Can you get the flu in the summer?

FluAlthough it is possible to get the flu during the summer, it is highly unlikely that you will.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that while influenza viruses circulate year-round, they are most common during fall and winter months.   These viruses survive better in colder and drier climates. Therefore the chances that you will get the flu in the summer, which consists of hot and humid conditions, are greatly reduced.

Flu-like symptoms that occur during the summer are most likely caused by other illnesses. Some illnesses that present very similar symptoms to the flu include:

  • The common cold – symptoms include sore throat, coughing, sneezing and congestion
  • Pneumonia-symptoms include fever, headaches, chills and coughing
  • Gastroenteritis- symptoms include body  aches, pain, fever, headaches  along with diarrhea and abdominal cramps
  • Bronchitis- symptoms include fatigue, coughing, fever, chills and shortness of breath

Getting the flu during the summer is unusual but possible.  If you suspect that you have the flu or are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, it is advised that you see your doctor.  He or she will conduct an examination and order tests to determine all possible causes for your symptoms as well as appropriate treatment methods.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Do You Know When It’s Safe to Go Back to Work After the Flu?

Doctors often recommend staying home when you have the flu. Going to work when you are symptomatic puts others at risk for contracting the virus and getting sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.”

Knowing when to return to work and applying preventative measures to avoid the spread of the virus can reduce the risk of getting others ill. Most health care practitioners agree that you should stay home for a long as you have severe symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and cough with mucus or vomiting. Some doctors may advise that you do not return to work for five days after the onset of symptoms and 24 hours after your fever has cleared. Advice may vary by provider.

It is important to keep in mind that even when you begin to feel better, you may still be contagious for several days. The CDC advises, “Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.” During this time, take the following actions to prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Sanitize your hands
  • Cover your  nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Limit your contact with others
  • Do not share utensils or sanitize before sharing
  • Frequently disinfect areas that may be contaminated

This year, we are experiencing a rather severe flu season. Anyone who suspects they have the virus should seek treatment from their doctor as soon as possible and take the necessary steps needed to avoid infecting others.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Follow These Tips to Avoid Getting the Flu at Your Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl is this weekend and so many Americans look forward to celebrating this national event by watching the game with their friends and family. With flu season at its peak throughout the U.S, attending a gathering to watch the big game can be risky if you are not careful. Whether you are the host or a guest at a party this weekend, be sure to follow these tips to minimize catching the flu or any other virus this Sunday.

  • Avoid others if you are sick – The best way to avoid contracting or spreading the flu is to avoid others if you are feeling symptoms. If you are invited to a party but you or someone in your house is not feeling well, stay home. If you are hosting and experiencing flu-like symptoms, cancel the party.
  • Practice appropriate hygiene – If you are at a party and suddenly develop symptoms, make sure you cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze. Avoid using your hands when covering up. Instead use your upper sleeve. Also discard all tissues immediately after using them.
  • Exercise proper hand hygiene – Super Bowl parties offer many opportunities for you to shake hands or exchange high-fives with other party- goers. Expressing excitement is great, but when doing so, be sure to wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading germs. If you are hosting, it might be a good idea to have plenty of hand sanitizers available.
  • Be smart about how food and drinks are served – Most big game celebrations are sure to offer two things; plenty of food and drink. Be smart about how they are served by ensuring that there are appropriate utensils at the party, such as tongs to grab wings and scoopers to avoid hands in the chip bowls. Additionally, avoid sharing beverages. One idea to avoid mistakenly grabbing the wrong drink is to mark all plastic cups with the names of your guests with a magic marker.

By following these tips, you can enjoy all the fun that Super Bowl Sunday brings and reduce your chances of suffering with a cold or flu immediately after.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Flu Vaccines are Important and Safe for Pregnant Women

Influenza or Flu is a viral illness that appears most frequently during the winter and early spring. The effects of the flu can range from a mild cold-like illness to becoming severely sick, requiring hospitalization.

Women who are expecting are at an increased risk of developing severe flu-related illnesses due to the many changes in the immune system, heart and lungs that occur during pregnancy.

Influenza can be harmful to both mother and developing baby.   Complications from the flu can increase chances for premature delivery and is also linked to neural tube defects in growing fetuses.

The CDC highly recommends that pregnant women receive the flu shot. For 2015-2016, it is estimated that the vaccine prevented about 5 million influenza illnesses and 3,000 related deaths.

A flu shot given to a pregnant woman protects mother and baby. Research shows that mothers, who are vaccinated, will pass on some immunity to their child after birth. This reduces the risk of illness for the newborn.  The CDC finds that “The flu shot given during pregnancy has been shown to protect both the mother and her baby for several months after birth from flu.”

The vaccine is safe to get during any trimester.  There is an excellent safety record for the millions of pregnant women who received the flu shot.  We highly recommend vaccination for all pregnant women, and it is considered part of routine prenatal care.

It is important for others living in the household to get the flu shot to further protect the newborn. Babies usually get their first flu shot at the age of 6 months, so until then, they are at an increased risk of getting influenza from their environment. If an unvaccinated infant gets the flu, it can be severe and require medical management.

If you are pregnant and experiencing flu symptoms such as fever, body aches or a sore throat, call your family doctor immediately or seek medical attention.

To schedule an appointment with the Family Medicine Department at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call, 718-206-6942

Radeeb Akhtar MD. MPH. JHMC Family Medicine

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Does Sleep Affect Your Immune System?

Hispanic girl lying on her mother's lap

Lack of sleep can affect your immune system, but how? Studies show that people that don’t get quality sleep or enough hours of sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus like the flu. The recovery time from a cold is also prolonged as a result of not getting enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation may decrease production of the amount of infection-fighting antibodies and cells that strengthen the immune system. Essentially our bodies need sleep to fight infectious diseases and recover faster from common cold viruses.

How much sleep do you need to bolster your immune system? The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.

It’s very common to be told to get some rest when fighting off a cold or infection. Now we know why. As we move through cold and flu season, the key to staying healthy might just be getting a good night’s sleep.

However sleep does not always come easy to everyone. If you or someone you know is experiencing trouble with their sleep patterns, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Sleep Center is available to treat you. This state-of-the-art Sleep Center is a 4-bed unit that features comfortable, homelike rooms with sound proof walls for total privacy. For more information please call, 718-206-5916.

For more hospital events, highlights, health and  fitness tips, visit us on 

Facebook.com/JamaicaHospital and follow us on Twitter @JamaicaHospital !

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Asthma and Flu Season

Young woman using throat spray

Asthma is a lung disease that is caused by chronic inflammation of the airways, which can result in an asthma attack. During an attack, people experience symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. Many things can trigger an asthma attack and one of the most common is the flu.

With flu season upon us, what impact can the flu have on those with asthma? According to the CDC, though people with asthma are not more likely to get the flu, an infection can be more serious for people with asthma, even if their asthma is mild or their symptoms are well-controlled by medication. An influenza infection can trigger asthma attacks and a worsening of asthma symptoms. It also can lead to pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases. In fact, adults and children with asthma are more likely to develop pneumonia after getting sick with the flu than people who do not have asthma. Asthma is the most common medical condition among children hospitalized with the flu and one of the more common medical conditions among hospitalized adults.

If you have asthma, it is recommended that you get an annual influenza vaccine. Flu shots are generally recommended for people six months and older regardless of whether or not they have asthma. The flu shot has a long established safety record in people with asthma. In addition to getting the flu vaccine, proper hand-hygiene is strongly advised in order to prevent the spread of the flu.

If you do get sick with flu symptoms, speak with your doctor immediately to see if antiviral medications are an option for you. If prescribed, anti-viral drugs should be administered with 48 hours after the on-set of symptoms and can help minimize the effects of the flu. For people with asthma, this can help by reducing the risk of influenza from progressing into pneumonia or other respiratory diseases.

If you have asthma, and would like to receive a flu shot, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment or visit our website at www.jamaicahospital.org to find our closest MediSys Family Care Center to your home.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Why It’s Important For Your Child To Get The Flu Shot This Year

Flu season is coming and once again, many parents wonder if they should get their children vaccinated. Below is some information about the flu vaccine that parents should know.

Vaccination

The flu is more serious than the common cold for kids. Young children often require medical care after getting the flu. In fact, each year, an average of 20,000 children under the age of five are hospitalized due to complications from the flu, and for some, the illness can even result in death.

The best way to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children six months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine. Ideally, the best time to get the flu vaccine is as soon as it becomes available as it usually takes up to two weeks before your child is fully protected.

Flu shots can be administered either by injection or by a nasal spray. The nasal spray flu vaccine can be given to children between two and eight years old. Side effects can include runny nose, cough, fever, wheezing, and head or muscle aches. The flu shot can be given to children ages six months and over. Side effects of the flu shot include soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site or a low-grade fever.

Children under six months old are too young to be vaccinated. The best defense for them is to make sure those around them are vaccinated.

Some children who get the flu shot may require two doses. If your child is under nine years old and has never gotten the shot before, two separate doses will be necessary. These doses must be administered at least four weeks apart.  If your child has gotten the seasonal flu vaccine before or is over nine years old, only one dose is required.

Please speak with your pediatrician before getting your child vaccinated if:

  • If your child isn’t feeling well
  • If your child recently had other vaccines
  • If your child has any medical conditions
  • If your child is allergic to eggs
  • If your child had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine

Please call your pediatrician now to schedule you child’s flu shot. If you do not have a pediatrician, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Clinic at 718-206-7001 to make an appointment with one of our qualified pediatric specialists.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Grandma’s Chicken Soup

chickensouppic

 

 

 

When you have a cold or flu, it is best to keep hydrated and drink at least eight glasses of fluid a day.  A great way to keep hydrated, help relieve the symptomscongested nose and sore throat is to eat chicken soup.

Researchers believe that substances in chicken soup can help reduce the inflammation associated with a cold or flu.

If you would like to test the effects of chicken soup on your cold or flu you may want to try

Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe –

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups wide egg noodles

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

12 cups chicken broth

1 ½ tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup cornstarch

¼ cup water

3 cups diced, cooked chicken meat

Directions:

  1. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add egg noodles and oil, boil for 8 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and rinse under cool running water.
  2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine broth, salt, and poultry seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in celery and onion.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water together until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gradually add to soup, stirring constantly.  Stir in noodles and chicken, and heat through.

Serves 12

For this and other easy, delicious recipes you may want to visit www.allrecipies.com.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

5 Flu prevention tips

Flu-126438163According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu (influenza) season can begin as early as October and last until May. The peak season for flu activity within that period is estimated to be between December and March. During these months you should take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of spreading or contracting the virus.

  1. Keep your hands clean – Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of germs and the flu; however, if you are unable to wash your hands using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also helpful.
  2. Avoid contact – Avoiding contact with those who have the flu is an effective way to prevent transmission. It is also recommended that you stay away from others if you have the virus. Take special care not to spread germs to children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems as they are more susceptible to getting the flu.

3:  Clean surfaces – Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs.

4: Avoid touching the eyes, mouth and nose – The eyes, nose and mouth all serve as points of entry for germs to get into your body.

5: Get the flu vaccine – The flu vaccine is highly effective in preventing the spread of the virus.  The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months should receive vaccination.  The vaccine can reduce the probability of serious flu-related illnesses or hospitalizations.

In addition to following these given tips, be sure to take care of your body by eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep.  Utilizing this flu-fighting combination will provide you with an effective strategy to help reduce your risk of contracting the virus.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.