• Have you gotten you flu shot yet? We certainly hope so! While the influenza vaccine is not 100% effective it is good insurance against getting the flu, or of getting a serious case of it. An annual flu shot is always important for those of you with respiratory problems, but this year more so than ever. Is it necessary for us to go into the details of respiratory anthrax? You probably have heard more than you want to know about the symptoms and the victims. To be realistic, at this time, you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than of getting respiratory anthrax. Influenza is a far more serious risk for any of you, killing more than a thousand people each year. However, influenza is a naturally occurring event while anthrax is a tool of terrorists, and understandably causes more fear. Getting your flu vaccine may also help to prevent suspicious respiratory symptoms and panic leading to unnecessary visits to the ER or your doctor's office. So, whatever your reasons, don't delay, make arrangements to get you influenza vaccine TODAY!
  • Do you think that you have been inundated with information about bioterrorism from PBS, CNN, and your local TV stations, not to mention the newspapers? Well, it might reassure you to know that health care professionals receive even more information, by e-mail and Internet from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), state medical associations and a number of other sources.
  • This detailed information is on identification, symptoms and treatment of potential infectious diseases, as well as plans on how to mobilize for emergencies. Does that mean that the medical profession in this country knows something that you don't know, and expects epidemics? No. No more than you feel sure your home will burn down when you investigate fire insurance. It is just prudent to be prepared. When you know you have done all that you can, it takes away some of the anxiety you may be feeling .
  • Deciding what information is of value to you, our readers, is a challenge. We will review some of the basics, even though you may have read them elsewhere. The following information is a brief synopsis of material obtained from the Nov. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, as well as other sources, such as the CDC.