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Flu Season

Influenza Vaccine

The time to think about the Flu is not when the temperature, cough, sore throat, and aches begin. The time to think about the flu is now! So, plan to make an appointment for your Flu Vaccine! The end of September through December is good timing. If you were vaccinated last year, you need a new one since Flu viruses’ change.  It is recommended that all of us receive the Flu vaccine, but those who must are: Those over 65, anyone who has a chronic disease or any type of  cancer. In addition, anyone who cares for or lives with someone with those conditions should be vaccinated against the “seasonal” flu.

Some people who are allergic to chicken or eggs may react to the Flu vaccine.  If you have more questions about whether or not you should receive the Flu vaccine, ask us.

About Influenza

Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza.  Sometimes people can become infected by touching something.
There are generally two types of Influenza: type A and type B. We can test for both and get an immediate determination. The BinaxNow Influenza  A & B test is an assay for the detection of Influenza types A and B. Type A viruses are typically more prevalent than Type

B viruses and are associated with most serious influenza epidemics, while Type B are usually more mild. There are many  subtypes of Influenza type A viruses.  The H1N1 “swine” flu is a Type A class of influenza, originally called “swine flu”  because many of the genes in this new   virus are very similar to the genes in influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs. Most people who become ill with  this new virus have recovered without  requiring medical treatment. There is a new test that differentiates from the more standard rapid test described  above. It is in the range of $300.00 and is available if the rapid test indicates a positive Type A result.  But insurance  may not cover all of the cost.

H1N1 “Swine” Flu Vaccine

This is a new vaccine for H1N1 influenza. This vaccine is specific for H1N1. This vaccine will be made available through walk-up vaccine centers and some physician offices as selected by the local public health  departments beginning in mid to late October.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

Pneumococcal vaccine is another important part of your preventive health.  The same individuals who should receive flu vaccination should also receive vaccination against Pneumococcus. It is recommended that this vaccine be repeated in 6 years for some patients.  If you have not had this vaccine, plan to get it when you come in for a flu