Winnike: Flu Season is Here; Prevent what is Preventable
09 December, 2018, 01:13
No children died as a result of the flu during the week ended December 1, though five children died earlier this season, the CDC reported. But it did not have to be almost as deadly as it was.
Kaweah Delta, which has seen a 21 percent increase in the number of staff getting a flu vaccination since 2015-16, is also a key player in helping increase the aggregate healthcare personnel vaccination rate in California hospitals from 72 percent to 84 percent in the 2017-18 flu season, according to the report. What happened? It's simple and sad.
Flu shots are covered by Medi-Cal, Medicare, and by most insurance plans. And there's other people in our state and communities who have elderly grandparents or parents, or even young children. The numbers were similar to previous flu seasons. In Texas, they include 4-year-old Leon Robert Sidari, the son of two Air Force physicians, who died on Christmas Day. Nurses can also get vaccinated themselves, and wear a badge advertising this; patients may feel reassured their trusted health care professional also gets vaccinated against the flu. Explain why the flu is more serious and why vaccinations are crucial. Her husband could not remember whether or not she had been vaccinated.
"If you or someone you know is suffering from flu and they're lethargic or unable to think clearly, or unable to wake up from sleep and appear to be sleeping really, really deep and you can't wake them up, those are reasons to get them emergent care", says Howard.
Coughs and sniffles around the office may be a good indicator that flu season has started, but health officials say it's too soon to know whether it will rival last year's severe season. As it turned out, the vaccine was 36 percent effective in adults, and almost 60 percent effective in children.
This article is a condensed version of The Conversation article "Countering misinformation about flu vaccine is harder than it seems'".
The benefits go far beyond that, though. People with compromised immunity. Deaths and hospitalizations are prevented.
"The first thing we do is recommend everyone get their flu shot", said Cynthia Borgen, Beltrami County Public Health Director. The vaccine uses a killed virus, and every batch is checked to ensure this.
Early rates of flu-like illnesses this season appear similar to those rates from past year. This is a particularly virulent, shape-shifting strain that can mutate even while the vaccine is being incubated in eggs. Flu is more likely to be severe or even deadly in these groups than among healthy adults. Some children should not get certain vaccines for medical reasons, while others should receive more vaccines due to high-risk medical conditions. Among adults, flu deaths are estimated based on pneumonia and other illnesses related to flu. Make your appointment for a flu shot. Protect yourself and all those around you.
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