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Posts for tag: Flu

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
February 01, 2019
Category: Infectious Disease
Tags: Influenza   Flu   immunizations   Vaccines   flu shot   update   Urgent Care   ER  

 

Note: 2018-19 Flu Season Update
As the flu season continues, please review these reminders and updates below:

  • It is not too late to get a flu shot if you have not received a flu immunization during the current flu season.
  • Receiving a flu vaccine every year offers the best available protection against flu and has been shown to reduce illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths in people of all ages. 
  • If you or someone in your family are diagnosed with a respiratory illness even though you've had a flu shot, flu test confirmed or not, the flu vaccine was effective, especially if they are  seen by a doctor and sent home with minimal treatment.
  • If you or someone in your family have flu-like symptoms that unless instructed by a physician to be given for other medical reasons, you should avoid aspirin and aspirin-containing products (such as Pepto- Bismol, Kaopectate and Alka-Seltzer, for example), which have been associated with rare but severe complications when taken by children and adolescents with flu.
  • If your child needs evaluation at a Children's Healthcare of Atlanta facility when your routine office is closed, it is better to seek care at Children’s urgent care locations as an alternative to the Emergency departments. Families can visit choa.org/locations for more specifics regarding the Urgent Care centers or use the Children’s app on their mobile phones to check wait times at the different locations.
  • Please visit these resources at choa.org/flu to learn more about influenza.

 

Dr. T

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
November 27, 2018
Category: Treatments
Tags: Influenza   Flu   tips   colds   Free   Webinar   treatments  

Register by clicking here

Join Dr. Shu Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 1 pm Central Time!
 
Cold and flu season is upon us—so chances are you may find yourself dealing
with kids' sniffles, sneezes, coughs and more at some time during the next several months!
 
Join host Dr. Jennifer Shu, medical editor for HealthyChildren.org, for timely tips on how to soothe your family's cold and flu symptoms at home. In this 30-minute webinar, she will also discuss when to call your pediatrician and how to help prevent illness in the first place! A Q&A session will follow the presentation. 

Coming soon.

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
November 06, 2018
Tags: Influenza   Flu   immunizations   Vaccines   death   Myths  

 

A child in Florida has become the first person to die of the flu this season, according to state health officials. State epidemiologists say the child had not been vaccinated and was otherwise healthy before getting sick with the flu.

The child, who tested positive for influenza B, died sometime during the week of Sept. 30, although privacy concerns prevent officials from saying exactly where, CBS affiliate WTSP reports.

Last flu season, 183 children in the U.S. died from flu or flu-related causes. That's the most since the CDC began keeping these records in 2004. Overall, an estimated 80,000 Americans died from flu last season.

CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula says this latest news should be a wake-up call to parents to get their children vaccinated. 

"What this is a strong clear message to parents about the importance of vaccination," she told "CBS This Morning." "This vaccine is safe. It is the most effective tool we have. And we know of the pediatric deaths last year, 80 percent were in kids who were unvaccinated."

8 common myths about cold and flu debunked

A new survey suggests that many children may not be getting the potentially life-saving flu shot because of their parents' misconceptions about the safety and importance of vaccines.

The survey by Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital found:

More than half of parents think that their child can get the flu from the flu shot.30 percentof parents feel flu vaccines are a conspiracy.28 percentof parents believe flu vaccines can cause autism.

"None of these things are true. It's important that we deal with the science and the facts," Narula said.

The CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated against the fluevery year.

"Officials have said it's like wearing a seat belt," Narula said. "This is really a no-brainer for parents."

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
June 11, 2018
Category: Infectious Disease
Tags: Influenza   Flu   flu shot   vaccine   immunization   death   epidemic  

 

This Year’s Flu Season Killed Record Number Of Children.

The Washington Post (6/8) said a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicates that the flu “killed 172 children between October and May, making this season one of the deadliest since federal health authorities began tracking pediatric deaths 14 years ago.” The new figure “exceeds the 171 child deaths reported for 2012-2013, the previous record for a regular season,” according to the Post, which added, “Only the 2009 swine flu pandemic, which killed 358 children, was worse.” Daniel Jernigan, head of the CDC’s influenza division, explained that the number of deaths “is a record number since we’ve been keeping track, outside of the pandemic” and is considered to be an undercount because it only includes cases confirmed by laboratories listed on death certificates and reported to the CDC.

        The AP (6/8) reported, “The past flu season wasn’t a pandemic, but it was long – 19 weeks” – and “also was unusually intense, with high levels of illness reported in nearly every state for weeks on end.

        Newsweek (6/8) reported that according to the CDC, “About 80 percent of the fatalities were among children who hadn’t been vaccinated.”

 

Let's all hope the flu vaccine picked for next epidemic season will be right on and effective.

Dr.  T

 

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
December 10, 2017
Tags: Cough   Influenza   Flu   Vaccines   colds   prevention   Hand Washing   Hand Hygiene   Hygiene  

Some Things Old and Some Things New & Some Things Never Change

 

Let’s repeat the basics.  Most Winter illness is viral and spreads through body fluid contact.  What fluid is this, you might ask? I speak of air-borne (and hand-borne) small droplets of saliva and mucus that sprays from our mouths and noses when we sneeze or cough. This means when one has a cold and/or sore throat, no matter how young or how old we are or how sick we feel, we will ALWAYS be contagious to others.

 

So one of life’s lessons we want to teach our children is how NOT TO SHARE these body fluids, when they are ill. Now here’s a fact most people don’t know:

 

Viruses commonly live in our noses and mouths intermittently and episodically even when one is completely well__without symptoms of illness at all. This is called viral shedding and it happens frequently, and we have no clue that we are contagious! Yes, you can be infectious to others even when you are completely well.  Who knew!?

 

So another life lesson that we should teach our kids is not to share saliva or mucus with others even when one is well. If you think we don’t do this all the time, think again. Kids and adults share gum, pizza, cookies, cupcakes, drinks, utensils, toys, etc without a second thought when they are well, and often when they are ill.  This is a behavior that can be altered more easily when one is sick, but occurs unconsciously when we are well. I am not saying we should make our kids phobic, over-anxious or compulsive about germs, or ourselves, for that matter, but that good hygiene habits of behavior are in the best interest of everyone.

 

Since it is fairly obvious that saliva sharing is a fact of life__like frequently touching our faces with our hands unconsciously every day__teaching our kids and ourselves how to contend with this reality is another life lesson to learn. It’s called handwashing and the use of hand sanitizers safely.  Sounds like a simple thing to teach our kids, but it is not. As parents we want handwashing to become an automatic behavior, not just something the kids do when we are watching and ask them to do it. We want them to do it at school, when they are out with their friends, and at home before sitting down to a meal, for example.

 

Believe it or not, it’s never too late to learn this behavior         [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxlQn7KaCNU].

 

Handsanitizers [https://www.livestrong.com/article/88193-hand-sanitizer-kill-bacteria/] with greater than or equal to 60% alcohol are effective hand-hygiene products but they should not be licked off the hands. So allowing young children under 5 years old to use them independently without supervision is not safe, since hands often end up in mouths. As soon as the hands are dry (after waving them in the air for a few seconds) there is no danger. Of course the sanitizing benefit of these products are short term since hands rapidly touch the world and end up in mouth not long after.  But you have to start somewhere. Choosing time and place to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good idea. You can’t do it every 5 minutes through the day but certain situations, like the petting zoo, necessitate applying sanitizer frequently. After visiting a public restroom, even if you’ve washed your hands, is another good time to use sanitizer.  Remember to use it when visiting the mall or taking your seat at a movie theater (or leaving the theater), and after using an escalator in the mall or airport.  What these places have in common is that they are all public, meaning the world has touched all the areas you and your children are touching as you go through the day.

 

Sanitizer hand wipes are OK, but my guess is they are used less effectively than the gels which can be rubbed into tiny spaces on cuticles and between fingers by you and your children very easily. And there is no tissue to dispose of afterwards.

 

I don’t have anything against against hand washing. It’s great if you have the time to do it, but when you don’t hand sanitizers come to your rescue.

 

So that’s hand care. What about cough and sneeze hygiene? Not complicated. Most grown ups were taught to cover their mouths with their hands when they were kids. No question this is polite, but think about it..... totally ineffective in preventing the spread of body fluid (saliva and runny nose juice) between people since our hands then go on to touch other people and objects.

 

Today, kids in preschool and nursery school are being taught correctly, the 21st century way, the Elbow Cough-Cover. It’s quick and readily accessible and in itself NOT impolite to whip your elbow to your face and cover your mouth and nose with your elbow. Sure, no question, you will have germs on your elbow, but NOT YOUR HANDS! You can teach this to your children of all ages. You can role model it as well.

 

A cute story I like to tell kids this time of year (with parent permission if Santa comes to their house) goes like this:  Santa doesn’t visit a home by himself. It’s a lot of work to deliver presents to good children all over the world, so he brings some of his helpers along in the sled. All the helpers want to go with him. (Remember the movie “Elf”. Good thing all the elves aren’t the size of Will Ferrell.) Some of the elves have colds, coughs and runny noses. So they have to know how to cover their face properly when they cough and sneeze. Santa doesn’t want elf germs to get on everyone’s gifts. So Santa’s helpers who can cover their faces with their elbows get to go, but the helpers who don’t know how, stay at the North Pole with Mrs. Clause practicing the Elbow-Cough-Cover so they can go with Santa next year. The punchline: Santa likes it when kids cover their faces with their elbows too when they cough and sneeze. I guess you can always add that the elves have to take and use their hand sanitizer every time before they go down the chimney with Santa to help deliver the presents.

 

If you like this parable, feel free to use it. No copyright on it as far as I know, since I made it up.

 

One more thing about our hands, we use them almost always to greet others__hand to hand shake.  It’s social and appropriate and certain to transmit illness back and forth with every greeting.  So why not greet one another with an elbow-bump or a fist-bump through the Winter virus season? Seems like such an easy solution, if we could only make it the social norm [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYtLQc0YaMo].  If we could just get our media-TV physician personalities, like Dr. Oz and Dr. Gupta and Dr. Snyderman, to endorse the social greeting elbow-bump, this greeting could sweep the nation.  Well, we do what we can, us parents and physicians. Maybe our preschool and school teachers could teach this greeting, just as they teach the elbow-cough-cover technique. Bring it up at your next PTA meeting.

 

One More Time About Influenza Vaccine

 

If you have not yet obtained your adult Influenza vaccine or one time Tdap (Whooping Cough) booster and would like a housecall to update these important vaccines, please contact me or Shelly.

I can administer the appropriate influenza vaccine to your children, yourselves and close family, sitters, nannies, etc. who share time with your family. These vaccines can be offered through Winter and early Spring to enhance protection against the Flu and Pertussis among all persons over the age of 6 months.  Unfortunately, there is no Flu vaccine as of yet for infants under the age of 6 months.

 

We should also be aware that when we immunize, we are not just protecting ourselves and our families.  We are also helping those in our community who cannot get immunized because of weakened immunity from advancing age, illness disease, cancer or chemotherapy.  They depend upon the rest of us to do what we can to protect them from these diseases by keeping our vaccines current. If you believe that we are our brothers’ keepers and have an obligation not to make others seriously ill through immunization apathy, please give this issue serious thought and consider staying current with your vaccines even if you have never had the flu and don’t think that Whooping Cough will make you very sick.

 

Please call Shelly (404-654-0426) or me or shoot us a text message and I will get back to you to schedule a house visit for the vaccine(s) you request:

 

Fluzone® Influenza Virus Vaccine, Contains No Preservative: Pediatric Dose  Children 6-35 months of age (Single-dose, prefilled syringe, without needle, 0.25 mL) also available for over 35 months of age through adult years.    

 

You can learn more about this and all vaccines at www.immunize.org.

 

If my Influenza vaccine supplies run out, you should still be able to find the vaccine at your local neighborhood pharmacies for a while longer yet.