8/29/2008 - Health Dept: Influenza and Pneumonia Immunization Program/Rabies Clinic

Influenza and Pneumonia Immunization Program

Influenza (commonly called “the flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Infection with influenza viruses can result in illness ranging from mild to severe and life-threatening complications. An estimated 5% to 20% of US residents get the flu each year. An average of 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications and 36,000 Americans, including approximately 2000 from New Jersey, die each year from complications of flu because too few senior citizens get vaccinated against these diseases. The flu vaccine is very effective in preventing the disease. The flu vaccine WILL NOT give you the flu. October through March is when you can get vaccinated, but the earlier the better. To combat excess influenza and pneumonia in Hackensack, the Health Department is planning to offer influenza and pneumonia immunizations for Hackensack senior citizens, aged 65 years and older, this fall. The majority of deaths during the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 were not caused by the influenza virus acting alone, report researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Instead, most victims succumbed to bacterial pneumonia following influenza virus infection. Hackensack will also offer pneumonia vaccine for those who are 65 years old and over and who have not previously received a pneumonia vaccination. There is no direct charge to seniors for these immunizations. This program, which is cosponsored with the Hackensack Housing Authority, is scheduled for four days. Clinics will be held at the locations and dates listed below. Pre-registration is required and seniors must bring their Medicare part B card and other health insurance identification cards with them to the clinic. Seniors who are members of an HMO or managed health care plan should consult with their HMO or managed care plan. This immunization program will be offered at no direct cost to seniors by Medicare reimbursement to the City.

Interested seniors may get additional information by calling the Health Department at 201-646-3965 or 201-646-8050 between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

Influenza and Pneumonia Immunizations

Date: Tuesday October 7, 2008
9:00 AM – 12:00 AM - Clinic Location - 65 First Street

Date: Tuesday October 14, 2008
9:00 AM – 12:00 AM - Clinic Location -164 Beech Street

Date: Tuesday October 21, 2008
9:00 AM - 12:00 AM - Clinic Location - 60 Kansas Street

Date: Friday October 28, 2008
9:00 AM – 12:00 AM - Clinic Location - 215 State Street

For required pre-registration call 201-646-3965 or 201-646-8050

You must bring your Medicare part B card. Seniors who are members of an HMO or managed health care plan should consult with their HMO or managed care plan. For additional information call 201-646-3965 or 201-646-8050.

FALL RABIES CLINIC

The Health Department will be holding our annual free rabies clinic for cats and dogs on Thursday November 6, 2008 - 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Public Works Garage, 120 East Broadway. Call 201-646-3967 for additional information.

The Bergen County Animal Shelter also holds free rabies clinics on the 2nd an 4th Thursday of every month from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM. Bring previous rabies certificates with your pet to the clinic. The Bergen County Animal Shelter is located at 100 United Lane, Teterboro, NJ, telephone 201-229-4600. Call to confirm scheduled clinic dates or go to http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/bcas/Calendar.aspx

Rabies In New Jersey

In 1977, rabid raccoons were first detected in West Virginia. It is believed that rabies was present in raccoons imported from Florida into West Virginia by hunters in the 1970's. The disease then spread to other raccoons after they were released. Once raccoon rabies was established in West Virginia and Virginia, it spread at a rate of approximately 25 to 50 miles per year into Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware, and Pennsylvania. This rabies epizootic spread into New Jersey through Warren and Hunterdon counties in October 1989. The raccoon rabies epizootic now extends throughout New England and as far west as Ohio, and south into North Carolina. (Note: an epizootic is a term used to denote an epidemic of disease in an animal population). All areas of the State of New Jersey, including urban centers, have been affected by this rabies outbreak. Suburban areas in which raccoons, people and pets are in close proximity have had the highest number of cases.

Unvaccinated domestic animals can contract rabies from wild animals and transmit the infection to humans. There are safe and effective vaccines to protect dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and sheep against rabies. You can get your pet vaccinated at a private veterinarian's office or at a municipal-sponsored rabies clinic. Unvaccinated pets or livestock that have had contact with a known or suspect rabid animal must be euthanized to avoid the risk of coming down with rabies, or placed in strict isolation from humans and other animals for a period of six months, until it is certain that the animal is free of rabies. Raccoons are very good at spreading rabies. When rabid raccoons enter an area, many other types of animals acquire rabies from raccoons. From 1989 through 2000, over 4,300 New Jersey animals were found to have rabies as a result of the raccoon rabies epizootic. Although 77% of these animals were raccoons, 14% were skunks, 4% were cats, 2% were foxes, and 2% were groundhogs. Twelve other species of animals were also diagnosed with rabies.