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Flu Activity in New Jersey Hitting Peak Later Than Usual

Posted on Thu, Mar 10, 2016

4919795171_0b4869faf2_o-(1).jpgWinter is typically the time for flu, but flu activity in New Jersey is actually peaking later than it has in previous years and is expected to continue into April. In addition, although the state’s overall flu rate is considered to be moderate (last year it was rated as high), Bergen and Monmouth counties appear to be the state's flu hot spots. An article in NJ.com, “Flu cases spike dramatically in parts of N.J.” reports, “The vaccine being given this year is 59 percent effective against this season's flu types, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced. ‘This means that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by nearly 60 percent,’ said Joseph Bresee, chief of CDC's Epidemiology and Prevention Branch.”

Flu Vaccinations Are Your Best Defense

Moderate to high numbers of influenza have been reported throughout New Jersey recently, your best defense is to get vaccinated. That’s right, it’s not too late to get your flu shot! Getting the flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu by nearly 60 percent. Influenza is caused by either virus A or virus B and there are different strains of the influenza circulating every year causing people to get sick and thankfully, federal health officials say this year’s version of the flu vaccine has been a good match for the strains showing up.

Who’s At Risk?

Most healthy people recover from flu within two weeks, but certain high-risk populations – pregnant women, children younger than 2, people over age 65, and people with certain chronic medical conditions – are more at risk of life-threatening complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Symptoms

Symptoms of the common cold and the flu can often be confused. Visit your closest eMedical Urgent Care walk in clinic near you if you or your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms:
 
  • Fever
  • Cough (without a cough, the illness is more likely a viral infection of another variety)
  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Muscle aches and severe tiredness
  • Occasionally nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may be experienced

Prevention

Flu shots are your best protection against the flu epidemic. In addition to getting vaccinated, you can do more to fight the flu with a few healthy steps such as regular hand-washing, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or elbow when you cough, disinfect surfaces regularly, limit alcohol and sugar, get enough sleep and fresh air and avoid close contact with others who are sick.

Flu Shots and Treatment at eMedical

For your flu shot or if you feel that you have symptoms of the flu, it’s important to see a doctor. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

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Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Facts

Posted on Mon, Dec 07, 2015

National Influenza Vaccination WeekHave you gotten your Influenza vaccine

December 6-12, 2015 is National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). This week is a national observance and was established by the Centers for Disease Control to highlight the importance of continuing the influenza vaccine. As long as flu viruses continue to spread and cause illnesses, flu vaccinations can be your best defense in providing protection against the flu.

Why Do I Need the Influenza Vaccine?

Seasonal Influenza is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization. You can be exposed to someone at work, in the community (grocery store, school, gym, etc) and you can actually pass on the flu virus to someone else before you even know you’re sick. Anyone can get sick from the flu, even “healthy” people. Flu vaccinations not only reduce flu illnesses, but also reduce missed work due to flu and prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Every year influenza, or “flu,” affects employers and businesses. Flu costs the U.S. approximately $10.4 billion in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults.

Did you Know?

  • Flu season begins as early as October.
  • Flu season peaks in the months of December through February.
  • Flu season can last as late as May.
  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza disease.
  • Vaccination is especially important for protecting those at high risk for serious flu complications, including: young children, pregnant women, adults 65 years and older, and anyone with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. The CDC provides a full A full list of “People at High Risk of Developing Flu–Related Complications.
  • Flu viruses are always changing which means the vaccine is updated every year to best match circulating influenza viruses. Because of this, yearly vaccinations are necessary.
  • It takes about two weeks after a vaccination for the immune system to build the antibodies your body needs in order to provide protection against the flu.
  • It is never too late in the season to get a flu vaccine to protect yourself and loved ones.

Flu Statistics

Studies show that flu vaccination can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations and deaths.
  • Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick (Belshe, 1998).
  • A recent study showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012 (Ferdinands, 2014).
  • One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77% reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season (Talbot, 2013).
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination was associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease (Ciszewski, 2008; Phrommintikul, 2011), especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year (Udell, 2013). Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%; Colquhoun, 1997) and chronic lung disease (52%; Nichol, 1999).
  • Vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born. One study showed that giving flu vaccine to pregnant women was 92% effective in preventing hospitalization of infants for flu (Benowitz, 2010).
  • Other studies have shown that vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalizations in older adults. A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness over the course of three flu seasons estimated that flu vaccination lowered the risk of hospitalizations by 61% in people 50 years of age and older (Talbot, 2011).

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot?

Patients at eMedical Urgent Care are seen on a walk-in basis without appointment; after school, or on weekends, we‘re here. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

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6 Tips to Keep Your Child Healthy

Posted on Mon, Apr 13, 2015

One in three kids is overweight or obese, putting them at risk for a variety of health complications and chronic diseases. Evidence shows students who eat right and are physically active learn healthy lifelong habits that prevent illnesses and set them up so they are better equipped to succeed academically.

healthykidsHealthy Tips

Healthy habits start at a young age; teach them early and your children will carry them on throughout their entire lives. 1. Get enough sleep. Children under the age of 5 require at least 11 hours of sleep, and school-age children require about 10 hours of sleep a night. The right amount of sleep will keep them healthy and help them perform better in school and at home. 2. Eat a healthy, nutritious diet. Good nutrition and a balanced diet will set your kids on the right track to grow physically and mentally strong. Simple things like replacing sugary foods and drinks with healthy foods may take more planning initially, but will set you up for success in the long run. 3. Get outside! Limit screen time and encourage children to get up and go outside. Not only will it improve concentration in school, but it also will positively impact a child’s social life. April 24 to April 30 is TV-Turnoff Week. We Can!, is a campaign organized by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH) offering families tips and resources to help them turn off the TV. 4. Wash up. Short of ordering everyone into hazmat suits, you can protect your family and prevent germs from spreading by simply teaching your children good hygiene habits with frequent hand washing. Since about 80% of infectious diseases are spread by touch, this tip can’t be stressed enough. Experts recommend scrubbing hands for about 20 seconds (enough time to sing “Happy Birthday” twice). 5. Get immunized. Take your child in for regular check-ups and stay up to date on their immunizations. Flu shots are especially important to prevent your child from getting sick and missing school. It's important to get the vaccine every year since the immunization last season will not protect you this season. Protect yourself and your family; talk with the pediatric-trained doctors at eMedical Urgent Care about the benefits of getting the flu vaccine. 6. Stay informed. Many resources are available to improve the health and wellness of children through sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health promoting programs. Launched by Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) in 2013, Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance held the last week of April and is recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances. Every Kid Healthy Week celebrates schools who are joining the fight against childhood obesity.

Specialized Pediatric Care

Every parent wants to keep their kids happy, healthy and safe but getting sick sometimes happens. Our New Jersey pediatric urgent care facilities treat a variety of childhood illnesses and injuries, including sore throats, upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, ear pain and sprains/fractures. Our eMedical Urgent Care Center is staffed with board-certified and pediatric-trained physicians who deliver friendly and compassionate NJ pediatric urgent care to patients of all ages. Most of our physicians are parents too – so we understand firsthand the importance of keeping our tiny humans happy and healthy!

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