Sunday, August 9, 2015
Friday, December 5, 2014
In my medical opinion, this paradoxically makes it even MORE IMPORTANT to get the flu vaccine. Mainly, because the worse protection the flu vaccine offers, the more widespread the flu will be this year, and this increases the likelihood that a large percentage of people, both immunized and unimmunized, will contract the flu. However, those who are unimmunized will be at an even greater risk of catching the flu.
Essentially, there is less herd protection this year and everyone is going to get exposed. And while the flu vaccine is not a great match it still offers some protection against the new H3N2 strain, and since it is highly likely that almost everyone is going to get exposed to the flu, some protection is better than no protection. Also, the flu vaccine protects against the 9% of other strains circulating.
Sadly, 5 kids have already died this year from flu-related illnesses and the flu season is just beginning.
Deadlier Flu Season Is Possible, C.D.C. Says
Saturday, August 17, 2013
*an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
*an A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus
*a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus
The newer quadrivalent vaccines will include an additional vaccine virus:
While the H1N1 virus and the H3N2 virus used to make the 2013-2014 flu vaccine are the same viruses that were included in the 2012-2013 vaccine, the recommended influenza B vaccine virus(es) are different from those in the 2012-2013 influenza vaccine for the Northern Hemisphere.
When to get vaccinated?
While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in February or later. About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection develop in the body.
How many shots will my child need?
If your child is 9 years or older, regardless of what flu immunizations have been given in the past, they will only need ONE immunization this flu season.
However, if your child is under 9 years of age, they may need TWO immunizations this year. See the chart below to assist you in knowing how many shots your child will need this flu season.
If your child needs 2 flu vaccines this year, they should be spaced apart by a minimum of 4 weeks (28 days). There is no deadline by which the 2nd flu vaccine needs to be completed, but once the minimum 4 weeks has passed, the sooner the better as your child will have optimal protection only after the 2nd immunization.
0 flu shots since July 2010
1 flu shot since July 2010
2 flu shots since July 2010
Under 9 years of age
2 flu shots needed
2 flu shots needed
1 flu shot needed
9 years of age of older
1 flu shot needed
1 flu shot needed
1 flu shot needed
Quadrivalent vs. Trivalent flu vaccine
Traditionally, the flu vaccine covers 3 different strands of the flu virus (2 "A" strands and 1 "B" strand) and is labeled a trivalent vaccine. Starting this year, some of the the flu vaccine products will be expanded to include 4 different strands of the flu virus (2 "A" strands and 2 "B" strands) thus adding 33% more protection.
This means that both the trivalent flu vaccine and the quadrivalent flu vaccine will be available this year. Within approved indications and recommendations, no preferential recommendation is made for any type or brand of licensed influenza vaccine over another by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
Parents should know that in a child who requires two flu immunizations this year (see chart above), the reason it is recommended to get the second immunization is that in a naive immune system, a single injection of a flu strand does not afford very good protection. (This is pertinent mostly with the injection as the nasal flu vaccine affords good protection with one dose - however two may still be recommended per the CDC algorithm.) For ideal protection, a booster of the same strand should be given as soon as possible.
1. Can the child eat lightly cooked egg (e.g., scrambled egg) without reaction?
At Blue Fish Pediatrics Memorial, during regular office hours (starting August 19, 2013), the flu vaccine will only be available at well visits for all patients of Blue Fish Pediatrics Memorial and family members living in the same household with patients under 6 months of age. Flu vaccine will also be administered during sick visits at their doctor's recommendation.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
- To allow stomach muscles to recuperate, do not give fluids for 30 minutes after vomiting.
- Give one teaspoon of Pedialyte (for children less than 1-year-old) or Gatorade (for children older than 1-year) every five minutes for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes of sipping every five minutes, wait 20-30 minutes without drinking fluids. If they do not vomit you can allow them to begin drinking Pedialyte or Gatorade freely.
- If at any time they vomit again, repeat the above cycle, starting from the beginning.
- Advance quantity slowly as your child demonstrates tolerance to fluids.
- Clean the bottom with a soft cloth and use gentle strokes to prevent further abrasion.
- Allow for adequate air-drying of the skin. If pressed for time use a blow dryer on cool setting to dry the skin.
- After air-drying, apply a thick coating of a barrier cream such as Desitin, Vaseline, Vitamin A&D, etc.
- If the skin looks particularly irritated, a 10-minute soak in plain water without soap can help. Air-dry and apply a thick coating of diaper cream.
Further, there have been a few reported cases of harmful side effects. It may be safer to use a yogurt with a high concentration of healthy bacteria until additional studies help steer recommendations on how to best utilize probiotics.
Antibiotics are never needed for viral infections. Even for the rarer bacterial causes of gastroenteritis, antibiotics are controversial.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Saturday, February 16, 2013
I have asthma. Does this mean my child will have it too?
- Exercise: The majority of children with asthma will present symptoms when they exercise such as coughing and wheezing.
- Pollen: This is a common allergen. Most children with asthma have allergies, and allergies are a major trigger of asthma symptoms.
- Animals with fur or hair: Keep pets out of your child's bedroom, remove carpeting, and install a HEPA filter.
- Mold: Control indoor humidity. Repair water leaks no matter how small.
- Dust mites: These critters live in mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture, and carpets. Get allergy-proof bedding and pillowcases. Frequently wash bedding in hot water. Avoid stuffed toys. Vacuum and dust often.
- Weather changes: When air quality is poor, keep your children indoors and make sure they are compliant with asthma medications.
- Airborne chemicals or dusts: Try to avoid things like scented candles and air fresheners.
- Menstrual cycles: Monthly hormone fluctuations can trigger symptoms. Make sure your daughter is compliant with asthma medications.
- Viral infection: Symptoms may flare with a cold.
- Smoke: Avoid tobacco and wood burning.
While parents do their best to make sure the home environment is asthma friendly, don't forget to check daycares, school and relatives' homes. Some triggers can't be avoided, which is why it's important to make sure your child is compliant with his or her medication regime.