Flu season, and vaccine, looking worse

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Dark Knight, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    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...n&printer=1;_ylt=AhX2mRKXPWdXXHHtr1MpegRa24cA
     
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  3. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    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.
     
  4. BarnGoddess

    BarnGoddess Former Member

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    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.
     
  5. concernedperson

    concernedperson Former Member

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    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.
     
  6. gardenmom

    gardenmom Former Member

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    Both my kids just got their shot yesterday. My daughter actually had a fever last night from the shot, but she's better today.
     
  7. BeeBee

    BeeBee Retired WS Staff

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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.
     
  8. mostlylurking

    mostlylurking New Member

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    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.
     
  9. eleven

    eleven New Member

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    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.
     
  10. BeeBee

    BeeBee Retired WS Staff

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    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.:)
     
  11. Floh

    Floh Former Member

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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. :eek:
     
  12. Floh

    Floh Former Member

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    Good to know you were able to help her. :)
     
  13. philamena

    philamena Former Member

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    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-now-fludeath.f12,0,320625.story

    SNIP
     
  14. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    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.
     
  15. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana Active Member

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    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
     
  16. MagicRose99

    MagicRose99 Watch out for my thorns!

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    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.
     
  17. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    Tamiflu is an anti viral and is very effective if taken within the first 48 hours, or so. At least for adults.
     
  18. englishleigh

    englishleigh Authentic Southern Belle

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    The flu has been bad here as well...I even work in a hospital, but our family has managed to stay well so far. I make everyone wash their hands all the time, and that has seemed to help. Of course this is the year none of us got flu shots...:rolleyes:
     
  19. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana Active Member

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    More info can be found about flu and Tamiflu in my post, 3 up from this one. :)
     
  20. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    It's been going around here too. I've heard of people being very sick. Evidently there are 3 strains that the CDC didn't think would be coming around that ARE coming around. NOrmally the shot covers 70-80% of flu strains; this year it covers only 40%.

    Great!! Kind of like the year they didn't make enough shots. Yes it can be very hard on children; I remember when my son was so sick with the flu, I was pretty scared. WE had not gotten the shots that year, but started getting them every year after that.
     
  21. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    I know. This is the first year in about 10 years that I didn't get one. Too many other things on my mind. I hope I don't catch it! :(
     

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