2014 Flu Season Has Arrived!

Oct 29, 2014

The 2014-2015 flu season is here. Although the flu can be contracted throughout the year, the most likely time is from October through May. The peak is usually January and February. Because the strains of flu do vary from one year to the next, the flu vaccine is developed fresh every year, based on careful projections based on past flu cycles. It turns out that this particular year the flu vaccine is based on the same strains of virus as last year. BUT, because of what is called “waning immunity” (that is, the protection only lasts 9 or so months,) we need to get re-vaccinated this year. This year most flu vaccines contain 4 strains of flu virus protection. The live, intranasal spray vaccine, (available for those over 2 years of age, and with no history of wheezing or asthma) is actually the preferred vaccine for those 2 to 8 years of age, because it seems to work better. It can cause mild cold-type symptoms for a few days but let me state: No flu vaccine actually causes the flu! This is a common myth, and is simply untrue. Flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, each season. For those of you with infants at home, it is critical that all household contacts (including caretakers like nannies, babysitters etc) be immunized as well. This provides the so-called cocoon effect, which protects against the all too common scenario in which an older sibling, parent or other person spreads the flu virus to the baby, who is more vulnerable. This kind of family transmission also holds true for whooping cough, which, in 2010, spread from an older family member to a 2 month old baby right here in Palm Beach county, resulting in the infant’s death. The tetanus booster, normally given at age 12, now includes pertussis protection for this very reason (pertussis is the bacteria that causes whooping cough). It should be given to ALL adults up to 65 years of age, especially if there is possible contact with infants under 12 months of age, as per CDC guidelines. Many adult physicians, including OBGYN doctors carry it and should be called to arrange vaccination. Alternatively your primary care doctor can usually provide it. If not, let us know and we will vaccinate you and/or your spouse if necessary.Have a wonderful Florida winter in the great outdoors!

← Back To News Listings