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By contactus@napeds.com
February 05, 2013
Category: In the News
Tags: Untagged

2012-2013 Influenza Season.  Updated February 5, 2013

Background

Influenza (“the flu”) is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, many children get sick with seasonal influenza; some of those illnesses result in hospitalization and death. Some children are at greater risk of experiencing severe outcomes from influenza infection. This includes: children younger than 5 and children of any age with certain chronic health conditions, including asthma, diabetes, a weakened immune system for any reason and neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders.

Current Situation

The 2012-2013 influenza season began early and most of the country is experiencing high or widespread influenza activity at this time.

The CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination for children who have not been vaccinated at this time and vaccination of high risk children is especially important. Providers should continue vaccinating patients at this time. **At NAP, we are still offering the flu vaccine to children of all ages, 6 months and older. A recently published MMWR “Early Estimates of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness — United States, January 2013” found estimated overall vaccine effectiveness (VE) of 62% for preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infection.

Influenza prevention

In addition to vaccination against influenza, there are a few simple steps everyone should take to protect yourself and your family from getting sick:

1) Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.

2) Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

3) Stay home if you are sick.

For more information about flu, flu vaccine, and other ways that you and your family can stay healthy this flu season, please visit www.mass.gov/flu or call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Immunization Program at 617-983-6800.

“Flu facts” are available at the mass.gov website at the following link:

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/provider/guidelines-resources/services-planning/diseases-conditions/influenza/protecting-preparing-and-caring-for.html

Please call 413-584-8700 and follow the voice prompts to "appointments" in order to schedule a nurse visit for your child's flu vaccine.

 

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