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  1. #1
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    Sep 2004
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    Flu season, and vaccine, looking worse

    The flu season is getting worse, and U.S. health officials say it's partly because the flu vaccine doesn't protect against most of the spreading flu bugs. The flu shot is a good match for only about 40 percent of this year's flu viruses, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

    The situation has even deteriorated since last week when the CDC said the vaccine was protective against roughly half the circulating strains. In good years, the vaccine can fend off 70 to 90 percent of flu bugs.

    Infections from an unexpected strain have been booming, and now are the main agent behind most of the nation's lab-confirmed flu cases, said Dr. Joe Bresee, the CDC's chief of influenza epidemiology.

    It's too soon to know whether this will prove to be a bad flu season overall, but it's fair to say a lot of people are suffering at the moment. "Every area of the country is experiencing lots of flu right now," Bresee said.

    This week, 44 states reported widespread flu activity, up from 31 last week. The number children who have died from the flu has risen to 10 since the flu season's official Sept. 30 start.

    Those numbers aren't considered alarming. Early February is the time of year when flu cases tend to peak. The 10 pediatric deaths, though tragic, are about the same number as was reported at this time in the last two flu seasons, Bresee said.

    The biggest surprise has been how poorly the vaccine has performed.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080216/...Htr1MpegRa24cA


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    16,021
    That's interesting, DK. I was just thinking that this year - for the first time in my circle - people are dropping like flies from the flu. Friends, family, coworkers - I've just never seen it so bad before. It ot doesn't seem to matter who had a flu shot and who didn't.

    Meanwhile - me, DH and my sons have dodged the bullet thus far.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    5,629
    Well, out here, so far so good. But since I'm not working now I tend to stay at home a lot and not out in places where someone may be infected. I did get the shot when we had a massive community free shot program. I did see something on Colorado TV about how people were getting sick out here from the flu.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    14,796
    I am staying away from people for the most part because I can right now. But, I do know that children are being especially hard hit from friends. Schools and such are experiencing high levels of absentism. It seems staph is a culprit as a secondary infection and this is making it worse. I didn't have the vaccine but my daughter did.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,330
    Both my kids just got their shot yesterday. My daughter actually had a fever last night from the shot, but she's better today.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Ohio
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    My 7 year old granddaughter just missed a whole week of school. At night I was fighting with everything I knew how to bring her fever down. During the day she had small fevers and was very weak. Finally one night her temp got to 104 and I couldn't get it down so we rushed her to the ER. They did absolutely nothing. Said it was a "virus" so they couldn't give any anti biotics.If they don't do tests, how do they know what's a virus and what's actually the flu. I mean, this kid was really sick. Dizziness, nausea, fevers, sneezing, the whole bit. We were there a total of 30 minutes. And that was mostly with the DR. asking stupid questions as he pushed on certain parts of her stomach asking, "Is this french fries here?" "Is this chicken nuggets here?" I came home so mad I could scream.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    413
    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBee View Post
    My 7 year old granddaughter just missed a whole week of school. At night I was fighting with everything I knew how to bring her fever down. During the day she had small fevers and was very weak. Finally one night her temp got to 104 and I couldn't get it down so we rushed her to the ER. They did absolutely nothing. Said it was a "virus" so they couldn't give any anti biotics.If they don't do tests, how do they know what's a virus and what's actually the flu. I mean, this kid was really sick. Dizziness, nausea, fevers, sneezing, the whole bit. We were there a total of 30 minutes. And that was mostly with the DR. asking stupid questions as he pushed on certain parts of her stomach asking, "Is this french fries here?" "Is this chicken nuggets here?" I came home so mad I could scream.
    The flu is a virus. It is never treatable with antibiotics, as it is not bacterial. For fevers with my 3, when the 4 of us all were down for several days at the same time a couple of years ago, kids ibuprofen was the only thing that worked. I would imagine that the only thing an ER can do for flu is get a person on an IV if there is dehydration. I have also found emetrol (i think spelling is right) to work for nausea on the kids. Lastly, I keep a homeopathic on hand -- oscillio "something or other". Believe it or not, if you take it at the first onset of symptoms, it really helps with the symptoms not being so intense.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostlylurking View Post
    The flu is a virus. It is never treatable with antibiotics, as it is not bacterial. For fevers with my 3, when the 4 of us all were down for several days at the same time a couple of years ago, kids ibuprofen was the only thing that worked. I would imagine that the only thing an ER can do for flu is get a person on an IV if there is dehydration. I have also found emetrol (i think spelling is right) to work for nausea on the kids. Lastly, I keep a homeopathic on hand -- oscillio "something or other". Believe it or not, if you take it at the first onset of symptoms, it really helps with the symptoms not being so intense.

    You are correct. Antibiotics do NOTHING for a virus, yet much of the public still demands them when they have viruses. I work in an ER. For kids, the best bet to treat high fevers is alternating acetominaphen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen. We get lots of parents rushing their kids to the ER with a "fever" of 99 or 100!!! Or, the kid will have a higher fever and they will be totally bundled up in layered clothing, with a blanket covering them! In many ways, fever is GOOD because it is a sign that your immune system is working and fighting off the virus.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2003
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    Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by eleven View Post
    You are correct. Antibiotics do NOTHING for a virus, yet much of the public still demands them when they have viruses. I work in an ER. For kids, the best bet to treat high fevers is alternating acetominaphen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen. We get lots of parents rushing their kids to the ER with a "fever" of 99 or 100!!! Or, the kid will have a higher fever and they will be totally bundled up in layered clothing, with a blanket covering them! In many ways, fever is GOOD because it is a sign that your immune system is working and fighting off the virus.
    That's what I do. I alternate Motrin and Tylenol. The funny thing with us was we rushed to the hospital when her fever was 104 and by the time we got there it was 98.6. We looked like fools. I told my husband the next time it happened we'd just take her for a 10 minute ride and her fever will come right down.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2005
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    Thank goodness a couple of people have now shouted out about antibiotics being useless for any virus, because i was reading through the thread open mouthed some thought antibiotics were the answer.


  11. #11
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBee View Post
    That's what I do. I alternate Motrin and Tylenol. The funny thing with us was we rushed to the hospital when her fever was 104 and by the time we got there it was 98.6. We looked like fools. I told my husband the next time it happened we'd just take her for a 10 minute ride and her fever will come right down.
    Good to know you were able to help her.

  12. #12
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    Aug 2003
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    7,766
    I have 2 adult friends who've had the flu and they've been out of work and in the bed for over 8 days. They're very sick. This flu strain is relentless. Heard about this today.
    Local tv stations report the child was 12.

    From my town:
    http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-no...0,320625.story

    SNIP
    A Peninsula child has apparently died of the flu, the Peninsula Heath Department confirmed this morning.

    "We have a report of a death of a child under the age of 18, possibly from influenza-related illness," said Dr. David Trump, director of the Peninsula Health Department. "Obviously, it's tragic any time a child dies."

  13. #13
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    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central PA
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    1,951
    There's a weird version of the flu here. In addition to the usual symptoms people's jaws are swelling. Many are going to the doctor/ER when they wouldn't normally with the flu because that symptom in particular is an odd one. Most are sick for a week or so. The doctors here are proclaiming it the flu.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Texas
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    4,043

    Anti-viral medications work against flu and are generally safe if taken early enough

    There are some good websites with checklists you can print out in advance to determine if you have the beginnings of a cold or the flu.
    I know that WebMD has one and that Tamiflu has one too.

    Basically, to summarize what they ask- if you get sudden onset of chills, generalized body aches and a fever above 101 in a matter of an hour or so, you probably have the onset of flu.

    A cold, a sinusitis, bronchitis, even pneumonia usually develops more slowly.

    The reason this is important is because there are anti-viral oral prescription medications for adults which, if taken anywhere between 12 hours and 48 hours of the initial symptoms of the onset of Influenza, should either lessen the episode to very short and minor, or halt its development all together.
    There are several drugs available and some are deemed safe for children. The one we have in our household, Tamiflu, is possibly not extremely safe for young children. There was some controversy about giving it to children last fall. You will need to go to your doctor and your children's pediatrition and get the prescriptions filled and have the medications in your house, ready to use. Once the flu hits, it's almost too late to rush out and get the medication with the short time window to start taking the anti-viral medications.

    This year's flu vaccine has been determined to provide protection of 50%. The usual flu season has a vaccine coverage rate of 70%-80%.
    IOW, they predicted the Influenza type A and Influenza type B combinations halfway right last spring and summer when the season's flu vaccine was made.
    It's always has to be a guess for the epidemiologists, because the vaccine has to be ready to be given before flu season hits. Sometimes different strains of flu hit the general population than were predicted by using the former year's strains as a guideline.

    Hoping for good health for all.

    Maria

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    4,397
    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBee View Post
    My 7 year old granddaughter just missed a whole week of school. At night I was fighting with everything I knew how to bring her fever down. During the day she had small fevers and was very weak. Finally one night her temp got to 104 and I couldn't get it down so we rushed her to the ER. They did absolutely nothing. Said it was a "virus" so they couldn't give any anti biotics.If they don't do tests, how do they know what's a virus and what's actually the flu. I mean, this kid was really sick. Dizziness, nausea, fevers, sneezing, the whole bit. We were there a total of 30 minutes. And that was mostly with the DR. asking stupid questions as he pushed on certain parts of her stomach asking, "Is this french fries here?" "Is this chicken nuggets here?" I came home so mad I could scream.
    Please, take your granddaughter back to the doctor and insist he/she check for everything. I will never forget the time my son was about 7 and his fever would spike up to 104 and by the time I got him to the doctor he would be "normal" again. I looked the doctor in the eye and said, "You know me... I am not one of those mothers who panic at every little thing wrong with my children. If I come here it's because there IS something wrong... please, check him over for me..." Doctor decided to do x-rays and found my son had walking pneumonia - the he was treated properly for it. If you GD has a fever, giving her asprin (like substances) is only masking the symptom, it's not helping cure it.

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