Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Epocrates Editorial and Reference on Who Needs a Flu Shot


The good folks at Epocrates are always working. Not only do they provide drug and clinical information in a variety of ways over a variety of devices, but they also keep me up to date about current health care situations via e-mail. Recently I received their latest e-mail communication and I thought the info below was of particular value to my readers. The flu season is officially upon us. Here in the KC area, schools have been dealing with full on epidemics that have been keeping large numbers of kids out of school. Last week a family friend reported their daughter went to school one day and discovered she was one of 3 students in her classroom. The rest were home with the flu.

So, I thought this was a timely communication from Epocrates. Read on and then consult their online resources.

Who Needs a Flu Shot?
Preparing for a Busy 2009-2010 Flu Season

Most patients with 2009 influenza A H1N1 (swine flu) seem to have mild illness and recover without medical care or antiviral treatment. Nonetheless, death tolls continue to rise. CDC’s MMWR (9/29/09) reported post-mortem results from 77 fatal cases of confirmed 2009 H1N1 flu. Evidence of concurrent bacterial infection was found in 29%, including Streptococcus pneumoniae in 10 patients.
These findings underscore the importance of pneumococcal vaccination for those at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia and the need for early recognition of bacterial superinfection in flu patients.
View our quick reference comparison table for a refresher on who needs vaccination for 2009 H1N1, seasonal influenza A, and pneumococcus, with notes on administering multiple vaccinations. You can also view our vaccine updates.We know you are busy this season; our drug, vaccine, and disease information offers you rapid answers when you need them most.

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