Tag Archives: vaccine

CDC Recommends Taking Three Actions To Fight The Flu

If you haven’t gotten a flu vaccine this season, now is a good time to get one. Anyone can be affected by the flu regardless of how health they are.

The contagious disease can lead to hospitalization — and even death. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Getting vaccinated annually is the No. 1 way to combat the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking three actions to protect against the flu:

1) Take time to get a flu vaccine.

DHEC and the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine, which can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu.Flu-boygettingshot

It is especially important for high-risk persons to be vaccinated to reduce the risk of severe illness. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.

2) Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick, limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.Child-Washing-Hands
  • If you are sick with flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

3) Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. These drugs are different from antibiotics; they are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.

Visit CDC’s website to find out more about the flu and the three actions it recommends to fight it.

Flu vaccines offered at DHEC Health Department clinics are available by appointment. Call 1-800-868-0404 to make an appointment or go to www.scdhec.gov/flu/fluclinics to find the location closest to you. To find a non-DHEC flu vaccine provider near you, go to flushot.healthmap.org. You can also find more information about preventing the flu on the DHEC website at www.scdhec.gov/flu.

From Other Blogs: Flu vaccine, tips to help you quit smoking, environmental justice & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Everyone can be a flu vaccine advocate!

With the holidays quickly approaching, there will be more opportunities to spend time with family and friends.  Now is the time to ensure that you and those around you are protected from flu. Now is the time to get your seasonal flu vaccine if you haven’t already gotten it. — From the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Public Health Matters blog

Preparing to quit: 10 tips to help you quit smoking

Each year, on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to quit during the Great American Smokeout. Most people who smoke want to quit, but they also know quitting is hard…it can take several attempts to succeed. Here are some tips to help you quit for good … — From the CDC’s Public Health Matters blog

25 Years of Environmental Justice at the EPA

For a quarter of a century, the EPA has worked to address the environmental and public health concerns of minority, low-income and indigenous communities.  I have been blessed to be a part of this effort since its first steps. The Agency’s decision to establish the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ), initially called the Office of Environmental Equity, stemmed from the recommendations of the EPA Environmental Equity Work Group, which was formed by Administrator Bill Reilly in 1990 to “review the evidence that racial minority and low-income communities bear a disproportionate risk burden.”  — From The EPA Blog

Have A Food-Safe Holiday Season

Last year, more than 46 million turkeys were carved and eaten at Thanksgiving. Turkey is typically accompanied by a host of side dishes and desserts, making the Thanksgiving meal by far one of the largest meals most people will cook this year. — From the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Blog

Here are a few basic things you should know about the flu

No matter how healthy you are, you can be affected by the flu. No one is immune.

Keep that in mind as we move further into the 2017-18 flu season. If you have not gotten your yearly flu vaccine, now is a good time to do so because it can take up to two weeks for your body to develop a protective response and it is the best way to prevent the flu.

Here are some tips to help protect you and your loved ones from the flu this season.

  1. The flu and how is it spread

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The flu can cause mild to severe, even deadly illness — especially in vulnerable people. Symptoms can include fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat, and nasal congestion or stuffiness. 

Seasonal flu is usually spread from person to person. People who have the flu may spread it to others from about one day before they develop symptoms for up to seven days after.  Flu viruses are spread when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk spread respiratory droplets. Others become infected when these droplets are inhaled or enter the nose or mouth by touching with hands that have been soiled by the respiratory droplets.

  1. Some people at higher risk

While anyone, including healthy people, can get the flu, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications if they get the flu. This includes older people (especially people 65 years of age and older), young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease). While it is important for everyone to receive their yearly flu vaccine, it is especially important for people in these high risk groups to do so.

  1. Ways you can help prevent the flu

Remember, the best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get your flu vaccine each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DHEC recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older get a yearly flu vaccine.

In addition, South Carolinians are encouraged to take the following preventive measures:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home from work, school and errands if you are sick to avoid getting others sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue if one is handy; throw it away immediately after use. Otherwise, use the crook of your elbow to cover yourself.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when someone touches something that is covered with germs and then touches one of those areas.

Other good habits include getting plenty of exercise and sleep, managing your stress, drinking water and eating good food to help you stay healthy in the winter and all year.

  1. Places where you can get the flu vaccine

It’s important to get the flu vaccine not only to protect yourself, but also your loved ones from the seasonal flu. Even if you don’t have a regular health care provider you can still get the flu vaccine. In addition to DHEC, many local providers — including doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, college health centers, schools and workplaces — now offer flu vaccines. We encourage everyone to find the facility that works best for them.

Once again this flu season, like last season, the CDC recommends that the intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the “nasal spray,” should not be used.

To find the DHEC seasonal flu clinic nearest you, click here.

For more information: www.scdhec.gov/flu.

DHEC in the News: Infant mortality, McLeod Mobile Mammography Unit, shingles vaccine

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

South Carolina DHEC releases new infant mortality data for 2016

South Carolina DHEC released new information showing that South Carolina’s infant mortality has remained at 7.0 deaths per 1000 births.

This data shows four fewer deaths in 2016 than in the previous year.

Mobile Mammography Unit makes screenings more convenient for Pee Dee women

FLORENCE, S.C. – For nine years, the McLeod Mobile Mammography Unit has made receiving mammograms a more convenient task for women across northeastern South Carolina.

McLeod Health’s radiology liaison, Johnna Black, said the mobile mammography unit was the combined vision of the hospital’s cancer and breast imaging department and the McLeod Foundation.

General Interest

What you need to know about the new shingles vaccine

Barbara Campbell has twice had shingles. Each time, one side of her body was covered in “thousands of these horrid blisters.” She could only wear the lightest silk blouse. Anything else touching her skin hurt too much.

“I’m in terror of having it happen again,” said Campbell, 79, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, describing the painful rash that will affect almost 1 out of 3 people in their lifetime. Because of allergies, she couldn’t get the Zostavax vaccine, which is made with live, albeit weakened virus.

But Campbell and millions of other older Americans at risk of shingles – a condition caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox – may soon have another option.

The Flu Vaccine Is The Best Way To Prevent The Flu

It’s flu season. DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage South Carolinians to protect themselves with the flu shot.

Why is it important to get vaccinated?

The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu; it prevents flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, missed work and school due to flu, and flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

The flu is not like the common cold; it is more dangerous for children, especially for very young children or those with chronic health problems like asthma or diabetes. It is important for children 6 months and older to be vaccinated with the flu shot. Visit the CDC website for tips on how to make shots less stressful for you and your child.

Likewise, older children, adolescents and adults are recommended to get the flu vaccine each year.  Some people are more likely to get serious complications from the flu that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death.  This includes adults 50 years and older, pregnant women and anyone with chronic medical conditions like asthma, heart or lung disease and diabetes.  Vaccination is also important for health care workers and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to them.

Find a provider near you

DHEC once again will be providing school-located vaccine clinics for flu vaccine this year; the flu shot will be the only type of flu vaccine available in school clinics. School-located vaccine clinics remain a convenient way for parents to ensure their child gets the flu vaccine.

Flu vaccines are also available from health care providers, local DHEC health departments, and local pharmacies.  Those age 12 and older can receive the flu vaccine without a prescription at a pharmacy that offers flu vaccine.

Flu vaccines offered at DHEC Health Department clinics are available by appointment. Call 1-800-868-0404 to make an appointment or go to http://www.dhec.sc.gov/Health/Vaccinations/FluVaccines/FindSeasonalFluClinics/ to find the location closest to you. To find a non-DHEC flu vaccine provider, go to http://flushot.healthmap.org/ to search for the location closest to you.