Flu Season Still in Full Swing

Flu Season Still in Full Swing. (reblogged from Blogadillo)

With flu season still in swing, itÔÇÖs more important than ever to get that flu shot and practice good health behavior! As of the week ending on January 4, 2014 at least?á35 states are now showing widespread geographic influenza activity?áaccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to the activity across the country,?áevery state in the South Central Region?áis showing the highest level of influenza activity. The unusually high number of those affected by the flu prompted the CDC to issue an official health advisory notice to clinicians.

The?áhealth advisory notice?ástates

From November through December 2013, CDC has received a number of reports of severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 (pH1N1) virus.?áMultiple pH1N1-associated hospitalizations, including many requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and some fatalities have been reported. The pH1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 caused more illness in children and young adults, compared to older adults, although severe illness was seen in all age groups.

One common misconception of the flu is that fatalities are more likely to occur in the very young and very oldÔÇôthis is not the case with the pH1N1 strain. According to the?áInfluenza Associated Hospitalizations?áin the CDC FluView Weekly Index, those ages 18-64 account for 61% of hospitalizations. This means everyone is at risk for catching the flu, regardless of age and health status. Despite these numbers, those in 18-64 age range are still the?áleast likely to get vaccinated.

To do your part in preventing the spread of flu germs, here are the CDCÔÇÖs?áGood Health Habit tips:

1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
4. Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Flu Shots

Flu shots will be offered to LSUHSC New Orleans faculty, staff and students during the first week of October, brought to you by the School of Nursing. This year the flu shot will be administered in one dose and will help protect you and others against H3N2, influenza B, and the H1N1 viruses.

Those who should avoid vaccinations are:

  • Infants under 6 months of age
  • People with egg allergies
  • People who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past
  • People with a mild to severe illness
  • People who have developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome within 6 weeks of getting the flu vaccine

What: Flu Shots
When: October 6th, 7th & 8th b/w 9am ÔÇô 2:30pm
Where: School of Nursing ÔÇô Room 5B12 (5th floor)
Cost: $15.00 for faculty & staff; payable to LSUHSC-NO by check or money order (Cost is free for students)

Swine flu rap

Today’s the last day to vote for the US Dept. of Health and Human Services 2009 Flu Prevention PSA contest. Who could resist the swine flu rap, by Dr. Clarke?

Spoonful of Medicine also points out a swine flu rap done by cute little pigs. It’s in Chinese but there are subtitles.

Seasonal Flu Shots@LSUHSC

Speaking of being prepared, seasonal flu shots will be available September 23, 24 and 25 (next Weds. – Fri.) from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the School of Nursing, 1900 Gravier Street, 5th floor IV lab. Free for students and $10 for Faculty & Staff payable by cash or check.

~EDIT~ Shots were cancelled due to a shortage of vaccine. edited 9/21/09 @ 8:44 a.m.

LSUHSC has also created a H1N1 info portal, with updated swine flu information. Our campus is also applying to become a point of distribution for the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. The H1N1 flu vaccine will be distributed in accordance with the CDC?óÔé¼Ôäós priority group vaccination recommendations.

Free Influenza Resource from EBSCO

Influenza: Evidence Based Resources is a FREE database offered by EBSCO Publishing (from whom the Libraries purchase a number of databases). It is comprised of selected resources from a number of its health related databases. And includes information for clinicians, nurses and patients.

Flu Statistics for LA

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has released its Influenza Surveillance Report through the end of August. It finds that:

  • 11% of swine flu patients are 4 or younger.
  • 70% are 5 to 24 years old
  • 18% are 26-64
  • 1% are 65 are older
  • Further the report states that “there are 737 lab confirmed cases of 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) in Louisiana. Based on an extrapolation from CDC data, the real case count in Louisiana is closer to 39,000.”

    Don’t forget to follow the CDC guidelines for staying healthy.

    Influenza Update

    With reports the past weeks of daycare center closings, sidelined football players, and sniffling sorority girls, clearly Louisiana is not immune from H1N1 outbreaks. As of August 17, 2009, Louisiana reports 449 confirmed cases and 1 related death (also in New Orleans) from the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, aka the Swine Flu.

    For local & state information on influenza, visit www.FluLa.com, from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. There you will find weekly statistics and public health updates, as well as flu information for patients in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Clinicians can also access an Online Training Course on local flu preparedness, testing protocols, regional OPH offices, and info from the Louisiana Office of Public Health Lab like the Lab 96 form and instructions for swine flu testing.

    For national swine flu information, the CDC is always your best bet: http://cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

    Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines

    Weekly Influenza Surveillance: Week ending July 25, 2009
    CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) published the 2009 guidelines for the use of influenza vaccine for the prevention and control of seasonal influenza on July 30th, 2009. These guidelines are for seasonal flu, for which there are vaccines, and not swine flu, though clinical trials are underway for the H1N1 virus.

    “Flu season” generally runs October – May. During these months, the CDC collects and publishes weekly influenza surveillance reports, like the one shown above. In fact, you can even get flu updates sent to your phone.

    Who needs the seasonal flu vaccine? Health care workers, for one, as well as young children, the aged, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions. LSUHSC – NO usually offers flu shots for a small fee during the month of October.

    More flu information from the CDC.