Vaccines start at $25 for injection, and $33 for FluMist nasal spray. Children from six months through eighteen years who have no insurance, or who have insurance that doesn’t cover vaccines, will pay a sliding scale administration fee of up to $15. The Health Department can only bill Medicaid and Medicare. Cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, or Discover are accepted. To make an appointment at any of our five clinic locations, call (616) 632-7200. You can also schedule online at www.stickittotheflu.com. Flu information is also available on our information only line at (616) 742-4FLU (358).

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