Skip to main content

Flu

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…

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,…

Making Influenza Prevention a National Health Priority

Influenza (flu) prevention was front and center at the 2013 NFID Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference held this week at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. News conference panelists included Dr. Howard K. Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. Anne Schuchat, Assistant Surgeon General, US Public Health Service and Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases…

A Night at the Ballpark Raising Flu Awareness

NFID kicked off its 2013-2014 influenza (flu) season awareness activities with the 2nd Annual Flu Awareness Night at Nationals Park in Washington, DC on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 to a crowd of 36,000 fans. Originally planned for Monday 9/16, the event was rescheduled due to the tragic events at the Navy Yard. As part of NFID’s campaign to increase flu awareness and encourage all individuals 6 months and…

Weekly Round-Up: Infectious Disease News of Interest

Items of interest from the world of vaccine-preventable diseases this week: 1. A new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in teenage girls have decreased by more than 50% since the introduction of the HPV vaccine in 2006. 2. Vaccine advocate and 2013 recipient of NFID’s Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement, Dr. Paul…

What the Future Holds for Vaccines

Since Edward Jenner first created the smallpox vaccine in 1796, vaccines have continually proven to be critical to the health of humans worldwide. Since 2006, we even an HPV vaccine that can prevent certain cancers! Currently, the US licenses vaccines for 27 different diseases and according to a recent report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), 2013…

2012-13 Influenza Season Takes Its Toll

Like all viruses, influenza, or flu, doesn’t discriminate and the 2012-13 flu season has clearly shown this – taking its toll on everyone including actors like Hugh Jackman, Meryl Streep, Betty White, and Sofia Vergara to sports teams including the Boston Bruins! This flu season has wreaked havoc and as Dr. Wendy Keitel of Baylor College of Medicine noted, “following on the…