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Are some people naturally immune to some viruses?


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I have never had the flu.and I have never had the flu vaccine.  Same with my son until he turned 18 and got the vaccine.  He had an adverse reaction to the the vaccine.  But then he did get Covid,  but a very mild case.  

I also have managed to not get Covid. That of course could be because I have been very careful.🤷🏻‍♀️ But then in all the years I never got got the flu I wasn’t being careful beyond basic hygiene.  
 

I have had fever blister Herpes since I was a teen.  And so did my husbands XW. Yet somehow he has never had a fever blister. 

And I keep thinking about that man early on that I saw on the news.  He had contracted the virus on a cruise ship and was so sick he had to be airlifted off.  His wife who was in their cruise ship cabin with him for many days before and while he was sick did not get the virus.  
 

Just mulling.  Wondering if there are any studies on this.  

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Yes. I think what this actually means in scientific terms is that the person has antibodies to the virus, but never had a symptomatic case themselves. My mother never got Chicken Pox, even when all of us kids were severely affected by it. One of my nephews also never got Chicken Pox, even when his siblings all had it. (Before the vax.) 

I have thought before “we” should be studying why that is. Maybe it is being studied. I do think it’s interesting. 

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i think so.  I was hospitalized when I was 2\3 for a 10 day virus, I got !meningitis while there.  My mom swears I'm immune to everything after that because I went through enough.  My sibling had chicken pox and I didn't.  I had sinus issues but am rarely sick beyond seasonal allergies.  

Edited by lynn
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I don’t know, but I often find things like this weird too. But I wouldn’t say you’re immune to the flu! I just don’t know why some people don’t get things when they ‘should’ have. So here are my anecdotes that I’ve always found the most strange. 
 

1) my MIL would never ever got the flu shot. She said she never got the flu and didn’t want to risk getting sick from the shot. When I was pregnant with my second (12 years ago) my 2-yr old, dh, and I all came down with the flu—bad case of it too. Dh-secondary bronchitis and pneumonia. Me—pregnant and taking only Tylenol. It was awful! She selflessly came INTO our house and took care of all of us. Didn’t get sick. Then, 3 years ago, BAM, she got the flu at age 63. Why then and from whom? She has no idea. 
 

more recent: I posted on the covid thread that my SIL cared for and slept with my niece when she had covid 3 months ago. SIL didn’t get covid. Definitely wasn’t asymptomatic bc she got tested *several* times during it all so she’d be able to safely return to work. Now, 3 months later, she has covid. And passed it on to her dh, who also managed to miss getting it when their daughter had it. 
 

Virus stuff is weird and has always fascinated me. 

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1 minute ago, Quill said:

Yes. I think what this actually means in scientific terms is that the person has antibodies to the virus, but never had a symptomatic case themselves. My mother never got Chicken Pox, even when all of us kids were severely affected by it. One of my nephews also never got Chicken Pox, even when his siblings all had it. (Before the vax.) 

I have thought before “we” should be studying why that is. Maybe it is being studied. I do think it’s interesting. 

Actually, it is not just that- especially when you have never had the flu and the flu shot.  They are, of course, doing more studies, on genetic causes of diseases but they have been finding very interesting results that make super sense when you think why people with some of these diseases survived and reproduced over the years.  I am sure that there are a number of genes that offer protection just like there are at least 4 genes that make one more likely to have a severe case of COVID (Which they have found out since the outbreak and continue to look for).   Anyway, I can tell you about the gene I have- HLA- B27.  It is associated with a number of autoimmune diseases- Ankolysing Spondylitis which is on of mine, Reactive arthritis- which dd2 had as a child, Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, Iritis, and Crohn's Disease.  Now this gene does not mean you will get one of those diseases, nor does it provide perfect protection.  I was sick a lot as a child and teen but never got the flu.  I have been getting flu shots since early adulthood and also never got the flu.  HLA-B27 researches have found that it gives some protection against flus and now, against Coronavirus.  Unfortunately, dd2 who is not taking good care of herself--- I mean she is young and overwhelmed with taking care of all her medical issues- she also has severe asthma that is now controlled much better and very severe allergies plus all her rheumatological issues she has not been addressing lately- anyway she must also have some other genes too that make her more susceptible and override her HLA-B27.  She definitely got COVID in Dec but her doctor also thought she had it in March too.  She also had the flu once when she forgot to get her shot.  But 2020 was a pretty stressful year for her so there is that too.

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Another thought I had—there also must be some kind of difference between say chicken pox, where you get it or the vaccine and then are good for life, so to speak vs things like flu and stomach viruses, correct? They’re both viral, but the mutating ones change and you lose your immunity right? I probably need to read more about this. 
 

chicken pox is especially weird, because it can hang out dormant for decades and then BAM!!! knock you off your feet with shingles. So weird. 

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26 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Just mulling.  Wondering if there are any studies on this.  

Well it might get your goat, but a certain former president was kinda like you (basically never sick, not with a cold, not with the flu, nothing) and when he got covid it was pretty ugly. Granted said person was significantly older than you, but still. 

I think if you want to trade genes on this, I'm happy to. I get viruses at the drop of a dime, but I don't get them immediately. I'm like a longterm stay hotel for them, so they hang around for a few weeks, then decide to move to the penthouse and party, then finally the management kicks them out. I will say since I got my thyroid and D cranked way up that hasn't been happening. So maybe some of your cofactors like that are really good? I mean, clearly nude sunbathing would be the preventative for covid. Spray tan won't do.

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11 minutes ago, TravelingChris said:

a number of autoimmune diseases- Ankolysing Spondylitis which is on of mine

Whoa, back up, this is considered autoimmune? I *think* that's the term they used on my back. Actually the original MRI doc and the fancy bigwig back doctor disagreed. But I could look it up as that term was used at one point. I thought it was sits on my butt too much disease. Not that you do that, but I do, sigh. 

Which just goes to show, we'd all be healthier with more time on a beach.

ETA: My HLA-B27 is good! Yay!!! I have enough problems without adding that, lol. Ok, now I'm confused. Is the common or less common variant what you want on this? I have the gene and it shows green in promothease.  https://academic.oup.com/bfg/article/10/5/249/206800

Sorry, still trying to sort out what is the bad variant https://www.geneticlifehacks.com/hla-b27-genetic-variants-that-increase-susceptibility-to-autoimmune-diseases/

 

Edited by PeterPan
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28 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Well it might get your goat, but a certain former president was kinda like you (basically never sick, not with a cold, not with the flu, nothing) and when he got covid it was pretty ugly. Granted said person was significantly older than you, but still. 

I think if you want to trade genes on this, I'm happy to. I get viruses at the drop of a dime, but I don't get them immediately. I'm like a longterm stay hotel for them, so they hang around for a few weeks, then decide to move to the penthouse and party, then finally the management kicks them out. I will say since I got my thyroid and D cranked way up that hasn't been happening. So maybe some of your cofactors like that are really good? I mean, clearly nude sunbathing would be the preventative for covid. Spray tan won't do.

I am not being dismissive of any virus.  I have always known they are very real and make some people very sick.  And from day one I have very much feared getting Covid.  We have been living the high end of caution for almost a year now.  
 

The flu was never as big of a concern.  I had been considering that I was getting older and maybe I should think about getting the flu vaccine, but the fact remains I have never had it in 55 years.  But I get fever blisters quite easily especially if I am stressed or tired or dehydrated.  

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44 minutes ago, mmasc said:

I don’t know, but I often find things like this weird too. But I wouldn’t say you’re immune to the flu! I just don’t know why some people don’t get things when they ‘should’ have. So here are my anecdotes that I’ve always found the most strange. 
 

1) my MIL would never ever got the flu shot. She said she never got the flu and didn’t want to risk getting sick from the shot. When I was pregnant with my second (12 years ago) my 2-yr old, dh, and I all came down with the flu—bad case of it too. Dh-secondary bronchitis and pneumonia. Me—pregnant and taking only Tylenol. It was awful! She selflessly came INTO our house and took care of all of us. Didn’t get sick. Then, 3 years ago, BAM, she got the flu at age 63. Why then and from whom? She has no idea. 
 

more recent: I posted on the covid thread that my SIL cared for and slept with my niece when she had covid 3 months ago. SIL didn’t get covid. Definitely wasn’t asymptomatic bc she got tested *several* times during it all so she’d be able to safely return to work. Now, 3 months later, she has covid. And passed it on to her dh, who also managed to miss getting it when their daughter had it. 
 

Virus stuff is weird and has always fascinated me. 

This makes me believe that is very much has to do with how well one’s immune system is working at any given time. Probably obviously.  But i have had times of sever stress many times through out my adult life especially and still never got it.  

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38 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

 I will say since I got my thyroid and D cranked way up that hasn't been happening. So maybe some of your cofactors like that are really good? I mean, clearly nude sunbathing would be the preventative for covid. Spray tan won't do.

Interestingly my Vit D level is chronically low.  Just the other day it was 26.  One time it was 19.  When I get a low result I start taking supplements.  I focus on getting a lot of sunshine during warm  months.   That includes sunbathing practically nude. 

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

This makes me believe that is very much has to do with how well one’s immune system is working at any given time. Probably obviously.  But i have had times of sever stress many times through out my adult life especially and still never got it.  

I suspect that's much more likely than true immunity, especially to a novel virus.

My own anecdotal story -- AFAIK I've only ever gotten flu twice in my life. In recent years I've always gotten the vaccine, but the two times I'm sure I had it were before I started getting the vaccine, and covered about 40 years' time. So w/o the vaccine I averaged getting the flu once every 20 years (in reality, the two times I had it were once when I was around 10 years old and once when I was around 40). I was almost certainly exposed to it every year, either in school or working in a large office. But I only got sick twice. I also seem to get relatively few colds. My guess is that all those years I didn't get the flu my immune system, for whatever reason, was functioning optimally and that I also probably had a large amount of sheer luck. 

And yet over the last eight years I've been diagnosed with two AI diseases. I wonder if that may point to a hyperactive immune system that was good at warding off things it should but then in its zeal to work started attacking things it shouldn't. Who knows?

Edited by Pawz4me
unnecessary apostrophe (and I HATE those!)
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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Well it might get your goat, but a certain former president was kinda like you (basically never sick, not with a cold, not with the flu, nothing) and when he got covid it was pretty ugly. Granted said person was significantly older than you, but still. 

 

I'm actually not sure he was ever that sick, and I think he got unnecessary medical treatment that should have been given to the people who were actually much sicker. 

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I’m pretty sure last year was my first flu shot ever. I never got the flu except for 2009 (I think that was the year; first H1N1 season.) I’m sure my body was exposed to other strains over the years and just happened to be great at learning how to battle those. It somehow managed to battle chicken pox without ever being symptomatic, since my antibody test came back positive during one of my pregnancies.

Dh got Covid, we isolated him, and no one else got sick. His exposure was minute compared to dd’s regular, repeated exposures, and she hasn’t caught it, knock on wood.  They both got their second shots today.

That said, I’ve managed to develop multiple allergies as I’ve gotten older, and that’s no fun. I definitely don’t fully trust my immune system!

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It can also be about low levels of exposure over long periods of time. I grew up in a poultry producing area, and one side effect is that I'm immune to salmonella-I have pretty high levels of antibodies to it because it was just plain all around me, but as far as I know, have never had a symptomatic infection. Apparently, that's pretty common for people who grow up on poultry farms, etc. Similarly, it is pretty typical for new teachers to get sick a lot the first few years, but then to largely not get sick-and a big part of it seems to be that in those first few years, you've caught everything kids bring in, and therefore there's a good chance you have antibodies to it when a kid shows up sick once you get to year 5 and beyond. 

 

Having said that, I also know a lot of teachers with autoimmune diseases by about age 50, which kind of makes me wonder if that constant stress on the immune system may have had other side effects. 

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Yes. That is why some people, for instance, struggle with warts with years and some people never get them, even people living in the same household.

This was my first year ever to get the flu shot. I just didn't want to worry about it with everything else going on. And I'm becoming more conscious of how vaccination protects other people, not just me. 

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I’ve never had the flu and when raising our kids and a stomach bug went through the house, I never got it. Like I went 25 years without getting anything other than an occasional mild cold- maybe once every three years.  I just figured I had a robust immune system. But as I’ve gotten older, I’m seeing a change. I did get a flu shot this year because I’m helping care for my elderly father.  And I got a cold that lasted a full month. It was miserable. I was Covid tested and results were negative. I’m wondering if being so sheltered the past year and not being exposed to the typical germs is weakening my immune system.  And in full disclosure, I did have a blood test this fall that indicates an autoimmune issue but haven’t been able to pursue it further.  So maybe that contributes to how bad this ‘cold’ was.  

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The answer to the original question is yes, some people are naturally immune to some pathogens.  And populations of people will have more or less immunity to certain pathogens depending upon whether their ancestors encountered those pathogens or others like them in the past.

This is why the native populations of the Americas were decimated by "old world" diseases, and why the novel coronavirus (emphasis on novel) is such a big deal.

As far as why an individual has "never" gotten the flu--the experience of having the flu can vary widely from individual to individual and time to time.  A person could have had a subclinical case of the flu or thought it was a cold or whatever.  I never got chickenpox as a child, and no one could believe that I hadn't encountered it.  So the thought was I had had a subclinical case of it.  Turns out I hadn't, and I got a whopper of a case when I was 24.

Edited by EKS
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I think so, but it is way too complex for me to explain why.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that not one blood relative of mine has even had reason to be tested for Covid, to my knowledge.  I said it to my dad, and he said well, my cousin in Texas had it.  So that's one person whose genetics are only 25% similar to mine.  My half-cousin-once-removed's wife was severly ill last month with Covid, but as far as I know, he didn't get it.

I sure hope it's a thing.  It could help explain why, even in areas with big outbreaks, still only a fraction of individuals catch it.

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Twice my family (husband and sons) all had influenza, verified by testing, and I never felt sick either time. Both times I assumed I was an asymptomatic carrier*. Everyone except me gets viruses here in my home a lot. Asymptomatic infection is common with COVID, so that is surely happening when some people don't feel sick after exposure.

But I, also, know people certainly exposed to COVID by family members who tested negative. I believe there can be some resistance due to inherent things--for example, I think I read that type O blood is possibly more resistant to COVID infection. 

* I just looked up, and influenza can definitely be asymptomatic. The thought is people may have had partial immunity. That makes sense for me. My first year of teaching public school I was constantly sick--really sick--all year long. I probably gained possible immunity to tons of things through that. 

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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Whoa, back up, this is considered autoimmune? I *think* that's the term they used on my back. Actually the original MRI doc and the fancy bigwig back doctor disagreed. But I could look it up as that term was used at one point. I thought it was sits on my butt too much disease. Not that you do that, but I do, sigh. 

Which just goes to show, we'd all be healthier with more time on a beach.

ETA: My HLA-B27 is good! Yay!!! I have enough problems without adding that, lol. Ok, now I'm confused. Is the common or less common variant what you want on this? I have the gene and it shows green in promothease.  https://academic.oup.com/bfg/article/10/5/249/206800

Sorry, still trying to sort out what is the bad variant https://www.geneticlifehacks.com/hla-b27-genetic-variants-that-increase-susceptibility-to-autoimmune-diseases/

 

AS is absolutely autoimmune.  Do you have any other autoimmune diseases?  With women, it usually starts in the sacro-illiac joints so what you are describing as symptoms plus the HLA-B27 qualifies as a diagnosis and you need to go to a rheumatologist that is aware that women are greatly misdiagnosed= it used to be described and probably is in many places as a disease of youngish men (usually starting by 30-40 year old groups) and mostly focuses on the spine.  Yes, AS does attack the spine but also for women, more often the S-I joints,  the cervical spine joints (which I was having absolutely awful issues 24 years ago. Some of my discs in the neck are sliding apart and the neck issues started then and were misdiagnosed as osteoarthritis for years./ 25 years ago, I was also misdiagnosed with a very bad lung disorder because I couldn't breathe in normally-but doctors over the years were super confused because I seemed to have asthma but have lung function kind of like COPD (but not as bad as that disease) and obviously I did have asthma.  Once I got the AS diagnosis in Jan 2019, I figured out why my lung tests appear as they do--- the AS--which affects the enthesis system- ligaments, tendons, etc, etc as a giant feature of the disease- made it so my ribs can't expand as much as they should be able to.  Starting 10 years ago, I started having issues with plantar fasciitis.  At that time, it was explained that it was because of my shoes.  Yes, wearing correct shoes and shoe impants, etc help but I have now Achilles tendonitis in both legs, and a few types of fasciitis in both feet.  Then, of course, I have RA in my feet too. 

I am trying  Cosentyx now to help my AS but it doesn't work on RA.  I think it may be helping the enthesic issues with my feet but not truly sure.

I do know that AS can be very serious and you want to prevent what happens to so many of us=I have giant problems getting out of bed now, problems walking the distances I use to be able to walk, can't breathe as well due to the rib-spine connection issues, have trouble sitting on many seats for any length of time limiting where I can go--- or I can do a large dose of steroid-40,g of prednisone or equivalent and do a happy dance now but probably pay later, just so many limitations due to AS now.  And I don't know how old you are but for me and so many women I know with AS and other connective tissue autoimmune- all the damage starts really accelerating in  mid to late perimenopause and after menopause.  But some of the women and it seems more of the men, get ve3ry disabled much earlier than in their 50s. 

I urge you to go to a good rheumatologist and start treatment now- before you are like me or even worse, like so many people on the Facebook groups I am on.  And for Paws4me. Prairiewindmomma. and me, AIP diet or any other diet has not helped at all.  For some, it seems to but also there is the danger that they are feeling better but damage is still occuring- I had no idea the damage was occuring to my rib connections until I didn't have enough lung capacity.

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4 hours ago, Scarlett said:

I am not being dismissive of any virus.  I have always known they are very real and make some people very sick.  And from day one I have very much feared getting Covid.  We have been living the high end of caution for almost a year now.  
 

The flu was never as big of a concern.  I had been considering that I was getting older and maybe I should think about getting the flu vaccine, but the fact remains I have never had it in 55 years.  But I get fever blisters quite easily especially if I am stressed or tired or dehydrated.  

And the truth is that the immune system tends to lessen as you age but somehow for me and for many of my fellow AI women sufferers, our immune system still seems to be going gangbusters past menopause- after all, if I don't use so much of the immunosuppressants, I am mostly bedbound or seat bound.  

But that is the reason for the higher doses of the flu vaccine once you are 65/

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4 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Interestingly my Vit D level is chronically low.  Just the other day it was 26.  One time it was 19.  When I get a low result I start taking supplements.  I focus on getting a lot of sunshine during warm  months.   That includes sunbathing practically nude. 

And that is great if sunbathing raises it for you and you don't get skin cancer -- we are a quite pale family and cannot sunbathe. But I knew something was wrong when we lived in FL, dd2 was running outside and swimming in our pool a lot and not always putting on sunscreen, etc and still breaking her bones and having low vitamin d.  She has been on prescription Vitamin D since then. Jumping up to more recently, dh has been getting low vitamin d scores though he usually didn't put on sunscreen except if he was actually going to be in the sun for a long time- but that still means he got plenty of sunshine with doing stuff around house, going to stores or work or where-ever where he keeps walking in sunshine, etc.  With COVID I became very concerned.  I told dh we had to get his vitamin d checked again and geta prescription Vit d for him.  Yes, he was still low and then I checked promothease and he had the gene, and definitely dd2 does too, that makes him be unable to produce vitamin d from sunshine or very greatly reduces that ability.  So both of them, and both dd1 and I have to also be on it but neither of us were ever as low as them, have to be on lifelong prescription Vit D.  So that can also be an issuie for some people.

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2 hours ago, hippymamato3 said:

I'm actually not sure he was ever that sick, and I think he got unnecessary medical treatment that should have been given to the people who were actually much sicker. 

I agree he wasn't very sick but that treatment needs to be given in very early stages of symptoms to work most effectively so there is that too plus=in reality- whoever the president is and whether you like them or not-that position gives you special care and I can understand that since it is such an important position.  

However, the whole who gets antibodies and other treatments has really been highlighted to me in this pandemic.  Namely- the ignorance and maybe racism/etc of some of the workers.  I have heard at least 2 stories of people not even getting any treatment or what, in fact, should have been admissions to the hospital - at least one was due to so-called negative tests-but of course, after they died, it was positive.  The WHO even warned in late Dec or Jan about how you can't just use neg test to say person doesn't have COVID- you need to look at the whole clinical feature.

Also, just last night, the local news had an interview with my pulmonologist about COVID.  He was talking about how treatments have changed- like how in March and April, they were telling people to stop using steroids.  Now steriods are the main treatment with the COVID patients because the issue isn't really the virus as such- it is mainly the cytokine storm (which means your immune system goes nuts) and it is attacking all the organs.  It was the same thing with the 1918 flu virus-  it is why it killed so many young people.  And it is likely that greater proportion of deaths since summer have been due to cytokine storms hence why we see that the main ages of the deaths and hospitalizations have switched to much younger people now- in my state it has been mainly people under 65 since at least mid October who have been the main deaths, and hospitalizations.

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1 hour ago, TravelingChris said:

plus the HLA-B27 qualifies as a diagnosis

The only data I have is the two SNPs (RS#) that 23andme provides, and I have them for ds but not *me* because my testing was done through a different place. For him, he is homozygous good, positive, not a carrier, for both. So at most I'd be heterozygous as a carrier. But it's possible I'm homozygous. Seems like what I should really do at some point is run 23andme (or ancestry) on myself so I can have the data that's missing. But thanks for the heads up!!!

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1 hour ago, TravelingChris said:

the AS--which affects the enthesis system- ligaments, tendons, etc, etc as a giant feature of the disease- made it so my ribs can't expand as much as they should be able to. 

Yeah I'm going to need to check. I thought I wrote down somewhere what the private, really good back doctor said. He seemed completely unconcerned and unphased. But I will say as I've become more aware the last couple years I've started realizing that what I thought was lung tightness is, as you say, more the fascia and structures around the lungs. I've been going periodically to a cranial sacral person and she gets it to loosen.

But really, I need to see what my diagnosis was and get more thorough genetic data on me to know. I had mine done through a free study with the univ of MI, and it's just incomplete. I end up inferring from my kids' data. It would be kind of cool anyway. I have either a grandpa or great grandpa (not sure which) who was adopted, so my kids' family trees for the tracing show up people in odd parts of the country (and other countries) that I don't know. 

Ok, coming back to add I checked my dd, and she too is homozygous for the normal, common, non-carrying versions of the indicator SNPs listed at that link I had put earlier. So it's pretty reasonable to guess that my genes on this are pretty good, that I'm not carrying it. If I am, it's only one, not homozygous.

Edited by PeterPan
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45 minutes ago, TravelingChris said:

in March and April, they were telling people to stop using steroids.  Now steriods are the main treatment with the COVID

Oh wow, hadn't heard this. Interesting.

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6 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah I'm going to need to check. I thought I wrote down somewhere what the private, really good back doctor said. He seemed completely unconcerned and unphased. But I will say as I've become more aware the last couple years I've started realizing that what I thought was lung tightness is, as you say, more the fascia and structures around the lungs. I've been going periodically to a cranial sacral person and she gets it to loosen.

But really, I need to see what my diagnosis was and get more thorough genetic data on me to know. I had mine done through a free study with the univ of MI, and it's just incomplete. I end up inferring from my kids' data. It would be kind of cool anyway. I have either a grandpa or great grandpa (not sure which) who was adopted, so my kids' family trees for the tracing show up people in odd parts of the country (and other countries) that I don't know. 

Ok, coming back to add I checked my dd, and she too is homozygous for the normal, common, non-carrying versions of the indicator SNPs listed at that link I had put earlier. So it's pretty reasonable to guess that my genes on this are pretty good, that I'm not carrying it. If I am, it's only one, not homozygous.

Yes, I have only 1 gene.  But I also have only one gene for Factor V Leiden which 23andme says it is nothing much to worry about anc boy, are they wrong.  I got my first pulmonary embolism at age 27, I believe and lots of blood clots later until I was diagnosed in 2010, when I was 47 and ended up w a giant clot from my ankle  to my torso  and who knows how much further up.  We then had my 2 dds tested and my older one had the gebe and will need to  blood thinners when she gets pregnant.  As it is, I gave her a bottle of aspirin lately and told her to take it daily. I will be 9n blood thinners for the rest of my life and 23andme needs to make the warning about it much more serious.

As to Hla-b27, not all AS pwt8entscrven have one gene, just most (about 85%).

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Some people have better immune systems that kick in faster and are more efficient. For example.....There have been studies on why children raised in environments with farm animals have stronger immune systems. The differences in people's immune responses have always been a focus in studies, especially COVID. 

Some reasons people don't get ill as often can have to do with not only thier immune system, but also with personal hygiene. I am known in my pharmacy for being a person who doesn't get sick very often. But every day before I leave work, I wash my hands to attempt to leave some of the germs behind. I am not a hugger and I don't crowd people. I don't put things in my mouth like pens. I clean the pharmacy, to reduce germs. I wash my phone with alcohol daily. But.......(a HUGE BUT)....I also have an autoimmune disease. If I do get sick, it can take me months to get back to normal. A simple illness can put my autoimmune in a full downward spiral. The illness hits and I have a normal 2-3 day illness but then my autoimmune response sucks !

BTW>>>>

DH has cold sores, but only him. We have been together since we were teens, so there was 30year of exposure. DD's, Ds nor I have them. 

DD22 and dd14 both have warts, and DH, Ds and I do not. 

 

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18 hours ago, mmasc said:

Another thought I had—there also must be some kind of difference between say chicken pox, where you get it or the vaccine and then are good for life, so to speak vs things like flu and stomach viruses, correct? They’re both viral, but the mutating ones change and you lose your immunity right? I probably need to read more about this. 
 

chicken pox is especially weird, because it can hang out dormant for decades and then BAM!!! knock you off your feet with shingles. So weird. 

There’s concerns that chicken pox vaccine may not be good for life I think if I remember correctly.  This has the potential to be a problem because adult chicken pox is nasty.

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I think this is less of a sure thing with COVID because we know a lot of people don’t seem to spread it at all so it’s possible people have just been exposed to someone who isn’t very contagious for whatever reason.  
 

but certainly with some viruses some people don’t seem very vulnerable.  DH never caught chicken pox even though he lived in the chicken pox party era.  DH used to catch every cold and I would miss them but pity help me if the gastro was around whereas he would be fine.  

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I swear, that's me with Varicella (chicken pox). I am 46 -- the age where people still got CP pretty regularly as a a kid. My sister and I were exposed to friends who had CP numerous times as kids, but we never had CP. When I had my first child, they offered me the CP vaccine. I assumed that I must have had an asymptomatic case or something, so I asked them to check my titers. Nope. No antibodies. So, I had two rounds of varicella vaccine. Fast forward a decade and when I start nursing school, I need to prove not just that I've had vaccines, but that my titers are still good. They draw my titers and I am still not immune to CP!! So, three rounds of CP vaccine for me. 

 

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20 minutes ago, SeaConquest said:

I swear, that's me with Varicella (chicken pox). I am 46 -- the age where people still got CP pretty regularly as a a kid. My sister and I were exposed to friends who had CP numerous times as kids, but we never had CP. When I had my first child, they offered me the CP vaccine. I assumed that I must have had an asymptomatic case or something, so I asked them to check my titers. Nope. No antibodies. So, I had two rounds of varicella vaccine. Fast forward a decade and when I start nursing school, I need to prove not just that I've had vaccines, but that my titers are still good. They draw my titers and I am still not immune to CP!! So, three rounds of CP vaccine for me. 

 

That is very interesting!  Is that common? 

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9 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

That is very interesting!  Is that common? 

Is it common to have to prove immunity with titers for nursing school? Yes, because we are exposed to all sorts of stuff in clinicals and antibodies can wane, as mine did.

It it common for antibodies to wane? Yes, depending on the vaccine, some require regular boosters. The CP vaccine was relatively new when I first received it, so I am not sure if they knew definitely how long antibodies would last in most people. I think it depends on the body's immune response to the vaccine. Mine may not have been especially good. I am not sure. The immune system is honestly the most difficult body system for me (I've taken grad level pathophysiology, but don't pretend to be an expert by any means). The interplay between immunology, virology, and epidemiology is some very complicated stuff, which is why I always snort at the Google PhDs who have done their "research."   

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8 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

There’s concerns that chicken pox vaccine may not be good for life I think if I remember correctly.  This has the potential to be a problem because adult chicken pox is nasty.

Yeah, I'm usually pretty pro vax, but at the time my kids were initially eligible for the varicella vaccine, I had read that it conferred immunity for just ten years, which seemed like it would run out just as they were getting to adulthood.  At the time, there was also some concern that people who had the chicken pox vaccine were more likely to have shingles than folks who had contracted chicken pox in the wild.  So I delayed it till they were about nine and entering puberty.  Further evidence seems to be that the uptick in shingles is actually from people not being continuously exposed to the virus because of vaccination, which isn't something we can do anything about.  

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1 minute ago, SeaConquest said:

Is it common to have to prove immunity with titers for nursing school? Yes, because we are exposed to all sorts of stuff in clinicals and antibodies can wane, as mine did.

It it common for antibodies to wane? Yes, depending on the vaccine, some require regular boosters. The CP vaccine was relatively new when I first received it, so I am not sure if they knew definitely how long antibodies would last in most people. I think it depends on the body's immune response to the vaccine. Mine may not have been especially good. I am not sure. The immune system is honestly the most difficult body system for me (I've taken grad level pathophysiology, but don't pretend to be an expert by any means). The interplay between immunology, virology, and epidemiology is some very complicated stuff, which is why I always snort at the Google PhDs who have done their "research."   

My question was to the bolded.  You probably got the CP vaccine around the same time my son did.  Interesting. 

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12 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

My question was to the bolded.  You probably got the CP vaccine around the same time my son did.  Interesting. 

I received the first two doses of the CP vaccine in 2009 and then boosted again in 2019. This is what the CDC says. ETA: I meant to add the link: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/varicella/hcp/about-vaccine.html#:~:text=Duration of Protection,-It is not&text=But%2C live vaccines in general,to 20 years after vaccination.

It is not known how long a vaccinated person is protected against varicella. But, live vaccines in general provide long-lasting immunity.

  • Several studies have shown that people vaccinated against varicella had antibodies for at least 10 to 20 years after vaccination. But, these studies were done before the vaccine was widely used and when infection with wild-type varicella was still very common.
  • A case-control study conducted from 1997 to 2003 showed that 1 dose of varicella vaccine was 97% effective in the first year after vaccination and 86% effective in the second year. From the second to eighth year after vaccination, the vaccine effectiveness remained stable at 81 to 86%. Most vaccinated children who developed varicella during the 8 years after vaccination had mild disease.1
  • A clinical trial showed that children with 2 doses of varicella vaccine were protected 10 years after being vaccinated. Fewer people had breakthrough varicella after 2 doses compared with 1 dose. The risk of breakthrough varicella did not increase over time.2
  • A meta-analysis that included 1-dose vaccine effectiveness reported through 2015 found a pooled estimate of 82% within the first decade. Considering the age of participants in the studies and vaccine recommendations in each country, the median time since vaccination is likely lower than 10 years. Four studies reported decline in VE with time since vaccination; however, the differences did not reach statistical significance.3
  • Two doses of varicella vaccine add improved protection, pooled estimate of 92% (assessed ~5 years after vaccination).
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immune system is pretty complex - and part of our immune system is in our gut and liver.

some people have better immune systems, and other's have weaker.   I've had times when I never got the flu, and a time when the Spirit *demanded* I get a flu shot (i had the flu twice that season, the first time I'm positive I would have required hospitalization if I hadn't had the vaccine.  the 2nd time was about how I was the few times I did get the flu.  Uncomfortable, and go sleep it off for a couple days.)  But that flu shot was after I'd contracted a virus that ravaged my immune system leaving me open to everything with which I came into contact.  If I did too much - I'd be sick without being exposed to anything.  (symptoms were always the same.)

I was recently diagnosed with a chronic infection (which probably dates to that original infection from hell! GRRRRR  it was also why just doing "too much" would leave me sick.) - and was on an anti-viral for a month, and just wanted to sleep for another three weeks after it ended.  But, now I have more energy than I've had in years - so I'm hopeful my immune system will also be improved.

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On 2/7/2021 at 12:31 PM, EKS said:

The answer to the original question is yes, some people are naturally immune to some pathogens.  And populations of people will have more or less immunity to certain pathogens depending upon whether their ancestors encountered those pathogens or others like them in the past.

This is why the native populations of the Americas were decimated by "old world" diseases, and why the novel coronavirus (emphasis on novel) is such a big deal.

As far as why an individual has "never" gotten the flu--the experience of having the flu can vary widely from individual to individual and time to time.  A person could have had a subclinical case of the flu or thought it was a cold or whatever.  I never got chickenpox as a child, and no one could believe that I hadn't encountered it.  So the thought was I had had a subclinical case of it.  Turns out I hadn't, and I got a whopper of a case when I was 24.

I have wondered if my lack of strep throat (even when DH got it twice) is because my great-grandmother had a horrible case of it (heart damage). Also, my great-grandfather survived an infection of the 1918 flu--the doctors thought he would not make it; his dad died of it. I do get my flu shot, but I am not sure I've ever really had an obvious case of the flu; if so, maybe once.

5 hours ago, SeaConquest said:

I swear, that's me with Varicella (chicken pox). I am 46 -- the age where people still got CP pretty regularly as a a kid. My sister and I were exposed to friends who had CP numerous times as kids, but we never had CP. When I had my first child, they offered me the CP vaccine. I assumed that I must have had an asymptomatic case or something, so I asked them to check my titers. Nope. No antibodies. So, I had two rounds of varicella vaccine. Fast forward a decade and when I start nursing school, I need to prove not just that I've had vaccines, but that my titers are still good. They draw my titers and I am still not immune to CP!! So, three rounds of CP vaccine for me. 

I know someone that had chicken pox at least three times. I don't know if she ever developed immunity because the shot became commonplace. 

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