The following stories appear in full on today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.
It's all about the flu:
CDC influenza surveillance supports the warning to persons at high risk for complications from influenza that itís not too late to get a flu shot this flu season. Influenza activity in the United States is increasing; however it has been low and lower than the same period last year.
For more information: Vaccinate In January: Flu Season Is Off To A Slow Start
As health practitioners well know, much of the illness and death caused by influenza can be prevented by annual influenza vaccination. The influenza vaccine is specifically recommended for people who are at high risk for developing serious complications as a result of influenza infection. These high-risk groups include all people aged 50 years or older and people of any age with chronic diseases of the heart, lung or kidneys, diabetes, immunosuppression, or severe forms of anemia. Other groups for whom vaccine is specifically recommended are residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities housing patients of any age with chronic medical conditions, women who will be more than 3 months pregnant during the influenza season, and children and teenagers who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who may therefore be at risk for developing Reye syndrome after an influenza virus infection. Influenza vaccine is also recommended for people who are in close or frequent contact with anyone in the high-risk groups defined above.
Most practitioners vaccinate in the fall and treat influenza in the winter, but it looks like this year is going to be different.
For more information: Vaccine Information: Influenza
Vidyya has collected a selection of Web resources regarding influenza prevention and control and put them on one easy page for your use. The resources are from the World Health Organization and the Centers For Disease Control. You can depend on them to be accurate and professional and to provide you and your patients with the kind of information you want and need.
For more information: Resources For The Patient And Practitioner: Influenza Prevention And Control
Needle free vaccination moved a step closer on Friday, 29 December 2000. Acting on a 31 October 2000 request from Aviron seeking US licensure of FluMist(TM) to prevent influenza in healthy children and healthy adults, the FDA agreed to review Aviron's biologics license application. Friday's decision by the FDA to accept the submission for review was the next step in the regulatory process. If approved, FluMist(TM) would be
the first flu vaccine delivered as a nasal mist to be commercially available
in the US.
For more information: FDA Accepts FluMist(TM) Biologics License Application (BLA) For Review
How do you code influenza vaccine? Is the vaccine covered under Medicare? Are you and the patient aware that Medicare beneficiaries who get the vaccines do not pay the usual coinsurance or deductible amounts? Medicare pays those amounts, along with an amount for the vaccine and the person who administers the shot. Learn more with a fact sheet in today's issue.
For more information: Fact Sheet For Medicare Influenza/Pneumococcal Vaccination Benefits Effective October, 2000
Today's Vidyya articles are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.