Here's a seriously ill Gumdrop Girl here to tell you about Flu Season!
did you know that young people are especially susceptible to the flu? Granted, our bodies are generally healthy enough that we can fight the infection, that fight is still pretty unpleasant at times (like right now, yours truly can't sleep, coughs ten thousand times a day, and is running dangerously low on Kleenex). It's because we haven't suffered all the strains yet, so our immune systems don't have antibodies to certain types of the flu that contributes to our misery. Moreover, young adults spend a lot of time in close quarters (schools dorms, sports, etc.) with lots of other people; this is why the flu spreads as fast as it does -- one sick person can infect twenty other students in a school in one day.
So, what about vaccines? Well, there may be another shortage of flu vax in the States this year. If you are not elderly, an infant, have a compromised immune system, or otherwise at risk from dying of the flu, it may be a good idea to pass on the vax, so that those who really need it get it. Yeah, you might get sick, and it's gonna suck, but you'll live.
Flu symptoms in case you aren't familiar: fatigue runny nose cough fever sneezing body aches How can you avoid the flu? Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently! dodge other people's sneezes. don't share drinks and avoid touching ppl if possible (most flu is spread by direct contact). drink lots of orange juice, get more vit. C. Take echinacea supplements, and maybe some zinc. Try to minimize on stress. Get enough rest and nutrition.
How not to pass on the flu if you already have it: Wash your hands frequently. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. And as un-eco-friendly this is, avoid using a cloth handkerchief. Using Kleenexes and facial tissues is better because you throw them (and the germy mucus stuck to them) away, minimizing pathogen exposure to the folks around you.
------------------ I bust my arse so that I can get somewhere in life, so why am I not there yet?
Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000
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I work with elementary-school children (read: "walking germ bombs") all day. I don't think I've ever washed my hands in my entire life as much as I have this past year and a half, but that didn't stop me from getting a nasty cold already this year. But I figure it's probably better to get the stuff and let my immune system build up the antibodies.
Ooo, hey, watch the vitamin C intake though, ok? Getting the correct amount will do lovely things for helping to boost your immune system, but the studies are showing that having too much (the way we tend to do when we're afraid of the flu) can actually increase your chances of getting sick!
So, 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C is good...but too much more than that (300 - 1000% I think was what the study I read said) is not such a hot idea.
Ok, so I'm not quite sure if what I have is the beginning of the flu or not...but I know my head hurts, my nose is running, and my chest back and shoulders ache when I take a deep breath in.... Yesterday my boyfriend was complaining of having sore throat, and needless to say he woke up next to me this morning looking mighty green! (At one point in the night he was dry heaving because of all the mucus running down the back of his throat all night...ew!). He also complained of body aches and he was coughing and sneezing and all that good stuff...
I'm really hoping what I have isnt the beginnings of the flu or a even a cold, because when I get sick...I get SICK. It always hits me so hard, and I really cant afford that right now...... My semester *just* started!
If I feel any worse come monday I'm going to the university health center...but I thought I'd just throw my "symptoms" out to those who are studying, or are in, the health field to see what you thought! Thanks in advance
YIKES! The flu is going around already?.....ughhh...Please dont let me get it, I cant miss anymore school this semester.....I already missed 2 weeks out of the first 9 weeks...I think Im going to be calling my auntie, to see about vaccinations....she works at Merck, and is the person in charge of vaccine production there.....I dont know who makes the flu vaccine, and all but if its Merck, then it definitely pays to be related to one of the higher ups their.....and I dont know much about the flu, but I figure, I just cant afford to get sick this year, because as I said I missed 2 weeks out of the first nine weeks, nd I had been in school for 4 days, and then had been away for 2 weeks. So I cant miss anymore......
------------------ We're all stars now....
Rock is dead.... Long live paper and scissors
Posts: 32 | From: Oklahoma, United States | Registered: Sep 2004
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Well, the flu season hasnt started yet...it is too early I know that (especially after reading the helpful information from Barbarosa ). And I dont mean to mislead anyone!! I just wanted to make sure what I was feeling wasnt real real close to being flu related! haha So yeah, I'm not feeling much better today, so I think I may make an appointment at my University's health center tomorrow. Sore throat, runny nose, still hurts when I breathe, headaches, dizziness... Not so cool at all!
[This message has been edited by Faeryprinces (edited 09-19-2004).]
seriously, that was something I needed to scream at you.
Last year, we had a shortage of flu vaccine in the States, and lots of people were upset about it, and a lot of people got sick -- some even died! We only had a shortage of flu vaccine because not enough people called their doctors and said, "I want a flu vaccination this season."
Doctors got whatever number of calls and estimated a certain number of people wanted shots, so they placed orders for that many flu shots. In turn, the drug companies only produced enough vaccine to meet that eastimated demand.
So what happens when all other other people figure out, "oh, I need a flu shot!"? There's not enough to go around for them, so they get left out. That could have all bee avoided if they would have made a simple phone call to their doctor.
Lesson learned? Get off your ass and ask for a flu vaccination. Don't get left out!
Well it has happend! The Biotech firm that messed up 1/2 of last years batch of Flu vaccine advised the US that they cannot ship ANY of the 40 million + doses they were contracted for.
BTW, this same company was given the extra contract for the extra doses needed based on last years problems.
The balance of the Flu vaccine is comming from a different company and I think we have some already shipped in, they had no delays.
Because Canada buys from the other company there is no shortage anticipated there. Depending on what kind of epidemic year it is here in the US, it could get ugly.
It takes 6 weeks or longer to make flu vaccine, so it will be very late before any attempt to make up this shortfall could start to pay off with vaccine.
The good news is that the contract to make the avain flu vaccine (REALLY scary stuff) went to a different company.
Londongirl & logic_grrl, I would be interested to know how things are going to be in the UK and GB. The company that is on track and shipping vaccine is a French (dont say it!) biotech firm, the company that British regulators shut down is in Liverpool(actually a US based company)
I am not sure how the UK handles it's flu vaccine orders, but I hope they kept it local, or outsourced it to France.
Some people after getting the flu vaccine experience a couple day long flu, it's fairly common as far as I know (happens to my dad every year, though the one year he didn't get the vaccine he got knocked out for about two or three weeks, and since that decided the couple day run down is a much better trade-off).
And other cold-like viruses can act like the flu, at times, so it's quite possible you've just picked something else up, too.
-------------------- Jean aka dailicious Scarleteen Volunteer Love us? Want to keep us in your lives and hearts? Give what you can! Posts: 3382 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: Mar 2005
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Not really related to Flu, flu, but it's often associated with it.
Is there a vaccination for adults for the virus that causes gastroenteritis (stomach flu)? That illness spread like wildfire last year, and I'd really like to avoid another wishing-for-death bout of it, despite my constant hand-washing/sanitizing.
[ 11-27-2006, 12:48 AM: Message edited by: Miss Lauren ]
Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005
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Stomach flu is caused by norovirus. I actually do norovirus control now (which is not nearly as fun as STD epidemiology, but i digress).
There is no vaccine for norovirus. Like the common cold, norovirus mutates quickly. On the bright side, you only stay sick for 2 or 3 days, although you spend 2 or 3 days wishing for death.
Symptoms of norovirus include: vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, NO FEVER.
You can't take antibiotics to cure it, but medications to relieve symptoms are very effective (Immodium and Compazine).
To avoid norovirus, wash the holy hell out of your hands using hot, soapy water. wash before food prep, and after using the toilet or changing a diaper. And if anyone in your family is sick, sanitize bathrooms and other common spaces with bleach solution (like Clorox cleaning spray). As gross as it sounds, vomit spew and diarrhea splatter can cause the virus to become airborne, and it can spread to other people that way. So bleach the heck outta the bathroom.
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