Western Leader : January 31st 2012
www.westernleader.co.nz 16 WESTERN LEADER, JANUARY 31, 2012 ADVERTISEMENT HEALTH MATTERS GET EARLY PROTECTION AGAINST THE LATEST INFLUENZA STRAINS It may be high summer but the influenza season is on the horizon. Influenza is a preventable illness that is potentially harmful to those who catch it and can lead to hospitalisation for all age groups. Around 40 deaths each year in New Zealand are related either wholly or in some part to influenza infection. Because the influenza virus mutates, it is important to be immunized annually. Each year the vaccine is specifically tailored to meet the known varieties that are prevalent at the time. The influenza season usually begins in April. Due to the time lag between vaccination and being fully immunised it is particularly important that the most vulnerable groups in the community get themselves immunised early. As West Auckland has a high percentage of vulnerable groups, HealthWEST strongly encourages vaccination as soon as the vaccine becomes available in your doctor's surgery mid March. Some vulnerable groups are eligible for a free vaccine These include: 1. Anyone over the age of 65 2. Anyone under 65 years with any of these medical conditions: -- Cardiovascular disease (rheumatic heart disease, congestive heart failure, congenital heart disease, cerebrovascular disease -- Chronic respiratory disease (including asthma is on regular preventer) -- Diabetes -- Chronic renal disease -- Cancer (not skin cancer as less recommended by doctor) -- Others (e.g. transplant recipients, neuromotor and central nervous system diseases, Children on long term aspirin) Your doctor or Practice Nurse will know if you or a family member qualifies for a free vaccination. It is particularly important for pregnant mothers to be immunised as vaccination also protects their baby for the first six months of its life. Research shows that if pregnant women develop influenza they are 7 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care. Pregnant women with a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes or asthma have even higher chances of developing severe health complications as a result of influenza. Children under five have the highest rates of influenza of any age group. Children thought to be at high risk by their GP qualify for the free vaccine and is especially recommended if they have an ongoing medical condition such as being on a preventive medication for asthma. Even if you are not one of the vulnerable groups you should get vaccinated to prevent time off work for what might become a serious illness requiring hospitalisation. Without protection, you could also be putting other members of your family or workmates at risk. Once someone has had a real bout of influenza they know that it is not something to be treated lightly. You cannot catch influenza from the vaccine. However, if you have any concerns about reactions, you should raise these with your vaccinator, who will be asking you a series of questions before any vaccination takes place. You can get your influenza immunisation from your GP or practice nurse. Some companies offer their staff free immunisation in the workplace. For information on HealthWEST services contact: 09 839 7480. 3768590AP DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR TEETH ANOTHER YEAR! Q & A TO HELP YOU MAKE THAT APPOINTMENT! Phone 8372260 Shop 4 /333 Great North Road, Henderson Crn Trading Place & Great Nth Rd 1) I can't afford to go to the dentist, it's so expensive We will do a full check up & x-rays for only $65.00 We will design a treatment plan that you can do over time. 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As a leader in all forms of treatment we offer a full range of options including: • Duplex Ultrasound • Sclerotherapy • Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy • Endo Venous Laser Treatment • Surgery • DVT Management Visit our website for more information on what we can do for you. Health& well-beingAdvertising Feature Managing arthritis risks For people living with arthritis, a painful inflammation in one or more joints, everyday life can quickly become a series of difficult challenges. While anyone can be affected by arthritis at any stage in their life, older people, sports people, women and Maori and Pacific men are particularly at risk. More than half a million New Zealanders are currently living with arthritis. That s one in every six adults! Even children can develop arthritis. There are currently around 1000 New Zealand chil- dren living with arthritis. Symptoms can include swollen, painful joints, reduced ability to move, unexplained weight loss, fever or weakness. However, you can take easy steps to help protect your joints and manage your risk of arthritis: Diet Making sure you are eating the right diet can be a great help to some people with arthritis. If you are overweight one of the most important things you can do to help yourself is to take some of the excess weight off your damaged joints. Try to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt that you are eating and increase the whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Physical activity With arthritis, everyday tasks can be challenging, and the idea of becoming more physically active could be daunting. However studies show that regular and appropriate physical activity can help improve pain tolerance, mood and quality of life. Always check with your doctor or physiotherapist before starting new physical activity, especially if you have not been active for some time or if you have any other medical problems. Understand when not to exercise Be mindful of pushing the limits and being overly active when experiencing a flare of your arthritis, as exercising could aggravate the symptoms and cause further damage. Rest or minimise vigorous activity at these times and gently start again when the flare dies down. Stop exercise if you experi- ence shortness of breath and chest pain, and get medical help. Know your medications Treatments aims to improve function and minimise pain and long-term disability. Specific treatments depend on the type and severity of the arthritis. Mild arthritis may be adequately treated with over-the- counter medicines; whereas more severe arthritis may require one or more prescribed medications. Make sure you know how the medicines you are taking will help, how you should be taking them and how long they will work. Be a self-manager Self-management techniques help people control and reduce the effects of arthritis. Research has shown that people who exercise regularly, practice relaxation and/or use other self- management techniques experi- ence less pain and are more active. Arthritis New Zealand have a team of specialist educators who are experts at helping people learn more about their condition and the best ways to manage it. For information visit www.arthritis. org.nz or ring 0800 663 463.
January 27th 2012
February 2nd 2012