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H1N1 is the flu.

 

H1N1 is simply part of a strand of the flu. Every year there are different strands. That is why every year we must get a different flu shot.

 

If this strand was caught in time, the "H1N1" would have been included in the flu shot. We would not even know of "swine flu".

 

My son got the flu...""H1N1". I am high risk because I have rheumatoid arthritis. My immune system is suppressed.

 

He wasn't treated. There are no antibiotics for the flu. I was treated with Tamiflu. That helps me in case I do come down with symptoms...since my immune system is weakened. We are all happy and healthy!

 

The 'Swine Flu" is just another strand of the flu. H1N1 is just another immunization to help us. Take it or not. This is actually my 1st year taking the regular flu shot.

 

These are the facts. People die every year from the flu. The H1N1 strand of the flu will also take lives. No more than the regular flu.

 

Please don't let the media, the government, or your neighbor frighten you. If you have a fever, catch a cough, or feel weak...certainly go to the doctor. If you have the flu (swine or other) chances are you will be fine in a week.

 

I'm sharing because many will catch a cold this winter and I don't want anyone to think the worst.

 

This is not a state of emergency. (However I do understand why it was declared.)

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This is exactly what my pediatrician said today. As a matter of fact, he said that even though MORE people have been sick(mainly kids), that more people have died in previous years then from this "strain" and he also said, that next year you will have a different strain. Hence, different flu shots. My daughter had been pretty sick, but that is what the flu does.

 

H1N1 is just the flu. Plain and simple.

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Well, yes, it's the flu. So was the 1918 pandemic. If you go to the CDC site, there are several graphs that explain the hospitalization and death rate of this flu compared to the seasonal flu. it's alarming how many children compared to the rest of the population have died thus far.

 

Yes, it's the flu, but a strain that is particularly harmful to children.

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I appreciate you comments and yes, 90% of the people who get swine flu will have cases just like yours...it will be a rough week and they will get better. 10% however, are ending up in hospitals, and of the total population, another percentage (that is yet to be determined) is dying. No one knows WHY one child will become terribly sick over another child who caught the same virus...even if neither have underlying conditions. That is the part that scares me a bit. I look at my kids and know that I couldn't not bear to lose them if they happened to be in that minute percentage who will die from this year's flu. :( I want to NOT be afraid, but I am.

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H1N1 is the flu.

 

H1N1 is simply part of a strand of the flu. Every year there are different strands. That is why every year we must get a different flu shot.

 

If this strand was caught in time, the "H1N1" would have been included in the flu shot. We would not even know of "swine flu".

 

My son got the flu...""H1N1". I am high risk because I have rheumatoid arthritis. My immune system is suppressed.

 

He wasn't treated. There are no antibiotics for the flu. I was treated with Tamiflu. That helps me in case I do come down with symptoms...since my immune system is weakened. We are all happy and healthy!

 

The 'Swine Flu" is just another strand of the flu. H1N1 is just another immunization to help us. Take it or not. This is actually my 1st year taking the regular flu shot.

 

These are the facts. People die every year from the flu. The H1N1 strand of the flu will also take lives. No more than the regular flu.

 

Please don't let the media, the government, or your neighbor frighten you. If you have a fever, catch a cough, or feel weak...certainly go to the doctor. If you have the flu (swine or other) chances are you will be fine in a week.

 

I'm sharing because many will catch a cold this winter and I don't want anyone to think the worst.

 

This is not a state of emergency. (However I do understand why it was declared.)

 

I vented something similar to this to a friend today. I'm really frustrated with people who assume they have the flu because they have a fever of 102. My children and I cannot be the only people who get sick twice a year with fevers of 102-103 every year. And I would say it hasn't been the flu. Usually a cold, strep, ear infections, sinus infections, upper respitory, etc... I did have influenza a (tested positive) in college and was sure I was going to die. It was the worst illness I have ever had.

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10% however, are ending up in hospitals, and of the total population, another percentage (that is yet to be determined) is dying.

 

I admittedly have been avoiding reading much of the news about this. Can you give me a link to support this claim of 10% being hospitalized.

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I admittedly have been avoiding reading much of the news about this. Can you give me a link to support this claim of 10% being hospitalized.

 

I got this from the reports that, "for 90% of the population, this will be a mild illness" - perhaps that was incorrect. I should change my wording because I do not have a source to cite right this second. I will browse some of the places I read most often tonight and see if I do see anything to back it up.

 

If anyone else happens to have one or know that my numbers are incorrect, please correct me. :) Thanks!

 

This article says that 1/25 of people who had swine flu had to be hospitalized and of that 1/25, 7% died. Also, it says that 3/4 of the people who were hospitalized with swine flu (at that time, no reports for CURRENT data) had underlying conditions. That means 1/4 did not. The study was done with 272 people who were hospitalized this summer. So, out of 272 people, 68 were previously healthy without underlying conditions. ALso, of the 272, 19 of them died. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gDGKqIBKibLL1bbMasjsDRKvd7gAD9B78RH80

Edited by Tree House Academy
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I appreciate you comments and yes, 90% of the people who get swine flu will have cases just like yours...it will be a rough week and they will get better. 10% however, are ending up in hospitals, and of the total population, another percentage (that is yet to be determined) is dying. No one knows WHY one child will become terribly sick over another child who caught the same virus...even if neither have underlying conditions. That is the part that scares me a bit. I look at my kids and know that I couldn't not bear to lose them if they happened to be in that minute percentage who will die from this year's flu. :( I want to NOT be afraid, but I am.

 

__________________

 

I think the media scares me more. Actually, that is why I could not even turn the news on or even listen to it anymore. I was in such a state of panic(HA kicking in). I just cannot put my trust in the CDC and their numbers. Especially after someone here posted that link to the story on CBS. Was I/am I worried sick about my daughter? Yes. More then the last time she had the flu? No. But I have stayed away from the news, and know that every child is different, and every person is different. And a few of my anxiety pills has helped as well:D I just pray that this thing doesn't take a strange twist, and put out yet another strain. And one that cannot be recovered from at all. To anyone it effects. THAT scares me.

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I appreciate you comments and yes, 90% of the people who get swine flu will have cases just like yours...it will be a rough week and they will get better. 10% however, are ending up in hospitals, and of the total population, another percentage (that is yet to be determined) is dying. No one knows WHY one child will become terribly sick over another child who caught the same virus...even if neither have underlying conditions. That is the part that scares me a bit. I look at my kids and know that I couldn't not bear to lose them if they happened to be in that minute percentage who will die from this year's flu. :( I want to NOT be afraid, but I am.

 

:iagree: My doctor made a housecall for my dd who was severely sick with h1n1 last Thursday, and I nearly went to the hospital myself with asthma complications on Saturday evening from h1n1. It is true that for the majority of the population there is not much to worry about, but those of us who it DOES affect more severely are worried about "the flu".

Edited by babysparkler
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This Washington Post article that we discussed in another thread states that reports suggest 1% of all cases require hospitalization. Of that 1%, an estimated 12-30% require intensive care, and of those in the intensive care, 15-40% die.

 

I'm not great at math, so I'm not even going to try to figure out what total percentage of cases are causing death, but even I can tell that it is pretty low - especially compared with something like smallpox which killed 30-35% of those infected or the more recent estimated 10-20% death rate of the 1918 flu pandemic. Of course, the loss of any life is always tragic.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/16/AR2009101601384.html

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Here is a link to the Centers for Disease Control.

 

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/general_info.htm

 

 

And information on the 1918 pandemic, which was also h1n1.

 

www.fas.org/resource/10062005170217.pdf

 

Research shows people in 1918 caught and died from that pandemic in 1 day. This is not the case here. Further research shows people born before 1960 have an immunity. The same immunity my son has since he has been exposed. A vaccine the opportunity for your immune system to have exposure to the infection and build up immunity.

 

I'm just saying there is no need to be fearful. Be informed. When I was diagnosed with RA I had to learn about my diagnosis. Those with the same diagnosis decades ago were crippled and died. With knowledge and today's medicine, I am not that statistic!

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But, we're still in the very early stages of this flu season.

My friend w/lupus nearly died w/H1N1 and is still in critical care. She gets hit pretty hard every year w/the flu, but this time was much worse. Never in our area can I remember a child being reported of dying w/the flu. Two have already been reported and one pregnant mom. I'm trying to remain sane, but these 3 deaths are not being made up by the media. There maybe overexposure of the topic on the news, but I don't watch it, so I'm a bit less aware of the hype.

 

Laura

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I agree with everything stated except this (the no more part):

 

The regular flu takes lives every year. The H1N1 hasn't presented itself as such a threat in decades. That's why I said H1N1 takes "no more". Year over year...I think you might agree.

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H1N1 is the flu.

 

H1N1 is simply part of a strand of the flu. Every year there are different strands. That is why every year we must get a different flu shot.

 

If this strand was caught in time, the "H1N1" would have been included in the flu shot. We would not even know of "swine flu".

 

From a biological and epidemiological perspective, this isn't true at all. The regular yearly seasonal flu changes gradually, in a mechanism known as antigenic drift. Mutations accumulate, and over time, your body doesn't recognize the strain anymore.

 

The current H1N1 isn't a result of antigenic drift. Instead, it's an example of antigenic shift, meaning it's a very different strain than what was circulating before.

 

Definition of a pandemic:

Pandemic Influenza definition and the World Health Organization (WHO) pandemic phases:

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. A flu pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity and for which there is no vaccine. The disease spreads easily person-to-person, causes serious illness, and can sweep across the country and around the world in very short time.
Generally, pandemics occur when a virus jumps the species barrier, usually from birds or pigs.

 

We've had 3 previous pandemics in the last hundred years. They don't necessarily have to be severe, but they are usually worse than seasonal flu because no one has any immunity.

 

 

Whoever told you this does not understand the nature of influenza.

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I'm sorry, I really have to disagree. Let's look at the deaths OK? Deaths mean they are definitely confirmed.

 

• During the 2004-05 Season, 47 deaths in children were reported to CDC.

• During the 2005-06 Season, 46 deaths in children were reported to CDC. This is nation wide.

 

So far in just my state, Florida, this flu has killed 132 people, of those 20 have been children (scroll to the bottom for deaths in the state and ages). The report is from October 20, so I'm sure it's grown.

 

If you are so aware of flu in this country, I'm sure you are aware that Southern states, including Florida do not get their "flu season" until late January or early February. Unlike the Northern states that often start flu season as soon as the weather cools down. When we lived in MI flu shots came out with the pumpkins, down here in FL flu shots are usually out in with Turkeys or more likely, with the Christmas trees.

 

You don't have to be concerned with this flu and that is fine with me. But your post makes it sound as if I'm being silly for my concern. Well, since my State has had 1/2 the number of child deaths as the whole Country did in 2004 and 2005 and the fact that we are not even close to flu season yet. Yeah, I'm a little concerned. Yeah, I want all the information I can get about it.

 

Am I barricading my doors and keeping my kids isolated? NO, we participate in two different co-ops, play outside with the public school neighbor kids daily, go out to eat, and shopped at the mall this past weekend. But have we done better washing our hands this year? Yes. I also talked to my neighbor and asked for a head's up when her kids get vaxed (she really doesn't want them to, but hasn't decided yet). Why? Because if they get the mist my kids will play with hers outside only, where the chance of shedding and catching it is less (at least in my mind it is).

 

I advise you to simply skip any more posts on this board that mention "swine flu" "h1n1" or anything else that might possibly be about this "simple flu" since obviously you don't need any of the information in them. As for me, I would like to thank my fellow boardies in asking all the question I don't think of and helping my family and I get all the information we can. Let's keep on talking about it!

Thanks

Melissa

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And this was the information given on the Today show this morning. ;)

Are you saying that on the Today show they said this?

 

If this strand was caught in time, the "H1N1" would have been included in the flu shot. We would not even know of "swine flu".

 

NO ONE who studies flu would ever claim this.

Edited by Perry
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I'm sorry, I really have to disagree. Let's look at the deaths OK? Deaths mean they are definitely confirmed.

 

• During the 2004-05 Season, 47 deaths in children were reported to CDC.

• During the 2005-06 Season, 46 deaths in children were reported to CDC. This is nation wide.

 

 

 

 

Lets be fair, it is early in the season, but following the link you provided you can see that the numbers were up to 68 pediatric deaths in the 2006-2007 Season and 83 pediatric deaths for the 2007-2008 Season.

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I'm sorry, I really have to disagree. Let's look at the deaths OK? Deaths mean they are definitely confirmed.

 

• During the 2004-05 Season, 47 deaths in children were reported to CDC.

• During the 2005-06 Season, 46 deaths in children were reported to CDC. This is nation wide.

 

So far in just my state, Florida, this flu has killed 132 people, of those 20 have been children (scroll to the bottom for deaths in the state and ages). The report is from October 20, so I'm sure it's grown.

 

If you are so aware of flu in this country, I'm sure you are aware that Southern states, including Florida do not get their "flu season" until late January or early February. Unlike the Northern states that often start flu season as soon as the weather cools down. When we lived in MI flu shots came out with the pumpkins, down here in FL flu shots are usually out in with Turkeys or more likely, with the Christmas trees.

 

You don't have to be concerned with this flu and that is fine with me. But your post makes it sound as if I'm being silly for my concern. Well, since my State has had 1/2 the number of child deaths as the whole Country did in 2004 and 2005 and the fact that we are not even close to flu season yet. Yeah, I'm a little concerned. Yeah, I want all the information I can get about it.

 

Am I barricading my doors and keeping my kids isolated? NO, we participate in two different co-ops, play outside with the public school neighbor kids daily, go out to eat, and shopped at the mall this past weekend. But have we done better washing our hands this year? Yes. I also talked to my neighbor and asked for a head's up when her kids get vaxed (she really doesn't want them to, but hasn't decided yet). Why? Because if they get the mist my kids will play with hers outside only, where the chance of shedding and catching it is less (at least in my mind it is).

 

I advise you to simply skip any more posts on this board that mention "swine flu" "h1n1" or anything else that might possibly be about this "simple flu" since obviously you don't need any of the information in them. As for me, I would like to thank my fellow boardies in asking all the question I don't think of and helping my family and I get all the information we can. Let's keep on talking about it!

Thanks

Melissa

 

I want to make two points...just to make folks aware.

 

1. The deaths that are reported in FL (and everywhere else) have been collected since April, so the total is not all for this flu season...though they are all for this one strain. It is really confusing and I think it is one more example of piss poor reporting.

 

2. They all like to go back to the past 2 or 3 years of flu and compare numbers. However, when my son had flu in 2003, there were so many kids dying of that strain (Fujan H3N2), that they actually put the pediatric death reporting into place because of it. The official report was 153 kids that died that year. In all reality, the number is MUCH higher. It was another strain that was really hitting kids hard. :( It just doensn't seem to meet the agenda though for "them" (media? CDC? whoever) to really mention that year. For me, someone who had a child get VERY sick from flu...someone who had to watch the news everyday and see another child dying of what my child had, that year is forever ingrained in my memory.

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On average, 36,000 people die yearly from seasonal flu. So we've still got a long way to go before H1N1 even approaches seasonal flu in death rate (although I fully understand traditional flu season is just starting). I don't know what part of the Website they were citing, but my workplace distributed CDC info telling us to not freak out, as while H1N1 seems to be easier to catch (like all the kids getting it), it also appears to usually be milder than seasonal flu.

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I'm sorry, I really have to disagree. Let's look at the deaths OK? Deaths mean they are definitely confirmed.

 

• During the 2004-05 Season, 47 deaths in children were reported to CDC.

• During the 2005-06 Season, 46 deaths in children were reported to CDC. This is nation wide.

 

So far in just my state, Florida, this flu has killed 132 people, of those 20 have been children (scroll to the bottom for deaths in the state and ages). The report is from October 20, so I'm sure it's grown.

 

If you are so aware of flu in this country, I'm sure you are aware that Southern states, including Florida do not get their "flu season" until late January or early February. Unlike the Northern states that often start flu season as soon as the weather cools down. When we lived in MI flu shots came out with the pumpkins, down here in FL flu shots are usually out in with Turkeys or more likely, with the Christmas trees.

 

You don't have to be concerned with this flu and that is fine with me. But your post makes it sound as if I'm being silly for my concern. Well, since my State has had 1/2 the number of child deaths as the whole Country did in 2004 and 2005 and the fact that we are not even close to flu season yet. Yeah, I'm a little concerned. Yeah, I want all the information I can get about it.

 

Am I barricading my doors and keeping my kids isolated? NO, we participate in two different co-ops, play outside with the public school neighbor kids daily, go out to eat, and shopped at the mall this past weekend. But have we done better washing our hands this year? Yes. I also talked to my neighbor and asked for a head's up when her kids get vaxed (she really doesn't want them to, but hasn't decided yet). Why? Because if they get the mist my kids will play with hers outside only, where the chance of shedding and catching it is less (at least in my mind it is).

 

I advise you to simply skip any more posts on this board that mention "swine flu" "h1n1" or anything else that might possibly be about this "simple flu" since obviously you don't need any of the information in them. As for me, I would like to thank my fellow boardies in asking all the question I don't think of and helping my family and I get all the information we can. Let's keep on talking about it!

Thanks

Melissa

 

Hi Melissa. I actually live in Florida. My child had survived the "swine flu". I never said anyone was being silly for being concerned. I simply think information is key. I was just sharing what I know first hand.

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Lets be fair, it is early in the season, but following the link you provided you can see that the numbers were up to 68 pediatric deaths in the 2006-2007 Season and 83 pediatric deaths for the 2007-2008 Season.

 

And the Country is already at 100 children for the swine flu. Granted that includes the numbers from April till now, but usually we wouldn't even be in the "flu season" yet. It is not a "simple flu" which is my point.

Melissa

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Are you saying that on the Today show they said this?

 

 

 

NO ONE who studies flu would ever claim this.

 

 

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/ Dr. Nancy at about 3 minutes and 30 seconds in to the episode.

 

 

 

See clarification in following posts please.

Edited by melmichigan
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I want to make two points...just to make folks aware.

 

1. The deaths that are reported in FL (and everywhere else) have been collected since April, so the total is not all for this flu season...though they are all for this one strain. It is really confusing and I think it is one more example of piss poor reporting.

 

2. They all like to go back to the past 2 or 3 years of flu and compare numbers. However, when my son had flu in 2003, there were so many kids dying of that strain (Fujan H3N2), that they actually put the pediatric death reporting into place because of it. The official report was 153 kids that died that year. In all reality, the number is MUCH higher. It was another strain that was really hitting kids hard. :( It just doensn't seem to meet the agenda though for "them" (media? CDC? whoever) to really mention that year. For me, someone who had a child get VERY sick from flu...someone who had to watch the news everyday and see another child dying of what my child had, that year is forever ingrained in my memory.

__________________

 

 

 

:iagree:

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I agree the way they are putting together numbers is very very poor and doesn't give an honest and accurate picture.

 

I also want to comment about the comparison between now and 1918. The CDC and WHO have already tested and found the gene lacking that made that H1N1 so deadly. Let's pray it stays that way.

Edited by melmichigan
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From a biological and epidemiological perspective, this isn't true at all. The regular yearly seasonal flu changes gradually, in a mechanism known as antigenic drift. Mutations accumulate, and over time, your body doesn't recognize the strain anymore.

 

The current H1N1 isn't a result of antigenic drift. Instead, it's an example of antigenic shift, meaning it's a very different strain than what was circulating before.

 

Definition of a pandemic:

Pandemic Influenza definition and the World Health Organization (WHO) pandemic phases:

Generally, pandemics occur when a virus jumps the species barrier, usually from birds or pigs.

 

We've had 3 previous pandemics in the last hundred years. They don't necessarily have to be severe, but they are usually worse than seasonal flu because no one has any immunity.

 

 

Whoever told you this does not understand the nature of influenza.

 

I LOVE science. Learning. Hard facts. Thanks.

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From a biological and epidemiological perspective, this isn't true at all. The regular yearly seasonal flu changes gradually, in a mechanism known as antigenic drift. Mutations accumulate, and over time, your body doesn't recognize the strain anymore.

 

The current H1N1 isn't a result of antigenic drift. Instead, it's an example of antigenic shift, meaning it's a very different strain than what was circulating before.

 

Okay, so why are more children dying? Is this flu more severe, or are more people getting it in general, so therefore more will die? Why is it hitting children so much harder? What do we do about it? If all this H1N1 stuff makes sense to you, don't keep your knowledge to yourself, and help the rest of us out! :D

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http://today.msnbc.msn.com/ Dr. Nancy at about 3 minutes and 30 seconds in to the episode. ;) Don't you love the media.

Ah. Okay.

 

Yes, she's right that it would have been a normal component of the flu shot. No disagreement there.

 

That is a far cry from

We would not even know of "swine flu".
, which is what I was disagreeing with. This is a major, historic event in medicine and epidemiology. Even if no one died from this flu, even if it caused a minor illness in everyone, it would still be making headlines, just for the sheer novelty, and relative rarity, of it. It jumped from pigs into humans, and caused a global pandemic, something that happens on average every 30 years! And it's the first time, ever, that we've been able to witness and monitor the progression of a pandemic.

 

It is MAJOR news to anyone with an interest in public health, biology, or medicine. Maybe not everyone has an academic interest in it, but there are enough people that are interested to make it huge news.

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I advise you to simply skip any more posts on this board that mention "swine flu" "h1n1" or anything else that might possibly be about this "simple flu" since obviously you don't need any of the information in them.

 

 

 

For the record...I never said "simple flu".

 

And I would like to add that I get lots of information and support from the folks on this site. I am shocked that sharing my experience and information (which is why we are all here) has prompted you to tell me to "skip any more posts on this board that mention Swine flu"...since I am the one that started this post.

 

Respectfully disagree. Share your story. But stop short of telling me...or anyone here...what to do.

 

We all have the same goal in mind here. We all want happy, healthy, educated kids. Keep that in mind when you post to someone.

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The current H1N1 isn't a result of antigenic drift. Instead, it's an example of antigenic shift, meaning it's a very different strain than what was circulating before.

 

 

Ok, then now I don't agree with the "just a strain" and "no more deaths than the regular flu" part either. I was not aware it originated by jumping species. If this is the case, then Minnesota pigs and Canadian turkeys catching H1N1 ought to be a major concern.

 

I knew about the 2003-04 ped #s, and I am still impressed by the deadliness of H1N1.

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Has anyone seen any more lab results? I have only seen the original 32 on the CDC site mentioning the complicating strain of bacteria that was present in some of the children who died of this flu.

 

A few of the doctors here were discussing secondary infections that seem to come on sooner in some children with this flu. These then go unnoticed by parents who aren't looking for complications and aren't necessarily trained to recognize symptoms. Since docs don't say, and follow up in 3 days, they aren't being caught as quickly by doctors either.

 

 

 

 

Perry, thank you for making me go back and watch the Today show segment again.

Edited by melmichigan
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Perry, what would be your advice for those of us who are on the fence, whether to get our children vaccinated? I find myself waffling back in forth, leaning mainly toward not getting the vaccine.

Would you consider it 'safe'? Or not enough information to determine that in the long haul?

 

What about us high risk/immune suppressed folks (diabetes here)? What would be the best course of action for us, in your opinion?

 

Thank you

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Okay, so why are more children dying? Is this flu more severe, or are more people getting it in general, so therefore more will die? Why is it hitting children so much harder? What do we do about it? If all this H1N1 stuff makes sense to you, don't keep your knowledge to yourself, and help the rest of us out! :D

I would not say that this flu is more severe. For most people, it is milder than the usual flu. More people will get it this year than get seasonal flu, because so few of us have immunity. Some people, and certain risk groups, are having unusually severe illness, but the reasons aren't clear. It's true that since more people are infected, more will die, but that probably doesn't explain all of it. There is a difference in the pattern of who is dying.

 

Comparing numbers from year to year really isn't meaningful, unless you take into consideration the age distribution. Here is a pie chart breaking deaths down by age group.

 

 

 

qa_deaths.gif

 

Unfortunately, I can't find a pie chart for previous years, but 80-90% of deaths in a typical year are in those over 65, and the bulk of the rest in those 0-4. There would be only a small slice for those between 5 and 64.

 

 

This is what worried people in the beginning, because it seemed to be following the same pattern as the 1918 flu. As things are playing out, this flu has a much lower case fatality rate than 1918. But no one could possibly have known that when this started last spring.

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Ok, then now I don't agree with the "just a strain" and "no more deaths than the regular flu" part either. I was not aware it originated by jumping species. If this is the case, then Minnesota pigs and Canadian turkeys catching H1N1 ought to be a major concern.

 

I knew about the 2003-04 ped #s, and I am still impressed by the deadliness of H1N1.

 

All influenza originates in wild waterfowl, which are the reservoir for all known flu viruses. Other animals catch influenza (whales, seals, pigs, horses, dogs, raccoons, etc.) but it all seems to originate in birds. In birds, it's in "evolutionary stasis", meaning it doesn't make them sick, the virus just coexists peacefully. But when it's picked up by other animals, it causes disease.

 

People don't usually get the flu directly from birds, but it occasionally happens. Even when humans are infected with avian flu, it doesn't spread from person to person very well. Pigs are considered a mixing vessel, because they have receptors for both human and bird influenza strains. So the fear is that a pig will be infected with both a human strain and a bird strain at the same time and the viruses exchange genes. When that happens, you have a reassortant virus (which is exactly what the novel H1N1 virus is) which now has the bird or swine genes that can make people really sick, and the human gene that allows the virus to spread easily between people. Luckily, this virus doesn't seem to have the lethal gene that the 1918 strain did.

 

Here's an article by Robert Webster, who did a lot of the pioneering work on the zoonotic nature of influenza.

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For the record...I never said "simple flu".

 

And I would like to add that I get lots of information and support from the folks on this site. I am shocked that sharing my experience and information (which is why we are all here) has prompted you to tell me to "skip any more posts on this board that mention Swine flu"...since I am the one that started this post.

 

Respectfully disagree. Share your story. But stop short of telling me...or anyone here...what to do.

 

We all have the same goal in mind here. We all want happy, healthy, educated kids. Keep that in mind when you post to someone.

 

I do owe you an apology, I'm sorry. I overreacted to your post. Now that I've gone back and reread it I realize you were not dismissing this flu but rather letting us know your experience with it.

 

I know several people in real life that have already had it also. They have said it knocked them out for a week and then they recovered and are fine. That was just like my experience last time dh and I got the flu (almost 8 years ago).

 

I've just read of people totally dismissing this as just another flu and for most it is. But for so many others it's not. There are more people getting this flu and from what I have read more people with no underlying conditions are having serious problems fighting off this flu. I just don't think it can be dismissed as the typical flu that comes around every year.

 

I was out of line though with my first response to you. I'm sorry.

Melissa

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With all respect to you, I would disagree. :)

 

Also with respect to you, the OP... I do not agree with your original thought of comparing the H1N1 (a novel virus that has not been in the public population) to flu viruses that are normally tracked by the CDC for annual vaccination. You have the right to your opinion. But I strongly disagree.

 

QUOTE:

There are three main types of influenza viruses: A, B, and C. Influenza C causes only mild disease and has not been associated with widespread outbreaks. Influenza types A and B, however, cause epidemics nearly every year. Influenza A viruses are divided into subtypes, based on differences in two surface proteins: hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). Influenza B viruses are not divided into subtypes. During an influenza flu season, usually one or more influenza A subtype and B viruses circulate at the same time.

 

A pandemic is possible when an influenza A virus makes a dramatic change (i.e., "shift") and acquires a new H or H+N. This shift results in a new or "novel" virus to which the general population has no immunity. The appearance of a novel virus is the first step toward a pandemic. However, the novel influenza A virus also must spread easily from person to person (and cause serious disease) for a pandemic to occur. Influenza B viruses do not undergo shift and do not cause influenza pandemics.

 

The reservoir for Type A influenza viruses is wild birds, but influenza A viruses also infect animals such as pigs and horses, as well as people. The last two pandemic viruses were combinations of bird and human influenza viruses. Many persons believe that these new viruses emerged when an intermediate host, such as a pig, was infected by both human and bird influenza A viruses at the same time. A new virus was created. Events in Hong Kong in 1997, however, showed that this is not the only way that humans can become infected with a novel virus. Sometimes, an avian influenza virus can "jump the species barrier" and move directly from chickens to humans and cause disease.

 

Since, by definition, a novel virus is a virus that has never previously infected humans, or hasn't infected humans for a long time, it's likely that almost no one will have immunity, or antibody to protect them against the novel virus. Therefore, anyone exposed to the virus--young or old, healthy or weak--could become infected and get sick. If the novel virus is related to a virus that circulated long ago, older people might have some level of immunity. It is possible that the novel virus may be especially dangerous to some age groups that are not usually at risk of severe illness or death from annual influenza (such as healthy young adults). Such widespread vulnerability makes a pandemic possible and allows it to have potentially devastating impact.

 

 

Source cited: http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/pandemics/flu2.htm

Edited by tex-mex
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Perry, what would be your advice for those of us who are on the fence, whether to get our children vaccinated? I find myself waffling back in forth, leaning mainly toward not getting the vaccine.

Would you consider it 'safe'? Or not enough information to determine that in the long haul?

 

What about us high risk/immune suppressed folks (diabetes here)? What would be the best course of action for us, in your opinion?

 

Thank you

 

:iagree:

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I am wondering, since my 16 yo has the flu, her pediatrician told me that she was contagious 3 days prior to onset of symptoms. And 7 days forward.

 

But then he said that if we were going to get it, would happen this week. My daughter has been sick since Thursday, and PTL no one else has come down with it "yet". But I am expecting to since we have all been around her.

 

Is it inevitable then that we will all get it? I have an 11 yo and my 19 yo, hubby and me.

 

Oh, and when I asked about the Flu shot, he did say that many have recieved it and are still coming down with the Flu.

 

And what about this Tamiflu stuff? If I start getting sypmtoms, should I call my Dr and get it, or ride it out? I have not heard to many good thing about Tamiflu either. And since I am a smoker, and hubby too(please no lectures), I worry about my lung condition, like my daughter and her asthma. I have already been exposed, like the whole house has so not sure if there is anyway to stop it now.

 

What do you think?

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Perry, what would be your advice for those of us who are on the fence, whether to get our children vaccinated? I find myself waffling back in forth, leaning mainly toward not getting the vaccine.

Would you consider it 'safe'? Or not enough information to determine that in the long haul?

 

What about us high risk/immune suppressed folks (diabetes here)? What would be the best course of action for us, in your opinion?

 

Thank you

I consider it safe enough for my family, and we'll get it as soon as it's available. There are some risks, but I believe the risks of the flu are far greater than the risk of the vaccine. Except for the strain change, this vaccine is prepared exactly the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine they've been manufacturing for years. Since this strain is quite a bit different than the seasonal flu, there was a theoretical risk that it could cause unforeseen side effects, but that didn't show up in any of the safety trials, so I'm comfortable with it.

 

 

OTOH, the risk of dying from the flu is very, very small, especially if you have no risk factors. So if you decide not to vaccinate, you're likely to be fine. I personally am not willing to take even that small risk when I believe the vaccine to be extremely safe.

 

If I had risk factors, I would be much more inclined to have the vaccine, because the benefit-risk ratio is even higher.

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