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October 2, 1998     Cape Gazette
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October 2, 1998

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42 - CAPE GAZETY E, Friday, Influenza Continued from page 41 fluenza," said Olewiler. A staph pneumonia, he said, eats holes in lung tissue. Even while a patient is undergoing antibiotic treatment, x-rays will reveal new holes form- ing in the lungs. Vaccines save lives "influenza and pneumonia are vaccine-preventable illnesses," said Olewiler. "Influenza kills people, and it kills a heck of a lot of them each year, but it's be- lieved you can probably prevent about 80 percent of those deaths with a vaccine." Olewiler said the reason in- fluenza deaths remain a constant fallout of each year's influenza season is that people fail to give the illness its due respect because the word "flu" has been misused for so many years. The public has generalized the term so that it is nearly synony- mous with "sick," said Olewiler. " 'Flu' is a completely meaning- less word!that we Use to say we were sick. "Imagine if we used the word 'TB' that way: I had TB four times, so why do I need a shot? Oh, thank yo u for asking; it was just a case of the 24-hour TB. I wish we could get rid of the word 'flu.' " The peak of the influenza sea- son, he said, is usually from De- cember through March: It is not too late for people to get vaccinat- ed, he said, and in fact, he encour- ages adults to get vaccines as soon as possible. What frustrates him, he said, is that in spite of the strong public education programs encouraging people to get vaccinated, excuses for not getting influenza vaccines abound. "The vaccines are here; you just can't get people to use them," said Olewiler. "If you could get a vac- cine that would prevent breast cancer, would you do it? That dis- ease kills fewer people than in- fluenza." One typical excuse, he said peo- ple use is "the flu is not that bad," said Olewiler. People associate flu with other viral diseases, be- lieve it will last only a day or two, then they'll be back on their feet. Another reason people offer, he said, fs "I got a flu shot once, and I gQt the flu anyway." People will continue to be susceptible to colds and other viral infections, he said. "The influenza vaccine does not prevent you from getting colds; it only prevents true, life,threaten- ing inluenza infection," said Olewiier. Another common reason people avoid the vaccinations is because they believe the vaccine itself gave them influenza, he said. "You absolutely cannot get in- fluenza from the vaccine; it's not a live vaccine," he said. The vaccine is developed each year from the dead skin of the three most common strains of in- fluenza found Worldwide. Because of the tremendous October 2"- october 8, i99s cross-reactivity among the virus- es, immunities are enhanced to ac- tually provide more protection than against just those three virus- es. "You're not only protected from the three strains, you're probably protected from about 30," said Olewiler. "Included in this year's vaccine will be the influenza-A; Sydney strain that caused an outbreak among Alaskan travelers this summer, with 419 reported cases of infection," he said. Who needs vaccine? He conceded that some people may react to the vaccine, but only 1 percent of the population receiv- ing it has any kind of reaction to it. "Every vaccination stimulates your immune system," said Olewiler. Such stimulation can cause low-grade fevers, and a lit- tle achiness for a day. People who do have a slight re- action just need to get a little bed rest, and by morning they are usu- ally feeling fine, he said. "Obvi- ously that's a lot better than being put in the hospital for a week, if you develop actual influenza." Olewiler said the most critical population that needs the vaccine is people who are 65 or older. "Most people who die from in- fluenza are more than 65," he said. Others who should absolutely get vaccinated are pregnant women who are expected to be in their third trimester during the height of the influenza season and anyone with a chronic illness who is older than 6 months. Those with chronic illnesses or the following symptoms should get influenza vaccinations, he said: weak lungs or heart, kidney failure, diabetes, chronic pred- nisone therapy, cancer or chemotherapy, and HIV or AIDS. He also suggested older adults with histories of smoking be prompt in getting their shots. "Healthy people can transmit the virus without truly being sick," Olewiler cautioned, so it is also important for those who are in positions where they could WRKE UP RMERICR! The Oolitt Tongue Scraper is here! Are you exit.ling unpleasant mouth Mars evmj thne you breathe? THE OOLITr TONGUE SCRAPPER Help diminate those mouth odors by brushing, flossing and using an effective mouthrime along with this incredible tool, and regular dental check up. Th e tongue scraper costs only $2.,50. (lS discount on mders of SO or more) Order yours today by completing the order form and fax or mail to the address listed below. WENDY MILLIS OXYFRESH INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTOR 1 IdaUhews Ave. Suite 2 " Wilmington, DE 19604 Home: (,') 658.8218 Fax: (?) 65g-B - OROER FORM - 0u._0 2.50 each, tet cost__ Method of Payment: q_.____ MASTERCARD__ Card Number Exp. Date__ Name Phone Address: _Cheer or Money Order payable to mthtOx,/UN   m mmm D. lalteo mrmt mmq transmit the disease to get vacci- nated. All health-care professionals, people living with sick people and. caregivers should get the vaccina- tions. The U.S. Public Health Ser- vice added "anyone who doesn't want to get influenza," said Olewiler. People who are not good candi- dates for the vaccinations are those with anaphylactic allergies to eggs, those with unstable neuro- logic syndromes and babie under 6 months. "Having a fever or cold is not a reason not to get a vaccine;" he , said. "It's never too late." Olewiler said that most shots take full effect in approximately two weeks. Olewiler recommended that people inquire about the shots With their primary care physicians. For more information, call Olewiler's office, 645-3196. SUPPORT EL.Active The All-Volunteer, Client-Oriented HIV/AIDS Services Provider in SUSSEX COUNTY. We offer: - BUDDY SERVICES - - A WEEKLY DROP-IN SUPPORT GROUP- - Fall & Spring Bereavement Groups ~ (Registration Dependent) ~ Information & Referral Services ~ ALL at NO CHARGE to Persons Living with HIV/AIDSsm 302-644-4791 NEW VOLUNTEERS ALWAYS WELCOME r P.Ldictive means CONFIDENTIAL, CLIENT-ORIENTED HIV/AIDS SERVICES BEEBE MEDICAL CENTER is pleased to announce participation in the AmeriHealth 65 Health Plan Beebe Medical Center Beebe Medical Center also participates in traditional Medicare, Aetna US Healthcare and Optimum Choice for Medicare beneficiaries, as we//as CHAMPUS/Tricare. UDAY A. JANI, H.D, Medld.e Appointments also available evenings and Saturdays.