Archive for March 26th, 2007

The Importance of the Flu Vaccine

March 26, 2007

4184332892.jpgIt’s the time of the year that flu vaccination is again recommended. For the year 2007 … it is now recommended earlier this March due to three new strains of viruses expected to affect the region for the year.  So how can we protect from this infection and who should get the vaccination?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  recommends annual influenza vaccination for the following:

  • anybody age 50 and older;
  • children ages 6 months to 59 months;
  • women who will be pregnant during flu season; and
  • adults and children with other chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure

Patients with cardiovascular disease are of special concern since according to a recent American Heart Association guideline and advisory …. they are more likely to die from influenza than patients with any other chronic condition.  It is for this reason that one particular group of patients at risk are the diabetics who by the time of diagnosis most likely have cardiovascular disease already!

The advisory further noted: 

Overall, influenza is responsible for 36,000 deaths and 225,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year.  People with cardiovascular disease are particularly vulnerable, because the flu can exacerbate heart disease symptoms directly, and can also lead to conditions like viral or bacterial pneumonia that cause flare-ups of cardiovascular disease”. Influenza vaccination is now recommended with the same enthusiasm as cholesterol and blood pressure control and other modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease” 

Remember though that those who got last year’s shot should have a repeat vaccination this year because last year’s shot won’t offer protection this year.  Every year, the dominant strains of influenza virus change and therefore new vaccine is made for the particular year.  

So if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma or any diseases that requires life long medications….

Keep Yourself Protected: Get The Vaccine!