• Risk of Swine Flu Associated with Travel to Affected Areas

    Public health officials within the United States and throughout the world are investigating outbreaks of swine influenza (swine flu). Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans: however, human infections with swine flu do occur. Public health officials have determined that this strain of swine flu virus spreads from human to human and can cause illness.The outbreak is ongoing and additional cases are expected. For more information concerning swine flu infection, please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/. For specific information on travel precautions and an update on the affected areas, please visit: www.cdc.gov/travel.
    The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include: 
    Fever (greater than 100°F or 37.8°C) 
    Sore throat 
    Stuffy nose 
    Headache and body aches 
    Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory 
    failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.People entering the United States who are experiencing symptoms consistent with swine flu and have traveled to an affected area(see http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/investigation.htm  for affected areas), or have been exposed to someone possibly infected with swine flu, during the last 7 days should report their illnesses to their health care provider immediately and inform them of their recent travel. People traveling from the United States to affected areas should be aware of the risk of illness with swine flu and take 
    To Prevent the Spread of Swine Flu, Follow Standard Hygienic Practices: 
    *Avoid contact with ill persons.
    *When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (if you do not have a tissue). 
    *Throw used tissues in a trash can. 
    *After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel. 
    *If you think you are ill with flu, avoid close contact with others as much as possible. 
    * Stay at home or in your hotel room. 
    *Seek medical care if you are severely ill (such as having trouble breathing).
    *There are antiviral medications for prevention and treatment of swine flu that a doctor can prescribe.
    *Do not go to work, school, or travel while ill. 

    Chicken Pox Overview

    Varicella (i.e., chickenpox) is a highly infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). Varicella is usually a self-limited disease that lasts 4-5 days and is characterized by fever, malaise, and a generalized vesicular rash typically consisting of 250-500 lesions. Infants, adolescents, adults, and immunocompromised persons are at higher risk for complications. Secondary attack rates for this virus might reach 90% for susceptible household contacts. VZV is transmitted from person to person by direct contact, inhalation of aerosols from vesicular fluid of skin lesions of acute varicella or zoster, or infected respiratory tract secretions that also might be aerosolized. The virus enters the host through the upper-respiratory tract or the conjunctiva. The average incubation period for varicella is 14-16 days after exposure to rash: however, this period can vary (range: 10-21 days). The period of contagiousness of infected persons is estimated to begin 1-2 days before the onset of rash and to end when all lesions are crusted, typically 4-7 days after onset of rash. Varicella vaccine was licensed in 1995. Two doses are recommended for use, with the first dose given to infants 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose to children four to six years of age. In accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:57 - 4, Immunization of Pupils in Schools, every child born on or after January 1998 shall have received one dose of varicella vaccine administered on or after the first birthday prior to school entrance for the first time into a Kindergarten, Grade 1 or comparable entry level special education program with an unassigned grade. Every child 
    19 months of age enrolling in or attending a child care center or preschool shall have at least one dose of varicella vaccine administered on or after the first birthday. New Jersey currently requires only one dose of the varicella vaccine and recommends the second dose.

    Albuterol Asthma Inhaler Change
    Your Asthma Inhaler Is Changing!

    If you or your child are using an Albuterol metered dose inhaler (MDI), also called a “short-acting” or “rescue” inhaler, it is vital for you to know that you will need to change very soon to a new kind of asthma inhaler.
    Soon all rescue inhalers will be changed to what are known as earth-friendly rescue inhalers. Until now, your albuterol inhaler may have used chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to deliver the medicine into your lungs. CFCs are safe for you, but hurt the environment. They change the ozone layer in the earth's atmosphere, letting more of the sun's harmful rays pass freely through it.So the United States is requiring all inhalers to change to hydrofluoroalkane (HFA), an earth-friendly alternative to CFC. This change will help make the air better for everyone.HFA inhalers contain the same medicine and provide the same relief as your current CFC inhaler.It is important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible about making a switch to an HFA albuterol asthma inhaler.**For future updates and changes go to, www.schoolasthmaallergy.com

    Health Help for New Jersey Families

    Do you have a child under the age of 21 who you think or know has special needs? Here are some places to contact to start getting the help you need: Special Child Health Services (SCHS)- 609-777-7778 or www.nj.gov/health/fhs/sch
    Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)- 800-832-9173 or www.state.nj.us/humanservices/ddd/index.html
    Medicaid Community Care Waiver Unit of Division of Developmental Disabilities, 609-987-2040 or 
    Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, 800-335-3863 or www.state.nj.us/humanservices/catill1.htm

    Children who attend a licensed child care center and preschoolers MUST receive annual influenza vaccinations AND a pneumoccocal vaccine. In addition, children born after January 1, 1997 and enrolled in Grade 6 or transferring into a New Jersey school from another state or country will be required to receive a booster dose of the diptheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine as well as one dose of a 
    meningoccocal vaccine

    The following are recommendations from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. This comprehensive vaccination campaign is an effort to raise awareness of influenza and to protect more of New Jersey's residents through immunization. In keeping with target 
    populations established by Federal organizations for 2007, the priority areas in this year's campagian include:
    1. Increase vaccination rates among all health care professionals, as well as residents in institutional settings, 
    2. Children 6 months and months younger than 9 years who have not been previously vaccinated are recommended to be vaccinated with 2 doses of flu vaccine (doses separated by 4-6 weeks), 
    3. Children 6 months and younger than 9 years who received only one dose in their first year should receive 2 
    doses the following year (doses separated by 4-6 weeks and single dose in subsequent years), 
    4. Increasing vaccination among children 6 months to 5 years, their household contacts and out of home caregivers, 
    5. Vaccinate any child 6 months to 18 years of age that has a chronic health condition,
     6. Increase awareness among underserved populations. 
     7. Vaccination of pregnant woman and individuals who have chronic medical conditions. 

    These include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In persons with poor underlying health or weakened immune systems, Salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections or death. Individuals who have recently eaten peanut butter-containing products from these companies and who have experienced any of these symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider immediately and report the illnesses to their state or local health authorities. Similarly, institutional food establishments and other food service providers who 
    have received reports of illness from consumers after they consumed a product containing this peanut butter are encouraged to share that information with their local health department.