Two Important clinical strategies to prevent severe illness and death
The Department for Public Health strongly urges anyone who has not received a flu vaccine, particularly those at high risk for complications related to the flu, to check with their health care provider, local health department, or pharmacy, about vaccine availability. Please urge any patient who has not yet been vaccinated this season to get an influenza vaccine now. All available influenza vaccine formulations contain an A/H1N1 component.
Early treatment with antivirals
For those who become ill with influenza, early treatment with antiviral drugs (oral oseltamivir and inhaled zanamivir) is an important second line of defense to reduce morbidity and mortality. Antiviral treatment is recommended as early as possible for any patient with confirmed or suspected influenza who is: 1) hospitalized; 2) has severe, complicated, or progressive illness; or 3) is at higher risk for influenza complications. Evidence from past influenza seasons and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic has consistently shown that treatment with antiviral medications reduces severe outcomes of influenza when initiated as soon as possible after illness onset.
o Clinicians should encourage all patients 6 months of age and older who have not yet received an influenza vaccine this season to be vaccinated against influenza
o Clinicians should encourage all persons with influenza-like illness who are at high risk for influenza complications to seek care promptly to determine if treatment with influenza antiviral medications is warranted.
o Clinical benefit is greatest when antiviral treatment is administered early. When indicated, antiviral treatment should be started as soon as possible after illness onset, ideally within 48 hours of symptom onset. However, antiviral treatment might still be beneficial in patients with severe, complicated, or progressive illness, and in hospitalized patients and in some outpatients when started after 48 hours of illness onset, as indicated by clinical and observational studies.
o Antiviral treatment can also be considered for suspected or confirmed influenza in previously healthy, symptomatic outpatients not at high risk on the basis of clinical judgment, especially if treatment can be initiated within 48 hours of illness onset.
o Decisions about starting antiviral treatment should not wait for laboratory confirmation of influenza.
o Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) have limited sensitivities and predictive values; negative results of RIDTs do not exclude influenza virus infection in patients with signs and symptoms suggestive of influenza. Therefore, antiviral treatment should not be withheld from patients with suspected influenza, even if they test negative.
DID YOU KNOW??
Urgent Care Centers, retail based clinics, etc. advertise that your child’s Sports Physical is “only” $25 if done at their location. Well care in our office, which includes sports physicals, is already included in the insurance premiums you pay your carrier. In other words, we don’t charge you anything because it’s already a benefit of your child’s insurance coverage. Please verify with your insurance carrier, but be advised that well care checkups, sports physicals and vaccines are now covered 100% by most insurance carriers . Physicals given in these places are usually not up to the standards of the American Academy of Pediatrics and are not designed or able to find problems which might contraindicate participation in sports. This is because they do not know or have any information on your child. Also, these facilities do not share information with your child’s primary care physician.
Our office can accommodate all your child’s needs regarding sports forms, camp forms, daycare, school physicals and vaccine certificates.
Additionally, there is no loss of medical records because their checkups were done at a soccer, football or basketball complex by trainers or at a facility that has no access to your child’s health records. Reviewing your child’s growth history, checking to make sure vaccines are up to date, reviewing chronic problems and conditions, answering parents questions, referrals if needed etc….are all part of quality healthcare which can only be delivered in your child’s medical home. These other clinics often clear children for sports related activities without knowledge or access to conditions that can put your child at risk.
Use of Urgent Cares sometimes has it’s place, but it would still be better to check with your primary care physician first. It may be that no visit is necessary thus saving you the cost of an unnecessary visit!
You can call (859-212-4567) NOW to schedule appointments for needed checkups months in advance including sports physicals. You can also go to our website (www.pauljansonmd.com) to request an appointment time.
Are you wondering if you have flu? Although seasonal flu symptoms often mimic a cold, a common cold rarely causes a very high fever. Let’s learn more about flu symptoms so you are fully prepared if you get sick.
Why Do I Need to Know About Flu Symptoms?
Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory infection caused by different flu viruses. It’s important to understand flu symptoms so you can seek immediate treatment, especially if you have a chronic medical condition.
The earlier you recognize that you have the flu can also make a difference in how long it lasts. Prescription medications called antiviral drugs — Relenza and Tamiflu — are most effective when given within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. These flu drugs are effective against the typical strains of seasonal flu. They can decrease the duration of the flu by one day if used within this early window. These antivirals may also provide benefit if given even after two days, especially in people who are very sick.
How Will I Know if Flu Season Has Started?
Seasonal flu follows a fairly predictable pattern, starting in the fall and ending in the spring. A good sign that seasonal flu season has started is the sudden increase in the number of school-aged children sick at home with flu-like illness. This initial flu outbreak is soon followed by similar infection in other age groups, especially adults.
How Are Flu Symptoms Different From Cold Symptoms?
Unlike symptoms of a common cold, flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. It often starts with the abrupt onset of fever, headache, fatigue, and body aches. Here’s a list of flu symptoms you might feel:
- fever (usually high)
- severe aches and pains in the joints and muscles and around the eyes
- generalized weakness
- ill appearance with warm, flushed skin and red, watery eyes
- dry cough
- sore throat and watery discharge from your nose
Seasonal influenza is not usually associated with gastrointestinal symptoms, like diarrhea and vomiting, at least not in adults. However, these symptoms appear with stomach flu, which is a popular but inaccurate term for gastroenteritis.
What Are Common Flu Symptoms in Children?
Typical signs of seasonal flu in children include high-grade fever up to 104 degrees F (40 degrees C), chills, muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, dry cough, and just plain feeling sick. Flu symptoms in children may also cause vomiting and belly pain. These flu symptoms usually last for three to four days, but cough and tiredness may linger for up to two weeks after the fever has gone away. Other family members or close contacts often have a similar illness.
What About Flu Symptoms in Infants and Toddlers?
In young children, seasonal flu symptoms may be similar to those of other respiratory tract infections such as croup, bronchitis, or pneumonia. Abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea are frequently observed in young children. Vomiting tends to be more significant than diarrhea. Fever is usually high and irritability may be prominent.
Because young children are at increased risk of getting severe flu complications, the CDC recommends that all children aged older than 6 months get a seasonal flu vaccine every year.
Are There Complications Associated With the Flu?
According to the CDC, complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
Head lice are known to be resistant to the active ingredients in some over the counter treatments (can be purchased without a prescription). If they are resistant, it means the treatments may not kill them.
Parents sometimes treat their children with OTC (over the counter) treatments up to 5 times before seeking help from their children’s doctor making this more expensive than one treatment with a prescription medication
Several prescription treatments suggest using only one application and the applications can be as short as 10 minutes followed by a rinse with water.
There are some prescription products that don’t call for nit combing. Nits are lice eggs. Even when nit combing is not required to get rid of an infestation, you may choose to comb out nits because of school requirements or for cosmetic reasons.
If you suspect your child has head lice, it’s best to call your child’s doctor before beginning any treatment.