Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. During this time, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
How do flu vaccines work?
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines (called “trivalent” vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. There are also flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine and an additional B virus.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools.
Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or workplace.
Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?
A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and sometimes updated to keep up with changing flu viruses. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.
Does flu vaccine work right away?
No. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.
Learn more about he Flu Vaccine at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm
November is Diabetes Awareness Month!
Diabetes is a group of diseases that involve high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Every cell in your body needs energy to function. A healthy pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. When you eat, insulin is released into your bloodstream. Insulin helps to distribute glucose throughout your body. It also moves excess glucose to your liver for storage. Without insulin to move the glucose around, it builds up your bloodstream. This leaves your cells starved for energy.
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a variety of serious complications. These include heart disease, stroke, and blindness.
Managing the disease requires keeping track of blood glucose levels. Treatment may include taking insulin or other medications. Healthy eating habits and regular exercise can also help manage diabetes.
Types of Diabetes
There are several types of diabetes. Each has something to do with insulin and blood glucose, but they’re not all the same.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a disorder in which the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. It used to be called juvenile diabetes. It is sometimes referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. There is no cure. If you have it, you must take insulin to survive.
Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can produce insulin, but it may not be enough. Some people produce insulin, but the body doesn’t use it effectively. Some, but not all people with type 2 diabetes need to take insulin. Most of the time, the disease can be successfully managed with treatment and healthy lifestyle choices.
When blood glucose levels are higher than they should be, but not high enough to qualify as diabetes, you have prediabetes. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In many cases, changes in diet and exercise can delay or prevent onset of the disease.
Causes and Risk Factors
Anyone can develop type 1 diabetes, but it’s usually diagnosed in childhood. Only about 5 percent of cases are diagnosed in adulthood. The exact cause is unknown. There is no cure or known prevention.
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases as you get older. You’re also more likely to get it if you’ve had gestational diabetes or prediabetes. Other risk factors include being overweight or a family history of diabetes. You can’t completely eliminate the risk of type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet, weight control, and regular exercise may help prevent it.
Certain ethnicities are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These include:
Hawaiian/Pacific Island Americans
Info on Type 2 Diabetes
Find Out About Type 2 Diabetes and a Treatment Option.
Among adults 20 to 74 years old, diabetes is the top cause of blindness, according to the NIDDK. Diabetes is also a leading cause of kidney failure. Nervous system damage affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes. That can lead to a variety of nerve problems. Many people with diabetes have impaired sensation in the hands and feet or carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also cause digestive problems and erectile dysfunction.
Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Diabetes causes more than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower limb amputations.
It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Learn More at: http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/facts-statistics-infographic#2
Make sure to get your Flu Shot!
Stay home from work when you are sick!
Wipe down your keyboard, phone, and mouse once a week.
Feel free to send suggestions for future health newsletters to firstname.lastname@example.org or the below contact information. Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy month!