Good News! As of May 1, 2018 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will reimburse for the Shingrix vaccine for adults age 50+. Harvard Pilgrim may be the next insurance to sign on. Other private insurers will allow payment beginning September 1, 2018. Unfortunately, Medicare will not pay for the Shingrix vaccine. A second injection is required 2-6 months after the first. Please call the office for more information (508) 833-8020 or to schedule an appointment.
It is not too late to have your flu vaccine! Please call (508) 833-8020 to schedule an appointment. People with some chronic illnesses, 65 or older, and younger than 2 years should be treated with Tamiflu within 48 hours of having flu symptoms.
Imagine if you could protect your child against cancer. Turns out, you can – with the HPV vaccine. To highlight this, the American Cancer Society recently released a video series of HPV-related cancer survivors sharing their stories. These individuals serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of the HPV vaccine and underscore the need for all parents to talk to their children’s doctors to learn more.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus spread by close skin-to-skin contact. It is so common that nearly all sexually active adults have had at least one type of HPV at some point in their lifetime. Around 80 million people in the US currently have HPV and 14 million people are newly infected each year. While most cases of HPV clear on their own, some can cause cancer.
A recent report showed that the current number of cancers caused by HPV is rising with an estimated 30,700 each year. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer caused by HPV in women, while in men; it most commonly leads to a type of head and neck cancer. Overall, HPV is thought to cause more than 90% of anal and cervical cancers, about 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers, and more than 60% of penile cancers.
The HPV vaccine offers the best protection against these cancers when given at the recommended age – which is 2 doses if the patient starts the vaccine series before their 15th birthday and 3 doses if they start on or after their 15th birthday. Younger adolescents have a higher immune response so it’s best to vaccinate early. Young women can get the HPV vaccine through age 26 and young men can receive it through age 21 (age 26 in some cases).
Pediatric Flu Clinic
Ages 5-18 Years
When: Tuesday November 8, 2016
Where: Sandwich Public Health Nursing
270 Quaker Meetinghouse Road
East Sandwich, Ma. 02537
Cost: There is no charge. Please bring
insurance card, Mass Health,
A parent or guardian must accompany the
Flumist is NOT available this year. Please call (508) 833-8020 with questions.
Regional Shelter System
If you can’t leave the area and staying at home is not an option, then you can turn to the regional shelter system. Visit this map for an overview of the shelter system and the location of a shelter near you.
Important things to know about regional shelters
- You should look at going to a shelter the same way you would look at going on a trip. If you were planning to go away for a few days you would pack for the trip. The same goes for the shelter. You should arrive with at least three days worth of essentials. You wouldn’t leave your medications at home if you went on a trip, nor should you leave them behind when you go to a shelter.
- The stay at a shelter is not a vacation, and a shelter is not a hotel or a pharmacy. It is not a cruise ship but rather a lifeboat. The shelter provides a secure facility, a cot to sleep on, food and water, basic first aid, and functional assistance. Beyond that, it is up to you to pack and bring the essentials of your life including extra clothing, medications, and any medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen concentrators.
- If you live at home with the assistance of a caretaker, the caretaker must come to the shelter with you. If you have a visiting nurse, make sure you bring your medical supplies and let your nurse know which shelter you will be staying at.
- If you are bringing infants, babies, or toddlers to a shelter make sure you bring formula, food, diapers, wipes, changes of clothing, toys, and a “pack ‘n play” or portable crib and bedding.
- If you have a pet—a dog or cat, a bird perhaps—the Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team (CCDART) component of the shelter system supports the care of your pet(s) while you are in the shelter. Remember, you must check your pet(s) in first with CCDART before checking yourself into the human shelter. Please bring all your pet supplies to the shelter except for crates, which are provided by CCDART. You cannot sleep with your pet(s). Once your pet(s) are in the CCDART shelter, you will be able to see them during visiting hours, typically between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- The reason every town on the Cape doesn’t have its own shelter is because of the expense and lack of volunteer resources to staff 15 separate shelters across the Cape. Volunteers deliver the vast majority of services provided at the six regional shelters. These volunteers work with groups including the American Red Cross (ARC), the Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps (CCMRC), the Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team (CCDART), Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), and AmeriCorps.
My Choice Matters: Parenting to Prevent Substance Use will be held at the Cape Codder on Sunday, November 20, 2016 from 12 PM – 3:30PM. Admission is free!
Zika virus continues to be a concern. There is now a strong suspicion that Zika can be spread through semen. CDC has received reports of sexual transmission of Zika virus among women whose only risk factor was sexual contact with a male partner with recent travel to Zika areas. The CDC recommends that pregnant women refrain from traveling to Zika areas and couples planning on becoming pregnant should speak with their health care providers before traveling to countries where Zika virus has been identified. If travel to these countries is necessary, then precautions to prevent mosquito bites should be implemented.
What are the implications for public health practice? (CDC recommendations)
Men who reside in or have traveled to an area of ongoing Zika virus transmission who have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity or consistently and correctly use condoms during sex (i.e., vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or fellatio) with their pregnant partner for the duration of the pregnancy.
Zika is a virus transmitted by the Aedes mosquito which also spreads dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Only 25% of people with Zika virus develop symptoms. Within 2-7 days after an infected mosquito bites, the following symptoms may develop: rash, slight fever, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue. These symptoms can last a week. While in the past couple of years this virus was thought to be benign, some severe, rare complications have been documented. In Brazil there have been 4000 cases of babies born with microcephaly, a condition where the baby has a small head and incomplete brain development. It is thought that the mothers had the virus while pregnant. Another condition, noted in 2014, is Guillian-Barre syndrome where the immune system attacks nerve cells leading to muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. There is presently no vaccine or cure for the virus and over the counter pain relievers ( no aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) and fluids are the recommended treatment. The N.I.H is working on a vaccine. CDC added the following destinations to the Zika virus travel alerts: United States Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic. Previously, CDC issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory; Barbados; Bolivia; Brazil; Cape Verde; Colombia; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Martinique; Mexico; Panama; Paraguay; Saint Martin; Samoa; Suriname; and Venezuela.
Currently, cases of Zika in the United States are from travelers returning from countries where Zika virus has been identified. The CDC recommends that pregnant women refrain from traveling to countries with Zika virus and that all residents take precautions to prevent mosquito bites. http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/pdfs/fs_mosquito_bite_prevention_us.pdf http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/pdfs/fs_mosquito_bite_prevention_travelers.pdf
Here is the 1/28/2016 CDC telebriefing: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/t0128-zika-virus-101.html
If you missed receiving your flu shot this year don’t worry. Influenza season on the Cape usually occurs January/February, so call (508) 833-8020 to make your appointment.
There will be a pediatric flu clinic in Sandwich for children ages 8-18 years:
When: October 20, 2015
Where: Nursing Department
270 Quaker Meetinghouse Road
Appointments are necessary. Please bring insurance cards.