It’s Time to Get Vaccinated!

2018-2019 was a moderate severity flu season that lasted a record-breaking 21 weeks. Getting a flu vaccine every year is the best way to protect yourself and your family from flu and its potentially serious complications. CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated by the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body to protect against flu virus infection.

While the timing of flu season is unpredictable, seasonal flu activity often begins to increase in October, most commonly peaks between December and February, but can last as late as May.

What is new this flu season?

  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating flu viruses
  • Any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccines are recommended
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV) is again a vaccine option. Ask your health care provider about what vaccine is right for you

Learn more about what’s new for the 2019-2020 flu season.

The flu virus can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu can lead to hospitalization and even death. CDC recommends a three-step approach to fight flu:

  1. Get a flu vaccine. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting a flu vaccine every year provides the best protection against flu.
  2. Take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs. Try to avoid close contact with sick people, and if you become sick, limit your contact with others. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands often.
  3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. If you get sick with flu, prescription flu antiviral drugs can be used to treat flu illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.

Learn more about how you can fight flu this season.

Fight flu this season by getting your flu vaccine and encouraging others to protect themselves and their loved ones by doing the same. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #FightFlu.

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Chronic Disease Support

North Hills Family Medicine is a proud member of the Catalyst Health Network, which allows us to maximize our ability to provide you with high quality efficient care and the following added benefits to you with Chronic Disease Support. We have a team of RNs and care coordinators who will work closely with you and your family to help you understand chronic disease states, manage referrals and be the voice for you between your appointments with us.

Car Managers play a fundamental role in Catalyst Health Network’s focus on a value-based care model.  Functioning as an extension of our office, they provide support, education, and assistance in the prevention and/or maintenance of the patient’s condition, health, and wellness.  Care Mangers closely to monitor high risk patients through disease management, collaborating with providers to help overcome barriers to meeting health related goals.

They also aim to reduce hospital readmissions by discussing discharge instructions, completing medication reconciliations, and assisting in follow-up appointment scheduling when completing discharge calls.  Care Managers work in a variety of other ways with patients while also overseeing and working in conjunction with care coordinators.

To sign up for this free service, talk to your provider today.

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Back-to-School Season is Here

Back-to-school season is here. It’s a time for parents to gather school supplies and backpacks. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your kids are up-to-date on their vaccines.

Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC is one of the most important things parents can do to help protect their children’s health—and that of their classmates and their community. Most schools require children to be current on vaccinations before enrolling to protect the health of all students.

Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.

“Thanks to vaccines, most of these diseases have become rare in the United States,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC. “But many still exist here, and they can make children very sick, leading to many days of missed school, missed work for parents, and even hospitalization and death.”

Since 2010, we see between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough and up to 20 babies die each year in the United States. Most whooping cough deaths are among babies who are too young to be protected by their own vaccination. “Without vaccines, these numbers would be much, much higher,” Dr. Messonnier said. “That’s why kids still need vaccines.”

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk of disease and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community—including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

School age children need vaccines. For example, kids who are 4 to 6 years old are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, also called whooping cough), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and polio. Older children, like pre-teens and teens, need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), HPV (human papillomavirus), and MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate virus) vaccines. In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children 6 months and older.

Check with your child’s doctor to find out what vaccines they need this year.

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at www.cdc.gov/.

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