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Re: Flu vaccines
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I don't think most of us are really worried about death. We just don't want either the real flu or flu-like symptoms.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 6:01
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Re: Flu vaccines
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Quote:

Mouse wrote:
Also, the US is one of only a few countries that advocates blanket coverage of the population. Most countries in Europe and elsewhere only advise that the elderly get flu shots (again, assuming no pre-existing conditions.


In most European countries, workers are legally entitled to paid sick days, and employers can't fire you because they think you take too many - so long as you really are sick. Hell, I knew a French woman who once took six weeks paid medical leave because she was heartbroken after a bad breakup (even though she was the one who did the dumping).

People in the U.S. with paid sick days feel guilty taking more than a couple of days off, or are coerced to return to work before they should. I shudder when I think of all the food service workers who show up sick because they simply can't afford to miss work or fear losing their jobs. My worst encounter with the flu came when I was living in Europe. OMG. I felt like death for several weeks, and had bronchitis on top of the flu. That horrible, hacking cough lingered for weeks and it was probably two months before I felt anywhere near normal. The flu didn't kill me, but why suffer unnecessarily? Ever since that bout of the flu, I've made sure to get vaccinated every year.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 4:23
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Re: Flu vaccines
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brewster wrote:
By Mouse's standards, no one gets a cold either.


Not true. I am simply saying that lots of people say "I have the flu" when in fact they have something else (common cold, virus, or other maladies that are common in the winter).

Lots of people think they can self diagnose the flu. They cannot.

But, this perception feeds the "hype" cycle. Maybe I am wrong. We will certainly know over the next few weeks/months if this is again a "mild" season.

But, if history is any guide this is likely just another typical season that has once again been over hyped.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 4:13
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Re: Flu vaccines
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Like 1/4 of all the employees at one of my clients were sick this past 2 weeks. I hate going to meetings there! I managed to track down a shot on Saturday at the Hoboken Walgreen's when they told me on the phone they were expecting a shipment that afternoon. Apparently they run out fast, like shoes in Soviet Moscow. I really really can't afford to get knocked on my ass by the flu. And I agree with Mookie, most people just get sick and tough it out without seeing a doctor, since they know they have the flu, not Ebola. By Mouse's standards, no one gets a cold either.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 4:05
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Re: Flu vaccines
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The flu is definitely "out there." It is out there every year. And, every year it receives over-the-top hype. That is not enough of a reason to get the flu shot.

The CDC is not being straight with people. Using terms like "widespread outbreak" and "epidemic" is akin to the boy who cried wolf.

If a real nasty bug appears on the scene, it will be hard to convince people that "this time we mean it and we are telling you the truth -- this is dangerous."

By the way, the number of lab-confirmed cases of H3N2v (for the season) = zero. This is one of the strains that really is a nasty variant. But, there is no evidence that it is in circulation this season.

Yes, I think basing conclusions on lab-confirmed numbers is useful. Even if we triple or quadruple these numbers, they don't approach significant numbers. CDC likes to claim that high percentages of the population get the flu in any given year, without any real data.

The flu is over-hyped. And, there are numerous, legitimate reasons to decline getting the flu shot, including,

1. Flu shot not entirely effective (estimates at 60%), but you incur risks for adverse reactions (which the CDC/authorities down play) including narcolepsy, febrile seizures, feeling sick, and in some cases (albeit rare) very serious complications.

2. Lack of legal recourse if you are harmed by a shot. If you lose your case in the special "flu court" (yes, this exists) you cannot press a civil case.

3. Suspect, made-up death numbers. CDC hypes "thousands" of deaths, but these are not believable numbers (and even they concede that the vast majority occur amongst the elderly, but cannot distinguish flu vs. pneumonia).

4. The odds of dying from the flu are miniscule.

5. I'm suspicious because healthcare professionals are suspicious. They don't like getting the flu shot, Many only get it because they are threatened with termination.

There are plenty of other reasons to be suspicious of the government being so heavy-handed in trying to vaccinate everyone (and also pushing flu treatments such as Tamiflu, which has its own set of issues, such as Roche withholding 60% + of clinical trial results, including the largest trials: see recent Forbes article on this topic).

Getting the flu shot might be appropriate for you. Just look before you leap.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 4:02
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
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Re: Flu vaccines
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The low number of "laboratory confirmed" cases is because doctors would be unlikely to conduct a laboratory test for the flu. It's diagnosed based on signalment, history, and clinical signs. It would be a waste or time, resources, and money to test everyone with flu-like symptoms for the presence of influenza virus in the midst of a flu outbreak. That doesn't mean it's not out there.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 3:16
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Re: Flu vaccines
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Flu shots are unnecessary for the average healthy person under the age of 65. If you have a pre-existing health condition, then by all means get the shot. But, for everyone else, the flu, while unpleasant, rarely requires hospitalization.

But, by the numbers, your chances of getting the "real" flu are very low. According to the CDC, the actual number of laboratory confirmed cases has dropped for the last two weeks.

CDC Confirmed cases (source: FluView).

week # of confirmed cases
2012 51 5,417
2012 52 5,108
2013 1 4,222

The scary stories you hear in the news are numbers related to flu-like symptoms, not real flu.

So, for the most recent reporting period, ending Jan 5, 2o13 (week 1 of the new year), only 4,222 cases of lab-confirmed flu was reported. Out of US population of 310 million, you are very unlikely to even know someone who has the real flu. In the winter, people are exposed to all sorts of viruses and bacteria and the common cold. These are not the flu.

The other number that is reported is flu deaths. But, these numbers are only statistical approximations, since no authority in the US actually tracks flu deaths (with the exception of pediatric deaths). The vast majority of flu related deaths occur amongst the elderly. But, pneumonia deaths are lumped together with flu, blurring any meaningful numbers.

It is my opinion that NY State's Health Emergency is completely bogus. They are acting on "flu like symptom" numbers, not actual flu. I think this is Gov. Cuomo over-reacting.

Also, the US is one of only a few countries that advocates blanket coverage of the population. Most countries in Europe and elsewhere only advise that the elderly get flu shots (again, assuming no pre-existing conditions.

Another interesting factoid, is that up until a couple of years ago, the vast majority of health professionals did NOT get the flu shot. By some estimates, this has risen to about 60% now, but only because they are threatened with loss of job for not complying.





Posted on: 2013/1/16 2:22
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
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Re: Flu vaccines
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Call them and ask when is the next shipment. I overheard the pharmacy saying they are getting more on Friday. I was at the Central Ave location.

If you have health insurance.. Hoboken Family Practice has them.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 2:11
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Re: Flu vaccines
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I got one yesterday at Newport Pharmacy which is not in Newport.

9th and Erie

Posted on: 2013/1/16 2:03
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Re: Flu vaccines
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The Rite Aid stores on Central and Summit are both out unfortunately.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 1:51
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Re: Flu vaccines
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Rite-Aide on Central has them if you don't want to go to a Doctor office.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 1:14
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Flu vaccines
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Where can I go to get a flu shot in Jersey City or nearby? Many drug stores have exhausted their supplies. Thank you.

Posted on: 2013/1/16 0:49
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