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Thread: got flu shot?

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    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    got flu shot?

    http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/l...th/7365323.htm

    Most people on this forum are probably too healthy to need one but I give it to myself, husband and little sam every year just because of my profession and exposure. All those kids in colorado did not have theri flu shot. The CDC is worried this may be a pandemic coming along the horizon. Healthy or not, it can get you! (1918 the flu killed 500,000 people in the US, yuoung, old, healthy sick.) Not stirring up hysteria but if you have asthma, underlying lung disease, taking immunosuppressants, second trimester of pregnancy or have kids 2 yrs of age and under (they have always been as likely to die from the flu as the elderly) etc, may want to sashay on over to the health department or doc!
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    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    I never get the shot but my wife does. The three of us (including our little one) had the flu over the weekend. My wife and daughter just fell a little under the weather where I was tore up for about 10 hrs on Saturday. Wont go into details but you get the pic. It is definitly a serious strain this year. Fortunatly do to a healthy life style I and my family recovered quickly

    Every one we know including those who have had the shot are ill right now. Our Aunt was so bad yesterday she had to ask us to help her open up some pedialite because she was to dehydrated and week to do it her self.

    Definitly watch out for this one.


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    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    I take one every year and they must work. I work in constant exposure and have not had the flu in 20 years.

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    Coram Deo! pointyhead's Avatar
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    I haven't gotten one since I retired from the military 9 years ago, and I have never gotten the flu. I've always been paranoid about them since a lady I knew in Florida took one and ended up as a parapalegic because of it. And its my understanding that each batch is mixed according help with the prevailing strain of virus that is going around the local area at the time of the injection, so if you travel or have exposure to people from different places, you are not adequately protected. Maybe CBH can shed more light on this than I can.
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    Didn't the CDC issue a statement and say that the vaccine they have for this year doesn't match the strain that's out anyway?

    I'm just wondering. I haven't had a flu shot in years, but I religiously wash my hands and I don't touch things like doorknobs and stuff like that and just use good hygiene.

    Koff

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    "I haven't had a flu shot in years, but I religiously wash my hands and I don't touch things like doorknobs and stuff like that and just use good hygiene."

    OCD??

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    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    Didn't the CDC issue a statement and say that the vaccine they have for this year doesn't match the strain that's out anyway?
    Yes. There are couple different strains going around and the vaccine for the worse of them wont be available 'till some time around spring (I believe that was the time frame, but I know it was a ways off in the distance).

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    Hmmmm... by spring, I should have contracted and recovered from the flu.

    I believe in vaccinations under some instances (malaria, rubella etc.) but not necessarily under other circumstances (flu, etc.). Of course, I will probably now get the flu big time and end up blind or something, knock on wood...

    Koffee

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    Senior Member k2bikerider's Avatar
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    I will be getting the vaccine this week at the office. I figured it wouldn't hurt. I get it every year.
    Last edited by k2bikerider; 12-03-03 at 07:36 PM.

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    I am diabetic and have excercise induced Asthma. I normally get the Flu shot every year. I missed it at the office this year... I really nead to get it done!

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    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Brown
    Didn't the CDC issue a statement and say that the vaccine they have for this year doesn't match the strain that's out anyway?

    I'm just wondering. I haven't had a flu shot in years, but I religiously wash my hands and I don't touch things like doorknobs and stuff like that and just use good hygiene.

    Koff
    The flu is one of the few airborne transmitted viruses. All the handwashing may not help if you inhale it. (the few others include ebola, SARS.) Most cold viruses are hand to mouth transmission and hand washing does help.

    The CDC still states that even though this years flu vaccine is not the same type, it probably still confers some cross protection. I have been exposed to 6 cases over the last three weeks and still have no symptoms.

    The issue this year is wether this is a pandemic. Pandemics result from the emergence, by antigenic shift, of an influenza A virus that people have not been exposed to and, therefore, do not have protective immunity against. However, in order for a new influenza virus to have the potential of becoming a pandemic, it must also be easily transmitted from person-to-person. I don't know the specifics on all the cases in Colorado but two had concominant bacterial infection, (bacterial tracheobronchitis) the combination of both is what made it especially lethal in these children and may not necessarily be a more virulent strain, although I doubt it.

    I am worried the flu virus this year has undergone a antigenic shift rather than the yearly drifts.

    Influenza viruses undergo two kinds of change. One is a series of mutations over time that cause a gradual evolution of the virus, known as drift which results in the emergence of new strains. The other is an abrupt change in the surface proteins, known as antigenic shift which results in new subtypes of influenza A.


    During this century, pandemics occurred in 1918, 1957, and 1968. In 1918, half a million people died in this country alone! On a yearly basis, appprox 35,000 people a year die making it one of the number one killers in winter months here in the US. Birds are the primary reservoir for new influenza viruses. (Just like West Nile) All 15 recognized influenza A subtypes have been found in birds.

    The pediatricians have been encouraging flu vaccines in those 2 years and younger since they are as likely to suffer serious consequences from the flu much like the elderly over 65. . I believe with the exception of an 8 yr old, the other deaths in Colorado were children close to two years of age or under. (Many pediatricians encourage vaccination after two years of age to dramatically reduce school absenteeism and overall sickness rates foor the kids in the school. But that is a matter of choice between the parents and their pediatricians.)

    Although this years flu vaccine may not be the exact subtype, I still believe it will confer some cross protection (remember, almost every years flu vaccine is a close approximation due to the annual antigenic drift and changes on the surface proteins.) It may not protect you from getting the flu, but you may not be as likely to die or be hospitalised. Remember, it takes about three weeks to fully develop good immunity after the vaccination ( the dead, inactived intramuscular injection) so exposure to the flu within this window period may still mean you get the flu! (I am not sure about the live attenuated nasal flu vaccine that just came out this year.)


    For those more cellular biology minded I got this from a cell biologist I discussed this with in another forum.

    Antigenic/genetic drift is due to point mutation. Influenza virus is a RNA viruse and reverse transcripase is more prone to create errors during replication.

    Antigenic shift is the fusion of two genes. This occurs often in influenza because multiple strain from different host can infect the same cell. Genetic recombination will occur and create a new strain.

    http://www.cs.bsu.edu/homepages/dmz/david/drift.html

    The higher virulence of strain of influenza is usually due to antigenic shift. It is though that in 1918 pandemic was due to recombination of a virulence determinant gene

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...;dopt=Abstract
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  12. #12
    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    I thought of the flu vaccine as some sort of weird scam until I got the flu this morning. Then I took TheraFlu, and it went away. (FYI)

    Jacob
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    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacob
    I thought of the flu vaccine as some sort of weird scam until I got the flu this morning. Then I took TheraFlu, and it went away. (FYI)

    Jacob
    did you take tamiflu or theraflu. If it improved that quickly with over the counter theraflu its probably a regular adenovirus or cold virus that also circulates around cold season.
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  14. #14
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    CB , I feel ya. The cellular bio explanation really does help clarify what you're saying.

    Still, if I decide not to take the flu shot, what would you recommend to be a good remedy for me if I come down with the flu?

    Koffee

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    Senior Member nhorscro's Avatar
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    Shift can also occur to reassortment. FluV is a segmented RNA virus. RNA viruses mutate at a higher rate, and being segmented can also lead to a shuffling of the segments which encode the genes. A reassortment between, say, a human strain and an avian strain can potentially lead to a very virulent form of the virus.

    What causes the problem when you catch the flu is your body's reaction to the virus and it's efforts to eliminate it. So the headaches and the fever etc are actually your body's way of fighting the infection. That is why taking the flu shot is usually more effective.....you actually prevent yourself from catching it in the first place. By the time you start feeling ill with the flu you have already been infected with the virus for a number of days. So, at best, you can try to reduce the severity of your symptoms with over the counter remedies. If you have aches and pains, take something for that. If you have a fever take something that will reduce the fever, and so on. Apart from that there's not much that you can really do. Your body will eventually get rid of the infection.
    So many bacteria and viruses cause symptoms that are similar to influenza virus infection so you don't always have the flu when you think you do!

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    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    I get my flu shot. Before, I didn't get the flu every year, but the last time I got the flu it knocked me on my a55 for almost 2 weeks, until I felt normal. It was the worst flu I'd had since I was a teenager. Two weeks, the medicine, maybe even antibiotics if you get bronchitis or a throat infection-why should I have to deal with that? And flu is harder to avoid- it's so contagios because, as CB mentioned, it's airborne. I've managed to avoid getting colds from my mate, but when he got the flu, I always got it, or vice versa. Now he's type 2 diabetic so he has to get it.

    This year, I did get a minor reaction, which almost never happens. I had sort of a scratchy throat and felt tired, but that was one night and one day and it was over. Then in february when everyone's keeling over, I'll probably be fine!
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    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Brown
    CB , I feel ya. The cellular bio explanation really does help clarify what you're saying.

    Still, if I decide not to take the flu shot, what would you recommend to be a good remedy for me if I come down with the flu?

    Koffee
    If you start a neuroaminidase inhibitior within the first 48 hours of symptoms, you halt the replication of the virus. There are two out on the market Tamiflu http://www.tamiflu.com/howworks/index.asp (has great cartoon teaching about uhow it works. ) and relenza. The latter is more cumbersome to use since it is an inhaler vs. a pill but it is good for those who are pregnant and get the flu. (pregnancy class B) However, relenza should not be used in those with severe underllying lung disease or asthma. I have used them in the past and they are very safe and definately shorten the course and severity of symptoms. All clinicians are given viral assay kits to test on patients clinically suspected of flu so we can send them off to the CDC. The confirmed cases helped us assess how truley efficacious they were. However, they do not work well after 48 hours of onset of symptoms. The nice thing is they work against influenza A and B. The older drug, amantadine only works against one type. The internet link I provided also gave a good wheel to assess for the differences between a cold or flu. (for instance, sneezing and runny nose is actually quite rare in the flu) By the way if you get symptoms that exactly mimic the flu in the summer, you probably have a tick borne illness( rocky mountain, ehrlichiosis...don't know if i spelled it right this time of nite.)

    By the way, tamiflu is the only approved to prevent the flu after exposure.

    Tamiflu Approved for Flu Prevention; Concern About Lyme Vaccine Reactions; TB Vaccine in Works; Use Same DTaP Vaccine for All Five Doses; Flu-like Symptoms: Think Coccidioidomycosis


    from Infections in Medicine
    Steven Fox



    Roche's Tamiflu Okayed for Flu Prevention
    The FDA has announced its approval of Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) for prophylaxis against influenza virus strains A and B. That makes Tamiflu the only agent approved for both treatment and prevention of influenza A and B.
    Hoffman-LaRoche and Gilead Sciences, the developers of the drug, cite data from clinical studies indicating that Tamiflu has a 92% efficacy in preventing influenza in adolescents, adults, and elderly individuals.

    The company stresses, though, that Tamiflu should not be used as a replacement for flu vaccinations. Instead, the company says, Tamiflu should be considered an additional protection option, especially for individuals judged to be at high risk
    Last edited by cbhungry; 12-04-03 at 01:11 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Relenza... Back in 1994, I was at University of Illinois, Urbana and they gave us Relenza for our flu infections. It was in pill form back then. Have things changed or do I just have a bad memory? Whatever that stuff was, it was wonderful- they claimed that it was supposed to slow the replication of the virus so you ended up with less down time from the flu. Between that and the sleeping pills (I asked for something that would help me to sleep through the whole experience, didn't want to be conscious for that horrible experience!!!) and the usual cough medicine, I came out from the flu in just under a week.

    Same stuff or something else?

    Koffee

  19. #19
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    few people get sick from the flu shot, so it won't hurt you to get it, but i am constantly 'exposed' at work and have never missed a day of work in my life yet. jinx!

    i have 3 children under the age of 9, and cumulatively they have had 3 needs for antibiotics (very healthy bunch!!) again...jinx!!

    get it if you can, but there is no guarentees.

    now do they have a vaccine to prevent you from buying more bike related stuff!!
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  20. #20
    Syracuse Orangeman 4 Life killerasp's Avatar
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    to be honest....as far as i can remember...i never got a flu shot....now im regretting it because instead of being out and partying..im stuck indoors sick.

  21. #21
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    With the reported shortage of flu vaccine, I think there are some ethical principles involved in getting a flu shot if you are not in one of the "at risk" groups. I heard today that there were only 38,000 does available in San Francisco. My feeling is that I would be taking a vaccine away from someone who is in greater need.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

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