flu

If you have been procrastinating getting your flu shot - it's time to get it off of your 'to-do' list. 

Flu statistics are watched closely at this time of year, and the last few weeks of data have shown a notable increase in the number of flu cases. More, experts predict that flu activity will be increasing in the near future - specifically over the next several weeks.

The Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report from the NY State Department of Health says that last week (ending December 24th) was the worst week to date and it was also the first week that widespread activity was reported.

During that week, there was a 143% increase...

Flu Season Ahead

Flu Vaccine Updates for 2016-2017  

October marks the beginning of flu season, which means it is time to get a flu shot. The flu season spans the months of October to May, so the ideal time to get vaccinated is before the end of October.  In the United States alone, influenza-related deaths have been estimated to be 3,349 - 48,614 annually, depending on the year.  The influenza vaccine is our best defense against this potentially deadly virus.

Because the flu virus frequently undergoes mutations, a new vaccine must be formulated each year.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses prevalence data from preceding months to determine which strains of influenza...

shutterstock_389013259 "If I Don't Look, It Won't Hurt" courtesy of Shutterstock

Many parents blanch at the thought of taking their kids to the doctor for vaccinations. No matter how much you explain the necessity for that pinprick, it's hard to overcome the fear of pain (which makes the whole experience worse). So when the first nasal spray flu vaccine became available in 2003, it was well received.

Unfortunately, that option is no longer available. At least for now. An advisory committee from the CDC just recommended that the spray should...

shutterstock_154217945 Young Infant via Shutterstock

Babies can't be immunized against influenza until they're around 6 months old, so it's important that their mothers get vaccinated during pregnancy so that they can pass their antibodies to the babies before birth. A recent study confirms the...

In like a lamb, out like a lion? Maybe not when it comes to flu season. According to the CDC's latest numbers, although the number of influenza cases reported across the country is steadily climbing, flu activity is nowhere near what the nation saw last year. However, that may not seem like the case in places hit hard this year, like Iowa, Kentucky and Texas, a few of the dozen states classified by the CDC as seeing "widespread" flu activity. Now the good news. To date, the hospitalization rate for the influenza virus is 1.8 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the U.S., compared with 36 cases per 100,000 this time last year. Much of the mildness of the flu season can be attributed to the efficacy of this year's vaccine, a contrast to last year's flu vaccine, which was...

Shutterstock Shutterstock

Are you hosting or attending a Super Bowl party this Sunday? If so, good luck; you could get the flu. What's worse, if you're 65 and older and watching from the cities whose teams made it to the 50th Big Game (yes, we're talking about you Denver and Charlotte), you might want to watch the game alone; the party could be deadly. Literally.

According to recent findings, cities with teams playing in the Super Bowl see a significant rise in flu...

Avoiding stress could help stave off the flu. Sick woman via www.shutterstock.com.Avoiding stress could help stave off the flu. Sick woman via www.shutterstock.com.

By Alexander Chaitoff and Joshua Daniel Niforatos, medical students at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine,...

i_love_vaccines_t_shirts-rcc3bcf37b21247b9845621ed86a9e63d_804gy_1024A New York State Supreme Court judge ruled that a recent New York City mandate, requiring a flu vaccination for kids as a condition for attending school or daycare, was invalid.

State Supreme Court Judge Manuel J. Mendez found that NYC's mandatory influenza vaccination requirement for children aged six months through five years who are in, or plan to attend...

pills-1573283-639x426Beating back the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria will require a multi-pronged approach. Some necessary steps include eliminating the active ingredients from hand soaps and livestock feed, and working to ensure that patients take their full dose of drugs. But the most essential question hovering over this issue is whether or not to treat sick patients with antibiotics.

Bacterial infections make antibiotics necessary. But viruses, like ones that cause the common cold and flu, are unaffected by these drugs. Anytime antibiotics are used, either properly or improperly, there is a potential...

86804963(1)Mothers trying to decide whether or not to nurse their children are faced with a sea of confusing information. But despite the conflicting information found on the internet and elsewhere, mothers aren't left with a clear-cut answer. And as for women who do choose to breastfeed, it's not often clear which scenarios call for a suspension of the practice, such as when the mother has the flu.

Mothers looking to the CDC for information will be disappointed. On its website, in the section on caring for this population, there's no mention of whether mothers have to...