I will be offering both high dose (trivalent) for those 65 and older and regular (quadrivalent) flu shots this year to the residents of Sandwich. As soon as I have information from the drug company about vaccine shipping dates, I will post the clinic dates and times. I expect the clinics to be in early October, a good month for us as our flu season on the Cape usually begins in January. As usual, those folks who are having chemotherapy, surgery, or other major procedures can call me to schedule specific dates for their shot.
West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis
You have probably heard that positive mosquito samples for West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been found in South Shore communities and on the Cape. In fact, a man from Plymouth County is currently hospitalized with Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Both diseases can present with symptoms of fever, headache, stiff neck, and flu like symptoms and, in severe cases, can quickly progress to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). You should take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites:
1) Plan to decrease unnecessary outdoor activities from dusk to dawn especially in critical areas.
2) Apply insect repellent when outdoors. Use an EPA registered ingredient (Deet, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 on your skin, permethrin on your clothes). Read the labels carefully for age limits and how to apply.
3) Wear long sleeved shirts, pants and socks while outdoors.
4) Repair screens to keep mosquitoes out of house.
5) Drain standing water around your house.
Vaccines and Children
These tick videos are packed with valuable information.
Watch the first video, Tick Identification and Ecology, below.
Avoid This Novel Treat
Warning: Avoid these novel treats in shopping malls and restaurants
Image: © manustart/Getty Images
If your grandkids urge you to indulge them in a popular new snack at the mall, just say no. The FDA is warning that consuming products with liquid nitrogen added at the last minute can lead to injury. The products are marketed under names such as “Dragon’s Breath” and “Nitro Puff.” They’re cheese puffs or cereal pieces that are frozen in liquid nitrogen and then dipped in a special sauce. When you put them in your mouth, the products release vapor that looks like smoke. Liquid nitrogen is also added to some cocktails to make them look like they’re emitting fog. But the FDA says all of these products can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs and may cause breathing problems. The agency advises you to avoid the products.
Flu Shots Available
Flu shots are available for all adults 19 years and older and children between the ages of 8 and 18. Please call the office (508) 833-8020 to schedule an appointment.
Measles in Massachusetts
STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS ALERT RESIDENTS ABOUT
POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO MEASLES AT AN AREA HOSPITAL AND OTHER LOCATIONS
Those exposed or developing symptoms are urged to call their healthcare provider
BOSTON (August, 23, 2018) The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a case of measles which was diagnosed at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC). The individual, during their infectious period, was in a number of locations that could have resulted in exposures to other people. Measles is very contagious and people who are not immune and visited the locations on the below specified dates may be at risk for developing measles or may now be developing symptoms of the disease. Anyone who visited these locations on any of these dates during the times listed is advised to contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status.
DPH urges all those who do not know their measles immunization status to get vaccinated with at least one dose of Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Measles vaccine given within 72 hours of exposure may prevent measles disease, and vaccination beyond this window will provide protection from subsequent exposures. Lahey hospital has been reaching out to individuals at high risk of exposure, and is collaborating with DPH and local health authorities to ensure that all exposed individuals have this information.
Exposures to this individual may have occurred at the following locations and times:
Facility: Location: Dates and times
Logan Airport Terminal B Boston 8/15, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Lexington High School Library 251 Waltham St., Lexington 8/16, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Irving H. Mabee Town Pool Complex 80 Worthen Rd., Lexington 8/19, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lahey Outpatient Center, Lexington 16 Hayden Ave., Lexington 8/20, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
LHMC, Burlington Emergency Department 8/20, 1:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
LHMC, Burlington Inpatient Units 7 Central, 6 Central and 5 Central (ICU and CCU) 8/20 from 8:00 p.m. to 8/21 at 9:00 p.m.
Those who were exposed and begin to develop symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic or emergency department. Visiting a healthcare facility may put others at risk and should be avoided. Anyone who has had measles in the past or has received two doses of the vaccine is unlikely to develop measles even if exposed.
Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to 2 weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold (with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes) and a rash occurs on the skin 2-4 days after the initial symptoms develop. The rash usually appears first on the head and then moves downward. The rash typically lasts a few days and then disappears in the same order.
People with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.
People who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles per CDC recommendations are considered immune. The CDC recommendations are:
- Children. Children should receive their first dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months. School-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine.
- Adults. Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered to be immune to measles from past exposures.
“Fortunately, most people have been vaccinated against measles,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “Our efforts now are to identify people who may be at risk of getting ill and to get them vaccinated. If they become ill we ask them to telephone their providers rather than going directly to a healthcare facility.”
For additional information, contact your local health department or DPH at 617-983-6800. Further information is available on the DPH website at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/factsheets/measles.pdf
West Nile Virus
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has elevated the West Nile virus risk level to moderate statewide. This wide-scale increase was driven by expanding and intensifying positive mosquito findings.
For additional information on how to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illness, please visit.
Avoid Mosquito Bites:
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Emergency Survival Kit
What Do You Need In A Survival Kit?
At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
3. Flashlight [Available on the Red Cross Store]
4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
5. Extra batteries
6. First aid kit [Available on the Red Cross Store]
7. Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
8. Multi-purpose tool
9. Sanitation and personal hygiene items
10. Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
11. Cell phone with chargers
12. Family and emergency contact information
13. Extra cash
14. Emergency blanket [Available on the Red Cross Store]
15. Map(s) of the area
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
- N95 or surgical masks
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
Be Red Cross Ready
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.