Thursday, September 22, 2016


                     From the desk of Katien Faragher, CPNP

Katie Faragher, CPNP

Fall is a favorite season for many people.  Colorful fall leaves, orange pumpkins, and hayrides are vivid images our minds create as the month of October approaches. 
Along with the seasonal pleasures of fall, it is important to be reminded that this also means that we are on the brink of….INFLUENZA!

Common and unpredictable, the influenza virus can cause serious complications including death in even the healthiest children.  In the United States, about 5% to 20% of the population will be diagnosed with influenza every year, causing over 200,000 hospitalizations.  Last year, there were at least 77 children that died from influenza, and this does not include deaths that were caused by secondary complications such as pneumonia and respiratory failure.  The 2010/2011 flu season data reported 49% of deaths in children from influenza were in healthy children without underlying medical conditions.

The first and most important thing a parent can do to protect their child from influenza is getting themselves and their child vaccinated.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends the annual flu vaccine for all people 6 months of age and older, including children and adolescents.

The time to get vaccinated is now!

There are some minor changes to the influenza recommendations for the 2016/2017 flu season.  We want our parents to be educated regarding these changes and address common myths so they can best protect their children, family members, and our community.

-The only flu vaccine available this year is the shot.  The flumist is not recommended by the AAP for use this flu season.  The nasal spray vaccine did not offer protection against the predominant strain of influenza virus during the last three flu seasons.

-The flu vaccine does not cause the flu virus!  Contrary to popular belief, flu vaccines are made by killed viruses.  Vaccine side effects can cause mild symptoms including pain and tenderness at the injection site, fever within 24 hours, sleepiness, headaches, and chills.  It is important to stress that these symptoms are mild compared to actually having the flu.

Flu vaccines are about 60% effective.   Good news! Vaccinated individuals who get the flu usually have a milder form of the disease (both severity and duration of symptoms).  People who are not vaccinated often experience symptoms for 1-2 weeks!

Please take the time to get your child and yourself vaccinated to prevent influenza and secondary complications this virus can cause!

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy Fall!

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