CDC Reports Flu Widespread, Google Search Trends Alarming

According to new surveillance statistics released on Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), forty-seven states in the U.S. are now reporting widespread influenza activity [1]. The virus, which first appeared in the Southeast, has reached epidemic levels.

U.S. Influenza-like illness Activity - Jan 5, 2013

Walmart and Sam’s Club Offer 10 Vital Immunizations Nationwide

Walmart and Sam’s Club (a division of Wal-Mart Stores) recently announced the launch of expanded immunization services across the United States, signaling the company’s expansion into healthcare services [1, 2]. In partnership with Mollen Immunization Clinics, ten of the CDC-recommended immunizations will be offered in more than 2,700 Walmart stores and 554 Sam’s Club pharmacy locations.

Walmart and Sams Club

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

Finding Credible Health Information Online: MedLibs Round 1.8

Welcome to the eighth edition of MedLib’s Round, the monthly blog carnival that highlights some of the best writing on medical librarianship, encompassing all stages in the publication and dissemination of medical information: writing, publishing, searching, citing, managing and social networking.

There’s a revolution occurring on the Web: those “authoritative” articles written on traditional, static websites are being replaced with blogs, wikis and online social networks. In the sphere of health, medicine and information technology, this “real-time Web” consists of many who are professionals in the field; their posts are listed below.
In the digital age, these are the characteristics of new media: recent, relevant, reachable and reliable.

Here at Highlight HEALTH, we advocate health literacy for improving self-management in health. To that end, all the sites in the The Highlight HEALTH Network strive to consistently provide credible, reliable sources of health and medical information.

A 2008 study by the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest found that searching for health information online can be dangerous, with search engine results pages dominated by websites that appeared legitimate but had zero medical authority [1]. Our hope is that this edition of MedLib’s Round — themed Finding credible health information online — will offer ideas and advice to help people use the Web more effectively to search and find credible health information.

Safety and Distribution of the H1N1 Influenza Vaccine

Know What to Do About the Flu is a webcast series launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to hlep distribute timely and accurate information about the flu. Their goal is to distribute the latest facts and medical guidances so we can all be more effective in combating the spread of the flu and be better prepared should our families, our communities or our workplaces become affected.

In this edition, moderator Lark McCarthy discusses the level of testing prior to the H1N1 influenza A vaccine distribution and the subsequent monitoring that’s planned during and after the phases of distribution with Dr. Bruce Gellin, Director of the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) within the HHS, Dr. Jesse Goodman, acting chief scientist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Harvey Fineberg, President of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).