FROM OUR EXPERTS
There is a lot of buzz every year about "The Flu Shot." The debate rages every fall, "should I or should I not get the vaccine?" There are more opinions than you could shake a stick at, but I would like to focus on just a couple of the ones I hear all the time, and talk about the risks and benefits of the vaccines to those of us with RA, or if you are caretaker of someone with RA.
Fist lets look at some seldom heard facts about influenza, or The FLU.
The 1918 flu pandemic killed between 50-100 MILLION people worldwide. It is now considered the greatest medical holocaust in history, killing more people than the black plague did.
The reason for the 1918 and every pandemic flu event since is simple. Humans travel worldwide every day, flying country to country and mingling with others. It is estimated a virus could circle the globe causing infection worldwide within 72 hours.
There have been five pandemic episodes of flu in the last century 1918, 1957, 1968, 1977...
Hepatitis B About 2 billion people have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) worldwide, and each year 1 million people die, mostly due to cirrhosis and liver cancers that develop in the chronic form of this disease. In the U.S., about 1.25 million people have chronic hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is also known as serum hepatitis. It spreads through blood and sexual contact. The infection is seen with increased frequency among intravenous drug users who share needles and among the homosexual population. This photograph is an electronmicroscopic image of hepatitis B virus particles. (Courtesy of the CDC.) Pregnant women with hepatitis B can transmit the virus to their babies. Even if they are not infected at birth, unvaccinated children of infected mothers run a 60% risk of developing hepatitis B before age 5. Although hepatitis B infections have dropped 95% since routine immunization began in the early 1990s, there are still children who aren't immunized, and the disease persists. Un...
Annual vaccinations for influenza virus are recommended for many groups of people. I strongly suggest that all people over the age of 65, people who have any chronic condition that would make an illness such as influenza more dangerous, those who are essential to the operation of their business, and all health care professionals be vaccinated. If you have a chronic lung, kidney, blood, immunity or cardiac condition, the misery of the flu will be worse than if you are healthy. For anyone that has actually had influenza, the idea of having it again is not pleasant. Influenza is not the same as a cold. Each year, many thousands of people die of influenza. Unfortunately, we don't yet have a vaccination for the common cold, or the 24 or 48-hour gastrointestinal virus, but they are not often seen as causes of death. A pneumonia vaccination fortunately is needed less often than an influenza vaccination. The shot lasts from 8 to 12 years in most cases. If you are over age 6...
You should know
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