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October 03, 2013
Temporary Halt in CDC Flu Surveillance Won't Stop Doctors from Giving Flu Shots
MAYWOOD, Ill. - The government shutdown has caused the CDC to temporarily halt in-depth surveillance of infectious diseases, including the flu, but patient care will not be affected, according to Andrew Bonwit, MD, Loyola University Health System Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist.
“The tracking of infectious diseases and flu that the CDC does is extremely important for long-term assessment, future treatment and preparation. Still, it does not impair what we as physicians will do on a day-to-day basis to take care of our patients’ needs,” Bonwit said.
Bonwit also said that the availability of the flu vaccine will not be affected by the government shutdown, and that physicians can still access the CDC website for guidelines on using flu vaccines and specific treatments, if needed, for patients.
“Flu treatment and prevention remains the same and I strongly encourage everyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot. If you do get the flu, your doctor can decide if you need anti-viral medication, which also is still available. Not everyone who gets the flu will benefit from anti-viral medications. Talk to your physician if you have any concerns,” Bonwit said.
To help prevent the flu:
- Make sure everyone in your family who is 6 months and older receives a flu shot
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze
- Stay home if ill
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Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.