Monday, November 26, 2007

It’s not too late to get your seasonal flu shot

Still haven't gotten your seasonal flu shot? Well, now's the perfect time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named this week National Influenza Vaccination Week. This week is here to remind us why it is important to get our flu shots. It is also a good time to make sure that everyone who hasn't gotten their shot yet gets them through the months of November, December and into the new year.

Each year in the United States, around 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized because of seasonal flu. People who don't get a flu shot are putting themselves at risk for the flu, which can be a serious illness. If they get sick, they are also placing their close contacts at risk for flu. And even though our families might drive us crazy at times, we don't want to make them sick!

Getting a flu shot is the single best way to protect yourself and the people you love from seasonal flu. And there is still plenty of time left in this flu season to make getting the flu shot worthwhile.

Also, tomorrow, Nov. 27, is set aside as Children's Flu Vaccination Day. Each year, more than 20,000 kids younger than age 5 are hospitalized because of the flu. This day will focus on making sure that everyone knows how important it is that all kids get their flu shot.

Record amounts of flu vaccine are available this season, so call your doctor or health clinic and schedule a time for you and your loved ones to get your flu shots. Take the flu seriously and make sure you get ready for this flu season by getting your shot!

1 comment:

alanjsmith said...

Colds, and the more serious "brother" flu, have the status of acceptance in society. Well, until recently, that was a reasonable position to adopt. So, most of us load up with multivatamins (or specifically vitamin C for some unknown reason). When that fails to prevent infection, we hit the patent wonder medicines which work apparent miracles on those in the advertisements, but do little for us in the real world. You know what I mean, the usual cocktail of antipyretic/analgesic (paracetamol) coupled with an antihistamine or decongestant with a pleasant lemon or blackcurrant flavour, and, of course, the usual vitamin C. Then there are the herbal remedies. It would be interesting to know if anyone has found one that actually works.

In terms of substances that attack, mollify or inhibit viruses, there are Tamiflu, Interferon and another I believe. In the UK, these are not easily available, and certainly not without a doctor's prescription. I don't know the position in the US. Furthermore, there have been criticisms of the British Government's stockpiling of interferon as a precaution against a crisis impending when the avian flu virus "merges" with one of the human strains, on the grounds that many believe that Interferon will be largely ineffective, and that the stocks will be sufficient to treat only a small percentage of the population: key workers. Don't forget: many experts believe it is a case of "when", not "if" the mutation occurs.

Vaccinations have an important role to play, but aren't they based on the last attacking strain?

So, it occurred to me to mention to all those interested, that Renua Partners, after the usual extensive trials and probably prohibitive research and development costs have released a product with a two-fold agenda. One, it is a broad spectrum anti-viral agent and the other is a potency to optimise the immune system. The significance of this, of course, is that not only is an inefficient immune system stimulated, but an over-sensitive one is mollified. That has to be good news for the unfortunate people whose lives are blighted by asthma and those whose bodies react violently to allergies.

It's no surprise that the two philosophies have been presented together. Antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections, rely on the immune system of the host for their effectiveness. It seems reasonable to expect the same when it comes to treating viral infections.

I've written more on the subect on my blog:

Hope to see you there.