2018-2019 Flu Season – How to Stay Healthy
By George Gey, MD and Jeanette Dunn, RN, EdD
(click here for printable copy)
This year the CDC is recommending Influenza vaccinations for 65+ year-old persons who have no contraindications, such as egg allergy and/or severe reactions to flu vaccines. There are new vaccines that are cell-based – not produced in eggs.
For people with immune systems that require a stimulus, a flu vaccine with an adjuvant is now available, not to be used in people who are allergic to egg based vaccines.
The new quadrivalent dead virus vaccine includes A/Michigan (H1N1), A/Singapore (H3N2), B/Colorado, and B/Phuket. There is a nasal spray with the four attenuated live viruses (a quadrivalent vaccine). This attenuated flu virus vaccine is now recommended for this coming flu season. There is a high dose dead virus vaccine that is recommended for people 70 and older.
Having a flu shot each year helps to maintain your resistance. Check with your health care provider to determine which vaccine is recommended for you.
Remember the flu virus changes with each flu season. Prevention is even more important at the end of the season. There is a new digital immune-assay and a rapid nucleic amplification test which can identify viruses. It takes only a 5-30 minute process. Early diagnosis and treatment can save lives.
A web site that offers epidemiological information for your area is: https://flunearyou.org/, if you are interested. It may be important to avoid areas where large numbers of people congregate when flu is prevalent. More information can be obtained at CDC.gov.
Remember to cover your cough, stay home if you have flu symptoms, and call your health care provider.