Seasonal/ h1n1 flu questions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-18-2009, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've recently read and been told by friends that the seasonal flu essentially doesn't exist this year. Is this really true?

My interest is coming to me more right now because I am on the tail end of a flu. I was left untested (the MD's office pretty much made it clear to just stay home) But if the majority of flu cases are testing out to be h1n1 I guess my question is: What percentage of flu cases are actually being tested and how severer are they? If all the mild cases are left untested then how do you really extrapolate that all of the flu's are h1n1 - seems like hinky logic to me.

And now since I've been laid up for a week (it's starting to get old) I need reinforcement for why we don't get the flu shots. We refused the seasonal as we do every year and the h1n1 for same reasons as the flu and because it really isn't well tested.
We don't flu shot because we don't work in health care, we are reasonably healthy etc.
But after a week of using up my sick leave, really not being able to do anything, including take care of my family part of my mind is wavering.

Thanks

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#2 of 6 Old 12-18-2009, 02:03 AM
 
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Many places stopped testing for H1N1 and were supposed to stop in July but never did . Plus there is a rapid H1N1 test like sometimes when this one kid who ended up with a negative H1N1 then had it sent to Utah to end up coming back with a postive to H1N1 stating that H1N1 had it's first confirmed death of the child passing from bacterial menigitis .

There are early signs of menigitis that are viral or bacterial if treated early it's like a 15% death proablity .

But then I have had fear when my son had fever for 24 hrs earlier this week because I had saw somewhere how someone ended up with a fever then was dead the next day it freaked me out so then I was like even panicky even after he got better then ended up with diherea .

But when I first told one nurse my son sxs she said well it sounds like he has the H1N1 flu , so then I talked to other nurses even his peadritic nurse and said more likely he just has a viral tummy bug .

Last year Seasonal Flu picked up in Jan than in the usual Oct-Dec so there is possibly since H1N1 isn't actually being tested unless the person has to go to the hospital

Since many of the H1N1 and seasonal flu sxs are the same I proably imagine some do already have the influenza or the ones who were going oh with your symptoms you have H1N1 then they mark it down in their charts calling that a 'case' because after all H1N1 is supposedly the Only Flu floating around !
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#3 of 6 Old 12-18-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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They do some testing to see what strains are circulating. The seasonal comes at certain times of the year and the first strain through was h1n1. I imagine that's what you had/have given the timing. I guess I'm saying I would assume you will still be susceptible to the seasonal flu and in my understanding that will come as it does every year.

I get your feelings re the vaccines. When you get a particularly bad and inconvenient case of the flu you tend to wish you'd had a vaccine and missed it all. When we got a strain a few years back I felt that way for sure. We usually miss the flu. I think it's been harder to miss this year because h1n1 hit so early and now we're headed toward another round likely. I can't advise you on the flu shot. My husband and I do get the vaccine because my sons are both high risk. But every year I debate whether or not to do it for us. The boys don't for various reasons (we don't vax them at all). I don't think there are easy answers. The flu has risks and issues and so does the vaccine. The vaccine has potential benefits as well but, again, you have to weigh those against the risks/issues. And it's not a perfect vaccine in terms of effectiveness either. http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2040 I like this article for research based information about the vax and it's effectiveness in thinking about the risks/benefits of the flu vax.

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#4 of 6 Old 12-18-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubelle View Post

But after a week of using up my sick leave, really not being able to do anything, including take care of my family part of my mind is wavering.

Thanks
How many folks get the risk of the flu shot AND the flu?

How many folks get serious adverse reactions from the flu shot? Check the governments "Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System" for the number of deaths, disabilities associated with the flu vaccine. You can ask in the Vaccine forum for details if you don't want to do the research. http://vaers.hhs.gov/index

Your immune system is strengthened by natural exposure to virus. I can't say the same for vaccines.


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#5 of 6 Old 12-18-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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I agree, it is hard to tell the difference, especially if symptoms are vague. DH is getting over H1N1, and we are very convinced that it is what it is, because he has very specific symptoms. He had every single symptom they list on the CDC website, including vomiting and diarrhea, which very rarely accompanies the seasonal flu. His temp also dipped very low after he spiked a fever, down to 95.2. After reading around online, that seems to be happening to a lot of people with H1N1. When he went to the doc, 2 days after symptoms started, he was already heading toward pneumonia, as he had fluid in his lungs.

I'm pretty sure I'm getting it now. If it weren't for the fact that DH had it, I would have no clue that what I have is probably H1N1, as, for the time being, it's just a bad head cold with body aches and weakness. But it's only day 1 for me.

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#6 of 6 Old 12-18-2009, 11:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
How many folks get the risk of the flu shot AND the flu?

How many folks get serious adverse reactions from the flu shot? Check the governments "Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System" for the number of deaths, disabilities associated with the flu vaccine. You can ask in the Vaccine forum for details if you don't want to do the research. http://vaers.hhs.gov/index

Your immune system is strengthened by natural exposure to virus. I can't say the same for vaccines.


Pat
This is something you can look into. The link above has a lot of studies about that. The short answer is it depends on how well that year's vaccine matches the actual strain. It also depends on your underlying immune system likely. And it depends on which vaccine you got (in my research the inactivated are more effective than the live forms). There are lots of factors. And there are viruses that may seem like the flu and aren't that the flu shot won't prevent as effectively.


Another aspect is of those who get the shot and get the flu how many will have a shorter or less severe course of illness? I'm not pro-vaccine and in fact there are clear downsides. However, it's not unsafe as far as vaccines go. Far more people will be killed or seriously harmed by the flu than the flu vaccine in any given year.

I looked at the VEARS. For the H1n1 vax they list 76 million doses. 333 serious adverse events, 21 deaths. The current US stats for the H1n1 flu is:

Quote:
From August 30 – December 12, 2009, 35,309 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations and 1,567 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated deaths were reported to CDC.
That includes 212 pediatric deaths. And all these are lab confirmed deaths due to influenza not estimates. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/
most recent estimates:
Quote:
U.S. health officials on Thursday announced nearly 10,000 people in the U.S. had died from H1N1....
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated Thursday that some 47 million Americans have come down with a case of the H1N1 flu between April and Nov. 14, or about one in every six men, women and children," CQ HealthBeat reports (Norman, 12/10).
http://globalhealth.kff.org/Daily-Re...Swine-Flu.aspx

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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