The Doctors Next Door

H1N1..lt's Heeeere...

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H1N1 activity has hit "widespread" status here in Illinois.

Should we panic?

Naw, Widespread Panic is only a good thing in the music world.

So if not panic, what should you do? It's pretty simple:

  • Get your seasonal flu vaccine
  • Get your loved ones that are in high-risk groups immunized against H1N1 once it becomes available
  • Wash your hands
  • Stay home if you have Influenza-like illness, unless you are getting dehydrated, having breathing problems, or are in a high-risk group.  High-risk groups with flu-like illness may need to get on some medicine to treat the virus.

Almost all the cases identified so far are the H1N1 type. What's interesting about the week ending September 26th is that the rate of college cases dropped. You may recall my prior post in which I reason through the decision to immunize my son who is at college.  I stand by my conclusion, to get him immunized against both seasonal and H1N1 flu. 

That's the other thing that's almost here, the H1N1 vaccine.  We'll get the nasal spray vaccine first.  Because it's a live vaccine, this is a good option for some people but not for others--for example, my friend who is needle-phobic.  Strangely, she works in an environment where needles abound, a hospital.  For her, a healthy 45 year old woman who works in a hospital, the nasal spray vaccine is an excellent option.  Those who should not get the nasal spray include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People under age 24 months or over age 49 years
  • Anyone who has a surpressed immune system or who will be around someone with a surpressed immune system
  • Children under age 5 yrs who have had recurrent lung infections
  • People with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Children on aspirin therapy
  • People with serious chronic medical problems like asthma, diabetes, heart or lung disease

 For more information, I highly recommend the CDC website.

I think it also very important to warn you about the fear-campaigns out there against the H1N1 vaccine. This article from the NY Times covers the topic nicely. I have studied this issue in great depth and do not ascribe to the theories expressed in this fear mongering.  Each of my own children will in fact be immunized. 

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1 Comment

Dr. Carrie said:

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Some important info I neglected to put in my post last night. Be sure to check out these two great resources:
-Free family flu vaccination clinics contucted by the Chicago Department of Public Health. Julie Morita, CDPH Medical Director will be available to answer your questions. As she stated so perfectly on Chicago Tonight last night, "the risks of getting the H1N1 vaccine are merely theoretical while the risks of getting the flu are REAL." The flu clinic schedule can be accessed at www.cityofchicago.org. Follow the links starting with "H1N1 info".
-The website, www.dontplaywiththeflu.com is another great resource for more information.

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