Health Highlights: Nov. 24, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007; 12:00 AM

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors ofHealthDay:

M.D.s, U.S. Government Stressing Flu Vaccination Next Week

It's certainly not too late to get your flu shot. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is emphasizing the week of November 27 to December 2 as National Influenza Vaccination Week.

According to a news release from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), stressing the importance of getting vaccinated against influenza now may stem off last-minute rushes to the doctor if this year's flu season should be a bad one.

And unlike the situation in 2005, there is enough vaccine for everyone in the united States, despite age or physical condition, officials from the CDC and AAFP say.

The AAFP is also emphasizing Tuesday, Nov. 27 as Children's Flu Vaccination Day, with a reminder that more than 20,000 children under age 5 are hospitalized every year as a result of influenza.

A letter to all AAFP members from AAFP President Dr. Jim King and Board Chair Dr. Rick Kellerman, urges doctors to stress the importance getting a flu shot, and the vaccine is not just for patients. "Immunization of health care workers protects not only the worker but also those around them," the letter says. "For example, influenza can be transmitted to patients and co-workers from an infected person 24 hours before symptoms appear."

A complete list of vaccination schedules is available on the AAFP Immunization Resources Web page.


New Bird Flu Outbreak Reported in South Korea

Avian flu has returned to South Korea for the first time in eight months.

However, this strain, which forced the extermination of thousands of ducks in the southern part of the country, was not the deadly H5N1 strain that scientists fear could mutate into a pandemic among humans, theAssociated Pressreports.

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