Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

Per UCSF Medical Center Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Josh Adler, influenza cases have recently increased in Southern California and have been reported as widespread in the East Coast and the South. Currently, the predominant flu strains are all ones which are contained in this year’s vaccine.

This information, along with the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the flu vaccine is recommended for most everyone 6 months and older, is a great reason to get your flu shot now.

Flu Activity Map for the week ending January 15, 2011
[From the CDC]

People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications
[From the CDC]

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. These include:
  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.
  • People who developed Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
  • Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)
[From the CDC: ]

Where can you get a flu shot?

Adult Immunization & Travel Clinic: AITC is a non-profit, fee-for-service clinic that is part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. AITC is committed to providing convenient, knowledgeable, personalized, and cost-effective immunization services for travelers, students, new employees, immigrants, and other members of the community. Information is available at

Cold or Flu?
[From UCSF Medical Center Patient Education]

Treatment for the Flu
[From UCSF Medical Center Patient Education]

When to Call Your Doctor About the Flu
[From UCSF Medical Center Patient Education]

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

National Institutes of Health: Online Health Information

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the nation’s medical research agency and the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. The NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific focus.

The NIH Health Information website contains health information in an easy-to-browse format.

Browse by:

Health topics A to Z
Procedures and therapies
Health and Wellness
Body location/systems
Women's health
Men's health
Seniors' health
Minority health

You can also search the website by keywords, find information about NIH research (read some of the latest research), and subscribe to email updates on over 40 health topics.

The 27 Institutes and Centers making up the NIH include:

National Cancer Institute
National Eye Institute
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institute on Aging
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Institute of Mental Health
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Find out more about the Institutes and Centers of the NIH

Did you know?

UCSF received more research funds from the National Institutes of Health than any other public institution in 2009, and received the second largest amount of all institutions nationwide. Read the whole story.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recognizing the Signs of Stroke

Every minute counts when someone is having a stroke.  Immediate treatment can save people's lives and enhance their chances for successful recovery.  However, you need to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and get to a hospital quickly.  Getting treatment within 60 minutes can prevent disability.
(excerpted from

The following information resources discuss the signs of stroke, ways to help prevent stroke, as well as treatment and recovery:

Knowing the Signs of Stroke
[from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke]

Stroke Signs and Symptoms
[from the UCSF Medical Center]

Stroke Information: Overviews, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, Recovery and more
[from MedlinePlus]

NINDS Stroke Information Page
[from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke]

For further help, contact the UCSF Patient Health Librarian.