The 2014-2015 Flu Season: What You Need to Know

Flu season is right around the corner. If you haven’t scheduled one already with your family physician or workplace wellness program, it’s a good time to plan when you’ll get your family vaccinated. Earlier is better. While the flu shot may still offer protection if you get it later in the season, you’ll receive the maximum amount of protection if you get it just before flu season starts. Prime vaccination time is typically in October, just before flu gears up around the holidays.

Here’s what you need to know for the projected 2014-2015 season. While it’s impossible to predict what this flu season will be like (flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways), the CDC answered some common questions about this year’s flu season below.

Will new flu viruses circulate this season?
Flu viruses are constantly changing so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year. For more information about how flu viruses change, visit How the Flu Virus Can Change.

When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?
The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.

What should I do to prepare for this flu season?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.

Encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available in their communities, preferably by October. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for serious flu complications, and their close contacts.

Children between 6 months and 8 years of age may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected from flu. Your child’s doctor or other health care professional can tell you whether your child needs two doses.

Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months of age, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you and your loved ones can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.

When should I get vaccinated?
CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against flu soon after vaccine becomes available, preferably by October.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

Doctors and nurses are encouraged to begin vaccinating their patients soon after vaccine becomes available, preferably by October so as not to miss out on opportunities to vaccinate. Those children 6 months through 8 years of age who need two doses of vaccine should receive the first dose as soon as possible to allow time to get the second dose before the start of flu season. The two doses should be given at least 4 weeks apart.

Are there new recommendations for the 2014-2015 influenza season?

Recommendations on the control and prevention of influenza are published annually, in late summer or early fall. Existing recommendations are available at Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines. New recommendations for the 2014-2015 season are available on the in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Starting in 2014-2015, CDC recommends use of the nasal spray vaccine (LAIV) for healthy* children 2 through 8 years of age, when it is immediately available and if the child has no contraindications or precautions to that vaccine. Recent studies suggest that the nasal spray flu vaccine may work better than the flu shot in younger children. However, if the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available and the flu shot is, children 2 years through 8 years old should get the flu shot. Don’t delay vaccination to find the nasal spray flu vaccine. For more information about the new CDC recommendation, see Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 through 8 Years Old or the 2014-2015 MMWR Influenza Vaccine Recommendations.

(*“Healthy” in this instance refers to children 2 years through 8 years old who do not have an underlying medical condition that predisposes them to influenza complications.)

For more information on the 2014-2015 flu season, flu vaccines, and other ways to stay healthy this fall, visit the CDC’s website.

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Cameron Woods Celebrates National Assisted Living Week

Cameron Woods residents enjoying breakfast.

Cameron Woods residents enjoying breakfast.

In observance of National Assisted Living Week®, September 7 to 13, Cameron Woods Senior Living Community will host events developed as a special opportunity to bring together residents, families, employees, and volunteers to celebrate “The Magic of Music.”

“The Magic of Music showcases the role that music plays in assisted living residences every day,” said Suzi Ogden, Cameron Woods Director. “Music provides joy, comfort and in some cases memories long ago experienced.”

The week will be celebrated with many events for the Cameron Woods residents including a resident breakfast, a song of the day, a magic show, and live music just to name a few.

National Assisted Living Week® is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Center for Assisted Living, Washington, D.C. Cameron Woods is a 48-unit senior living community located in Angola, IN. For more information on National Assisted Living Week®, visit www.nalw.org or for more information on Cameron Woods or the event, call (260) 624-2197 or visit http://www.cameronwoods.net.

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Go gold this month!

Go gold this month!

When we hear the word “cancer,” we often think of adults–people whose bodies have been subject to environmental factors and lifestyle choices that make them more prone to developing cancer. But cancer affects children, too. In fact, an average of 13,400 children between the ages of birth and 19 years of age are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. That numbers is expected to be around 16,000 for 2014, with nearly 2,000 cases being terminal.

Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease past infancy among children in the United States. The most common types of childhood cancers are (in alphabetical order): bone cancers, brain cancers, hepatoblastoma, leukemias, lymphomas, neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, rhabdoid tumors, sarcomas, and Wilms’ tumor. The causes of most childhood cancers is unknown. Survival rates vary widely across cancer types. Survival rates for some childhood cancers have improved in recent years, and, overall, more than 80% of children and adolescents who are diagnosed with cancer live at least 5 years after their diagnosis. However, for some childhood cancer types, survival rates remain low. Often, children who have been treated for cancer need regular follow-up care for the rest of their lives because they are at risk of late side effects that can occur many years later, including second cancers.

All of these factors create a need for more education, funding, and research. This month, in particular, was set aside to raise awareness and honor the brave children and families affected by childhood cancer. It’s also a time to celebrate survivor success stories and remember the children who are no longer with us because of these rare cancers.

If you’d like to learn more and be a hero in the fight against childhood cancer, visit the American Childhood Cancer Organization or the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

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Cameron Woods to Celebrate National Assisted Living Week

PrintIn observance of National Assisted Living Week®, September 7 to 13, Cameron Woods Senior Living Community will host events developed as a special opportunity to bring together residents, families, employees, and volunteers to celebrate “The Magic of Music.”

“The Magic of Music showcases the role that music plays in assisted living residences every day,” said Suzi Ogden, Cameron Woods Director. “Music provides joy, comfort and in some cases memories long ago experienced.”

The week will be celebrated with many events for the Cameron Woods residents including a resident breakfast, a song of the day, a magic show, and live music just to name a few.

National Assisted Living Week® is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Center for Assisted Living, Washington, D.C. Cameron Woods is a 48-unit senior living community located in Angola, IN. For more information on National Assisted Living Week®, visit www.nalw.org or for more information on Cameron Woods or the event, call (260) 624-2197 or visit http://www.cameronwoods.net.

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Healthy & Safe, Even When Away at College

Going to college is an exciting time in a young person’s life. It’s the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. College is a great time for new experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. Here are a few pointers from the CDC for college students on staying safe and healthy.

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle starting with diet and exercise. In 2007-2010, 23% of young adults ages 18-24 were obese. The amount of food you need to eat from each food group depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity. Follow an eating plan with correct portions of the basic food groups. Also be aware that beverages may be adding extra calories. Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise each week.
  2. Sexual assault is a particular problem on college campuses. One in five women have been sexually assaulted while in college and 80 % of female victims experience their first rape before the age of 25. Students should know their rights, and seek help immediately if they or someone they know is the victim of violence.
  3. Sexually transmitted infections can be prevented. They are also treatable, and many are curable. Half of all new sexually transmitted diseases occur among young people aged 15 to 24 years. College students and others who are sexually active should get tested to know their status and protect themselves and their sexual partners. Abstinence, not having sex, is the most reliable way to avoid infection.
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  1. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men over a short period of time. About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks. Binge drinking is a factor that increases your chances for risky sexual behavior, unintended pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, car crashes, violence, and alcohol poisoning.  Get the facts about alcohol use and health and learn what you can do to prevent binge drinking.
  2. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and causes many diseases like cancer, and heart and respiratory diseases. In 2012, 17.3% of adults ages 18-24 were cigarette smokers. Encourage college students to quit smoking, and avoid starting during these important years. Hear tips from former smokers.
  3. Managing stress and maintaining good balance is important for college students. A few ways to manage stress are to get enough sleep, avoid drugs and alcohol, connect socially, and seek help from a medical or mental health professional, including if depressed or experiencing distress. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among persons aged 15 to 24 years. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you or a friend is struggling with a health or safety problem, you can:

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Mayor Presents Beautification Award for Outstanding Landscaping to the Dowes

Connie McCahill (Cameron COO), Chuck Dowe, Kathy Dowe, Mayor Richard Hickman

Connie McCahill (Cameron COO), Chuck Dowe, Kathy Dowe, Mayor Richard Hickman

Angola Mayor Richard Hickman along with Cameron Memorial Community Hospital is pleased to announce the latest Angola Mayor’s Beautification Award was presented to Chuck and Kathy Dowe. Mr. and Mrs. Dowe were awarded this honor for their outstanding landscaping at 315 W. Pleasant Street. “The Dowes have done a beautiful job,” said Mayor Hickman. “They really take pride in their home.”

The Dowes have lived in Angola for the past thirty-four years and in their home on Pleasant Street for the last twenty. For the first ten years they lived there, the home was surrounded by very large evergreens that their kids enjoyed having covered with lights each Christmas. Ten years ago, the Dowes removed the old shrubbery and re-landscaped creating the beautiful oasis they now enjoy. The home features a variety of perennials and annuals of all different types and colors.

“We do this because we enjoy it,” said Chuck Dowe. The oak tree standing in their front yard was an Arbor Day project their daughter brought home many years ago. The back yard features a very large white oak, that according to an arborist from the Purdue Extension Office, is at least 275 years old.

The purpose of the Mayor’s Beautification Award is to promote and recognize the efforts of city residents who beautify their residential landscapes and the exterior of their residential properties. The award is sponsored by Cameron Memorial Community Hospital as part of its commitment to promote wellness and a high quality of community life.

The public is invited to nominate themselves or another residence that is deserving of some positive recognition. Nominations must be located within the Angola city limits and the area nominated must be visible from the public right of way. Nomination forms are available on the City of Angola’s website at www.angolain.org or on Cameron Memorial Community Hospital’s website at www.cameronmch.com. Nominees should meet the following criteria:

  • Neatness and maintenance of property and other structures
  • Maintenance of planting areas, landscape and all visible yard
  • Absence of debris
  • Eligible residential properties include: single, duplex or multi-family; the residence need not be owner-occupied

Similar awards are also offered to residents of Fremont. For more information on the award, contact Angola City Planner, Vivian Likes at (260) 665-7465.

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Cameron Hospital Hosts Cancer Survivor Support Group in July

Cameron Memorial Community Hospital will be offering a support group meeting for cancer survivors and their family and friends on Monday, July 21, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. in the Cameron Counseling Center at 617 N. Washington St., Angola.

The group will be facilitated by Rita Lechleidner, Director of the Cameron Counseling Center and will continue on the third Monday of each month. Attendees are encouraged to bring a family member or friend.

For more information, please contact (260) 668-7060.

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