Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fall Is Here, Time For Flu Shots

For a low-cost or in some cases, free, flu shot this LaSalle Medical Associates clinic at 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave in San Bernardino is the place to go. Other clinics are at 1505 W. 17th in San Bernardino, 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia.

(SAN BERNARDINO, CA) Now that the cold weather is upon us, with winter fast approaching, it’s a good time for anyone to get their annual flu shot.

Just ask Dr. Albert Arteaga, the president and founder of LaSalle Medical Associates in San Bernardino. “Flu shots make a very big difference.” Dr. Arteaga, a pediatrician for more than 20 years, spends every flu season surrounded by coughing and sneezing patients. “It is especially important for the young and the elderly to protect themselves from this disease, but anyone can avoid the unpleasantness of the flu and its potentially serious complications with an immunization. Why avoid the shots?”

Aside from the tired feeling, the body aches and fever, flu symptoms can be much worse. “There may be intestinal problems that develop,” Dr. Arteaga says, “and other potential complications such as internal infections, pneumonia and possibly even meningitis. Why take a chance?”

The reason many avoid flu shots is simply the fear of the needle. “I can understand that,” Dr. Arteaga says, “and then what happens is those people influence their friends and then you start hearing ‘The shots will just give you the flu themselves,’ and ‘Shots don’t really make a difference.’ The fact is shots do make a difference. They really do help.”

The following groups of people are especially encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control to obtain a flu shot:
• Anyone 50 years of age or older
• All children and adolescents 6 months through 18 years of age
• All health care workers and essential community service employees, such as police and firefighters
• College students who live in dormitories
• Any other adults living in a dormitory or other institutional setting
• Anyone not vaccinated within the past year who is planning a trip between April and September 2009 to the tropics or the southern hemisphere
• Anyone planning travel with a large group
• People with chronic medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, HIV and others
• Pregnant women
• Anyone who lives with or cares for a person who meets one of the above conditions

Patients on Medi-Cal, Medicare and many insurance plans will receive their immunizations at no charge. For anyone else, the fee at LaSalle Medical Associates clinics is a mere $15.

As Dr. Arteaga says, “It takes just 30 seconds and a very short, minor sting to possibly save weeks of discomfort and potential serious complications. Is it worth it? You bet.”

Dr. Albert Arteaga graduated from medical school in 1976, completing his pediatric training at Loma Linda University in 1984 and starting practice that year in Fontana. He expanded into San Bernardino four years later, and in 1996 formed LaSalle Medical Associates, an IPA, comprised of primary and specialty care physicians serving more than 105,000 patients in the Inland Empire and East Los Angeles.

According to founder Dr. Arteaga, the primary mission of LaSalle’s clinics is “to offer high quality medical care to the whole family with courtesy and respect.” And, right now, a big part of that is to provide flu shots for people.

The LaSalle medical clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia

For additional information about LaSalle Medical Associates, call (909) 890-0407 or go on line to