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Webinar 1 Recap: Heart Failure and Travel with Dr. Camille Kotton

The 2024 HeartBrothers Webinar Series kicked off in April with the first webinar titled "Protect Yourself and Have Fun: Respiratory Viruses, Vaccines, & Travel Medicine for Heart Failure Patients" led by Dr. Camille Kotton who is the Clinical Director of Transplant and Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital.


With the warmer months upon us, many people are considering traveling. Dr. Kotton discussed various illnesses and how to stay healthy. Overall, to prevent getting sick, masking works especially well in crowds, as well as good hand hygiene.

Dr. Kotton has blond hair, blue eyes, nice smile and is wearing a black shirt in her headshot.
Dr. Camille Kotton, MGH

COVID-19 – Levels are down across the country:

  • Those who are immunocompromised or have had a heart transplant should receive two vaccines a year or every 6 months.

  • If you do contract COVID, Intravenous Remdesivir is the number one choice to treat the virus in heart transplant patients.

  • Paxlovid is not a great choice for transplant patients because of potential drug interactions.

  • When traveling, bring molnupiravir (an oral antiviral) as a precaution.


Flu – Still seeing significant levels of flu for this time of year:

  • Yearly vaccine is recommended.

  • Until this year, the influenza vaccine protected against 4 strains. One of those strains is no longer around, so now it focuses on 3 strains.


RSV:

  • Vaccination is recommended for those 60 and older, as well as for all patients who have undergone a heart transplant.

  • Unlike COVID, there are no effective antiviral treatments for RSV.


Pneumonia:

  • If you haven’t had the bacterial pneumonia vaccine in the past three years, it’s probably time to get a PREVNAR 20 (protects against 20 variants).


Measles – Seeing more cases than in past because of people not vaccinating:

  • If you have received two doses of measles vaccine in your lifetime, the CDC considers you protected.

  • Most people receive the MMR vaccine as a child or before their transplant.


If you missed this webinar and would like to watch it now CLICK HERE.

 

To learn more about upcoming Heart Failure webinars, visit: heartbrothers.org/webinars

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