Some of you may have seen our E-blast letting everyone know that we are now seeing some of our first cases of influenza at Forest View. According to flu reporting from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this looks to be one of the earliest flu seasons in about a decade. Last year was a very mild flu season, but this year looks to be significantly worse.
Quick review: Influenza is NOT the stomach flu. It is a respiratory illness that can cause very high and prolonged fevers, cough, and runny nose. It is especially dangerous because it can make you more susceptible to secondary bacterial pneumonias that can require hospitalization, or in severe cases, even cause death. This early into the flu season, there have already been 5 pediatric deaths, and during the H1N1 flu season a few years ago, there were 281 flu associated pediatric deaths. It is one of the most deadly common viruses around, especially for those who are unvaccinated. There are certain high risk groups (although it is recommended that everyone get vaccinated) which include anyone 6 months to 4 years old, anyone with asthma, diabetes, or another chronic medical condition, or anyone who spends frequent time around either of these groups and infants under 6 months.
Fortunately, in the samples the CDC has tested, the vaccine appears to be about a 90% match so far, which is a pretty good match. The vaccine does not always match, as the vaccine components are a very well-educated guess every year as to what strains we will see in the US (over 100 labs reporting to the World Health Organization who makes the recommendation to our FDA annually). The flu season tends to peak around January and February typically, however, the vaccine can take up to two weeks to produce antibodies, so now is the time to come get it. About the only real group unable to get a vaccine, are those that have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past. Patients with egg allergy (unless particularly severe) can still get the flu vaccine, so please call if you have questions about how to get it done safely.
We have vaccine available at Forest View, so please call and make your appointment to get vaccinated. If you have any questions, we’ll happily provide the answers. Please click here to see our flu information page.
Thanks and cover your cough!
~Paul Veldhouse, MD; Forest View Pediatrics
This past month, Forest View has celebrated our 50th anniversary. Past and present employees and physicians, joined together to celebrate the last 50 years and look forward to the next. Dr. Arthur J. Dorrington took a moment to reflect…
“I am so happy that Doctors John Czajka and Jack Altstadt invited me, in 1975, to join their pediatric practice in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. What a gift it is to be in pediatrics! It’s an awesome, and sometimes overwhelming, responsibility! The …Continue reading →
As you have heard one the news, we have been seeing a rise in cases of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) in southeast Wisconsin. We have tested many children here in our office and have had a few positive cases each day for the last few weeks.
Now is a good time for you and your family members to be sure that you are current with all your vaccinations. Pertussis protection comes from the DTaP or Tdap vaccine. No vaccine is 100% effective as some of our patients who have tested positive for pertussis are up to date with their vaccines. Even if it is not 100% preventable, the vaccine often …Continue reading →
You may be aware of a vaccine that protects patients against the human papilloma virus, also known as HPV. HPV is a virus that is easily spread by skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity with another person. Over 75 percent of sexually active individuals acquire at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. HPV can cause genital warts in both males and females. It is the main cause of cervical and other cancers in females, and also …Continue reading →
The City of Milwaukee Health Department has confirmed a second case of measles in the Milwaukee area. Measles is a viral infection that is highly contagious but is preventable with immunization.
This small outbreak is a reminder to ensure that your children have the proper MMR vaccines. The first dose of measles vaccine should be given at 12 months of age. The …Continue reading →
You may have started to see signs at Walgreens or other drug stores advertising the flu vaccine. Yes, it’s that time of the year already!
Forest View Pediatrics recommends that all children, age 6 months and older, receive the flu vaccine.
There are two versions of the vaccine: the injectable, inactivated flu vaccine and the intranasal, live flu vaccine (FluMist®). The injectable version can be given to all children, age 6 months and older. FluMist is safe for children, age 2 years and older, who don’t …Continue reading →
Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis, caused by a bacteria called meningococcus, is a serious bacterial illness. About 1,000-2,600 people get meningococcal disease each year in the U.S. Even with treatment, 10-15 percent of these people die, and others suffer long-term neurological problems.
Teenagers and college freshmen who live in dormitories are at increased risk for getting …Continue reading →
In April 2010 a new version of the Prevnar vaccine, which protects kids against Streptococcus pneumoniae, became available for children. This bacteria can make children very sick, causing infections like pneumonia, meningitis, blood infections, ear infections and in rare cases, death. Children age 5 and younger are at a higher risk of …Continue reading →