January 15, 2013 |
With flu season likely to ramp up in Los Angeles in coming weeks, health officials and family doctors are trying to get out the word: There are some things you can do to avoid coming down with this year's flu. First, get your immunizations - it's not too late. This year's flu shot protects against three flu strains: two influenza A's (an H1N1, an H3N2) and one influenza B. These three strains have predominated among infections this year, so it's as good a preventive vaccine as can be expected.
November 11, 2009 |
Against the backdrop of the H1N1 flu pandemic, congressional Democrats are pushing for emergency sick-leave legislation and using the crisis to garner support for a wider-ranging bill -- both of which, they say, would help prevent a more rapid spread of the virus by mandating that employers provide workers with paid time off. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), chairing a health subcommittee hearing Tuesday, said that requiring businesses with 15 or more employees to offer seven paid days off a year would end a dangerous choice "between staying healthy and making ends meet."
October 22, 2009 |
Even with the government reducing its estimates for upcoming vaccine supplies and some researchers predicting that pandemic H1N1 influenza infections are peaking this week, federal health authorities have been emphasizing the unpredictability of flu viruses in general. If their warning about the danger of a second, larger wave of infections after the first of the year proves true, even a delayed vaccine could have an impact. The U.S. is now expected to have only about 50 million doses of vaccine available by the middle of next month and 150 million by year's end, said Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Health and Human Services assistant secretary for preparedness and response.
September 14, 2009 |
The visible symbol of the H1N1 flu outbreak last spring seemed to be face masks. Suddenly, they were everywhere -- in airports and waiting rooms, on buses and trains. Many drugstores sold out of masks. As the nation girds itself for a renewed fall outbreak, however, masks may make a reappearance. Should I wear a mask? In general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend use of face masks or respirators in non-healthcare settings. But there are exceptions.
July 23, 2009 |
The federal government and vaccine makers are seeking thousands of volunteers, from babies to the elderly, to test whether a new swine flu vaccine works. The National Institutes of Health tapped a network of medical centers around the country to begin a series of studies on a vaccine for the H1N1 flu pandemic. The first shots will go into the arms of healthy adults, of any age, in early August. If there are no immediate safety concerns, such as allergic reactions, testing would begin in children as young as 6 months.
June 14, 2009 |
How bizarre! The World Health Organization has declared swine flu a "pandemic," signaling governments worldwide to launch emergency response plans. The mildest pandemics of the 20th century killed at least a million people worldwide, according to the WHO's data, while old-fashioned seasonal flu strikes every nation yearly and kills an estimated 250,000 to 500,000.