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Everything You Need to Know About the Flu Vaccine

As summer ends and fall approaches, we begin to hear a lot about the seasonal flu and the importance of getting vaccinated. Influenza, also known as “the flu,” is a contagious respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus, which affects the nose, throat and lungs. Every year in the United States more than 200,000 people are hospitalized because of the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Several important steps can be taken to help prevent contracting and spreading the virus.

Individuals who are at high risk for developing flu-related complications should exercise particular caution during flu season. Children under age five, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions and people who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities are especially susceptible to complications related to flu. 

The best way to prevent getting the flu and spreading it to others is to get a vaccine. It’s best to get vaccinated as early as possible in the season as it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop after vaccination. For the 2016-2017 season, the CDC recommend using an injectable influenza vaccine. Two types of injectable vaccines will be available this flu season:

  • Trivalent flu vaccine: A three-component vaccination injected into the muscle of the arm. There are several trivalent shots that are appropriate for people 18 and older. High-dose trivalent shots are recommended for people over 65. 
  • Quadrivalent flu vaccine: A four-component vaccination approved for use in different age groups. The intradermal quadrivalent flu shot uses a smaller needle and is injected into the skin instead of the muscle.

Besides vaccination, there are several other things you can do to minimize the risk of catching the virus and spreading it to others. Most viruses spread through direct contact, so it is extremely important to wash your hands regularly in warm, soapy water and avoid contact with face, mouth and eyes. When sneezing, always use a clean tissue and discard used ones, and if a tissue is not available, sneeze away from others.

Using natural methods to help prevent to the flu can also be effective. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids can help flush out the body. Getting fresh air can also help keep the body hydrated, especially during the cold months when central heat tends to dry out the skin. Exercising regularly and eating a diet high in vegetables and fruits can help increase blood flow and stimulate the body’s natural virus-killing cells. 

The seasonal flu virus changes every season, so it is important to stay current with your vaccinations each year. Practicing good cleanliness habits and healthy routines can also help keep you and your loved ones healthy throughout flu season and all year long.

Flu vaccines will be available beginning October 6, 2016 For information about scheduling a vaccine, please call one of our convenient locations listed below:

  • Three Rivers Immediate Care – Louisa  606 638-7400

306 Commerce Drive, Suite 700

Louisa, KY  41230

  • Three Rivers Immediate Care – Inez 606 298-2660

94 Boardwalk

Inez, KY  41224

  • Three Rivers Immediate Care – Crum 304 393-6901

47460 US Route 52

Kermit, WV  25674

  • Three Rivers Medical Center – Louisa 606 638-9451

2485 Hwy 644

Louisa, KY  41230

 

Study Finds E-cigarette Use Hurts Quit Attempts


A recent study published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research evaluated e-cigarette use and quit attempts at 3 and 6 month follow ups. The researchers sampled 6,526 people from 187 primary care clinics in Ontario, Canada.

They found that, after three months, smokers who also used e-cigarettes were approximately 30% less likely to have successfully quit smoking compared to smokers who did not use e-cigarettes.  

At the 6 month follow up, smokers who also used e-cigarettes were about 50% less likely to successfully quit than smokers who only used traditional cigarettes.  

Further, e-cig users did not significantly reduce the number of cigarettes smoked per day. No difference was found between smokers who used e-cigs to quit and smokers who used e-cigs for other reasons.

Findings from this study are consistent with other similar research showing that dual users (traditional smokers who also use e-cigs) are less likely to quit.

Let’s Prevent Diabetes!

More than 1 out of 3 American adults have Prediabetes. 9 out of 10 of them don’t know they have Prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet for a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.  If you have ever been told you are “borderline diabetic” or “have a little sugar” or anything telling you that your blood sugar is high, you possibly already have Prediabetes and are at high risk to develop Type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years.  

The Lawrence County Health Department is offering a class series to aid you in lifestyle changes that can Prevent Type 2 Diabetes!  Through the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) you will meet with trained lifestyle coaches to develop coping skills, learn healthier eating habits, problem solving, and how to deal with triggers in your environment, all while receiving guidance and support from the coaches and others in the class.  Class goals include reaching 5% weight loss and increasing physical activity.  NDPP is proven to reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58%. (Diabetes development reduced by 71% for those age 60 years and older!) 

Please feel free to call at the health department for further information on this program and to sign up to participate.  We will hold an information session Tuesday, October 11 at 5pm at the health department.  During this session, participants can sign up and gain more information as to what to expect during the course.  Anyone who is interested in participating in this program series is welcome to come and receive more detailed information as to what the program will entail without further obligation to continue the program for the full year. Classes will begin the following Tuesday, October 18 and will normally be scheduled Tuesdays at 5 pm.  This is a year-long program.  Participants will meet 16 sessions during the first 6 months and 6-8 sessions for the final 6 months. 

Class size is limited and registration is required by October 18, 2016.  

Contact Ashley Wilks or  Tiffiney Burchett at the Lawrence County Health Department for more information. 606-638-9500

Please call now or join us October 11 at 5pm.

 Let’s Prevent Diabetes!

 

 

Ashley E. Wilks, R.N., C.L.S.    

Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach

WIC Coordinator

Breastfeeding Specialist

Community Health

 

September 14, 2016

New Census data released Tuesday shows Kentucky’s historic progress in reducing the share of Kentuckians without health insurance coverage has continued to grow.

The new American Community Survey (ACS) data shows Kentucky’s rate dropped 8.3 percentage points between 2013 and 2015, thanks to our state’s decision to expand Medicaid and set up the successful Kynect marketplace.

Kentucky is one of only four states with at least an eight percentage point drop in the uninsured since 2013, along with California, West Virginia and Nevada.

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According to the Census, 355,000 more Kentuckians had health insurance in 2015 than prior to Medicaid expansion and the creation of Kynect. While 14.3 percent were uninsured in 2013 and 8.5 percent in 2014, only 6 percent were uninsured in 2015.

“Affordable, reliable healthcare is essential to any thriving community,” Jason Bailey, Executive Director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, said. “These numbers are another piece of evidence that Kentucky is a national leader in health coverage, which isn’t just a ranking, it’s changing people’s lives.”

The expansion has meant more Kentuckians have been able to get needed care for chronic conditions, make and keep primary care appointments, use the emergency room less and be more likely to report having excellent health according to a Harvard School of Public Health study published in August.

Not only has the decision to expand Medicaid in many states resulted in a greater number of people covered, but it has meant private health insurance premiums are seven percent lower on average in expansion states when compared to states that did not expand, according to a report from the Department for Health and Human Services (HHS).

There are significant economic benefits as well. Hospitals have seen a $2 billion reduction in charges for uncompensated care thanks to Medicaid expansion and the state is projected to save a net of $53.6 million during the next two fiscal years due to expansion paying for health services state agencies would otherwise be responsible for covering, according to analysis from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

And as of July of this year Kentucky has added 11,500 health care and hospital jobs in the last two years as coverage from Medicaid expansion has grown.

“Because Kentucky has seen the greatest gains, we also have the most to lose if harmful changes to Medicaid are approved,” Bailey said of the proposed waiver that was recently submitted to federal officials. The plan introduces barriers to coverage like premiums, lockouts and work requirements that would reduce the number of Kentuckians covered. “Our hope is that the Bevin administration will negotiate in earnest with the federal government to find a way to build on our successes and not move backward on our health progress.”

You can view the data here.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan initiative that conducts research, analysis and education on important policy issues facing the Commonwealth. Launched in 2011, the Center is a project of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). For more information, please visit KCEP’s website atwww.kypolicy.org.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

 Lawrence County now has high school and middle school soccer

PHOTO/Doug Strickland, Chattanooga Times Free PressPHOTO/Doug Strickland, Chattanooga Times Free PressSoccer is a growing sport, increasingly in rural areas, where the game can be played by children of all skill levels. It's also becoming an increasingly dangerous sport, says a study by researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital published in Pediatrics.

The study found that among youth 7 to 17 years old, the number of soccer-related emergency-room cases increased 78 percent from 1990 to 2014 and the annual rate of all soccer injuries went up 111 percent. Also, the rate of concussions and closed-head injuries increased 1,596 percent, though concussions and other head injuries only accounted for just over 7 percent of all injuries.

Most injuries were sprains or strains (35 percent) fractures (23 percent) and soft tissue injuries (22 percent). Thirty-nine percent of injuries were when a player was struck by the ball or another player and 29 percent from falls.

Huiyun Xiang, senior author of the study report and director of the research core at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, said: "The sport of soccer has changed dramatically in the last 25 years. We’re seeing athletes play year-round now thanks to club, travel and rec leagues, and the intensity of play is higher than it ever has been. These factors combine to lead to more risk of injury.”

The U.S. Soccer Federation in November 2015 issued guidelines for youth heading, recommending that players 10 and under no longer be allowed to head the ball. Also, players 11-12 should be limited to heading the ball a maximum of 30 minutes per week, with no more than 15-20 headers per player, per week.

Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 9/12/2016