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Oakland County Health Division recommends flu shots

The Health Division recommended everyone over the age of six months receive an influenza vaccination. Residents at a higher risk of flu complications, such as children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, older adults and anyone with chronic medical conditions, should especially get a flu shot and take preventive actions, officials said.

"Flu season has just begun, so this is a critical time to get vaccinated, which is the best way to prevent the flu," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. "You can also help prevent the flu by washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home when sick."

Getting an annual flu shot not only decreases the risk of getting the flu, it also helps decrease the severity of illness and complications and protects the entire community, especially those who are unable to be vaccinated.

How flu virus can spread

The flu virus can be spread to others as far as six feet away, mainly by droplets made when people cough, sneeze or talk.

A person can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose or mouth. Washing hands often with soap and water is a proactive way to avoid transmission. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub, officials said.

Flu shots available

Flu shots are available at Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield from noon to 8 p.m. on
Mondays and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

Pre-payment and registration are not available at the walk-in clinics. Flu shots cost $25. The high-dose flu shot recommended for residents 65 years and older is $47 and is covered by Medicare.

Here is the information for both health offices:

North Oakland Health Center

  • Address: 1200 N. Telegraph Road 34E in Pontiac

  • Phone number: 248-858-1280

  • Website: oakgov.com/health

South Oakland Health Center

  • Address: 27725 Greenfield Road in Southfield

  • Phone number: 248-424-7000

  • Website: oakgov.com/health

Flu shot payment information

Payment options include cash, credit (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa), Medicare,
Medicaid and some insurance. Credit card fees apply.

Residents should bring picture identification and all insurance cards to the clinic.

OCHD participates in the Vaccines for Children Program. No one will be denied access to services due to inability to pay. There is a discounted/sliding fee schedule available.

 

Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter


 
Young girl catching snowflakes

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults.

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

 

 

Take These Steps for Your Home

 

Many people prefer to remain indoors in the winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
 
 
Children playing in the snow

Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.

 
Man shoveling snow

Work slowly when doing outside chores.

 
Cars driving on snowy road

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

 
Grandson hugging grandfather

Be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards.

 

 

Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Car

 

Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

  • Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
    • Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
    • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
    • Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
      • cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
      • blankets;
      • food and water;
      • booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
      • compass and maps;
      • flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
      • first-aid kit; and
      • plastic bags (for sanitation).

 

 

Equip in Advance for Emergencies

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
  • When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
    • Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
    • extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit and extra medicine;
    • baby items; and
      • cat litter or sand for icy walkways.

  • Protect your family from carbon monoxide.
    • Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
    • Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
    • Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911.

 

Take These Precautions Outdoors

Many people spend time outdoors in the winter working, traveling, or enjoying winter sports. Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:

  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wear a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
  • Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
    • Work slowly when doing outside chores.
    • Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
    • Carry a cell phone.

 

Do This When You Plan to Travel

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

  • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories.
  • If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
  • Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car.
    • Stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away, but continue to move arms and legs.
    • Stay visible by putting bright cloth on the antenna, turning on the inside overhead light (when engine is running), and raising the hood when snow stops falling.
    • Run the engine and heater only 10 minutes every hour.
    • Keep a downwind window open.
    • Make sure the tailpipe is not blocked.

Above all, be ready to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

No one can stop the onset of winter. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be ready for it when it comes.

Be sure to visit CDC’s Winter Weather webpage for more winter weather safety tips.

 

 

 

HEART DISEASE

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions.

How to Reduce Your Risk

  1. Choose a Heart Healthy Lifestyle.
    • Engage in regular moderate aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week or more vigorous workouts at least 20 minutes three times a week.

    • Adopt a diet low in salt, saturated and transfats and high in unsaturated fats (fish, avocado, etc.) like the Mediterranean Diet.

    • Maintain a normal body weight with caloric adjustment.

    • Take fish oil supplements.

    • Avoid smoking and recreational drug use.

    • Imbibe no more than ½ to 1 alcoholic beverage per day.

  2. Know and review your risk factors with a trusted physician.

  3. Your physician may recommend medications to control cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes.

  4. High-risk individuals should consider taking a daily aspirin.

  5. Avoid hormone replacement unless you have severe menopausal symptoms.

  6. In selected cases, it may be necessary to conduct non-invasive or even invasive tests to determine the nature and severity of the heart disease.

  7. Sometimes angioplasty/stenting or even bypass surgery may be needed if you have severe and symptomatic arterial blockage.

  8. Learn CPR.

  9. And as Dr. P.K. Shah always recommends, CHOOSE YOUR PARENTS WISELY!

Common Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Age

Heart disease can occur at any age. However, four out of five people who die from coronary heart disease are aged 65 or older. The risk of stroke doubles with each decade after the age of 55.

Gender

Men and women are equally at risk for heart disease, but women tend to get coronary artery disease an average of 10 years later than men. The risk for women increases as they approach menopause and continues to rise as they get older. Death rates from heart disease and stroke for women are twice as high as those for all forms of cancer.

Family History (Heredity)

Presence of heart disease in a parent or sibling, especially at a young age, increases your risk of developing heart disease.

Smoking

Smokers are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks as non-smokers, and they are more likely to die as a result. Smoking is also linked to increased risk of stroke.  The nicotine and carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke damages the cardiovascular system. Passive smoking may also be a danger. 46 million Americans (25 million men and 21 million women) smoke.  Women who smoke and take the oral contraceptive pill are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke.

Cholesterol

The higher the blood cholesterol level, the higher the risk of coronary heart disease, particularly if it is combined with any of the other risk factors. Diet is one cause of high cholesterol – others are age, sex and family history. High levels (over 100 mg/dl) of LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or “bad cholesterol”, are dangerous, and low levels (under 40 mg/dl in men and under 55 mg/dl in women) of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good cholesterol”, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. High levels (over 150 mg/dl) of triglycerides (another type of fat), in some, may also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Nearly 40 million Americans have high cholesterol levels.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (over 140/90 mmHg and over 130/80 mmHg in diabetics) increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and kidney damage. When combined with obesity, smoking, high cholesterol or diabetes, the risk increases several times. High blood pressure can be a problem in women who are pregnant or are taking high-dose types of oral contraceptive pill. 72 million Americans over age 20 have high blood pressure.

Physical Inactivity

Failure to exercise (walking or doing other moderate activities for at least 30 minutes five days a week or more vigorous workouts at least 20 minutes three times a week) can contribute to an increased risk of coronary heart disease as physical activity helps control weight, cholesterol levels, diabetes and, in some cases, can help lower blood pressure.

Obesity

People who are overweight are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke, even if they have none of the other risk factors. Excess weight causes extra strain on the heart; influences blood pressure, cholesterol and levels of other blood fats – including triglycerides; and increases the risk of developing diabetes. 66% of Americans over age 20 are obese.

Alcohol

Small amount of regular alcohol consumption (1/2 to 1 drink per day for women and 1-2 drinks per day for men) can reduce risk of heart disease. However, drinking an average of more than one drink a day for women or more than two drinks a day for men increases the risk of heart disease and stroke because of the effect on blood pressure, weight and levels of triglycerides – a type of fat carried in the blood.  Binge drinking is particularly dangerous.

Drug Abuse

The use of certain drugs, particularly cocaine and amphetamines, has been linked to heart disease and stroke.  Cocaine can cause abnormal heartbeat which can be fatal while heroin and opiates can cause lung failure. Injecting drugs can cause an infection of the heart or blood vessels.

Diabetes

The condition seriously increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, even if glucose levels are under control. More than 80% of diabetes sufferers die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.

Previous Medical History

People who have had a previous heart attack or stroke are more likely than others to suffer further events.

Stress, Depression, Anger/Hostility

Stress, depression, and negative emotions have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

 

Eat Wisely and Be Physically Active: Take Control of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes can be managed!

Balancing the food you eat with exercise and medicine (if prescribed) will help you control your weight and can keep your blood sugar in the healthy range. This can help prevent or delay complications. Many people with diabetes live long and healthful lives.

If your weight is a concern consider joining MOVE!, a comprehensive lifestyle intervention targeting weight loss through dietary changes, physical activity and improved weight management behaviors. This approach, particularly when delivered in a group format, has been shown to be effective for managing diabetes.

Stay one step ahead of your diabetes with these resources.

MOVE! Resources

MOVE! Handouts

- See more at: http://www.prevention.va.gov/MPT/2016/July_2016.asp#sthash.ofSBkoRU.dpuf