Flu Shot Clinic
Our annual flu shot clinic will be Friday October 9, from 8-12. We will be scheduling patients every half hour. We anticipate a high demand this year, so please call our office to schedule your shot today!.
This clinic will offer the vaccination for seasonal influenza, which is expected to peak in the winter, as usual. This shot is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. The flu shot is especially recommended for anyone with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy, or an immunocompromised state.
The vaccine for H1N1 influenza is not yet available to the public, but is expected in late October. We will plan a separate shot clinic when it becomes available. The same recommendations will apply to H1N1 shots as for seasonal influenza.
Unfortunately, the seasonal flu vaccine does not prevent H1N1 flu, and vice-versa. Therefore, at-risk individuals should plan to get BOTH vaccines.
Our normal office hours are 9-5 Monday through Thursday, and 9-12 on Friday. Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873. When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers, and at Mission/Saint Joseph hospitals ER. Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran’s call partners.
Now that cold and flu season is upon us, we have a higher demand for sick appointments. If you are not able to keep your scheduled appointment with Dr Curran, please call our office at least 24 hours in advance so we may have availability for sick patients.
HIPAA law states we can not release any of your information without your written consent. Please let us know if you would like to authorize us to release information to your spouse or family member(s).
Please let Kitty or Julie know when you check in if you have a new mailing address, phone number or new/updated insurance.
We are currently in the midst of an epidemic of Swine Flu (H1N1) in WNC. Every day for 2 weeks we have seen several sick adults and children at our office. The local school systems are experiencing record high absences due to illness. It is important to recognize the signs of influenza, and to know how to prevent the spread of this illness.
If you have a fever (over 100), cough, fatigue, and muscle aches, you almost certainly have influenza. The current strain of influenza is the H1N1, or swine flu. This strain is expected to continue throughout the winter. The H1N1 flu will also be joined by the usual seasonal flu strains in the winter months. If you have these symptoms, please isolate yourself from others, and consider seeking medical attention.
How serious is swine flu infection?
Initially there was concern that the Swine Flu
would be more deadly than usual influenza, because of several deaths in
Is the Flu virus contagious?
The Swine Flu and the seasonal flu are both highly contagious by coughing, sneezing, and skin contact. Sick individuals are contagious four about a week, from the day before they are sick, to the day after their fever resolves. Because of this, sick individuals should stay home from school and work until their fever has been gone for 24 hours.
What are the signs and symptoms of flu and swine flu?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have occurred with swine flu infection in a few people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
Are the Flu Shots safe?
In a word, YES. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get influenza. Flu shots are made with a killed virus, so they cannot cause the flu illness. Like any shot, the most common side effect of the flu vaccine is a sore arm. Some people will have a low-grade fever as a response to the injection, but this is not the same as an illness. Eggs are used in the manufacturing process, so people allergic to eggs or poultry may not be able to get the vaccine. The preservative Thimerisol is used in the initial stages of vaccine production, but is diluted out of the final product. Our vaccine is considered "preservative free."
We are currently giving vaccinations for the seasonal influenza which is expected in the winter. Unfortunately, this vaccine does not protect against Swine Flu, which is already affecting our community. We expect Swine Flu vaccine to be available by late October. The Swine Flu vaccine will not protect against seasonal flu, and vice-versa. Therefore, at-risk individuals should get BOTH vaccinations.
Are medicines necessary to treat Swine Flu?
Antiviral medications (oseltamivir or zanamivir) can lessen the course of illness with influenza. They are recommended for treatment of influenza only in severe cases, such as those requiring hospitalization. These medications are useful only if started within the first 3 days of illness. Most people with Swine Flu or seasonal influenza will not need antiviral treatment. Treatment is not recommended for prevention of the illness except in high-risk individuals.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus?
If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible. Isolate yourself at home until your fever resolves. Do not go to work or school if ill. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and put your used tissue in the waste basket. If you do not have a tissue, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve. Then, wash your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.
What is the best hand washing technique?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water, or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. Wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers should be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.
What should I do if I get sick?
If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others. If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek medical care.
In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
More on this from WebMD: www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/swine-flu-faq-1
More on this from the CDC: www.cdc.gov/swineflu
Influenza - Home Treatment
If you have influenza, you can expect the illness to go away on its own in about 7 to 10 days. In the meantime, you can take these steps to feel better:
Call your doctor if:
More on this topic from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/flu-treatment
Medications to ease your illness
Treatment of colds and influenza is mostly aimed at minimizing the symptoms. There are dozens of over-the-counter remedies that may improve your symptoms. However, these medications must be used intelligently. Most these medications contain slight variations of the same several ingredients. It is best to pick medications that contain only one ingredient, so you know what you are taking. Do not take more than one medicine with the same ingredient. Only by reading the list of active ingredients can you identify which medications are right for you.
Here are several websites with valuable information about influenza and its treatment.
For more local and general health information, check out these links:
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, http://www.pisgahfamilyhealth.com/.
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