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In the News Flu 2022~ Q and A – Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Here we are again… about to embark on another flu season. This year though you can be prepared by following along with this Flu 2022 Q & A filled with information that will help you weather the flu season storm. 

(Editor’s Note: All medical information contained in this article was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control CDC website.) 

Q: What is the recommendation for receiving a flu vaccine this year? 

A: Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, with few exceptions as has been the case since 2010. New this season, however, is a preferential recommendation for the use of higher dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines in people 65 and older over standard dose, unadjuvanted flu vaccines.

Q: What viruses will this year’s flu vaccine protect against? 

A: The recommendations for the 2022-2023 season include two updates compared with the recommended composition of last season’s U.S. flu vaccines. Both the influenza A (H3N2) and the influenza B (Victoria lineage) vaccine virus components were updated. 

Q: When is the best time to get my flu vaccine? 

A: It’s best to be vaccinated before flu begins spreading in your community. September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated against flu. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October. However, even if you are not able to get vaccinated until November or later, vaccination is still recommended because flu most commonly peaks in February and significant activity can continue into May.

(continued in Part II…)

In the News From Pandemic to Endemic – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Continued from Part I…


Over time and largely in part to public health efforts, like mask wearing and vaccination, the pandemic could just disappear – like smallpox and Polio – or it might gradually become endemic. 

Host, environment, and virus factors all combine to explain why some viruses are endemic and others are epidemic.  When scientists look at COVID, they see that it is infecting humans with no prior immunity. 

When it comes to environment, the virus transmits better in cold, dry, crowded, confined areas with poor ventilation.  Each virus has its own characteristics, from speed of replication to drug resistance, that’s why we constantly hear of new strains of the COVID virus. 

Scientists say that a virus is more likely to endemic if they become adapted to a “local environment and/or have a continuous supply of susceptible hosts.” In the case of COVID, these would be hosts with zero or low immunity.

Most public health experts currently agree that COVID is here to stay rather than likely to disappear like smallpox, at least for a while. They expect the number of infections to become constant across years with possible seasonal trends and occasional smaller outbreaks.

Experts also agree that the most important thing we can do to help reach a safe level of endemic COVID is to get vaccinated and continue to adhere to COVID-safe practices. By doing this we protect ourselves, those around us, and move together towards an endemic phase of the virus.

In the News From Pandemic to Endemic – Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

For more than two years now, we have been living in a world shattered by a global pandemic. We have lived in a time of masks, isolation, shutdowns, quarantines, vaccines, disease, and unfortunately death.

But at what point do we shift from a pandemic to an endemic? How will we know when the pandemic is officially “over”?

In this two-part article, we hope to answer some of those questions and give you more of an insight into what happens next after these long, scary, confusing years.

First, we need to define a few key words that we have all heard in conversation over the past 2 years.

These words cover the lifecycle of a disease and include outbreak, epidemic, pandemic and endemic.

An outbreak is a “rise in disease cases over what is normally expected in a small and specific location generally over a short period of time. Foodborne diseases caused by salmonella contamination provide frequent examples of this.” 

Epidemics are “essentially outbreaks without tight geographical restrictions. The Ebola Virus that spread within three West African countries from 2014–2016 was an epidemic.” 

A pandemic is an “epidemic that spreads across many countries and many continents around the world. Examples include those caused by influenza A(H1N1) or “Spanish Flu” in 1918, HIV/AIDS, SARS CoV-1 and Zika Virus.” 

The "normal circulation of a virus in a specified location over time describes an endemic virus.” The word “endemic” comes from the Greek endēmos, which means “in population”. An endemic virus is relatively constant in a population with largely predictable patterns.

In the News All About Monkeypox – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

(Continued from Part I…)

What are the signs and symptoms of Monkeypox? 

After exposure, it could be days or weeks before you develop symptoms. They include fever, chills, headache, muscle ache, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. After a few days, a rash often develops. The rash starts as flat, red bumps, which can be painful. Those bumps turn into blisters, which fill with pus. Eventually, the blisters crust over and fall off — the whole process can last two to four weeks. 

Is Monkeypox treatable/curable? 

According to the CDC, “Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from two to four weeks. Most people with monkeypox get better on their own without treatment. Following diagnosis, your healthcare provider will monitor your condition and try to relieve your symptoms, prevent dehydration and give you antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections if they develop.”

How do you prevent Monkeypox virus?

The best way to help prevent spread the monkeypox virus is to:

  • Avoid contact with infected animals (especially sick or dead animals).
  • Avoid contact with bedding and other materials contaminated with the virus.
  • Thoroughly cook all foods that contain animal meat or parts.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Avoid contact with people who may be infected with the virus.
  • Practice safe sex, including the use of condoms
  • Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when around others.