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140909EPAvirusblog-smHospitalizations for severe respiratory infections in children are climbing at some U.S. hospitals because of confirmed cases by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of human enterovirus D68, or EV-D68. As yet, Lane County has no confirmed cases.

There are more than 100 types of enterovirus infections, with 10 to 15 million cases every year. EV-D68, however, is less common. Small clusters of EV-D68 were reported in the United States in 2009 and 2010.

Last month, hospital officials in Kansas City, Missouri, and Chicago contacted the CDC after finding higher than usual numbers of admissions due to respiratory infections. The CDC then confirmed 19 of 22 specimens from Kansas City hospitals and 11 of 14 specimens from Chicago were EV-D68. The strain is not new.

The CDC continues to investigate possible clusters around the country, and testing is ongoing, said Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a CDC telebriefing held yesterday.

Who’s affected and how?
Children from six weeks to 16 years, and with a median age of 5 years, have been most affected by the current outbreak, especially those with a history of asthma or wheezing. Some children have been admitted to intensive care units. At Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, for example, officials called in extra providers to help care for an unprecedented influx of children needing intensive care.

The onset of symptoms can be quick. Within hours, typical cold systems have turned into breathing difficulties, sometimes accompanied by wheezing, cough, rash or fever. Some EV-D68 infection can be serious but rarely result in neurologic illness, including meningitis.

What can I do?
Your pediatricians at Eugene Pediatric Associates urge you to take the following steps:

  • Remain calm. This is not a deadly virus, like Ebola. Supportive care is helping many of the sick kids in the Midwest get well.
  • Keep sick children with rashes and bad coughs OUT of school and daycare.
  • Call us to discuss your children’s illness if they have a bad cough, fever, body aches or shortness of breath. We can help you decide what to do next.
  • Keep up your kids’ washing regimen. Enteroviruses are spread by close contact with infected persons or by touching contaminated objects. Thoroughly wash your kids’ hands and faces and change clothes when they get home after being around lots of other people.
  • Be mindful about swimming pool hygiene. Enterovirus infections also can be spread by fecal–oral routes.
  • If your child has asthma, make sure you have rescue inhalers that are up to date and your child gets a flu shot this month or next.
And remember: Even though this newsworthy virus isn’t prevented by a shot, please immunize your children against influenza, which kills more people every year than all vaccine-preventable diseases put together! FLU SHOTS SAVE LIVES.

131001kidsinjurypost1Concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is increasingly common in kids. Consider the following statistics from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:

• Each year, U.S. emergency departments (EDs) treat an estimated 173,285 sports- and recreation-related TBIs, including concussions, among children and adolescents from birth to 19 years.
• During the last decade, ED visits for sports- and recreation-related TBIs, including concussions, among children and adolescents increased by 60 percent.
• Overall, the activities associated with the greatest number of TBI-related ED visits included bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball and soccer.

The physicians at Eugene Pediatric Associates are leading a citywide concussion initiative with the assistance of nationally recognized concussion expert Dr. Michael Koester at the Slocum Orthopedic Institute.

Dr. Koester and your doctors at EPA are hosting a symposium this November for pediatricians, emergency room physicians, family physicians, school trainers and administrators, psychologists, physical therapists and others professionals who interact with concussed students.

The goal is to create a community-wide standard of care for our kids when they suffer a concussion. Watch here for more information on concussions and our effort to help kids in our community play and be well.

Posted by on in News

It’s that time again, folks. Time to get your child vaccinated against the flu? Why? With all that sniffling, sneezing and sharing of space and materials in the classroom, your child is even more prone to infection. And who wants to be sick during the holidays?

Influenza season is unpredictable. It can begin as early as October and can continue through May. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people 6 months and older be vaccinated against the flu.

That means you, too, parents. Especially those considered “high risk,” including those with asthma, diabetes or chronic lung disease; pregnant women; people 65 years and older; and those who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications.

We say, “Why risk it?” when the (CDC) estimates that 35 to 50 million Americans, or approximately 25 percent of the population, come down with the flu each year.

Why vaccinate every year?


Posted by on in News

It’s time to get your child vaccinated against influenza, and Eugene Pediatric Associates now has flu shots available. This year, the Centers for Disease Control recommend that all people 6 months and older be vaccinated against the flu. Gladly, both seasonal flu and H1N1 swine flu are combined into a single vaccine. In addition to vaccinating those who are at least 6 months old, it is especially important to vaccinate “high risk” people (those with chronic lung conditions including asthma, heart defects, diabetes, immune suppression, and any other chronic medical condition).

Those who may require a booster of the flu shot (28 or more days apart), include children:

  • Receiving a flu shot of any kind for the first time this year
  • 6 months to 8 years who only received one dose of H1N1 vaccine last year
  • 6 months to 8 years who only received one dose of seasonal flu vaccine in the first year they received it
  • 6 months to 8 years whose H1N1 flu vaccination history last year cannot be determined

Why vaccinate against the flu? Even healthy individuals can become seriously ill or die from the flu.  Every year, the United States has 200,000 people stricken by influenza, with 36,000 deaths annually. 

The pandemic swine flu H1N1, although less serious so far than the seasonal flu, is expected to be more widespread and aggressive this year. Drs. Velarde and Bradshaw have both been very ill with influenza in the past, and suffered complications of influenza infection, so we really believe that prevention is better than catching the “big bad flu!”

Call Eugene Pediatrics at 541-484-5437 today to schedule a visit with a nurse to protect your child from influenza.

Tagged in: CDC Flu H1N1 Vaccination

Search your medication shelves at home for infant’s and children’s brand name liquid products Tylenol, Benadryl, Zyrtec and Motrin products and check the National Drug Code (NDC) before giving them to your children. Recent recalls on these medicines were issued due to a variety of quality concerns, including active ingredients outside the acceptable range and flecks of solid within liquid medications. To date, nobody has become ill from using the recalled medication. There are a number of other products on the market, including generic versions of the recalled products, which are intended for use in infants and children and are not affected by the recall. FDA recommends that you check the labeling of these products and does not anticipate that there will be a shortage of alternatives. To check your medications, find the NDC on the box and compare it to the McNeil’s Product Recall Notice. The NDC number can be found on the label of the bottle above the brand name.

Tagged in: CDC FDA Medicine