| August is National Immunization Awareness Month
- Decision Focus: Vaccinations for Flu Season
- Unfounded Vaccine Fears Put Everyone at Risk
- Nose Spray or Vaccination?
- Dr. Oz Video: How Do You Know if Someone is Having a Stroke?
- Source4Women: Diets, Diets and More Diets - How to Pick a Perfect Diet for You
- August Dare: Enter to Win a $400 Visa Gift Card or a $400 Sports Authority Gift Card!
- Monthly Health Tip
- Monthly Recipe
Vaccinations for Flu Season
Confused about which vaccinations to get this fall? We’ll tell you how to help keep your family safe this flu season.
This year is no time to let vaccines slide down your priority list. The swine (H1N1) flu and seasonal flu are still real threats. Planning your family’s vaccinations, including ones for grandma and grandpa, may be one of the most important tasks you do all year. Experts advise that you get the flu shot as soon as it becomes available in early fall.
Is the swine flu shot different from the seasonal flu shot?
No. This year, one vaccine will protect you from both the swine and seasonal varieties of flu.
Who should get the flu vaccination?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu shot this year.
Children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years need two doses of the flu shot (given about one month apart) if:
- They’ve never had a flu shot before.
- Last year was the first year they got the flu shot and they only received one dose.
- They did not get the swine flu vaccine last year (during the 2013-1014 flu season) or it’s unknown if they received the swine flu shot last year.
Reasons to get the flu vaccine
- They protect you and your family from two types of flu. Every year, 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu.
- Being protected will give you peace of mind and can protect you and your family from serious problems caused by the flu. More than 200,000 people a year are hospitalized from flu-related complications.
- Almost everyone can get the seasonal flu vaccine. Avoiding the seasonal flu may mean that you’ll be in overall better health and be able to fend off disease through the flu season.
Reasons not to get vaccinated
People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs or had a severe reaction in the past should check with their doctors to see if they should get the shots.
- Some people want to take every precaution to prevent illness.
- Some may have religious beliefs that conflict with getting vaccinations.
- Others are concerned about vaccine safety. Vaccines, like any medication, can cause side effects. However, seldom are those side effects serious. For most people, the benefits outweigh the risks of these vaccines.
Before you make a decision, weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor. Not getting immunized puts you at risk of getting a disease that could, in rare cases, be fatal. It also raises the risk that you can spread the virus to others who may be at high risk for complications.
Other vaccinations to consider
People are at increased risk of getting pneumonia when they get the flu or are otherwise sick. One type of pneumonia can be prevented with a vaccine. The CDC recommends the following people get the appropriate pneumococcal vaccine:
- All children under 5 years of age
- People age 65 or older
- People who have problems with their lungs, heart, liver, or kidneys, and people with diabetes, asthma, a lowered immune system and other chronic diseases
- People who smoke
Some adults should get the shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine. Shingles is a condition caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have had chickenpox, the virus lies dormant (inactive) in your nerves. Later, often after decades, the virus may reactivate in the form of shingles.
Unfounded Vaccine Fears Put Everyone at Risk
Parents who fail to get their children immunized because of false information put many at risk.
You don’t have to go much farther than the Internet to find sites, organizations and movie stars—an anti-vaccine movement—devoted to warning the public about alleged dangers of vaccines.
No autism-vaccine link
At the movement’s core is the fear that toxins in childhood immunizations are the cause of autism and possibly other diseases. This group claims that the rise of autism is due to the number of vaccines children get at a young age. While it is true that autism is typically noted around the time many childhood immunizations are given, decades of scientific research have not found a link between vaccines and autism.
There are risks with vaccinations, although the most common risks, a sore arm or mild fever, are temporary. More serious reactions are extremely rare. Many people think they are avoiding risk by choosing against vaccination. Sadly, that is not true.
Failing to immunize not only puts your child at risk of getting a deadly disease but also of spreading that disease to the rest of your family and others. Polio, measles, diphtheria, chickenpox and other dangerous diseases have been kept in check with vaccines, but not completely wiped out. Many younger parents, those who were not old enough to witness first-hand the devastating effects of these diseases, may not fully appreciate their terrible force.
Deadly diseases waiting for a comeback
As more people opt out of immunization, the chance of these killers staging a comeback increases. This is a frightening outlook. In fact, pertussis, or whooping cough, a disease that was all but eliminated (1,000 cases in 1976) has been slowly coming back (26,000 in 2004). Whooping cough causes high fever and can be fatal in babies.
Measles is also well-positioned for a comeback. The number of reported cases (while still relatively rare) has risen steadily from year to year. With measles, one cough can spread the disease to virtually any susceptible person in the room. Because the disease is so highly contagious, people who are vaccinated serve as a barrier to a widespread outbreak. But rising numbers of unvaccinated people provide a reservoir of potential disease. In other words, vaccines work only if a critical percentage of the population takes them.
Most parents are just trying to make the right decision for their children. When they look to the Internet, they can find a wealth of inaccurate information. The information plays to their fears and takes advantage of a lack of understanding about the complex topic of vaccines.
In the end, the decision to have children vaccinated remains with the parents. If you are worried about vaccines, talk to your family doctor and find credible information to help in your decision.
Should You Get the Flu Shot
Nasal Spray Vaccine?
Do you hate shots—but want to be protected from the flu? Consider the nasal spray vaccine.
Influenza (flu) is a common, contagious disease that kills thousands of people each year. Getting a flu shot each fall can help prevent flu. If you hate shots, but want flu protection, another option is receiving the flu vaccine as a nasal spray.
Who can use them
- The flu shot is an option for almost anyone older than 6 months, including people with chronic diseases.
- The nasal spray vaccine is an option for healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49 who aren’t pregnant and don’t have certain health conditions (see below).
- The flu shot may cause soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, a slight fever and aches.
- In children, the nasal spray vaccine may cause a runny nose, headache, vomiting, wheezing, aches and a slight fever. In adults, it may cause a runny nose, headache, sore throat and cough.
Who should not get the nasal spray vaccine?
The nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for:
- Adults 50 and older because it has not been proven effective in this age group.
- Children younger than 6 months should not get either flu vaccine.
- Children 6 months through 23 months of age because of an increased risk of wheezing. They should only receive the flu shot.
- Children younger than 5 who have asthma or have had one or more episodes of wheezing in the past year.
- Teens or children taking aspirin long term.
- People who have certain chronic health problems such as heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, anemia or kidney failure.
- Anyone who has a muscle or nerve disorder (such as Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome or seizures) that could cause breathing or swallowing problems.
- Anyone who has a weakened immune system.
- Pregnant women.
- Anyone in close contact with someone with a severely-weakened immune system who requires a protected environment for care (such as a bone marrow transplant unit).
Better Health with Dr. Oz: How Do You Know if Someone is Having a Stroke?
Check out the video library on the Better Health with Dr. Oz section of the uhc.com website! In these short videos, best-selling author and host of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mehmet Oz, provides practical, easy-to-follow advice on a variety of health topics. To view the program click here: http://www.uhc.com/health-and-wellness/better-health-with-dr-oz
Source4Women Online Seminar
Diets, Diets and More Diets - How to Pick a Perfect Diet for You
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD
August 11, 2015 – 12:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. CT, 10:30 a.m. MT, 9:30 a.m. PT
With hundreds of weight loss diets to choose from, how do you select the right one for you? Which dietary patterns are the easiest to follow for long-term effects on weight and health? Join us for this cutting edge seminar that will review healthy diets to follow and provide tips to help you find the best plan suited to your lifestyle. Fad diets, myths, red flags to watch out for, promises too good to be true, detox cleanses, paleo, gluten free and trending diets will be reviewed.
To register for an upcoming Source4Women online seminar, visit www.source4women.com and click on "Online Seminars & Events." All seminars are recorded and archived for viewing after the live seminar date.
August Health Tip
Just as immunizations help to reduce health care issues, making sure to get your preventive health screenings can also help. At www.uhcpreventivecare.com you can identify your age and gender-specific preventive care recommendations to help you manage your health and that of your family members.
We Dare You!
August has arrived, and that means a whole new set of dares for you to try! Give it a go:
1. Share a photo of how you are getting physically active with the hashtag #GetActiveWDY
2. Take our Muscle Quiz
3. Play our "Match the Healthy Snack" game
You could win great prizes like a $400 Visa gift card or a $400 Sports Authority gift card!
Visit http://wedareyoutoshare.com/ for your chance to win!
August Healthy Recipe:
Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip
1 teaspoon butter
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1 tablespoon low-fat milk
8 oz. nonfat cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Dash of nutmeg
1 pound crab meat, drained and shells removed
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add butter. Sauté onion 5-7 minutes until caramelized, add garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Set aside.
In a blender, puree cottage cheese with low-fat milk until smooth and creamy. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine onion and cottage cheese mixtures, artichoke hearts, lemon juice, Worcestershire, sherry, pepper and nutmeg; mix thoroughly. Add crab to gently combine. Place crab mixture in a medium casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top crab mixture with shredded cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly golden.
Serve with Melba toast, crudities or your favorite whole grain crackers (not included in nutrient analysis).
Yield: 18 servings (about 3 tablespoons per serving)
Calories from fat: 12
Total Fat: 1.3g
Saturated Fat: .8g
Total Carbohydrates: 3g
Dietary Fiber: .6g
Source: Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
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