Flu Shot During Pregnancy Improves Perinatal Outcomes

During pregnancy, women need to take special care to avoid becoming ill. There are several reasons for this. The first is that a pregnant woman’s immune system is not as strong during pregnancy as it generally is; this helps to prevent the mother’s body from attacking the developing fetus. Unfortunately, however, the weakened immune system also means that pregnant mothers are more susceptible to pathogens that they’d otherwise fight off relatively easily. Increased susceptibility aside, there’s also the concern that some illnesses — influenza included — can impact the developing fetus. Finally, there’s the simple fact that many of the medications used to treat illnesses and their accompanying symptoms aren’t appropriate for pregnant women.

Pregnant woman and doctor with vaccine syringe

Third Reported Recovery From Clinical Rabies in the U.S.

Rabies is a serious — almost always fatal — viral infection of the central nervous system. The virus is present in the saliva of infected mammals, and is most often spread via a bite wound. Raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes are the most common carriers of rabies in the United States, though any mammal, including domestic dogs and cats, can become infected and transmit the disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps statistics on rabies incidence in the U.S., and notes that cases are quite rare. Only one or two individuals a year become infected with the rabies virus, and prophylaxis (vaccination post-exposure, but prior to the development of symptoms) is almost always effective.


Q&A: Can I Get the Flu From a Flu Shot?

Question: I once got a flu shot and then came down with the flu afterward. Now I won’t get the shot anymore. Why did the shot give me the flu?

Woman getting the flu shot

Flu Vaccine for the 2011-2012 Season Approved

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it had approved the formulation for the 2011-2012 vaccine [1]. This year’s formulation is designed to protect against all three strains included in last years vaccine. Nevertheless, if you received a flu shot last year, you should still get vaccinated again this year: immunity to influenza viruses from vaccination declines over time and may be too low to provide protection after a year.

Flu vaccine

The Flu and Your Health

It’s the gift-giving season. However, there’s one gift this time of year you don’t want to give or get: the flu virus. Flu season runs from November to April, with most cases occurring between late December and early March. About 10-20% of people get the flu every winter [1]. In children, the number is even higher with up to 40% of children becoming clinically ill due to the influenza virus.