2020 Flu Season

CDC has published (non-COVID-19) flu vaccine recommendations for the 2020-2021 season.  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illness, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever.  Find the 2020-2021 recommendations at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/acip/summary/summary-recommendations.htm.  Also available in Spanish and eight other languages.*

Medicare Part B covers one flu shot per flu season and additional flu shots if medically necessary.  Flu shots are free for Medicare patients.  Pneumonia and flu shots can be given during the same office visit; find recommended schedules at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html.

CDC, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee recommend that all U.S. health care workers get annual flu shots.

Find More Information at:

* To find the non-English versions, go to the links above, then click on “Español” or “Other Languages” – these links are either in the upper right corner of the page, or between the title and the text of the document.

9/16 NCC Tip Sheets on Multigenerational Living

The supplement the September 16, 2020 NCC COVID-19 webinar on Living in a Multi-Generational Household, NCC has produced one-page tip sheets in English and Spanish on Staying Safe in Multigenerational Households (Cómo mantenerse seguro en un hogar mul generacional).  Find more details and register for the webinar at https://esrdncc.org/en/events/2020/september-2020/covid09162020/?date=9/1/2020.  Find the tip sheets below:

9/8+ NCC September COVID-19 Calls

The ESRD NCC’s COVID-19 half-hour “Quickinars” have morphed to one-hour webinars.  The September webinars include:

  • For patients, September 8, 2020 – Choosing a Kidney Transplant during COVID-19, 1-2 pm PDT.
  • For providers, September 16, 2020 – Living in a Multi-Generational Household, noon-1 pm PDT.

For details and registration, see https://esrdncc.org/en/covid-19/covid-webinars/.  You can also find links to recordings of previous webinars there.

2020-21 CDC Flu Vaccine Recommendations

CDC has published their recommendations for influenza vaccinations, suggesting that reducing seasonal influenza will help avoid confusion with pandemic COVID-19, and help relieve pressure on overloaded healthcare facilities.  Find the recommendations at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/rr/rr6908a1.htm?s_cid=rr6908a1_e&deliveryName=USCDC_921-DM35682.

Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19

A recent CDC announcement comments on wildfire smoke:

“Wildfire smoke can irritate your lungs, cause inflammation, affect your immune system, and make you more prone to lung infections, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that cause COVID-19.  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing for wildfires might be a little different this year.  Know how wildfire smoke can affect you and your loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic and what you can do to protect yourselves.”

The rest of the announcement details what you can do about it.  Find it at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/covid-19/wildfire_smoke_covid-19.html.

Hot Weather Health

In all of the resources below, remember that dialysis patients must still control their fluid intake.  For tips on Dialysis Fluids Management in English, see https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/NW18/Fluids.Eng.pdf and in Spanish, see https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/NW18/Liquidos.esp.pdf.  These should override the water-consumption suggestions in all of the documents below.

The Oregon Health Authority has an excellent web page on Extreme Heat, that includes FAQ sheets in English, Español (Spanish), Русский (Russian), 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese), Af Soomaali (Somali), and tiếng Việt (Vietnamese).  Find it at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForExtremeHeat.aspx.

Homeland Security’s “Ready.gov” website has a thorough discussion of how to stay cool and safe in extreme heat, at https://www.ready.gov/heat.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a page on how to identify signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and what to do about it, at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/heatrelillness.html.  CDC has a program that sends out a weekly email on Five Minutes or Less for Health Weekly Tip, which also covers skin cancer, hydration, and communicable diseases from mosquitoes and ticks.  Review their hot weather Tips or sign up at https://www.cdc.gov/family/minutes/tips/summersavvy/index.htm.

HDC Blog Post on Dialysis, Travel, and COVID-19

Home Dialysis Central has added a post to their blog called Dialysis Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  It’s important for dialysis patients to know and accept that they are at higher risk for serious complications if they get COVID-19, because they have kidney failure.  This is true for any ESRD patient, not just those who are 65 or older.  According to CMS, during the first half of 2020 Medicare patients on dialysis were more than twice as vulnerable to COVID-19 infection compared to non-dialysis Medicare patients, and more than four times as likely to require hospitalization.  Find the HDC post at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/372-dialysis-travel-during-the-covid-19-pandemic.

8/14 AAKP HealthLine on Kidney Genetics

AAKP will present a 10am PDT 14 August 2020 HealthLine webinar on Understanding Genetic Conditions: What You Need to Know.  For individuals who may be faced with inheriting a genetic condition, it’s important to know your family history, the different ways a genetic condition can be inherited, what genetic testing entails, and how you can work with your healthcare team to help manage the condition. The audio will feature genetic counselors as well as kidney patients with genetic conditions.  Find details and register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/814066723276791822.

Find general information about HealthLine and recordings of earlier webinars, including their series of nine HealthLines on COVID-19 and…

  • Dialysis,
  • Transplant,
  • Vascular Access,
  • CKD,
  • Telemedicine,
  • Veterans,
  • Mental Health,
  • Nutrition, and
  • Clinical Trials,

…at https://aakp.org/programs-and-events/aakp-healthline/.

8/11 NCC Webinar on COVID-19 Work Safety

The ESRD National Coordinating Center will host a webinar at 1pm PDT August 11, 2020 on Health and Safety at Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic, presented by Comagine ESRD Network Patient Safety Director Lisa Hall and two patient Subject Matter Experts.  The webinar will provide workplace health and safety tips, review rehabilitation and employment services for people with kidney disease, and share kidney patients’ work experiences during the pandemic.  Find more details and register at https://esrdncc.org/covid-19/covid-webinars/.