Issue 115 - October 17th, 2017
Making the Rounds with Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson


Protect yourself, your family and your patients from the flu by becoming vaccinated this season with an annual flu vaccine. While the timing of flu season is unpredictable, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue as late as May. CDC recommends that people 6 months of age and older recieve a vaccination by the end of October, if possible.

While the impact of flu varies, it places a substantial burden on the health of people in the United States each year. CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually since 2010.
Not only can it reduce flu illness, but it can also reduce doctor's visits and missed work and school.
While some think flu is akin to a "bad cold," it's something altogether different - and far more serious. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, and it can cause mild to severe illness. To emphasize the gravity of flu, it's important to keep a few facts and figures in mind (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

  • More than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized and thousands die every year from the influenza virus.
  • Flu causes 38 million lost school days and 111 million lost workdays a year, resulting in more than $7 billion in lost wages.
  • About 20,000 children under 5 are hospitalized each year from the flu.
  • During the 2016-2017 flu season, 104 pediatric deaths were reported across the United States.

"Years of research have shown vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza - for ourselves, our family members, and anyone we interact with in our daily lives," said Immunize Nevada Executive Director Heidi Parker in a recent telephone interview with Pam Beal, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs. "Your flu vaccine doesn't just protect you, it also protects those at highest risk from complications, such as pregnant women, babies, seniors, and people with chronic health conditions."

Yearly flu vaccination is the best tool currently available to protect against influenza (flu), a serious disease which sickens millions of people each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against flu and its potentially serious complications. Millions of people have safely received flu vaccines for decades. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

What you should know for the 2017-2018 Flu Season
A few things to note for this flu season:
  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating flu viruses.
  • For the second year, only injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) are recommended. LAIV, a nasal spray vaccine, is not recommended for use.

You can join the effort to reduce the flu in our community by getting your flu vaccine and encouraging people to protect themselves and their family by doing the same.  

Three Actions to Fight Flu this Flu Season.
Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. You have the power to protect yourself and your family this season with these three actions to fight flu.
  1. Get a flu vaccine. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible. A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.
  2. Take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs. Try to avoid close contact with sick people, and if you become sick, limit your contact with others. When possible, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  3. Consider flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. If you develop the flu, prescription medicine called antiviral drugs can be used to treat flu illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. Learn more about how you can prevent flu this season.
"You have the power to fight the flu - please get yourself and your family vaccinated", states Elissa Palmer, MD, FAAFP, Professor and Chair of Family Medicine at the UNLV School of Medicine, "The flu vaccine can prevent and reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work or school. It's a contagious disease and everyone over 6 months of age should get vaccinated every year."

For more information, visit: and
Stay Connected  |  Follow Our Progress