Flu Season 2009-2010: Updated Information for Health Care Providers

This year’s flu season will raise a lot of questions.  Patients will look to you to explain which immunizations they need, when they need them, and why. 

Seasonal Flu Vaccine

  • When it comes to reducing influenza transmission and protecting people from influenza, vaccines are the most important tool available.
  • People should begin getting their flu vaccines as soon as it is available.  Vaccination should continue through March.
  • The recommendations for seasonal flu vaccination remain the same:
    • Anyone wishing to decrease their risk of illness should get the influenza vaccine.  However, there are certain groups of people who are considered high-priority and should be vaccinated every year.  These groups include:

      • Children 6-59 months old,
      • Pregnant women,
      • Adults 50 years old and older,
      • People with conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or other chronic conditions,
      • Residents of nursing homes,
      • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications, and
      • Health care personnel.
  • The seasonal flu vaccine will not protect patients from H1N1. 

H1N1 Influenza Vaccine

  • A vaccine is in development for H1N1.
  • The vaccine will be tested for efficacy and safety before it is distributed.
  • High-priority groups recommended for vaccination include:
    • pregnant women,
    • people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,
    • healthcare and emergency medical services personnel,
    • persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old,
    • and people ages of 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

 Tell Your Patients: Ways to Protect Yourself From All Influenza Strains

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home if you are sick.  You should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

 

Please, this flu season: 
Protect Yourself.  Protect Your Patients.  Protect Your Family.

Get Your Flu Vaccine
Information provided by NC Immunization Branch

 
 

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