January 7, 2019 – Just a brief note because I know many of you carefully follow this: back on the first day of winter – December 21st – we replaced our fall banner depicting “Children Hugging in a Field of Hay” with our current winter banner: “Children Frolicking in Snow.”
With that technical note behind us – now – on to the important stuff:
#1) Influenza (Flu) Season Update 2018-2019
We still have flu vaccine for all patients except children 3 years and older with private insurance.
It is very unlikely that we will receive any more flu vaccine this season.
Here is a list of places where you can go and get your child a flu shot. We still recommend getting a flu vaccine as most of this season’s flu is still to come (in typical years, most flu arrives in January and February).
PLUG FOR NEXT YEAR #1: Get your flu vaccine next year in October. When you think of Halloween, think of a flu shot! October and November is when the flu vaccine is often in its best supply.
#2) How Much Flu are We Seeing So Far?
Pictured below are influenza statistics for North Carolina from about a week ago (the week ending December 29, 2018) for this year as well as the previous two flu seasons.
This year is the bright red line. You can see that this year is behind last year’s numbers (the dark gray line) for that particular week. You may recall that last year was a worse than typical flu season.
You can also see this year’s number of flu cases is beginning to rise a bit more quickly (see how the red line takes that left turn compared to the earlier trajectory).
That means – in the briefest of terms – there is a lot more flu to come (or as Mark Stoops would say, “We are just getting started bro.”).
# 3) 2019 – A Big Year Coming Up At RCAM
Dr. Muff Carr – after 40 years in the practice of pediatrics at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine – will be retiring in August.
FORTY years! Holy Cow. Incredible. That’s a lot of children getting great care.
NOTE: Do NOT tell her I told you. It’s not a secret but she made me promise to not make a fuss (for those of you who know her, you know that’s classic Dr. Carr). I don’t think this is a ‘fuss’ but… you gotta find out somehow.
#4) Thanks for Your Cards!
Every December our staff gets a big kick when we receive your holiday cards.
We get cards for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year – we’ve even gotten a few Halloween cards. We have chosen December – the time when we get the most cards – as the time to display them all.
We’ve even gone so far as to meticulously save and file away cards from previous years – that way, when we receive a current card, we get to display it with all of that families past cards.
In some instances, we have cards from each year from families going back to 2008 (the year we got the bright idea to start saving your cards). So, when that family’s cards go up, they may have 10 or 12 including past years.
To say the least, we all love having a visual of your children growing up year after year after year.
This year we received holiday cards from 63 different families. Including the cards from previous years for those 63 families, we got to display a total of 278 family holiday cards.
PLUG FOR NEXT YEAR #2: I know that some of you are sending out cards and might not think of your pediatrician. It’s okay. We know. When your child is healthy, we are some of the last people you want to think about. Please… consider sending us a card (feel free to include cards from previous years; we have a lot of wall space we like to cover up in December):
Raleigh, NC 27612
- More flu is coming.
- We still recommend flu vaccine for this year.
- Next year: When Halloween comes, get your flu shot!
- Also next year, send us your family holiday card.
- Do not tell Dr. Carr.