Is Anyone Tracking the Flu During the Shutdown?

Normally during flu season the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lets us know the good and bad news, tracking how fast the flu is spreading, how severe it is and how well those flu shots are working. The information is especially important for figuring out next year’s batch of vaccines. But thanks to the ongoing government shutdown, the CDC hasn’t been able to update its FluView since Sept. 21, and its influenza activity map hasn’t been updated …

Immunizations: A Family Affair

A visit to the emergency room with my Mom yesterday reminded me that flu season is paying an early, and unwelcome, visit this year. Our hospital, along with so many across the nation, was crowded with those suffering from the flu. We wore masks, offered as we registered in the ER, the entire time we were there … just in case. Last year saw fewer cases of influenza reported than ever before recorded – primarily due to a higher number …

5 Flu Myths Debunked

We can think of an excuse to get out of anything we don’t want to do – like getting a flu shot. Maybe you’re one of those folks who rarely get sick so you scoff at the flu messages each year. Maybe you’re plain scared. But the truth of the matter is, if you’re over 65, you’re playing with fire if you don’t get the flu vaccine. This age group has the highest rates of influenza-related deaths and hospitalizations, says …

Flu Season is Back!

September! Already! Of course, that means a sort of unofficial start of cold and flu season. The CDC recommends that we get vaccinated against flu starting in September because the flu can start to spread as early as October. What do you need to know to keep healthy? At the risk of sounding horribly mysophobic, let’s talk about basic preventative measures from the CDC. You probably hear these things every year, but these actions should be almost reflexes. This kinda …

Grab the Sanitizer — Flu Season Finally Starts

Here’s hoping you haven’t procrastinated (like me) and have gotten your flu shot. If not, this is your (and my) last chance to get protected before flu season is in full swing. Because even though it’s the slowest start in 30 years, the flu season has officially begun, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In its FluView Surveillance Report, the CDC reports that for the first time this season, more than 10 percent of respiratory samples …

Fight Flu

Just this past week, I stopped by my local pharmacy and noticed that, in spite of the hot weather, the place was plastered with advertisements – “Get your flu shot here today!”  While the weather seemed incongruent with the signage, flu season is definitely just around the corner. So, what’s new with flu shots this season? First of all, there’s a new high-dose version of the flu shot. The higher dose may mean higher protection from the flu. And second, …