Immunology at St. Vincent's addresses diseases of the immune system. These range from respiratory diseases and allergies to autoimmune disorders, HIV-AIDS and more, requiring an interdisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment that brings together internal medicine physicians, hematologists, oncologists, radiologists and other specialists.
The immune system involves the body's network of interacting systems, including the bone marrow, blood cells, lymphatic system and skin. Immunology dates back thousands of years to when it was recognized that some individals were naturally immunce to certain diseases and other survived diseases to which they became immune after recovering.
As an example of the relevance the science and medical application of immunology has to us today, each year scientists working with the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluate which of the existing flu strains worldwide are likely to be actively in circulation in the coming year. An appropriate flu vaccine is then developed and made widely available, with particular emphasis on providing it to those with weakened or immature immune systems, such as the elderly and the very young.
Experience in the form of devastating outbreaks that can kill millions of people, such as the deadly inflenza outbreak of 1918, make this process a national priority. Here at St. Vincent's, our family medicine and primary care physicians offer each year's recommended flu vaccine to their patients, and flu shots are available at St. Vincent's Urgent Care Walk-In Centers as well.
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