Treat the Flu with Antivirals within 48 hours

Taking antibiotics for flu symptoms will not make you feel better if you have a virus. Some sore throats are caused by bacteria, but most are caused by viruses. Antibiotics fight against bacterial infections. For a virus you need an antiviral.  Antiviral drugs are a second line of defense that can be used to treat flu (including seasonal flu and variant flu viruses) if you get sick.  The first line of defense, is the flu shot. But if you didn’t get the flu vaccine this season, and fall ill with the flu your best bet is an antiviral drug. Antiviral drugs are prescription. Medications that fight against flu viruses in your body. Antiviral drugs are not sold over-the-counter. You need a prescription. Antiviral treatment works best when started soon after flu illness begins. When treatment is started within two days of becoming sick, it can shorten the time you are sick. It can also reduce the risk of complications such as respiratory complications and ear infections. Even if you cannot start the antiviral treatment within two days, starting them later can still be beneficial. There are four FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by the CDC to treat flu this season: Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate)- twice daily for 5 days  Most common, comes in capsules and the cost without insurance is about $109.00 Relenza ( zanamivir) – twice

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Starve a Cold, Feed the Flu? or is it Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever?

Chicken Soup is known as a cure for the common cold, and it really does help recovery. Drink plenty of fluids and feed both the flu and a cold. Here is what you need to eat and drink when you’re sick to get well soon. Push Fluids Drinking fluids when you’re sick helps prevent dehydrations. It may also help relieve symptoms, like congestion and cough. Be sure to drink fluids that help, avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas since those can cause dehydration. Drink these fluids: Water Clear broth Warm lemon water with honey Herbal teas Pedialyte Comfort Food  It is normal to have diminished appetite when fighting a cold or flu, but you also need to keep up your strength. Every mouthful counts so focus on protein-rich foods, like peanut butter, eggs or a protein shake. And that liquid penicillin, Chicken soup has protein and helps with hydration too. To soothe a sore throat, try frozen treats or warm drinks. And for nausea and gastrointestinal discomfort stick to bland foods. Foods to help you feel better  PBJ sandwiches Ice cream and/or milkshakes Ice pops Yogurt or puddings Warm cider, teas Soups and broths Rice Toast Bananas

Influenza Toolkit for Long-term Care

All long term care facilities are required to have an effective immunization program that reflect current standards of practice.  Receipt of vaccinations is essential to the health and well-being of long-term care residents.  Influenza outbreaks place both the residents and staff at risk of infection.  If your facility does have an outbreak, the CDC offers the following guidance. Flu Vaccines must be offered to patients October 1st through March 31st.   Facilities are encouraged to promote 100% staff participation in flu shots to prevent outbreaks.  Got to www.flu.gov for useful information and resources for your Influenza Vaccination Program. The following forms can be used for education, promotion and documentation of your facility’s Immunization Program.  CLICK HERE for the CDC Long-Term Care Toolkit for valuable information. INFLUENZA VACCINE INFORMATION SHEET (English) INFLUENZA VACCINE INFORMATION SHEET (Spanish) POSTER/FLYER 65 YEARS+ (English) POSTER/FLYER 65 YEARS+ (Spanish) POSTER/FLYER HEALTHCARE WORKER (English) POSTER/FLYER HEALTHCARE WORKER (Spanish)    

Important Information about 2018-19 Flu Shots

One month delay in FDA Release of this season’s Flu Vaccine Every year, the FDA is responsible for the analysis, review and release of every lot of Influenza Vaccine submitted by each manufacturer. This review must be completed to ensure that their product meets the necessary standards required to safely combat the flue virus.  With the extensive review process, this year according to the manufacturer’s the FDA is running approximately 3-4 weeks behind schedule, which has affected the timing and release of approved flue vaccine lots to the manufacturers. With the FDA’s slower than expected release of flue vaccines, fewer approved vaccine lots have been released from the manufacturer’s, which is causing a delay in orders. We understand the importance of implementing you vaccination programs but due to the unpredictability of timing this situation, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends to schedule immunization programs toward the end of October.  Be assured that we will keep you informed and as soon as our vaccines are delivered we will send your orders.      

Pneumococcal Vaccine Toolkit

Pneumococcal Disease According to F883, Immunizations for pneumococcal pneumonia the requirements have five aspects: The resident is provided education regarding the benefits and potential side effects of the vaccination The facility must offer each resident pneumococcal immunizations unless the immunization is medically contraindicated, ore the resident’s immunization status is current The resident, or resident’s legal representative, has the right to refuse the vaccinations Each eligible resident is administered the pneumococcal vaccine (unless refused or contraindicated or the resident has already been immunized) The facility must document that education was provided and that the resident either received the vaccine or, if not received, that the vaccine was refused or medically contraindicated or the resident had already been immunized Make sure your facility policy includes all five requirements and that the resident’s medical record documents patient education, offering the vaccine, administering the vaccine. Two pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for adults: PCV13, Prevnar13 and PPSV23, Pneumovax 23.  One dose of PCV13 is recommended for adults 65 years and older who have not previously received PCV13.     For patients who have not received any pneumococcal vaccine or with unknown vaccination history, give 1 dose of PCV13, and administer 1 dose of PPSV23 at least 1 year later. Once a dose of PPSV23 is given at age 65 or older, no additional doses of PPSV23 should be

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F 883 Influenza/Pneumococcal Immunizations Checklist

F 883  Guidance to Surveyors 483.80(d) Influenza and pneumococcal immunizations The intent of this regulation is to: Minimize the risk o resident acquiring, transmitting, or experiencing complications from influenza an pneumococcal disease by ensuring that each resident: Is informed about the benefits and risks of immunizations: and Has the opportunity to receive the influenza and pneumococcal vaccine(s), unless medically contraindicated, refused or was already immunized Ensure documentation in the resident’s medical record of the information/education provided regarding the benefits and risks of immunization and the administration or the refusal of or medical contraindications to the vaccine(s). Please see the Flu Vaccine Toolkit and Pneumococcal Disease Toolkit for forms and resources.