Health Matters | The Flu and You

Follow Us

rss

Tags

allergies anaplasmosis antioxidants asthma back pain backpack baseball bedtime binge eating blisters cancer cancer awareness candy chronic conditions cluster headache colorectal cancer common cold cucumbers dehydration diet dust mites ehrlichiosis exercise eye exam eyes fall fall cold family family history fitness flu season food food craving food poisoning fruit general germs goals grill safety halloween hamilton hand washing health health history health screening Healthy eating healthy hanukkah Healthy living healthy smoothie recipes healthy swaps heat cramp heat cramps heat exhaustion heat stroke holiday recipe homework immediate care immunizations indulge lice memorial day migraine mold new center opening new jersey nutrition peaches pediatrician philadelphia plants poison ivy poor productivity primary care produce raking recipe recipes rectal cancer resolutions rocky mountain spotted fever safety school supplies sick sleep schedule smoking soccer spring allergies St. Patrick's Day stress stress management summer summer squash sun safety sunburn sunglasses supertracker sweet chili tanning tension headache thanksgiving travel trenton trick or treat tylenol urgent care vaccinations vaccine vaccines walk in clinic winter yearly physical 10000 steps acetaminophen acupuncture air purifying plants air quality allergens allergies american heart month antioxidant antioxidants anxiety appetite control april fools arteries asthma baby food back injury back pain back to school basketball bbq be more social bedtime bedtime routine bee sting beet beginner's exercises beginner's guide beginners tips Bel Air bell pepper bending bike riding black friday Bladder bladder health blood donation Blood Donor Month blood pressure blueberry body ache breakfast bug bites bulls eye rash burns cabin fever camping cancer cancer awareness candy cardio childhood cancer children chili recipe chills cholesterol cholesterol risks Christmas Christmas Parade chronic conditions chronic disease chronic pain clinton cluster cold cold prevention cold weather colds colon cancer colorectal cancer common cold competitive concussion congestion cookies cool down corn costume cough coughing coworkers cuts cycling daily steps dark urine Daylight Saving Time dehydration depression Detos diabetes diabetes awareness month diabetes-friendly snacks diet dieting dinner dip drink more water dry skin eat eat red elder health elementary elementary kids emergency care energy drink energy supplement exercise eye safety fall fall allergies fall festivals falls family family health history family history farmers market farming fat fatigue fever fire fire safety firework injury firework safety fireworks first aid fitness fitness personality flu flu and you flu FAQ flu prevention flu season flu shot flu vaccine food allergies food for kids food poisoning food safety food storage food swaps foodborne illness for adults for parents Fourth of July fresh produce friends frost bite frostbite fruit game day swaps general germ prevention gift ideas go red for women goals groundhog day group class gyms halloween halloween treats handwashing hanukkah happiness head injury Headache headaches health health checkup health goals health history healthcare healthy healthy baby purees healthy cookie recipe healthy eating healthy food habits healthy gifts healthy halloween healthy holiday healthy holidays healthy kids healthy living healthy lunches healthy meals Healthy pregnancy healthy recipes healthy sleep healthy snacks healthy swaps Healthy Thanksgiving healthy valentines day heart attack heart disease Heart health heart health day heart month heart rate heat heat exhaustion heat stroke heat wave heavy lifting hepatitis a high cholesterol hiking Holiday holiday food swaps holiday gift ideas Holiday holiday swaps holiday party holiday swaps holidays home safety homework hot chili hot tea hunger hydration ice immediate care immunization inclusion indoor exercise influenza influenza vaccine injury itchy eyes jaundice joint pain kale kid friendly recipes kids kids lunchboxes kids lunches kids nutrition kids recipes kids sleep know your dose kwanzaa last minute gifts laughter lean beef recipe left overs leftovers leg pain lehigh valley lifestyle lifting loss of appetite low-impact luggae lunch lunches Lung cancer lung cancer awareness lyme lyme disease making friends maryland massage meal prep meatless monday Medicaiton storage medication medicine medicine storage Mental Health migraine mood movember muscle aches nausea neck pain new center opening new jersey New Year's new years resolution New Year's Resolution new york No shave november nutrition organization outbreak outdoors over eating packed lunches packing pain pain relief Parade parenting parents patient first performance personality pets philadelphia physical physical exam physical exams physician picky eaters poison ivy poison prevention polar vortex pollen portable protein portion control posture pregnancy preschool preschooler prevention primary care primary care doctor primary care physician protein quadrivalent flu shot quit smoking ragweed rec leagues recipes relaxation road trip rugby running runny nose safety safety goggles school school nurse school physical school physicals screenings senior citizens setting goals shin splints shopping shoveling sick sicklerville sinus skin skin cancer skin safety sleep sleep schedule sliders slipping slips smarter lunchboxes smoke detector smoking smoothies snacks sneezing snow soccer softball sore throat soup spicy chili sport physicals sports injury spring spring allergies spring cleaning steps strawberries strep throat stress stress relief stretch stretches stretching stroke stuffy nose summer summer vacation sun burn sun safety sunscreen Super Bowl super bowl recipes super bowl snacks swimming symptoms TB tbi teal pumpkin teen teens tennis tension texas chili Thanksgiving throat pain thyroid thyroid awareness month ticks tomato Traumatic brain injury travel travel prep travel tips traveling with diabetes Tree Lighting trick-or-treat tuberculosis tween tweens Type B up & away urgent care urgent care center urgent care clinic UV exposure vacation vaccinations Valentines Day vegetable vegetables virginia vitamin D vitamins volleyball volunteering vomitting voorhees walk in clinic walking washington dc wasp sting watery eyes weakness weight weight lifting weight loss wellness wellness check wings winter winter dry skin winter hydration winter safety winter weather wod work work out world heart day x-ray x-rays yard cleanup yard work yearly exam yearly exams yoga

The Flu and You

Fall has arrived and so have the great things that arrive with it: Fall festivals, changing leaves, cooler days, pumpkins, and flu season. The flu (seasonal influenza) is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness and result in hospitalization or death in severe cases. As flu season begins, it is important to take steps to keep your family healthy. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is by getting vaccinated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone who is at least six months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. The vaccine protects against influenza viruses that research indicates will be the most common during this flu season. The vaccine is not a guarantee that you will not become infected, especially if the strain of flu is not in the vaccine. However, it greatly reduces the risk.

Who is at higher risk of getting the flu if not vaccinated?
  • People who tend to develop serious complications if they get sick with the flu.
  • Others who live with or care for these people.
  • People who have certain medical conditions, including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
  • Pregnant women.
  • People younger than 5 years and older than 65 years.
  • Health care personnel.

The following people should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician:
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness, with or without a fever. These individuals should not be vaccinated until they recover.
  • People who have had an allergic reaction to eggs.
  • People who have had an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past.

When should you be vaccinated?
It is recommended that you get your flu vaccine as the vaccine becomes available in your area. Flu vaccines last throughout the flu season and can help to prevent illness during the peak months of flu, which are usually January and February. It generally takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to take full effect. Early immunization is the most effective, but it is not too late to get the vaccine in December, January, or later.

Flu shots are available at Patient First through our Fast Track Flu Program. You can walk in without an appointment, and receive your flu shot with little or no wait time. If your insurance covers flu shots at Patient First, you pay only the copay (which is often $0) or $35, whichever is less. Self-pay flu shot cost is $35. Fast Track flu shots are available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day, and are for patients who are not allergic to eggs, do not wish to see a physician, and are at least 4 years old. To find a center near you, please visit our locations page.

The key to fighting the flu lies in being proactive now. Do not wait until you or someone in your family starts feeling sick. Once you feel that first muscle ache and stuffy nose, it’s too late. Take charge of your health and enjoy the autumn and winter.

  • Prepare for the Week with Meal Prep
    Cooking dinner every night can be such a chore when you are tired and just want to relax after a long day. To save time during the week, many people use the meal preparation system to prepare all of their meals for the week in one day.

    This technique not only ensures you’re eating the correct portions, but also a well-balanced diet. Preparing your meals ahead also helps you save money by encouraging you to eat at home more often. Planning your meals will ensure that you are using fresh ingredients and prevent you from eating prepackaged meals.

    How does meal preparation work?
    Start by picking a meal preparation day - a day designated to slice, cook, and saute all of your meat, veggies and fruits for the week. On that day, you will prepare all of your meals for the week and store them in storage containers in your fridge. Storing all of your meals prevents you from having to portion, wash, chop, and cook your food on a daily basis. Most food will stay fresh for up to 5 days, so only plan for a week at a time.

    Want to give it a try?
    Below is a sample grocery list containing all of the items you’ll need for the week:
    • 1 ½ lbs flank steak
    • 6 oz chicken
    • 6 oz fish
    • 6 oz lean deli meat
    • Corn tortillas
    • Sweet potatoes
    • 100% Whole Wheat or Flour Tortillas
    • Baby carrots
    • 1 each red and green bell pepper
    • 1 bag of greens
    • 1 avocado
    • 1 tomato
    • 1 red onion
    • 1 green onion
    • 1 bunch of garlic
    • 1 red cabbage
    • Cilantro and parsley
    • 1 each lemon and lime
    • 1 apple
    • 1 pear
    • 2 containers of berries
    • 1 mango
    • 1 each orange and tangerine
    • 1 grapefruit

    Other items you may need include:
    • Natural peanut butter
    • Reduced-fat mayonnaise
    • Dijon mustard
    • Salsa
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Parmesan cheese
    • Honey
    • Tobasco sauce
    • Dried spices
    • Chicken stock
    • Brown rice
    • Whole wheat pasta
    • Marinara sauce
    • Pickles
    • Canned black beans
    • Worcestershire sauce
    • Hummus
    • Low fat dressing
    • Blackened seasoning

    What can you make with these ingredients?
    • Tilapia with brown rice & spinach salad
    • Lean deli meat wrap, carrots, hummus & fruit
    • Grilled flank steak with potato squares and salad
    • Chicken salad
    • Fish tacos
    • Flank steak wrap and berries
    • Chicken pasta marinara & salad
    • Pasta
    • Low fat chicken Caesar salad
    • Flatbread chicken sandwich & fruit

    How do you prepare the ingredients?
    To prepare meats:
    • Flank Steak: Rub flank steak with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce. Grill or cook the steak to your liking.
    • Chicken: Rub chicken with salt and pepper. Then coat the chicken breast with 3 tbsp of honey mustard dressing and grill or cook in a pan until juice runs clear.
    • Fish: Sprinkle 3 oz of fish with blackened seasoning.

      If you're cooking salmon, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While it's preheating, melt 1/2 tbsp of butter and a 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a saucepan. Drizzle the mixture over the fish, sprinkle with dill weed and bake for 15 minutes.

      If you're cooking white fish, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While it's preheating, combine a 1/2 tbsp of lime juice, 1/8 tsp of onion powder and 1/8 tsp of black pepper in a bowl and drizzle over the fish. Top fish with olive oil, bake for 20 minutes and sprinkle with parsley.

    To prepare your veggies:
    • Wash, cut and store green and red peppers, onions and red cabbage.
    • Sauté four peppers and half an onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil.

    To prepare your starch:
    • Rice: Cook rice according to package directions.
    • Pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions.
    • Sweet Potatoes: Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch squares, coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper, dried oregano and basil and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

    Portion each of your foods into their appropriate container and store in the fridge. This way when you come home from your long day, your food is already prepared, tasty and waiting! Just pop it into the microwave and serve!

    Recipe Source

  • Tuberculosis: General Information
    What is TB?
    Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine. A person with TB can die if they do not get treatment.

    What Are the Symptoms of TB?
    The general symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. The symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain, and the coughing up of blood. Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.

    How is TB Spread?
    TB germs are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. These germs can stay in the air for several hours, depending on the environment. Persons who breathe in the air containing these TB germs can become infected; this is called latent TB infection.

    What is the Difference Between Latent TB Infection and TB Disease?
    People with latent TB infection have TB germs in their bodies, but they are not sick because the germs are not active. These people do not have symptoms of TB disease, and they cannot spread the germs to others. However, they may develop TB disease in the future. They are often prescribed treatment to prevent them from developing TB disease.

    People with TB disease are sick from TB germs that are active, meaning that they are multiplying and destroying tissue in their body. They usually have symptoms of TB disease. People with TB disease of the lungs or throat are capable of spreading germs to others. They are prescribed drugs that can treat TB disease.

    What Should I Do If I Have Spent Time with Someone with Latent TB Infection?
    A person with latent TB infection cannot spread germs to other people. You do not need to be tested if you have spent time with someone with latent TB infection. However, if you have spent time with someone with TB disease or someone with symptoms of TB, you should be tested.

    What Should I Do if I Have Been Exposed to Someone with TB Disease?
    People with TB disease are most likely to spread the germs to people they spend time with every day, such as family members or coworkers. If you have been around someone who has TB disease, you should go to your doctor or your local health department for tests.

    How Do You Get Tested for TB?
    There are two tests that can be used to help detect TB infection: a skin test or TB blood test. The Mantoux tuberculin skin test is performed by injecting a small amount of fluid (called tuberculin) into the skin in the lower part of the arm. A person given the tuberculin skin test must return within 48 to 72 hours to have a trained health care worker look for a reaction on the arm. The TB blood tests measure how the patient’s immune system reacts to the germs that cause TB.

    What Does a Positive Test for TB Infection Mean?
    A positive test for TB infection only tells that a person has been infected with TB germs. It does not tell whether or not the person has progressed to TB disease. Other tests, such as a chest x-ray and a sample of sputum, are needed to see whether the person has TB disease.

    What is Bacille Calmette–Guèrin (BCG)?
    BCG is a vaccine for TB disease. BCG is used in many countries, but it is not generally recommended in the United States. BCG vaccination does not completely prevent people from getting TB. It may also cause a false positive tuberculin skin test. However, persons who have been vaccinated with BCG can be given a tuberculin skin test or TB blood test.

    Why is Latent TB Infection Treated?
    If you have latent TB infection but not TB disease, your doctor may want you to take a drug to kill the TB germs and prevent you from developing TB disease. The decision about taking treatment for latent infection will be based on your chances of developing TB disease. Some people are more likely than others to develop TB disease once they have TB infection. This includes people with HIV infection, people who were recently exposed to someone with TB disease, and people with certain medical conditions.

    How is TB Disease Treated?
    TB disease can be treated by taking several drugs for 6 to 12 months. It is very important that people who have TB disease finish the medicine, and take the drugs exactly as prescribed. If they stop taking the drugs too soon, they can become sick again; if they do not take the drugs correctly, the germs that are still alive may become resistant to those drugs. TB that is resistant to drugs is harder and more expensive to treat. In some situations, staff of the local health department meet regularly with patients who have TB to watch them take their medications. This is called directly observed therapy (DOT). DOT helps the patient complete treatment in the least amount of time.

    To learn more about Tuberculosis, visit the CDC's website.

    Source: CDC "Tuberculosis: General Information" Fact Sheet


  • Comments are closed.