Infectious Diseases; Should I Just Never Leave My House Ever Again?!
There is much in the news right now about Ebola, the infectious virus currently being fought in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. It’s hard not to feel some alarm, but before you put yourself and your family into a big protective bubble or finish the pool into a bomb shelter (and become ‘those’ neighbors everyone talks about), I caution you, as always, to be discerning in what you watch and read.
Everything that we are receiving within the healthcare community is reassuring that prevention of exposure, early detection, intervention, and confinement is staying ahead of this infection. It, like all bugs, has its limitations and we are getting closer every day to understanding and exploiting its weaknesses. We’re hearing good news of recovery of those few healthcare workers in the US who have been exposed to infected patients from that region, and we’re optimistic for enhanced prevention and treatment methods available world-wide.
It is policy to assess every patient admitted to the hospital for their recent history of travel, so do not be surprised if you are asked this question if you come to deliver or for a scheduled procedure.
Honestly, though, what most of us are concerned about MUCH more than Ebola, is flu season. Your risk for contracting influenza is significant, and it is advised that all pregnant patients, during any trimester, receive the flu shot to prevent infection. Not only can the flu make you miserable, but it can be dangerous for you and your baby.
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Flu vaccination is crucial for all pregnant women because the immune system changes during pregnancy, which puts women at increased risk of serious illness and complications if they get the flu. In addition, flu vaccination performs double duty by protecting both pregnant women and their fetuses; babies cannot be vaccinated against the flu until they are six months old, but they receive antibodies from their vaccinated mother, helping to protect them until they can be vaccinated directly.”
Oakland Macomb Ob/Gyn is offering flu shots to all pregnant patients, but, unfortunately, our supplies are limited. If you are not currently pregnant, please speak to your Primary Care Physician about obtaining the flu shot. They are also available at some pharmacies for a nominal fee. For more information on the flu shot.
Also, for pregnant patients: pertussis (whooping cough) is on the rise and can be very harmful to a newborn. Please get your Tdap vaccine update, after 28 weeks gestation, and have every member of your family and all caregivers for the baby get theirs, too. For more informatin on the pertussis vaccine.
In summary, please get your flu shot, most especially if you’re pregnant, as well as your Tdap vaccine. Wash your hands a lot and practice good hygiene and judgment. And do not panic. We will keep you abreast of any changes as we learn of them, but at this point in time, becoming ‘bubble boy’ is not necessary and would probably interfere in a great many things in your life.
“Bubble Boy,” 2001
As always, if there are specific questions or concerns you have about your health, please call us or make an appointment to see your Oakland Macomb practitioner. If there are topics and issues you’d like to see us address on this blog, please contact us through the facebook page or blog!
To Your Health!