National Immunization Awareness Month- August/Adolescents 13 years of age.
Now is the time to learn the facts about protection against Influenza (flu), Pneumonia and Pertussis (whooping cough). HAP wants to encourage you to take a stand and get immunized.
Why Should You Get Immunized Against The Flu?
Flu is a serious and contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. In 2009-2010, a new and very different flu virus called H1N1 spread worldwide causing the first flu pandemic in more than 40 years.
Flu is unpredictable, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expect the 2009 H1N1 virus to spread this upcoming season along with other seasonal flu viruses.
If you have a chronic health condition such as asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, and a senior 65 years of age and older, you are considered high risk if unvaccinated.
Vaccination is also important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high-risk people.
Take everyday preventive action to stop the spread of germs
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
Why Should You Get Immunized Against Pneumonia?
In 2006, 1.2 million people in the U.S. were hospitalized with pneumonia and 55,477 people died from the disease. Globally, pneumonia causes more deaths than any other infectious disease, such as AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis. However, it can often be prevented with vaccines and can usually be treated with antibiotics or antiviral drugs.
Reduce Your Risk
Pneumonia can be prevented with vaccines. Following good hygiene practices can also help prevent respiratory infections. This includes washing your hands regularly, cleaning hard surfaces that are touched often (doorknobs and countertops), and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or into your elbow or sleeve. You can also reduce your risk of getting pneumonia by limiting exposure to cigarette smoke and treating and preventing conditions such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS.
Adults 19 through 64 who smoke cigarettes or have asthma are also at increased risk for getting pneumonia.
What is Pertussis and Why Should You Get Immunized?
Parents are responsible for more than half of pertussis cases in infants. It is easily spread because it's most contagious during the first few weeks of infections when symptoms may resemble a cold. A parent, grandparent, babysitter, or other children in the family suffering from what seems like a cold, can actually have pertussis or whooping cough and spread the infection to your baby.
Anyone can get pertussis, but the disease is especially dangerous to infants, who suffer the most serious and deadly complications. Moms, dads, siblings, and other adults who have regular contact with an infant, should be vaccinated against pertussis.
Did You Know?
In the state of Michigan, less than 5% of adults are fully immunized against pertussis, better known as whooping cough. If you do your part and get a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccination instead of a regular Tetanus shot, you can help increase pertussis awareness and help close the gap in unvaccinated individuals. Ask your health care professional today for additional information about pertussis and how serious this disease can be to you and your family.
Learn the facts, share the facts and save lives:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC Says "Take 3" Actions To Fight The Flu. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pneumonia Can Be Prevented--Vaccines Can Help. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010.