Friday, February 1, 2013
A new norovirus strain was detected last year in Australia and has reached the United States.
Although the flu is on everyone’s minds this season, the winter vomiting bug, or the norovirus, is making its rounds. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the norovirus causes about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths each year, mostly in young children and the elderly. Some of the virus' common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains. The CDC points out that the norovirus is often referred to as the stomach flu, but it is unrelated to influenza. A recent Illinois Department of Public Health memo about preventing Norovirus outbreaks in schools and daycares, says proper handwashing is the single best way to prevent viral transmission. A new norovirus strain, GII.4 Sydney, was …
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Does a flu shot cause the flu? Do healthy people need a shot? Here are the answers to some myths
The flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family. However, misconceptions about vaccination persist. Here are 7 common myths about vaccination. Flu Myth #1 A Flu Shot Causes the Flu No, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. The influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufacturers kill the viruses used in the vaccine during the process of making vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe. In randomized, blinded studies, where some people get flu shots and others get salt-water shots, the only differences in symptoms was increased soreness in the arm and redness at the injection site among people who got the …
Monday, December 17, 2012
Here's where to get an influenza vaccine, how to recognize symptoms and what to know about treatment if you get sick.
Flu season is coming early in parts of the United States: This time last year, flu cases were much lower in Chicago than they are now, according to data on Google's Flu Trends. Overall in Chicago, activity is considered high now, while it was considered moderate at this time in 2011, according to Flu Trends. If you're considering getting a flu shot, here are some places in the area that offer the vaccine (besides your own doctor, of course): Walgreens: 1403 Waukegan Rd., Glenview Walgreens: 3301 Glenview Rd, Glenview Dominick's: 1340 Patriot Blvd Glenview Walgreens: 1050 Waukegan Rd, Northbrook CVS Pharmacy: 936 Willow Rd, Northbrook According to this week's CDC Flu activity report, influenza levels are on the increase across the country…
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Literally. How a germaphobe who got a flu shot still caught the flu.
Anyone else find it unsettling that here in Chicago we have had a string of 80+ degree-days in mid March? Global warming? Maybe. But I’ve got another theory. Global flu-ing? Hear me out. This unseasonably hot weather gives me the chills. Literally. And to go along with the chills, there’s fever, a raw and scratchy throat, a nasty (but as my doctor points out with pride, productive) cough, a heavy chest and muscle aches. Yup, I’ve been under the weather in the best March weather this state has ever seen. Let’s talk about the flu for a second. I know, no one wants to hear the details about mucus. A mere mention of the word vomit and your dinner party is ruined. So we’ll keep the gory details of the illness out of it. What I want to know …
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Uptick in suburban Cook County prompts reminders from health experts.
It's going around. Cook County Department of Public Health officials are reporting an increase in influenza in suburban parts of the county. Typically, the flu season begins in the fall and continues through May. If you've been vaccinated, you're "protected through the end of the season," spokeswoman Amy Poore said in a news release. "However, if you haven’t received a vaccine, it’s not too late." Officials recommend contacting your primary physician or local pharmacies to get the influenza vaccines. Meanwhile, they're reminding residents of the "basic three C’s" to help curb the spread of influenza: