In observance of National Influenza Immunization Week (January 10-16), Ty Bush, D.O., a family physician on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine, answers frequently asked questions regarding the serious illness. The hospital remains committed to equipping members of the community with important information they need to take control of their health.
Q. Why is it important for the community to be vaccinated?
A. Vaccinations decrease the likelihood that an individual will contract influenza. By decreasing the number of infected individuals, the overall likelihood of transmission within the community is decreased.
Q. Should people receive both the flu and H1N1 vaccination?
A. Yes. There are very few individuals who should not receive either of the flu vaccines. A short discussion with your physician will help determine if you are not a candidate for vaccination. The seasonal flu vaccine contains – one A virus, one A (H1N1) virus (not the 2009 H1N1 virus), and one B virus. These viruses are most active from November to April. The 2009 H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine is effective against that particular strain. Again, vaccinated individuals are less likely to contract flu.
Q. What are the symptoms of the flu?
A. The following are symptoms of both seasonal and Swine Flu: fever (100.4), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. A few people may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
Q. Who should be vaccinated?
- Children aged six months to 19-years-old
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than six months
- Women who are pregnant
- Individuals 50 years of age and older
- Individuals of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, such as health care workers.
Swine Flu (H1N1)
The priority is as follows:
- Women who are pregnant
- People who live with or provide care for infants younger than six months
- Health care workers
- Individuals six months through 24 years of age
- People 25 years through 64 years of age who have certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications
- Individuals from the ages of 25 through 64-years-old
- Once the previous groups have been vaccinated, then people 65 and older
Q. How long does it take for the vaccine to work?
A. It can take up to two weeks post-vaccination for an individual to develop an effective level of antibodies to combat the flu. Until that time, you are still susceptible to the influenza strains contained in both vaccines.
For more information about the importance of the flu vaccination or for a referral to a physician on the Baylor Grapevine medical staff, please call 1.800.4BAYLOR or visit BaylorHealth.com/Grapevine.
Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine is a full-service, fully-accredited not-for-profit hospital serving residents in more than 20 cities throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth region. Focused on being the best place to give and receive quality, safe and compassionate care, Baylor Grapevine works to lead the transformation of health care. The 249-bed hospital offers advanced medical services for cardiovascular services, women’s services, diagnostic imaging, neonatal intensive care, sleep disorders, intensive and emergency care.
For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, Baylor Health Care System reported $446 million in community benefit, which includes providing care for charity patients and patients enrolled in government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the unreimbursed costs of medical education, research and community programs. Total community benefit was calculated in accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 311.
About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com