Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thangsgiving Chronies!

I hope you get to spend time with family and friends. I am excited to spend some time in Boston and the berkshires in Massachusetts with mine. Thanksgiving, after all is a word of action, so I would like to thank all of you for your support and dedication to this blog. I've made some wonderful contacts and learned a ton from you all. I am proud that I have been able to help some of you as well.

Don't eat too much turkey (for those of us lucky to be healthy enough) and watch your health.

Best regards,

Scott Roy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Crohn's, Immunosuppressants, and H1N1 Flushot Vaccinations

I have had some people on immunosuppressants to control Crohn's disease, if they should receive the H1N1 vaccination in shot form, or as a nasal mist. From what I am reading, you should absolutely get a shot, as he live virus in the nasal mist is too much of a risk to children and young adults whose immune systems are not fully functional.

From the suncoast news:

Infants to young adults are among the most likely to contract swine flu and should be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus, public health experts say. But what about people in this age group who are taking immunosuppressant drugs to combat chronic health problems such as Crohn's disease, asthma, HIV and rheumatoid arthritis?

The answer, according to doctors at the Nationwide Children's Hospital, is yes, but with a caveat: children and young adults taking immunosuppressants should receive the H1N1 vaccine via injection, not the nasal mist.

"It is extremely important that they get the H1N1 vaccine and receive it in the form of a shot, rather than in the form of a mist," said Dr. Dennis Cunningham, an infectious disease physician and medical director of epidemiology at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio, referring to patients on immunosuppressant medication.

Cunningham and his colleagues prefer the injectable form of the H1N1 vaccine because the mist vaccine contains live swine flu viruses.

"We do not want kids whose immune system is already weak to receive a live virus," Cunningham said. "Immunity to the H1N1 flu, among other diseases, is very important for kids with chronic conditions."

Cunningham, who is on the faculty of the Ohio State University, is leading the anti-H1N1 efforts at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declared all people from 6 months to 24 years old to be at high risk of contracting swine flu. There are thought to be roughly 5 million children and young adults in the United States taking immunosuppressant drugs to control chronic health problems.

An H1N1 vaccination is not a guarantee that young people with suppressed immune systems will come in contact with the swine flu virus. To further protect them doctors recommend a "ring vaccination." The term refers to having parents, siblings and others with whom young people on immunosuppressants come in regular contact vaccinated as well.

Even so, children on immunosuppressants who have had an H1N1 vaccine injection and are inside a ring vaccination are still at risk when outside the home because people they come in contact with night not have been vaccinated.

Crohn's Disease Blog