This is Public Health

flu-shot

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.

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.

 

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.

 

Many school districts throughout the state have partnered with the Louisiana Department of Education and the Department of Health and Hospitals to take part in the state’s H1N1 flu vaccination campaign. In the coming weeks, students will be offered shot and nasal spray forms of H1N1 flu vaccines at no cost through school-based and/or community based vaccination events. Participating schools and school districts are responsible for scheduling their school-based H1N1 vaccination events. Updates naming schools that will participate in the vaccination campaign will be released later this week. Get more details.

Children are at higher risk for getting both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 (swine flu) virus. The H1N1 vaccine will be available soon, but for now, parents are urged to get their children vaccinated against the common seasonal flu. While many are responding well to treatments for both the seasonal and H1N1 viruses, it’s important for parents to make sure they understand how to administer the proper dosage when giving flu treatments - especially involving young children.

Public Health Updates Via Text

September 29th, 2009

Want up to the minute information about the H1N1 flu or other health topics? The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently launched a three-month pilot text program where you can sign up to receive the latest information about flu, public health emergencies and more via text messaging. Click here to find out how to sign up and be a part of their pilot text program.

The Centers for Disease Control provides swine flu (H1N1) information and resources for child care programs, schools, colleges and universities. There’s even a Communication Toolkit to help schools prepare for the H1N1 virus. Click here for more information.

Pregnant women are at higher risk for contracting the H1N1 virus. The Centers for Disease Control has just placed pregnant women on the priority list to receive vaccinations. The decision to be vaccinated should be made by every patient individually, in close consultation with her OB/GYN. Read the announcement recommending the H1N1 vaccine for pregnant women.