Thursday, 17 October, 2019

New study says low unemployment could lead to increase in flu rates

No Delays Anticipated in Flu Vaccine Program Despite Availability Issues says Eastern Health CDC: Too Few Pregnant Women Getting Flu, Tdap Vax
Gustavo Carr | 11 October, 2019, 14:48

The study shows that 55% of women received the Tdap vaccine (for whooping cough) and 54% of women received the flu vaccine during pregnancy.

Flu season is here, and if you're pregnant, one of the best ways to protect yourself and baby is to get a flu shot. Pregnant women also face more than double the risk of hospitalization compared to non-pregnant women of childbearing age if they get the flu.

During the 2018-2019 influenza season, a total of 13,576 cases, 767 hospitalizations, and 38 deaths (one pediatric) due to influenza were reported from all but one county in Montana.

The CDC says while seasonal influenza viruses are detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter.

The CDC surveyed almost 2,100 women between the ages of 18 to 49 who were pregnant any time between August 2018 and April 2019. For example, children younger than 6 months of age are too young to get a flu shot.

Educating expecting mothers is another challenge for the agency as almost 40% of pregnant women who did not receive a vaccine for whooping cough said they didn't know the shot was necessary during each pregnancy.

For me, flu season was always just a time where my mom would drag me to the doctor's office to get my annual flu shot, and constantly tell me to wash my hands and not share drinks with friends. "Also, if you have symptoms it's important to seek evaluation especially if you have unremitting fever, shortness of breath, are pregnant, or at high-risk for flu complications because of pre-existing medical problems", Adalja said.

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And finally, Dr. Chow says anyone who's had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS, a severe paralyzing illness), may not want to get the shot.

The organization explains that pregnant women who receive the vaccines pass on the antibodies to their unborn babies and this protects them for the first few months of their lives before the babies can receive their shots against these infections.

The main goal of the health fair, Fisher said, is to inform students of all the health-related resources available to them both on and off campus.

The CDC page recommends that healthcare providers should, "discuss the benefits of vaccination with pregnant women early and often, strongly recommend flu and Tdap vaccines to pregnant women".

In infants, whooping cough can lead to episodes of coughing that last for weeks. The CDC report said that about 70% of people who died from whooping cough in recent years were infants younger than 2 months. "Parents may see their baby gasping for air and even turning blue from lack of oxygen".

Ready or not, flu season is here.