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Blog: NFID News

Seniors among Groups Hardest Hit by Flu

For most people, getting the flu means feeling achy and feverish for a week or so, but for people 65 years and older, the flu can be much more serious. People in this age group are at high risk for severe flu illness and complications. In fact, an estimated 60 percent of flu-related hospitalizations in the US occur in this…

The Case for Improving Adolescent Health

A new report issued by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and Pfizer Inc. brings attention to the fact that adolescents are often overlooked in the US healthcare system, which may lead to short- and long-term health consequences and contribute to the economic burden on the healthcare system. The report, titled The Case for Improving Adolescent Health: Helping prepare adolescents for a healthy…

Pregnant Women and Infants – Targets for the Flu

Pregnancy is a time for big changes—a whirlwind of emotion, anticipation, and uncertainty. But one thing that is certain during this time is the importance of getting a vaccine to help protect both the pregnant woman and her baby against influenza (flu). Flu is a contagious illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Pregnant women with the flu have a…

Misperceptions Hinder Flu Prevention and Treatment Efforts

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) recently conducted a national Flu Behaviors and Treatment survey to understand public attitudes, experiences, and knowledge about flu prevention and treatment. The survey found that while most US adults understand that flu is serious (93%) and highly contagious (87%) and know the importance of annual flu vaccination (66%), only one-fourth (27%) would call a doctor for advice…

National Influenza Vaccination Week: Don’t Stop Now!

Don’t Stop Now! As we come together to recognize National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) on December 8-14, 2013, it is heartening to know that last flu season, more children were vaccinated against influenza than ever before. This represents tremendous progress in childhood influenza immunization since the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) was created in 2007, and we don’t want to stop…

Take Steps to Prevent Flu

Today marks the beginning of National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), a national observance that was established to highlight the importance of annual influenza vaccination. Influenza, more commonly referred to as the flu, is a serious and contagious respiratory illness that affects 5-20% of the US population and hospitalizes over 200,000 people every year. The flu season typically runs from October–March, peaking in January…

This Holiday Season, Spread Joy, not Whooping Cough

Special thanks to Thomas A. Clark, MD, MPH acting branch chief in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch for this guest blog post on the importance of vaccination in preventing pertussis (whooping cough). The holidays usually mean time surrounded by family and friends. As you prepare to enjoy the upcoming season with your loved…

Antibiotic Stewardship–The Ultimate Return on Investment

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated November 18-24, 2013 as “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.” Did you know? 1. Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health threats. 2. Antibiotics are the most important tool we have to combat life‐threatening bacterial diseases, but antibiotics can have side effects. 3. Antibiotic overuse increases…

A Son’s Life Cut Short By Influenza

My son, Jacob Ryan Schmidt of Baytown, TX, was a semi-pro competitive martial arts expert, strong as a bull, and enjoying life as a family man. In April of 2010, at the age of 27, he succumbed to complications from H1N1 influenza. He had not been vaccinated against the illness. Jacob was not someone you’d expect to fall ill to…

ID News Round-Up

Recent items of interest from the world of vaccine-preventable diseases: 1. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on October 23-24, 2013 to discuss recommendations and potential changes to the 2014 Immunization Schedules. ACIP recommended that infants 2-23 months who are at high-risk for meningococcal disease, or who travel to areas where it is hyperendemic or epidemic, be given the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine,…

A Daughter Lost to Meningococcal Disease

My daughter, Adrienne, was a loving, funny, and intelligent 16-year-old who played clarinet in her high school band. Her life was tragically cut short on January 28, 2001 from meningococcal disease, a serious, yet vaccine-preventable infection. Adrienne went with her sister to see a movie and when she got home she complained she wasn’t feeling well and had pain in…

Helping a Friend Fight Pneumococcal Disease

  I have a close friend who is 86 years young, and a dynamic testament on how to grow older gracefully. She has been a foster grandparent to my children since they were infants and feels like a second mother to me. I am very active as an educator and advocate for optimal immunization across the lifespan. I believe that…