In addition to following all official guidelines to protect against Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), it’s also essential to take steps to prevent the emergence of other healthcare problems.
As the country emerges from lock-down, the school year begins, and people return to offices and other gatherings, one’s exposure to germs and viruses increases. While the pandemic has created additional challenges and hardships for the past year and a half, it does not change the fact that flu activity increases every year, starting around October and peaking in the winter months.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
At the office of North Jersey Pulmonology Associates, we’re dedicated to helping patients of all ages maintain optimal respiratory health and chart a path to wellness.
As skilled and experienced providers of care, we recommend two things to help you and your loved ones breathe easier in the coming months. First, get your annual flu vaccination and, depending on one’s age, medical history, and other factors, receive a pneumococcal immunization.
Why get a flu vaccine?
As anyone who has experienced a bout of the flu can tell you, it’s something that’s best to avoid. As it infects the nose, throat, and sometimes lungs, this contagious respiratory virus causes mild to severe illness and, in some cases, death. For seniors, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions, the risk for severe complications is quite high.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine, ideally by the end of October. It’s especially important for individuals in the high-risk categories, health care workers, and anyone caring for someone vulnerable to severe illness.
What is a pneumococcal vaccination, and why is it needed?
While most people won’t recognize the terms pneumococcal disease or pneumococcus, this infection is responsible for a range of illnesses, from pharyngitis and middle ear infections to life-threatening illnesses like pneumonia and meningitis. Contagious and transmitted via respiratory droplets, pneumococcus poses a greater risk for life-threatening complications in older people, young children, and those with certain medical conditions.
Fortunately, two vaccines are available that effectively decrease the prevalence and severity of severe pneumococcal disease—the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PVC13 or Prevnar13®) and the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23 or Pneumovax23®). Depending on one’s age, health history, and other considerations, a primary care physician or pediatrician will recommend and provide the appropriate vaccine. People with respiratory issues, such as COPD, are advised to take every precaution, including getting timely vaccinations, to prevent respiratory illness.
Providing skilled, reliable, and compassionate care
Remember, as the flu season approaches, the office of North Jersey Pulmonary Associates is here for you! If you have any questions or concerns about respiratory issues, prevention, or treatment, give us a call today!
By North Jersey Pulmonary Associates
September 9, 2021