Pediatric Works's November Newsletter
It’s November! Time for family, fun, and Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving will be interesting for me because I have decided to become vegan (Whole Food Plant Based, WFPD), but I may need to cheat day lol. (If anyone has a recipe for Vegan Mac n Cheese or Sweet Potato Pie…. please please text, call or email me lol!)
I just wanted to send a reminder to everyone about the need to get your flu (influenza) shot. Flu is a contagious disease that does the rounds every year, usually between October and May. Everyone above the age of 6 months - particularly parents and kids who are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza – should get it. At-risk groups include people who have asthma, diabetes, cancer, chronic kidney disease, obesity, are over 65, and pregnant women and will be treated by antiviral prescription.
It is difficult for experts to estimate flu activity this year because of the pandemic. There was a reduction in flu immunity because of social distancing and mask-wearing. As such, we need to be more prepared than usual. Typically, we can treat flu at home with increased hydration, antipyretics (Tylenol/Motrin), rest, and love. Of course, I am only a phone call away if you need me.
This would not be complete if I did not mention COVID-19. Even though there has been a downward trend of COVID in our community, we will still have COVID-19 and flu circuiting at the same time. COVID, like flu, spreads by respiratory droplets (for example coughing) but COVID is more contagious. Also, symptoms for flu present sooner than COVID. If a person has COVID-19, it will usually take them longer to experience symptoms than if they had flu. For example, a person can experience symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after flu infection, whereas COVID symptoms show about 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after infection.
COVID-19 and Flu Similarities:
Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle pain or body aches
Vomiting and diarrhea
Change in or loss of taste or smell, although this is more frequent with COVID-19
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC has approved the Pfizer/Biotech vaccine for ages 5-11. Pfizer has both already received EAU (Emergency Authorization Use) for ages 12 and up. If interested, it will be available at your local CVS, Walgreens, and Health Departments. I would encourage you to make an appointment to lessen your wait time. It is also important to note that flu and COVID vaccines can be given at the same time.
Last but not least with or without vaccines, we need a robust immune system. A proper diet, adequate sleep, lessening our stress, exercise along with handwashing, and covering your mouth when coughing is your first line of defense. I also recommend Vitamin D for both parents and kids.
Number 1 Myth: The influenza vaccine does NOT cause the flu.
As always, I am here to answer any questions or concerns.
Let’s keep in touch!