This is Public Health

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Avoiding illness throughout the winter months can be hard especially with ever changing temperatures!  Outside is cold and rainy whilst shops and offices are pumping out heat like you’re in a sauna.  This constant fluctuation confuses your body and often leaves one feeling under the weather.  Crowded streets and transport result in close proximity to potential carriers. So what can you do about it?

Click here to check out several tips for staying well and feeling better!

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Infections with enteroviruses are usually common in the United States during summer and fall. This year, beginning in mid-August, states started seeing more children in hospitals with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Since then, CDC and states have been doing more testing, and have found that EV-D68 is making people sick in almost all states. Most of the cases have been among children. EV-D68 is not new, but it hasn’t been as common in the past. While this has been a big year for EV-D68 infections, CDC expects the number of cases to taper off by late fall.

Take some basic steps and precautions outlined by the CDC to keep your child from getting and spreading EV-D68.

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Two more Louisiana children are dead from the flu, bringing the total number of terminal pediatric flu cases this season to four, health officials report.

Department officials will not release the age of the children or the parish in which they lived, citing federal patient confidentiality laws. But they did say that the two latest deaths are from southeast and southwest Louisiana.

The two previous deaths were reported in the northwest and southeast portions of the state.

Since Oct. 1, Louisiana has tracked a total of 53 deaths attributable to influenza. But health experts say that number doesn’t likely reflect the full picture of flu or flu-related deaths since hundreds of people die annually without being diagnosed.

Click here to read the full story.

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Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have devised a flu predictor that could pinpoint peak cases as much as nine weeks early.

That could help to contain the yearly flood of influenza cases, which stretch from December to April and can surge unpredictably. Knowing when specific cities or regions might be hit especially hard could help people to be more vigilant about washing their hands, as well as allow doctors and public health officials to stockpile vaccines and other flu remedies.

Click here to read the full story from Time and to check out the Forecaster for yourself.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today web published the September 2013 Influenza Update which provides useful information and resources for the 2013-2014 flu season.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

The upcoming season’s flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and one or two influenza B viruses, depending on the flu vaccine.

Click here to view the PDF 3-brief.

You’re right to want to do whatever is in your power to stay flu-free this season, especially given the severity of this year’s outbreak. But before you put your personal flu-prevention plan in action, make sure those methods are actually going to do the trick. Pritish Tosh, M.D., an assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic’s Division of Infectious Diseases, details some of the biggest mistakes people are making when it comes to flu prevention.

Check out this article to find out what not to do.

The nation’s early flu season continues to grow in the U.S., with no sign yet of a peak in the spread of coughing, achy, feverish illness, health officials said recently. Twenty-nine states and New York City reported high levels of flu activity, up from 16 states and NYC the previous week. Flu was widespread in 41 states, up from 31 states, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of the week ending Dec. 29, 2,257 people had been hospitalized with flu, and 18 children had died from complications of the illness, CDC reported.

Click here to read the full story from MSNBC.

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Flu season has arrived and, this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that anyone over the age of 6 months get the flu vaccine. Many providers and local pharmacies at popular corner drug stores are already making the vaccine available.

Get the facts about the flu and the 2011-2012 flu vaccine.

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Flu season is just around the corner and, this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that anyone over the age of 6 months get the flu vaccine. Many providers and local pharmacies at popular corner drug stores are already making the vaccine available. Get the facts about the flu and the 2010-2011 flu vaccine.

 

Just in time for National Influenza Week (January 10-16), the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has expanded H1N1 vaccine availability to the general public. Until recently, the vaccine has been available only to high risk populations. Now, anyone interested in receiving the H1N1 vaccine may contact his or her healthcare provider, or any provider listed on the H1N1 flu shot locator at www.fighttheflula.com.