Parents please get your whooping cough vaccine now, call us!

I urge each parent to get the Tdap (whooping cough) booster as soon as possible.  Babies can and do die from this respiratory infection.  Just look at what has been going on in the state of California.

http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/outbreaks/trends.html

Avoid the flu

Since children are the major source of these viruses keeping them healthy and away from obvious sick contacts is critical. Did you know, that children carry the virus in their nose for up to 2 weeks and all the while can transmit their flu illness to others people through their highly infectious respiratory secretions (ie via sneezing and coughing).

The MUST DO’s for older children and adults to HALT the virus before it can multiply rapidly in the nose is to aggressively use saline rinses and cleanse the nasal passages by blowing the nose.  For children, the use of saline rinses and effectively suctioning  the nasal secretions by the “dreaded” BLUE BULB syringe for younger children is critical to help heal and prevent transmission to others.

Influenza vaccination policies are highly effective in controlling outbreaks of disease.  The most effective Flu vaccine type is the Q-LAIV Flumist immunization. For you chickens out there, this nasal immunization is indicated for 2 years of age and older with some exclusions and you dont have to have a needle stick! Check with your physician to see if you are a candidate for this one. If not, you are still eligible for the old fashioned injectable immunization as long as you are a minimum of 6 months of age.

A MUST READ:

Immunogenicity and safety of a quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine in children:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22466322

Childhood & adolescent depression can kill

As many as 20% of teens will suffer from depression having met the criteria of 6 months duration.  As parents we need to identify these symptoms and signs and know how to address them quickly.  Early intervention allow the individual to cope with their feelings effectively and to return to a more comfortable life.  Children & adolescents may not be able to effectively communicate their sad thoughts as maybe adults would.  If your child or adolescent has poor sleep, withdrawal from others, low energy, low self esteem, irritability,or any physical manifestations of recurrent abdominal pain, headaches, or easy distractibility, consider depression as a potential diagnosis. Further investigate any identifiable causes for their grief.  Medications and/or psychological intervention may be warranted to get your loved one back on track. Always consider aggravating factors for depression and rule out chronic illnesses, hormonal changes, drug use, sexuality issues, sexual or physical abuse concerns, girlfriend/boyfriend problems, family crisis, that led to this desperate situation.  Warning: depression is the 3rd leading cause of death in adolescence.

http://nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=88551

Protect the babies, adults get your “whooping cough” vaccine!

Bordetella Pertussis is a bacterial infection infecting the upper respiratory tract and becoming more common since an every increasing number of adolesents, young adults and grandparents have lost their longstanding ability to be protected against this illness.  Masquerading as a common cold or flu like illness, in older children and adults, the infection can be transferred easily to susceptible infants or children (usually unvaccinated or under vaccinated).  Once acquiring the bacterial infection as infants, the disease can overwhelm the respiratory system of the afflicted, leading to respiratory failure and even death. Unfortunately, each year a large number of babies die unnecessary due this preventable infection. The recommendation is for each eligible person 19 years to 65 to receive a single vaccination to protect these vulnerable babies.

http://www.adultvaccination.org/whooping_cough_vaccine_pertussis_vaccination_adult_immunization.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pertussis/unprotected-story.htm

Flu viruses

Be on the lookout for more “flu like” illness now.  Although these viruses present year round we see an increases of these viruses in the winter months.  The flu viruses as we know them are actually comprised of different infections that typically include Influenza A & B, RSV, Parainfluenza, and Adenovirus.  There are effective preventative vaccines ONLY for Influenza A & B that are admininistered usually in September and October prior to the peak flu season. RSV is well known as the virus that causes “bronchiolitis”, a lung condition that can be quite severe, with acute onset of cold symptoms, wheezing, and even respiratory distress that may include hospitalization in some of these infants and younger toddlers.  Parainfluenza virus is the most common virus causing “croup”, characeterized by a barky cough and hoarseness, worse usually during the night.  All of these “flu viruses” are generally known to cause more serious respiratory disease then other viruses found in the warmer months, like rhinovirus, otherwise known as the “common cold”. So when it comes to infection with these winter viruses we are all at risk, but babies, young children, asthmatics, immunodeficient patients, and the elderly are generally the highest risk groups.  The treatments for most are outpatient symptomatic care that includes fever control, saline nasal rinses, oral fluids to prevent dehydration, and rest generally with favorable outcomes after 3-14 days of symptoms.  If you or your infant/child have ongoing respiratory symptoms, worsening of symptoms such as nightime cough, dehydration, or the onset of new symptoms, then you should seek immediate attention from your doctor. Additional therapies may be required for these infections as determined by your doctor after in-office evaluation.