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Flu Season is on the Upswing

 
 
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 06:18 am
It is quite alarming that a lot of people are having flu these days. I have already read three articles pertaining to the topic. I wonder why is it that in the past, the flu virus can be contained easily and immediately. I hope that even the nurses and doctors should protect themselves from being sick.
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 07:16 am
@amygarside,
You do realize that the flu isn't some monolithic entity with long arms that reach around the globe but is basically a very large, very vague population of viruses that share a similar DNA.

There isn't a single strain but thousands and thousands of strains that like all life is constantly changing and evolving. A flu vaccine can only cover a handful of those strains. The medical community that composes this year or any other year's flu vaccine takes the most common strains from that given year (or they predict which strains will become the most common strains in that flu season) and they devise the vaccine. It's all hit and miss. Generally, those who take the vaccine are protected ... (for the most part). The flu vaccine DOESN'T grant 100% immunity to the recipient from even the flu strains which are covered by the vaccine but it does help your odds considerably.

It's hard to say exactly why this year is so noteworthy (in a bad way) regarding the flu season. Did the medical community miss their bet with their choices of strains? Did a lot more people NOT get their flu shots this year because of lacking health insurance, or increased skepticism over the shot, etc...?

In the US, most hospitals and medical clinics legally force their doctors and nurses to take the vaccine. I think that's a necessary good thing. Other precautions should be taken like washing ones hands on a frequent basis. Shaking less hands. Etc....

Do you have the links to those articles (if they're in English). I'd like to read them.

I believe this topic is going to be quite interesting though I think it's too early to actually determine how this season is going to go since it's too early in the flu season. Still, it makes an original spectator sport to wonder about.
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 07:18 am
@tsarstepan,
There's also this.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 08:08 am
@jespah,
Thanks for the link Jespah. Those antivaccine militants are a bit too melodramatic with their undereducated stand. They only have themselves to blame after they intentionally lose their own job after refusing such a simple thing as a vaccine. I can't gather any sympathy for this stagy and useless bit of selfmartyrs.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 08:21 am
What exactly is the FLU?

Around here, we've had a nasty intestinal type which lasts just one or two days but leaves you wacked out. Complications from dehydration is an issue.

We've had a nasty head/sinus type that goes down into the chest and has caused havoc with breathing and phlemg (sp?) This cold hangs on forever.

There has also been the fever/body aches type and dehydration is a real concern for this one, too.

I'd really like to see a definition of the "Flu"
roger
 
  3  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 02:18 pm
@amygarside,
If you recall the Spanish flu in the early 1900's you would be less likely to say the flu virus used to be contained easily and immediately.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 02:25 pm
@PUNKEY,
there is a good compare/contrast chart here

http://www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/influenza-compare-symptoms.html


I'd copy it over but it's not an "img"

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 02:38 pm
@PUNKEY,
I'm not in my researching mood.

Far as I remember, there is no such thing a stomach flu, a lay term, but there are stomach bacteria, good or troublesome, and viruses, and conditions.
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 02:45 pm
@ossobuco,
I just returned from my doc's, where I got a flu shot. The Nurse Practitioner said that they were suddenly getting an influx. Mayor Menino is pushing and has declared a flu emergency, as there are apparently 700 active cases in the city limits whereas at this time last year, there were 70.

Quote:
[Kevin] Cranston, of the Department of Public Health, said the flu season has been accompanied by a significant number of cases of norovirus, an intestinal illness, so “it’s been a bit of a double whammy, particularly on families that have sick children.”
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 04:32 pm
@jespah,
I get mine on the 29th.
So far so good.
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 05:40 pm
@ossobuco,
Everybody says this year's strain is just godawful. I had been kinda living on the edge but I'll be seeing folks soon who are older and I don't want to take a chance of exposing them to anything.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 07:22 pm
@tsarstepan,
Quote:
It's hard to say exactly why this year is so noteworthy (in a bad way) regarding the flu season. Did the medical community miss their bet with their choices of strains? Did a lot more people NOT get their flu shots this year because of lacking health insurance, or increased skepticism over the shot, etc...?

Actually, this year's flu vaccine is quite effect against the most prevalent strain now circulating.

The problem is more that the flu season started early, and many people--and children--either didn't get flu shots or they contacted the flu in the 2 or 3 week interval after getting the shot, before the vaccine had a chance to become effective in their bodies. And the most prevalent strain going around is a particularly nasty type--so more people are also seeking some type of medical treatment for a diagnosis and some possible symptom relief, so that also makes the health departments and the CDC more aware of the number of cases.

But because the outbreak is so widespread, and the strain they're seeing is so debilitating, they are now advising everyone--rather than just the most vulnerable groups they usually urge it on, like the very young, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, etc.--to get a shot. And there is no shortage of the vaccine, and many people can get it free at their place of work, or have it paid for by some form of insurance, and you can get it at the big chain pharmacies, like CVS, which makes getting it even faster and more convenient than a trip to the doctor. And even having to pay about $30 for the shot, if you lack insurance coverage, is a lot cheaper than the cost of getting the flu, which averages out to about $300. So I hope most people do get the flu shot--it's not too late to do that. Why risk getting sick and feeling really miserable if you can avoid it? The flu can be a really serious illness.

Apparently people with the flu are really crowding into ERs and filling hospital beds to near capacity, or even capacity, in some places right now.

I'm glad I got my shot back in October. But I'm going to begin using hand sanitizer more often when I'm out and about. I keep a large bottle in my car and I try to remember to use it each time I get back in my car after being in a public place. That probably doesn't do much, but I figure it can't hurt.
jcboy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 07:31 pm
I never got a flue shot until I met the Puerto Rican Nurse Practitioner. He believes in them, all three of us got one. The flue is really bad in this area, everyone is coming down with it. Every week more then one person where I work is out with the flue.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 07:59 pm
@jcboy,
You Will Not Be Able to Escape the Worst Flu Season in 10 Years (Unless You Move to Connecticut)
http://gawker.com/5974671/you-will-not-be-able-to-escape-the-worst-flu-season-in-10-years-unless-you-move-to-connecticut
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Jan, 2013 06:56 am
@firefly,
The Mayor here has ordered the shots to be free here if you can't afford 'em. The article I linked to said that hospitals are working as hard as they can to try to push people through their ERs quickly in order to minimize exposure.
0 Replies
 
amygarside
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jan, 2013 06:09 am
@firefly,
It is still in the news up to now.
0 Replies
 
 

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