Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Helping Patients Prepare for Flu Season

Child in south Mississippi dies from flu Child in Mississippi dies from flu
Anna Jefferson | 09 December, 2018, 07:22

"Perhaps the healthy adults are at a fairly small risk of getting a very very severe flu infection, but if they do get infected, they're potentially still infecting others".

Sadly, Montana experienced its first flu death of this season on Saturday as a 6-year-old kindergartner in Missoula, Montana, died of influenza and pneumonia.

"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.

Influenza vaccination coverage among health care personnel is an important measure of a hospital's health care quality, according to CDPH.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established National Influenza Vaccination Week in 2005 to encourage flu vaccination through the holiday season and into the new year. Despite the abundance of research conducted on the value and effects of vaccines, public health discourse is still laden with criticisms from anti-vaccination groups, especially within legal frameworks that propose mandating vaccines like the flu shot.

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The flu is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that claimed the lives of at least 80,000 people in 2017.

"Even in December, it's not too late for New Jersey seniors to get a flu shot", said Melissa Jevic Evans, nurse practitioner, Clover Health. Those numbers were an increase from the 2016-17 season, which saw 273 deaths and 3,695 hospitalizations. Dial 2-1-1 or visit healthvermont.gov/flu and use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a nearby place to get a flu shot.

In addition to getting vaccinated, residents are reminded to protect others by remembering to cover your cough, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you are ill. Webby, who was not involved in the NORC survey, said vaccination rates are similar to those of years in which flu activity has been widespread and illness severe for many people.

Webby said a "slightly reassuring signal" this year is that the H1N1 strain is the dominant strain of flu circulating. Flu shots also don't ever cause the flu.

Recent academic studies have shown that presenting survey respondents with facts about vaccine safety can decrease the extent to which survey respondents believe that vaccines are unsafe.

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