Jefferson Regional Medical Center has not provided influenza vaccine to the public in the past. Seasonal flu vaccine has been provided through the Jefferson County Health Department and other organizations.

The Missouri Department of Health and Missouri Association of Local Public Health Agencies have confirmed that because of the high demand most county health departments have distributed their supplies of seasonal flu vaccine. The vaccine is still available from some private practice providers and retail outlets.

Demand for the seasonal flu vaccine has been much greater than expected, and because vaccine manufacturers have switched to production of the H1N1 vaccine, additional supplies of seasonal flu vaccines have been delayed.

The Missouri Department of Health says that largest shipments of the H1N1 vaccine should begin arriving within the next few weeks and it will be distributed by priority, with pregnant women and children to be the first to receive the vaccine. When the needs of the priority groups have been met, others will be able to receive the H1N1 vaccine.

All of the H1N1 vaccine has been purchased by the federal government for free distribution through state and county health departments. Once the manufacturers have completed orders for the H1N1 vaccine, production of the seasonal flu vaccine will begin again, according to the state Department of Health. County health departments and private providers will have to order new shipments directly from the manufacturers, which is the same process they use each year. A timeline for availability of the seasonal flu vaccine will depend on demand and production.



H1N1 Information


Questions
What is "Swine Flu?"
What is a pandemic?
Why is novel H1N1 virus sometimes called "swine flu?"
What happens to humans who get the virus?
How does novel H1N1 virus spread?
How long is a person contagious?
What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?
What are emergency warning signs in children that need urgent medical attention?
What are emergency warning signs in adults that need urgent medical attention?
How is novel H1N1 different from the seasonal flu?
Who is at the greatest risk of infection?
Who does the CDC recommend to receive the novel H1N1 influenza vaccine?
Are there any groups that do not need the vaccine?
When will the novel H1N1 flu vaccine be available?
Does the seasonal flu vaccine protect against novel H1N1 flu?





Questions & Answers

1. What is "Swine Flu?"
Novel H1N1 (initially referred to as "swine flu") is a new influenza virus that is causing illness in people. It was first identified in the United States in April and has been spreading worldwide, much the same way that the seasonal flu virus spreads from person to person. On July 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu.

2. What is a pandemic?
The classification of the H1N1 influenza as a pandemic by the WHO means that the agency has observed sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus in more than one geographical region. The declaration was a reflection of the spread of the new H1N1 virus, not the severity of the illness.


3. Why is novel H1N1 virus sometimes called "swine flu?"
The virus was originally called swine flu because laboratory testing showed genes in the virus similar to a virus found in pigs. In further study the new virus has been found to be different and to contain genes of swine flu, bird flu and human flu. Scientists call this a "quadruple reassortant" virus.


4. What happens to humans who get the virus?
Illness with the new H1N1 virus has ranged from moderate to severe. Most people who have become ill with this new virus have recovered without requiring medical treatment, but some infections have led to hospitalization or death. About 70 percent of those hospitalized have had one or more medical conditions that would be considered high risk for serious flu-related complications.


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5. How does novel H1N1 virus spread?
This contagious virus is spread in a manner similar to the seasonal flu. Viruses pass from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Sometimes people may become infected by touching a surface or an object with flu virus on it and then touching their nose or mouth.


6. How long is a person contagious?
People infected with seasonal flu or novel H1N1 flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after symptoms first appear.


7. What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?
The symptoms are very similar to the seasonal flu. Those infected experience fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. A significant number also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.


8. What are emergency warning signs in children that need urgent medical attention?
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish or gray skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Severe or persistent vomiting
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with a fever and worse cough


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9. What are emergency warning signs in adults that need urgent medical attention?
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Confusion
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with a fever and worse cough


10. How is novel H1N1 different from the seasonal flu?
Each year in the United States, on average, the seasonal flu results in more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths. More than 90 percent of those deaths and 60 percent of hospitalizations are for patients ages 65 and older. About 10 percent of these hospitalizations are for patients ages 5 and younger.
According to CDC analysis the novel H1N1 virus has caused a greater disease burden on those age 25 and younger. There are few cases and few deaths reported in people older than age 64, which is unusual compared to the seasonal flu.


11. Who is at the greatest risk of infection?
Pregnancy and other previously recognized high-risk medical conditions appear to be associated with increased risk of complications from this novel H1N1 virus including asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, kidney disease, neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders.


12. Who does the CDC recommend to receive the novel H1N1 influenza vaccine?
Pregnant women because they are in a high-risk category and they can potentially provide protection to infants who cannot be vaccinated.
Household contacts and caregivers for children under 6 months of age because those infants are in a high-risk group and cannot be vaccinated.
Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel because infections among healthcare workers have been reported and they can be a potential source of infection for vulnerable patients.
All people from ages 6 months through 24 years of age because of the risk of spreading in close-contact situations like daycare and schools which increases the likelihood of disease spread.
People ages 25 through 64 who have other medical conditions associated with increased risk for infection.


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13. Are there any groups that do not need the vaccine?
Once the demand for the vaccine for the prioritized groups have been met at a local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25 through 64. Current studies indicate that the risk for infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the younger age groups, but when the demand has been met for younger age groups, programs and providers should offer the vaccination to people 65 or older.


14. When will the novel H1N1 flu vaccine be available?
Vaccine manufacturers are beginning production, and clinical trials have begun. The vaccine is expected this fall. The seasonal flu vaccine should be available sooner.


15. Does the seasonal flu vaccine protect against novel H1N1 flu?
The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to provide protection against H1N1. The usual seasonal flu viruses are still expected to cause illness and deaths this fall and winter, so individuals are encouraged to get their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as it is available.


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Signs & Symptoms

Prevention & Treatment

Contamination & Cleaning

Misconceptions

Vaccination Reccommendations

Over 65

Internet Resources