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Influenza
Old 12-30-2014, 04:54 PM   #1
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Influenza

Illinois has now reached the the flu epidemic threshold of 6.8%, the same as the nation.
Ill. reports high flu activity, CDC says nation at epidemic threshold | abc7chicago.com
The link has a map of the states most infected.

With this year's flu shot being relatively ineffective, the worry is real. While not comparable in the state of the art medicine, the Pandemic of Influenza in 1918 is serious reminder to do whatever is reasonable to protect against getting or spreading the infection. In that terrible year, (when the world population was much smaller) an estimated 500 million persons were infected, and between 50 and 100 million persons died.

1918 flu pandemic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The nursing home in our CCRC is currently fighting this as both the young and the old are more susceptible. Certainly a time to consider taking precautions with parents or older friends and relatives.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:08 PM   #2
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Thanks for the timely PSA, imoldernu. "Ordinary" flu is one of the biggest causes of death and sickness. In my area, the flu vaccine is in short supply. Hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers are key to avoiding the flu.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
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Interesting. One of the best things we've experienced since moving to FL is the very small incidence of flu. This has been our experience, at least. We guessed it might have something to do with everything being so outdoors based. But the chart in the OP shows FL as being in the high incidence group. I'm not sure if it's based on us being below latitude 26 or what, but we almost never see anyone showing flu-like symptoms. The people we've talked to that work in stores and things say the only reason they get the shot is because of the snow bird customers and their germs.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:57 PM   #4
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DH and I got the flu a couple of weeks ago, flying home from a family visit. Somebody on the plane, or in one of the airports must have shared it. Ugh! It sucked in a big way, and took forever to get over. Aches, fever, and chest congestion.
No docs or meds for us, except some Tessalon pearls my mom gave us, a total godsend for the incessant cough. Never have gotten a flu shot, but maybe next year.


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Old 12-30-2014, 10:07 PM   #5
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I had the flu earlier this month. Took me about 10 days to start feeling normal again. Luckily the rest of my family didn't catch it.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:18 PM   #6
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This year the vaccine might be a "miss" and may not have worked well. Have been getting the flu vaccine every year since 1990. No regrets. Each year it seems less painful and more worthwhile. This year I had body aches and a slight fever for the first time. To me that means my immune system went into overdrive-not a bad thing at all.

If this year is a miss, having gotten it every year means I'm immune to multiple strains and maybe won't get the flu.

One of the benefits of being a pediatrician us that you get exposed to every virus in the community over and over as a young adult. I feel like I'm immune to everything now.


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Old 12-31-2014, 08:25 AM   #7
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Hospitals in our area now have a restricted visitor policy, and masks for hospital personnel. In our senior community, residents are very aware of the danger. The close contact in the dining rooms is a particular worry.
Depending on the rate of spread, the effect on the economy could also be a side issue, with work absence, reduced shopping, and (already) some school closings.

Getting flu shots is still recommended, even though there was a "miss" on the most problematic version. Flu shots... shingles shots... as we went through our 60's and saw the devastating effects of these problems on our friends and neighbors it gave new meaning to the word "caution", as we realized our vulnerability.

Our next door neighbor, who has been in the nursing home and now in the hospital for a different reason, is in a fight for life, as she has contracted influenza, now turned into pneumonia.

Isn't it strange that our world was turned upside down for a few months, with the fear of ebola, and yet in the next to last week of the year... in that one week alone, 837 persons died from flu and pneumonia in the US.
H3N2 viruses fuel 'epidemic' levels of flu season deaths, CDC says - LA Times

Imagine... the best hope that we have, is that this is just a "boy who cried wolf" story.
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
Thanks for the timely PSA, imoldernu. "Ordinary" flu is one of the biggest causes of death and sickness. In my area, the flu vaccine is in short supply. Hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers are key to avoiding the flu.
And...limiting contact with the public (stores) and areas of public use (bathroom faucets, door handles, etc) with unprotected hands. Use your jacket or sleeve to protect your bare skin. Sounds silly, but it w*rks.
I am constantly on Mr B's case to stop opening doors with his bare hands. He is always getting sick, and then I get sick.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:51 AM   #9
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Wife was reading this weekend that her hometown (Iowa) just lost a 14 year old girl to the flu.Seems the young lady was in good health.In 48 hours she was clinging on for life.This stuff is the real deal
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:10 AM   #10
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Carry hand sanitizer. And use it.

There are 4 strains in this year's flu vaccine. Only one was a miss. I can't believe how many hospital nurses are anti-flu vaccine. Get the shot.


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Old 01-05-2015, 02:38 PM   #11
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There are 4 strains in this year's flu vaccine. Only one was a miss. I can't believe how many hospital nurses are anti-flu vaccine. Get the shot.
After getting the flu (in spite of the shot) years ago I'll never miss the shot. It put me flat on my back for a week. I'll spare the gross details but I lost 10 pounds the hard way in one week. I do not want to risk that again.

Not doubting you but I can't believe hospital nurses, knowing what it can do, would skip the shot. That doesn't make sense. People are just weird sometimes.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:05 PM   #12
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I am at day 9 now, no fun 103 fever at its worst,I can see how this could easily kill.
Daughter had shot and she got it.
On the mend but still don't feel right.
I have been pretty immune since I got the hong kong flu back in 68,but not this time. Will get the shot next year.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:13 PM   #13
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I am at day 9 now, no fun 103 fever at its worst,I can see how this could easily kill.
Daughter had shot and she got it.
On the mend but still don't feel right.
I have been pretty immune since I got the hong kong flu back in 68,but not this time. Will get the shot next year.
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Hope you get better soon.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:22 PM   #14
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Yes, feel better and rest, rest, rest. I agree with my colleague EWGal - carry hand sanitizer and use it.

I w*rk in nursing homes where several patients are already ill. I carry sanitizer and also use it when handling charts - between using each chart I slather my hands in it. The staff doesn't get paid for sick leave so they all come in sick.

It was during a bout of the flu when I was flat on my back at the age of 41 that I called my insurance agent and bought a long term disability policy.


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Old 01-05-2015, 09:16 PM   #15
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The staff doesn't get paid for sick leave so they all come in sick.
This drives me absolutely bananas! If you are sick, stay freaking home!

When I was still in the AF, we had a term called DNIF (duties not involving flight), basically you had something going on that made you physically unable to fly...be it a cold or a broken leg. Very often schedulers would use these DNIF folks to help fill simulator slots. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you that sticking someone with a cold in an enclosed 4x10 box with 4 other healthy folks isn't a great idea for maintaining a capable, fighting force!

It just reiterates the fact that common sense isn't very common.



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Old 01-05-2015, 10:03 PM   #16
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I am at day 9 now, no fun 103 fever at its worst,I can see how this could easily kill.
Daughter had shot and she got it.
On the mend but still don't feel right.
I have been pretty immune since I got the hong kong flu back in 68,but not this time. Will get the shot next year.
Old Mike
Glad you're on the mend. Many folks get bad colds and think it's the flu. Not the same(as you know), it can and does kill people, in this century.

My mom was probably taken by flu related illnesses. She'd had a good life, passed in her 90s. She wouldn't be upset that a flu took her. Too many years of unrelated dementia.
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