Influenza Update: Oregon- November 2014

flu shotWe had one confirmed case in Oregon the first week of November.  This means the influenza season has not started yet.  RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) tests were 5% positive compared to 1% the previous week, so we may begin to see increases in cough and bronchiolitis.

The data shows that other than the unusual H1N1 flu season of 2009-2010 that occurred in September to November, all other years the flu season starts the last week of December or first week of January and is over by May. So far, 42% of the State’s residents have taken a flu vaccine this year.

If you want the flu shot or Flumist (Live nasal spray flu vaccine) there is still plenty of time to get this.  I still think the best time to get the vaccine is from October to January.  I do not recommend the multi-dose flu shots for children as these have a large dose of mercury (thimerosal).  If you have a child with heart disease, severe asthma, or other severe underlying medical conditions and the only vaccine available is the multi-dose flu vaccine, then you may have to use what you can get and take that vaccine.

Here in the US, this year has been strange for those of us in private practice.  The pharmacies seem to have received plenty of flu vaccines as they are advertising that you come there to get your flu shot or mist. If you choose to do that, please make sure you are getting a single dose (mercury-free) vaccine. The state-supplied vaccines have recently shipped.  We are just starting to get some of our order this coming week, and that was placed a year ago.

At Integrative Pediatrics we are giving priority to families with high risk children.  If this is you, please call us to get in during the next flu shot clinic. For those of you with normal, healthy children who want the flu protection, I suggest the following:

  • If over age 8, we can order Flumist and get that done in the next few weeks (Flumist has not been effective under age 8 the past couple years). Call now for an appointment for Flumist.
  • I would encourage you to be patient as our shipment should be coming before the end of the year.
  • If the flu season gets going for real and we still have not received our shipments, we will help you get the shot done at local pharmacies. (This may require that we send them a prescription.  We prefer doing the shots for your child at our office so we give the best vaccine available).

 

Thank-you for your patience.

 

You can read the Oregon Health Division’s most recent report here…

 

 

Dr. Paul

 

 

 

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