Public Health Emerging Issues – October 23, 2018

CDC STUDY FINDINGS URGE PREGNANT WOMEN TO GET FLU SHOT

  • A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that pregnant women who get a flu shot reduce their risk of being hospitalized due to flu by 40%.
    • The study included data on more than two million pregnant women from multiple countries during the course of six flu seasons.
  • Flu presents as a higher risk for pregnant women because they undergo changes to their immune system, heart and lungs, making them more susceptible to illness during pregnancy and up to two weeks postpartum.
  • Flu is a viral respiratory illness that’s spread by droplets that are made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk (up to six feet away) or by touching a contaminated surface or object, then touching your mouth or nose.
  • Last year, 232 people were hospitalized due to flu in Mesa County – our highest year on record since we began tracking in 2004-2005.
  • The study found that more than 80 percent of pregnancies overlapped with flu season, which runs from October through May in the U.S., meaning it’s likely pregnant women will be exposed to flu at some point during pregnancy.
  • Women who have underlying medical conditions like asthma and diabetes were equally protected by the flu vaccine as women without said conditions.
  • Pregnant women can get their flu shot at any time during pregnancy.
    • Friends, family members and coworkers spending time with pregnant women should also get a flu shot for added protection for mother and baby.
  • Receiving the flu vaccine while pregnant has also shown to help protect the baby from flu infection several months after birth, which is important because babies cannot be vaccinated for flu until reaching six months of age.
  • Mesa County Public Health has flu shots available. We serve all patients regardless of ability to pay.

 

TALK WITH KIDS ABOUT SAFE WALKING TO SCHOOL

  • One in three Mesa County students ages five to 14 walk to school.
  • Although daylight saving time doesn’t end for several weeks, we are already seeing dark mornings in Mesa County.
  • Walking is a great way to incorporate exercise and create healthy habits in children, but parents are advised to talk with their kids about safety, especially during dark hours.
    • Walk your children’s route(s) to school to make sure it’s safe with appropriate places to cross streets.
      • Talk with your children about the importance of using and obeying crosswalks – especially during dark mornings when it can be difficult for drivers to see them.
    • Encourage your children to walk to school with a friend, family member or neighbor.
    • Make sure your children are wearing bright-colored clothing or a visibility device like an armband with reflectors or reflective tape on a backpack to make them more visible to drivers.
    • Consider giving your child a small flashlight to help him or her see on dark mornings.
    • Remind your children they should not be using headphones, as it stops them from having a full sense of their surroundings.
    • Talk with your children about limiting cell phone usage during their walk, so they are focused on getting to school safely.
    • Discuss an emergency plan with your children.
      • Who should they call for help if something happens during their walk to or from school?
  • Drivers should be alert when driving through neighborhoods and near schools.

 

 

 

For more information, visit health.mesacounty.us.

Comments are closed.