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Especially Bad Flu Season!


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Initial post: Jan 10, 2013 5:56:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 10:13:53 AM PST
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/health/flu-widespread-leading-a-range-of-winters-ills.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130110&_r=0

FLU WIDESPREAD, LEADING A RANGE OF WINTER'S ILLS
"It's not your imagination - more people you know are sick this winter, even people who have had flu shots ... (It's) an early start to the flu season with an unusually aggressive virus, a surge in a new type of norovirus, and the worst whooping cough outbreak in 60 years."

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 6:43:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 9:56:06 AM PST
guest says:
I usually don't worry much about these things...but I'm getting a little paranoid.
A relative of mine fell victim to the Flu Pandemic of 1918 (wiped out a lot of people).
I can't do vaccines, had an allergic reaction many years ago, I'm not going there again :-/

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 9:05:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 9:07:45 AM PST
Guest -

Don't worry about not getting a flu shot. I never get one either. Besides, now people who got flu shots are still dying from flu:

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/186090761.html?refer=y
SECOND TEEN DIES OF FLU IN 10 DAYS
Secondary complications like staph infections and pneumonia are killing people.

What's even scarier is that, like the 1918 Flu Pandemic, healthy-young-adults are dying.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 9:23:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 9:24:28 AM PST
guest says:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic
I'm not going out anymore than I have to, wash your hands, then wash your hands again! Don't shake hands with people.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 10:16:51 AM PST
Andrew King says:
Flu shots are cheap and safe insurance, even if they're not guaranteed 100% effective (the match of circulating flu strains to what's in the vaccine this year is good, so protective effect should be good as well - from past experience when there's a good match, effectiveness has been about 80%).

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 10:19:19 AM PST
Guest -

I agree! And when you do go out, use those disinfectant wipes for carts (most chain stores offer them by their cart bin), and maybe take an extra one to wipe around your nose and mouth.

If you do get sick, go to bed and stay hydrated above all else. Some people in hospitals for the flu may be dying of staph infections contracted IN the hospital!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 11:06:47 AM PST
Andrew King says:
From your previous link:

"On Dec. 30, another otherwise healthy teenager, Max Schwolert, 17, of Texas, died of flu complications at a St. Paul hospital. Schwolert, who had been visiting relatives in Wisconsin, apparently developed a staph infection along with the flu, and the combination accelerated rapidly, turning ever more deadly, family members said. He had not had a flu shot."

Even in otherwise healthy people, "what can happen is that influenza serves as a gateway for a secondary infection like pneumonia or staph, and the severity increases rapidly," Ehresmann said."

The article does not say that the secondary infection was contracted in the hospital; infectious complications from the flu commonly happen before the person is ever admitted to the hospital.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 8:36:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 8:38:51 AM PST
"Infectious complications from the flu commonly happen before the person is ever admitted to the hospital."

I don't argue that point. What I was trying to say, is that this is an especially vicious Norovirus that quickly takes someone's strength down to the point that they are unusually vulnerable to other infections.

And hospitals continue to be hotbeds for staph infections - to the point that there are now lawsuits and even law firms dedicated to suing hospitals over contracted staph infections:

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5066312_hospital-liable-staph-infection.html
IS A HOSPITAL LIABLE FOR STAPH INFECTION?

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 9:05:31 AM PST
Andrew King says:
Influenza is not caused by norovirus - influenza viruses are the culprits.

And there are law firms dedicated to profiting by suing over all sorts of bad health outcomes.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 9:24:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 9:32:04 AM PST
Andrew -

I used the staph infection lawsuits article to point out that hospitals remain a hotbed of staph infections, which find easy access to the sickest and frailest.

There seems to be some debate over flu viruses. The typical influenza is a "respiratory virus." Yet the Norwalk Virus is classified by some as a "stomach flu." Antibiotics don't touch viruses. And the only prescription flu medication, "Tamaflu", only works on respiratory viruses:

http://www.epmonthly.com/whitecoat/2010/12/stomach-flu/
(2010) TAMAFLU DOESN'T COVER STOMACH FLU

There are some natural remedies to relieve the symptoms of stomach flu, since we won't have any effective medicines against cold/flu viruses anytime soon:

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/11801/1/A-Natural-Remedy-for-Stomach-Flu.html
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR STOMACH FLU

But one type of food is excellent for keeping flu and cold viruses at bay year-round: Peppers

http://www.livestrong.com/article/197074-cold-remedies-with-pepper/
COLD REMEDIES WITH PEPPER

When I (rarely) get a sore throat anymore, I open one of those Taco Bell pepper sauce packets (or you can buy Salsa), and let it slowly run down my throat or concentrate directly over the sore throat. Next morning - no sore throat.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 9:46:19 AM PST
Well, first of all, the "stomach flu" is in no way related to the flu (influenza). It's gastroenteritis (aka Norwalk virus, aka Norovirus). Since it's a different virus, there's no reason to think that a drug to treat influenza (Tamiflu) would treat gastroenteritis. That's like expecting a diabetes drug to treat pink eye. Not going to happen.

Since you don't seem to know the difference between influenza and gastroenteritis, Marilyn, I'm not so sure that you should be posting medical advice.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 10:21:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 10:23:29 AM PST
"I'm not sure you should be posting medical advice." My main reason for starting this thread was to alert people to the Norwalk Virus. It's making a lot of people very sick - and, until recently - was being ignored or downplayed in the media.

http://www.boston.com/dailydose/2013/01/10/the-flu-norovirus-how-tell-the-difference/hGITbaArt1D2Fs3IuEeM5J/story.html
HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFLUENZA AND THE STOMACH FLU
And the sickest are coming down with one right after the other, or are sick from both at the same time.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 10:48:36 AM PST
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/11/health/us-flu-season/index.html?imw=Y
WIDESPREAD-ACTIVITY FLU CASES INCREASE FROM 40 TO 47 STATES
Although activity has dropped in southern states. But two more kids have died, now totaling 20 deaths of people under 18.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 11:25:38 AM PST
If you're looking for "Norwalk virus" in the news, then you're not going to find as much information as if you look under the more common name of "norovirus".

Secondly, if you're posting about gastroenteritis under a topic heading about the flu, you're wrong. The "stomach flu" is NOT the flu. Your CNN link is about influenza. Do you understand the information you're posting or are you just throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks? I think you're just trying to scare people without really understanding what you're posting which is detrimental to everyone.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 4:47:48 PM PST
L.J. Lindson -

The differences between the flus confuse everyone. I read one government medical site comparing noroviruses to food poisoning. And we can argue all day about what is or is not "stomach flu".

The Norwalk Virus produces violent vomiting and diarrhea, and severe (possibly deadly) dehydration could result - as well as secondary infections. THAT's what people need to know - not another confusing lecture about semantics.

http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/health_stories/flu_vaccine_effectiveness/2013/01/11/492612.html
FLU VACCINE ONLY 60% EFFECTIVE
This is why people who have had flu shots are still getting the respiratory flu, and there is no vaccination protection against the Norwalk Virus stomach flu.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 5:19:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 5:19:30 PM PST
Andrew King says:
Marilyn - it's perfectly clear to most people that when influenza or generic "flu" are being discussed, people mean the respiratory and systemic infection caused by influenza virus.

Continually bringing up Norwalk virus/norovirus and influenza in the same breath only signifies that _you're_ confused.

Influenza vaccine may be only 60% (or as high as 80%) effective, but it's still the best protection available. Work is ongoing on better vaccines whose effectiveness won't be altered by seasonal antigenic drifts of influenza viruses.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 9:25:49 AM PST
No, I am no longer "confused" over the difference between respiratory flus and stomach flus. But I had to do my own research, since the media was ignoring this pandemic, and even federal health websites were more confusing than clear, babbling about cruise ships and food poisoning.

I am not an alarmist. But the media in this country posts too much trivia and Obama-love, instead of covering serious subjects we should know about. I have faith that people can take the information I link to, and use it to their best advantage.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 2:59:54 PM PST
I heard no less than 3 pieces about the flu while I was going to the store this afternoon (and it's only 20 minutes round trip). The media is not ignoring it.

I just looked at the CDC website and, yes, food poisoning is mentioned on the norovirus page. Shock and awe, because the norovirus can be one of the causes of food poisoning! The way you're writing, you'd think there's no link at all. The norovirus can tear through a cruise ship and get thousands of people sick very quickly.

If you don't understand what you're reading, don't post about it as if you have a clue. It's that simple.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 8:34:11 AM PST
J. Thompson says:
I wasn't too worried about getting the flu until a teacher at a local school a couple of miles away from my home died from complications from the flu last week. She wasn't old, she hadn't been sick or had a compromised immune system that I was aware of. She just got the flu and never recovered.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 9:20:17 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2013 9:25:18 AM PST
J. Thompson -

If she got both flus (respiratory and stomach) at the same time, or if she got a staph infection or pneumonia too, then the combination can quickly take one's system down to the point of non-recovery. My Condolences.

http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2020128358_flushots14.html
DOCTOR CALLS FLU VACCINE "OVERPROMOTED AND OVERHYPED"
Even at just 60% effectiveness, it's all we have for respiratory flu. And if you deal with the public or kids on a daily basis, or have precarious health issues, then by all means get the shot for at least some protection.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 10:28:52 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2013 10:33:52 AM PST
http://seattletimes.com/html/health/2020120783_flurefusexml.html

HOSPITALS CRACK DOWN ON WORKERS WHO REFUSE FLU SHOTS
I would think that hospital workers, like school employees, would be first in line for flu shots. If only for the "necessary consideration" of not infecting the most vulnerable.

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/11/16467506-dont-be-selfish-get-a-flu-shot-and-protect-the-most-vulnerable-bioethicist-says?lite
BIOETHICIST: DON'T BE SELFISH - GET FLU SHOT AND PROTECT THE MOST VULNERABLE

http://www.ehow.com/about_5412184_serious-side-effects-flu-shot.html
SIDE EFFECTS TO FLU SHOTS
People who are severely allergic to eggs (used to incubate the flu vaccine), or who have Guillain-Barre Syndrome, should never get a flu shot. Otherwise the side-effects are mild, and less than 20% of the population are affected.

And for the anti-vaccine crowd: Due to the wide-spread concern over using the preservative Thimerosal in vaccines, vaccine manufacturers have removed or reduced the Thimerosal to trace amounts in their vaccines.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 5:14:40 AM PST
Well, I think misunderstanding the flu itself is part of the reason people don't get flu shots. They'll hear they're only x% effective, and decided plain and simple hygiene will suffice.

But getting the flu puts the hammer down on the immune system, and people die every year of complications from the flu.

I guess people don't get it till it happens to someone they know, as J. Thompson pointed out.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 8:46:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 8:53:23 AM PST
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/15/a-flu-that-just-wont-go-away/

A FLU THAT JUST WON'T GO AWAY
"One of the deadliest and most severe flu seasons on record has spread to more than 90% of the nation. Along with aches and fevers, the problem is depleting vaccine supplies, putting increased pressure on hospital emergency room and shuttering businesses and schools, health officials say."

Health specialists report that this flu season started earlier than normal, and that it's the "same strain that made the 2003-04 season so severe."

And the Norwalk Virus stomach flu makes people violently ill too, and could seriously complicate the respiratory flu if caught at the same time - although this article doesn't mention it.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 10:54:58 AM PST
Andrew King says:
Norovirus (Norwalk) infection and influenza infection are two separate things, Marilyn. They don't commonly occur together.

The only point in mentioning them in the same breath is that frequent handwashing offers some protection against both.

Posted on Jan 18, 2013 7:59:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2013 7:59:46 AM PST
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/business/flublok-a-flu-vaccine-wins-fda-approval.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130118&_r=0

NEW RAPIDLY PRODUCED FLU VACCINE WINS FDA APPROVAL
It is not grown in chicken eggs, so it could be ready weeks earlier than the conventional flu vaccine in the event of a pandemic. And it would be safe for people with severe egg/chicken allergies.
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Discussion in:  Health forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  180
Initial post:  Jan 10, 2013
Latest post:  Jun 10, 2013

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