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the flu…and cutting off our nose to suit our face

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I was reading an article on how the elderly are less likely to get certain flu strain (H1N1) because they have likely to have already been exposed in their lifetime:

 

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/swine-flu-and-the-elderly

 

"Most H1N1 cases are occurring in younger people. "It appears that older persons, who have been exposed multiple times in their life time with various flu outbreaks, may have residual immunity of which some of it is against this H1N1 flu strain," Yoshikawa tells WebMD."

 

Flu vaccines are not very effective in the elderly.

 

Are those who vaccinate for the flu cutting off their noses to spite their face?  Would it actually be wiser, looking at the long term picture, to allow yourself to build up residual immunity to flu strains, and go into elderly hood with this residual immunity?

 

It seems pretty self evident, but I never thought of it til today.  Another tick on the con side for routine flu vaccination


Edited by kathymuggle - 2/23/14 at 7:36am
post #2 of 18

Supposedly it was this H1N1 strain going around in 2009 when the WHO claimed a worldwide epidemic on the swine flu and popped out a shot almost immediately afterwards. So I am wondering why are there so many new cases, at least in the US, with the H1N1? Or has it mutated so much since 2009?

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
 

Would it actually be wiser, looking at the long term picture, to allow yourself to build up residual immunity to flu strains, and go into elderly hood with this residual immunity?

 

It seems pretty self evident, but I never thought of it til today.  Another tick on the con side for routine flu vaccination

Yep!  Isn't that pretty much how all those "childhood" illnesses work?  Get it during the age appropriate time frame while you are least likely to suffer consequences because you are best equipped to fight it off, and spare yourself later on in life. I don't see why it wouldn't apply to the flu as well - get all you can while you are healthy then coast through old age on natural immunity...I like that as opposed to the alternatives!

post #4 of 18
Interesting...the only members of our family who didn't catch the flu this year were my 12 yo (who had swine flu in '09), my 72 yo mom, and my nursing 5yo.
How long does natural immunity to a particular strain last, does anyone know?
post #5 of 18

heres a good read about the flu from decades ago, and how they dealt with it...some of it makes very good sense, too.

http://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2013/01/17/memories-of-the-mid-century-flu-outbreak-pt-ii/

 

 

Quote:

In the cold winter of 1957, my Mother came down with a nasty case of the Asiatic flu that was spreading through the country.

Just like today, the flu was on the march and health authorities everywhere were girding for battle against an epidemic.

vintage cartoon warning flu epidemic 1918

My harried father called for reinforcements enlisting the help of my grandmother Nana Sadie who would be deployed to the suburbs from Manhattan. A decorated Veteran of the Flu Epidemic of 1918, she was armed to battle the enemy the best way she knew how, arriving loaded down with shopping bags filled with cans of disinfectants and a cache of secret ingredients for her chicken soup.

Air Defense

vintage ads health listerine lysol germs

 

post #6 of 18

My dh follows someone on twitter where in the fall she touted that her whole family got the flu vaccine so everybody else should get one too.  Fast forward a couple of months and she swears the whole family got H1N1 and they were *soooo* sick.  And then has the consummate gall to tell everybody that the CDC says it isn't too late to RUN OUT AND GET A FLU SHOT! Argh... when is the whole cognitive disconnect going to end?

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

Are those who vaccinate for the flu cutting off their noses to spite their face?  Would it actually be wiser, looking at the long term picture, to allow yourself to build up residual immunity to flu strains, and go into elderly hood with this residual immunity?

 

It seems pretty self evident, but I never thought of it til today.  Another tick on the con side for routine flu vaccination

I really do suspect that healthy people who get a yearly flu shot are setting themselves up for trouble when we get hit by a really bad flu strain (and despite its peculiarities, H1N1 isn't a really bad one). This is really troubling considering how many healthcare professionals are being pressured into a yearly shot without a medical reason. 

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormborn View Post

Interesting...the only members of our family who didn't catch the flu this year were my 12 yo (who had swine flu in '09), my 72 yo mom, and my nursing 5yo.
How long does natural immunity to a particular strain last, does anyone know?

I'd be interested in numbers as well.  To the best of my knowledge, last flu-like incidence for me was somewhere around 10 yrs old, so easily 20 years ago, and I say flu-like because I've never been tested - my mother always insisted we stay home and rest until better.  So we've never done the ER rush to see why there was exorcism-like vomit coming out; just assumed it was fairly contagious and waited for it to run its course through the house.  It could be that I've not been exposed to the strains going around, or that I've been healthier in more recent years due to dietary changes and better education on health and just not had it as bad, or perhaps I've retained immunity from childhood.  Would be an interesting study to see!  I do have a co-worker who said she had the flu last week (2weeks ago?) and was out for a few days, but no idea if she tested positive or just assumed (her son has had strep 3x in the last 2 mos and the whole family at least once during that time), but I feel like that would be awkward to ask if she got tested lol.  I did have a one night fever with chills and aches about week after her illness but with massive dosing of SA was back on my feet in less than 48hours, so who knows - and 2yo DD, other than a mild cough for 2 days, didn't bat an eye and nursed right through my episode with flying colors.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
 How long does natural immunity to a particular strain last, does anyone know?

Excellent question.

 

Being a virus, I would guess for life?  I know that those who suffered through the Spanish Influenza of 1918 did not suffer it again and were exempt in 1976.  There was also the Asian flu of 1957 (H2N2)  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1663331/Asian-flu-of-1957
and the Hong Kong flu of 1968 (H2N3)  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1663333/Hong-Kong-flu-of-1968.

 

lol - who says that medicine is not political? Ever hear of the "New Jersey flu", aka, the swine flu?  It was first found in the state of New Jersey, so why call it swine flu or H1N1?  Why were medical officials allowed to use ethnic terms to describe a disease?

 

Adhering from an old tradition, perhaps.  In France, syphyllis used to be know as that "German Malady", and the Germans returned the compliment and called it that "French Disease". Who knows?

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
 

I was reading an article on how the elderly are less likely to get certain flu strain (H1N1) because they have likely to have already been exposed in their lifetime:

 

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/swine-flu-and-the-elderly

 

"Most H1N1 cases are occurring in younger people. "It appears that older persons, who have been exposed multiple times in their life time with various flu outbreaks, may have residual immunity of which some of it is against this H1N1 flu strain," Yoshikawa tells WebMD."

 

Flu vaccines are not very effective in the elderly.

 

Are those who vaccinate for the flu cutting off their noses to spite their face?  Would it actually be wiser, looking at the long term picture, to allow yourself to build up residual immunity to flu strains, and go into elderly hood with this residual immunity?

 

It seems pretty self evident, but I never thought of it til today.  Another tick on the con side for routine flu vaccination

 

I think this may be a 2 part deal.

 

1. Yes, older folks who have been exposed to more viruses over the course of their lifetime will naturally have a higher immunity. Since we know that all flu viruses are at least cousins of one another, it makes sense to think that previous viruses would provide at least partial immunity.

 

2. Younger folks, especially children, tend to have a double whammy against them. First, they haven't been exposed to as much illness & their immune systems allowed to naturally mature. Second, they've been vaccinated against so many things with vaccines filled with all sorts of things that mess with one's immune system {because isn't that what vaccines are designed to do - fool the body into thinking it has immunity?}. So it makes sense, at least to me, that the younger the person is, the worse they would fare with a severe outbreak of the Flu {or anything else for that matter}. I wonder if the reason vaccines aren't as effective in the elderly is because their immune system is "smarter" having been exposed to many different viruses over their lifetime.

 

As a side note - my dd & I caught H1N1 when it went around in 2010. DD was barely 4 - in the "high risk" category per all the news. While she had a very high fever for about 18 hours {to the point we were beginning to be concerned, and giving her cool cloth wipe downs in addition to motrin / tylenol}, she was over it in 72 hours and honestly wasn't that sick other than the high fever {which is a trademark for her when sick}. I on the other hand, was sick as a dog for over a week, had to go get antibiotics as it went into my lungs & took a month to fully recover from it. DD is fully unvaxed. I was vaxed to the max until college. DD has not gotten the flu since then, EVEN WHEN DIRECTLY EXPOSED. I however, get it nearly every year.

post #11 of 18
So I showed the article emmy linked to my Mom because she lived in the same area in '57...she laughed at the reference to an epidemic and said it was no huge deal-people got the flu every winter. She did say that in '58 her employer (Bell Labs) talked her into a flu shot and that was the only time she ever got the flu..she's still irked years later because it ruined her vacation! I wonder if that shot was supposed to be for the Asiatic strain?
FWIW, this is the first time DH or I have ever gotten the flu and we're both in our 40s.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormborn View Post

So I showed the article emmy linked to my Mom because she lived in the same area in '57...she laughed at the reference to an epidemic and said it was no huge deal-people got the flu every winter.

The Asian flu outbreak of '57-'58 killed between 1 and 4 million people.
post #13 of 18
Her point was that in the city mentioned in the link (in 1957) there was less media-induced panic than we are seeing this year during a "mild" season.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by appalled20 View Post


The Asian flu outbreak of '57-'58 killed between 1 and 4 million people.
How old were the 1-4 million?  
 
The vast majority of people who die from the flu are elderly.
 
Everyone dies of something.  I do not see an 85 year old dying from the flu as a tragedy.
 
It is also worth noting the flu vaccine is quite ineffective in those age 65 plus. 
post #15 of 18
Quote:

The Asian flu outbreak of '57-'58 killed between 1 and 4 million people.

Lie

 

Any proof of this falsehood?

 

I lived through that era. I remember it very well. That is simply NOT true.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice View Post
 

Lie

 

Any proof of this falsehood?

 

I lived through that era. I remember it very well. That is simply NOT true.

I found this:  

 

http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/PandemicInfluenza/History/

 

"the two waves together affected some 40-50% of people, of which 25-30% experienced clinical disease. The mortality rate was estimated at approximately 1 in 4000. Thus, the total death toll probably exceeded 1 million people."

 

I still maintain that if the majority of death were in elderly, it is not a catastrophe. Everyone dies from something- the questions are:  did they die too young?  Is it a hard way to go?  

post #17 of 18

I do not remember people dropping dead everywhere.

 

My Paternal Grandmother was 82 at the time and she was fine. If any one would have died it would have been her or my Aunt who was caring for her. She had the beginning of her cancer illness then. The flu or pneumonia would have taken her down, but she was good for another five years. She lived that long without being vaccinated. How did she do it?

 

When someone makes a claim that "3-4 million people died", that person is counting on YOU not to know the details. 

 

I was told on a mainstream discussion group that 500 million people died from smallpox after WW2. Really? There was only ONE case of smallpox in the US after WW2 and it was in a tourist.

post #18 of 18
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