Pisgah Family Health
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We now have our supply of 2014 quadrivalent and high-dose influenza vaccines! Pisgah Family Health will NOT hold a flu shot clinic this year. Instead, we will give flu shots to our patients on a walk-in basis, during our regular business hours. Please visit any time during the months of October or November to get your shot. Vaccinations can also be given at your regularly scheduled visit, but not when you have a fever.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. Infants and the elderly are at highest risk of influenza complications. Also at high risk are adults with asthma, COPD, heart conditions, or pregnancy.
Flu shots are most useful when given in October or November, to prevent the seasonal flu which occurs each winter. Also consider getting these routine vaccinations:
Our office hours are 8:30-5pm Monday through Friday. If there is low demand, we will close on Friday afternoon. When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers and Mission Hospital ER. Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873. Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran and his call partners.
Call our office to schedule your flu shot during October!
Are you overdue for your annual physical? If it has been more than 2 years since your last exam, call now to schedule your physical.
Bring your medication bottles to each visit. This helps us keep your medications up to date.
Please call 24 hours in advance if you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment.
Thank you for referring your family and friends to Pisgah Family Health.
On Saturday, October 4th, Dr. Curran and the staff of Pisgah Family Health will run the "Pink in the Park" 5K. This run in Biltmore Park raises money to support breast cancer research.
What is seasonal influenza?
Influenza, commonly called "The Flu," is caused by influenza viruses which infect the respiratory tract (i.e., the nose, throat, lungs). Unlike many other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, influenza can cause severe illness or life-threatening complications in many people. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.
In the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu each year. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually from seasonal flu-related complications, and about 36,000 people die from seasonal flu-related causes.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Influenza is a respiratory illness. People who have the flu often feel these symptoms:
Preventing seasonal flu: Get vaccinated
The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against four influenza viruses that research suggests will be most common. About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection. The Flu Vaccine will not protect against illnesses caused by non-influenza viruses.
When should you get a flu vaccine?
Yearly flu vaccination should begin in September, or as soon as vaccine is available, and continue throughout the flu season which can last as late as May. This is because the timing and duration of flu seasons vary. While flu season can begin early as October, most of the time seasonal flu activity peaks in January, February or later.
Who should get vaccinated?
Everyone over 6 months old should get a flu vaccine each year. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the U.S. to expand protection against the flu to more people.
The vaccine is especially important for those people who are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or who live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.
Who should not be vaccinated against seasonal flu?
Some people should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. They include:
If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your health care provider.
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses. This virus was first identified in California in 1962.
EV-D68 infections have recently been documented across the United States, and have been associated with severe respiratory complications in children. From mid-August to September 30, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 472 people in 41 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. North Carolina has confirmed 8 cases of EV-D68 in September.
Enteroviruses commonly circulate in summer and fall. We're currently in middle of the enterovirus season, and EV-D68 infections are likely to decline later in the fall
What are the symptoms of EV-D68 infection?
EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness.
How does the virus spread?
Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person's respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
What time of the year are people most likely to get infected?
In the United States, people are more likely to get infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall. Cases are likely to decline later in the fall.
Who is at risk?
In general, infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become ill. That's because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to these viruses. We believe this is also true for EV-D68.
Children with asthma may have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 infection.
How is it diagnosed?
EV-D68 can only be diagnosed by doing specific lab tests on specimens from a person's nose and throat.
Many hospitals and some doctor's offices can test ill patients to see if they have enterovirus infection. However, most cannot do specific testing to determine the type of enterovirus, like EV-D68. Some state health departments and CDC can do this sort of testing.
CDC recommends that clinicians only consider EV-D68 testing for patients with severe respiratory illness and when the cause is unclear.
Anyone with respiratory illness should contact their doctor if they are having difficulty breathing, or if their symptoms are getting worse.
What are the treatments?
There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. For mild respiratory illness, you can help relieve symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. Aspirin should not be given to children. Some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized. There are no antiviral medications currently available for people who become infected with EV-D68.
How can I protect myself?
There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections. You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:
DEA Controlled Substance Changes
At Pisgah Family Health we strive to minimize our patients' use of dangerous or addictive drugs. Narcotic pain killers are sometimes necessary for short-term pain relief. However, these drugs are seldom useful for long-term pain, and can result in addiction and increased pain perception if used chronically.
This year the DEA issued changes in how it regulates certain narcotic prescriptions. If you use Hydrodcodone (Vicodin, Norco, Tussionex) or Tramadol (Ultram), these changes will affect you.
Effective October 6, 2014, Hydrocodone is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that prescriptions must be hand signed (not faxed or e-prescribed), and are limited to a 30 day supply, with no refills. These same rules apply to other narcotic pain killers (Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Dilaudid) and stimulant ADD drugs (Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta)
Effective August 18, 2014, Tramadol is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means that prescriptions must be hand signed (not faxed or e-prescribed), and are limited to 6 months of refills. These same rules apply to sleep aids (Ambien, Lunesta), benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Lorazepam), and muscle relaxers.
DEA Drug Schedules
Drugs and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug's acceptable medical use and the drug's abuse or dependency potential. The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence. As the drug schedule changes-- Schedule II, Schedule III, etc., so does the abuse potential-- Schedule V drugs represents the least potential for abuse.
A substance need not be listed as a controlled substance to be treated as a Schedule I substance for criminal prosecution. A controlled substance analogue is a substance which is intended for human consumption and is structurally or pharmacologically substantially similar to or is represented as being similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II substance and is not an approved medication in the United States.
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.
Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote
Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous.
Some examples of Schedule II drugs are: cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin.
Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV.
Some examples of Schedule III drugs are: Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone.
Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.
Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are: Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien.
Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.
About our Newsletter
Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients. Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics. We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news. The newsletters will also be archived on our website, www.PisgahFamilyHealth.com/.
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