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Godwit  (Level: 81.8 - Posts: 435)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 10:52 PM


A 45 year old otherwise healthy truck driver died last week in our local hospital, of Swine Flu he picked up somewhere in his driving route. He drove himself to the hospital, was admitted for flu, and they didn't even think to test him for H1N1. They treated him simply for flu, and he died. They say there is no specific treatment for Swine Flu anyway so they think they treated him correctly.

In any case, are you going to get the flu vaccine, or not? What about for your family? Why or why not?

Bigbird  (Level: 250.5 - Posts: 3353)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 11:03 PM

I had the flu back in the 60s - and I never want to have it again.

I have gotten the flu vaccine every year for about the past 10 years, and I'm not planning to change that. Even if it doesn't stop every strain if you can help yourself by avoiding some types, why wouldn't you do it? I've never had any side effects from the vaccine. October 1st - there I will be.

Godwit  (Level: 81.8 - Posts: 435)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 11:16 PM

Oct 1st it is available? I have not heard much news here, yet.

I have NEVER had the flu vaccine except when I served in the military, where of course we are vaccinated for everything including potential algae and mars dust infections. But I am seriously thinking with this strain, I should. For my extended family, too.

What about the issue it isn't the "right" vaccine? Do you believe the vaccine in fact prevents you from getting sick, each year?

Lodi  (Level: 107.9 - Posts: 2144)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 11:23 PM

We all got the flu vaccine and none of us got the flu this last season. However, the year before, I missed about 10 days of work between myself and 2 sick kids. They each got Tamiflu, which is supposed to lessen the duration of the flu, but it was $75 apiece. From now on, we all get vaccinated.

Tresgatos  (Level: 217.4 - Posts: 4456)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 11:26 PM

I'm like Alice -- I never want to get the flu again. I have asthma, so when I get a cold or the flu, I get quite sick, and it lingers for weeks. Ugh. So, I get vaccinated and have never had any untoward side effects.

-- Geri

Godwit  (Level: 81.8 - Posts: 435)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 11:29 PM

If our elementary schools are typical, they are doing nothing about the potential flu problem. During the Spring concerns they also did nothing. It seems then like each person who is vaccinated may be a guard against spreading an epidemic, as well as protecting themselves.

Where are you getting your flu vaccine?

Tresgatos  (Level: 217.4 - Posts: 4456)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 11:29 PM

P.S. If there were a vaccine for colds, I'd get that, too!

Bigbird  (Level: 250.5 - Posts: 3353)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 11:43 PM

My doctor's office has it starting in October each year. You don't even need an appointment - you just walk in, sign up, and a nurse jabs you. They give you the pneumonia vaccine at the same time, if you haven't had it in the past 5 years.

Originally you had to be over a certain age, or have some sort of condition which would warrant the vaccine - but that was when there was a shortage. Last few years, they've been giving it to everyone.

I still consult in the NYC schools - and live just east of the city. The one death that really made the headlines this year was an assistant principal in one of the Queens schools. He did have all sorts of other medical problems. They were closing Queens schools right and left as the absence rate exceeded 40% in some of them.

Even if they cannot protect us from the piggy flu, I'm still getting that vaccine. Like I said, protection against some strains is better than none.

Godwit  (Level: 81.8 - Posts: 435)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 11:45 PM

Maybe there will be one, someday.

It sounds like ya'll just hate getting the flu. Not that you are concerned about pandemic or viral strains.

Do you have the two week supply of stuff the CBC and Red Cross recommend? Just in case of a pandemic?

Koota  (Level: 189.4 - Posts: 2122)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 11:55 PM

I've found that on the years that I have gotten the flu vaccine, I lose a lot fewer days of work to illness. I will *definitely* get the flu vaccine. I recommend it wholeheartedly. I am 47 and otherwise healthy. It works for me. My employer gives it to employees free ... probably the only sensible thing they do!

Gypsylady  (Level: 149.4 - Posts: 6108)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 12:05 AM

If I understand right, you would need to get a regular flu shot, and then 2 separate shots of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine when it becomes available. Does anyone else have any different info?


Salzypat  (Level: 162.6 - Posts: 5425)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 12:38 AM

I'll definitely get the flu shot. I'm like Geri in that every time I get the flu I get really sick and it hangs on for weeks. I get pneumonia quite easily -- and yes, I've had the pneumonia vaccine plus a booster at 5 years. It's my understanding that two is all you can have.

My sister died with the swine flu back in the mid 1970s when there was a run of it in the states, don't know about elsewhere. So I am pretty cautious about this flu. I was asked to volunteer in the elementary schools to listen to children read and as much as I would love to do that, I decided the risk of colds and flu was just too great a risk for me.

I read somewhere recently that the difference with the H1N1 flu is that is goes deeper into the lungs than regular flu, so is harder to treat. We have some nurses and doctors on Sploofus who can correct that if it is untrue. Can't remember the source of that information.

Godwit  (Level: 81.8 - Posts: 435)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 1:56 AM

Oh gosh I'm so sorry you lost your sister. I can't fathom that--the shock it would be--in addition to the deep loss. Shocking because people aren't supposed to die of flu. I know some do but you know what I mean...I would be stunned if I lost someone that way. Again, my sincere regrets.

That sounds wise. To avoid the schools. In particular if they are being as oblivious and do-nothing as the schools around here. This trucker apparently was just driving his route, from Florida to the midwest, and by time he arrived in the midwest, he was sick. He drove himself to a hospital, as I say they treated him for "flu" and he died within a couple of days. They didn't say if he has family. I guess most everyone does. I am cautious about strains that potentially "jump" and mutate and yet, I find I am really blown away at this fellow's passing.

I know someone who works at this hospital. She says they said nothing whatsoever to her, or anyone she knows, who works there, about the man or his death. There were no visible precautions or shots or reactions put into place. Instead they are, it seems, working to cover it up and go on as usual. The owner of the trucking company said, "It's as if he had a cold," that's how his employer is going to react to it: It was nothing.

I am glad to read such wise, solid precautions on the part of all of you. I know the UK has been struggling with this H1N1 and its effects.

Godwit  (Level: 81.8 - Posts: 435)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 2:01 AM

Don't forget the two weeks of emergency supplies at home. Just in case.

Clevercloggs  (Level: 27.4 - Posts: 1246)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 7:26 AM

As a diabetic a get a free (recommended) shot every year. The one year i didn't, i got the flu.......the REAL flu........and i really thought i was dying. I will not miss the shot again, and i'm having a Tamiflu shot next month. I have a very poor immune system, courtesy of a certain Mr Daniels, and i just can't risk it.

Mplaw51  (Level: 185.5 - Posts: 1580)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 7:29 AM

I get the flu shot because of asthma also. I got the pneumonia shot a few years ago as well, it lasts for five years.

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 7:42 AM

I get the flu shot every year - it is strongly recommended for all of us at our hospital and they cover the cost, but it is not required, but nearly every nurse and doctor takes advantage of getting the shot.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 8:24 AM

I will not (unless threatened to lose my job). My epidemiologist told me he would never get a flu shot and strongly advised me not to, also (I no longer have a thyroid).

You might want to at least read this:

Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease: Leaked letter reveals concern of neurologists over 25 deaths in America
Last updated at 11:05 PM on 15th August 2009

A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter.
The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins.

The letter, sent to about 600 neurologists on July 29 (2009) is the first sign that there is concern at the highest levels that the vaccine itself could cause serious complications.

It refers to the use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976 when:

More people died from the vaccination than from swine flu.
500 cases of GBS were detected.
The vaccine may have increased the risk of contracting GBS by eight times.
The vaccine was withdrawn after just ten weeks when the link with GBS became clear.
The US Government was forced to pay out millions of dollars to those affected.

Concerns have already been raised that the new vaccine has not been sufficiently tested and that the effects, especially on children, are unknown.
It is being developed by pharmaceutical companies and will be given to about 13 million people during the first wave of immunization, expected to start in October.

Read more:

Pennwoman  (Level: 163.1 - Posts: 2475)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 8:29 AM

If no other arguement, I go with this one. Hospitals are cheap, when it comes to their staff. One hospital that I worked at, the Christmas "bonus" was a ribbon, with the hospital name on it... it looked very much like the ribbons you see awarded at science fairs....
Yet EVERY hospital I ever worked out, has gived the flu shots to all employees, for free. Every single one, from tiny 50 bed hospital in the country, to Level I trauma centers.

Godwit  (Level: 81.8 - Posts: 435)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 12:47 PM

I know someone working at the low levels at a hospital, without benefits, and they passed her over both for shots, and for any other benefits. Didn't allow her to take the free training courses, for instance. No health benefits. No vacation. She does get rave work reviews...which is worth something. But...I think more and more institutions are using contract and no-benefit workers, and cutting them out of everything.

When I worked in a hospice office I was not allowed/offered the shots. All the nurses got them. I suppose the thinking was I had no direct contact with the patients and facilities. But I had constant contact with everyone else who had constant contact--like the chaplain and the social worker and all the home care workers. Who....may have been disallowed the shots, as well. They are another group who don't get benefits.

So...not everyone gets the protection, in the medical field. I am glad to hear most everyone does, though.

SO funny about that Christmas bonus. Or...not at ALL funny! That's terrible! They could have at least tied a nice chocolate cherry candy to it!

I've heard other stories about the bonus promises and what actually shows up.

I got a GREAT bonus last summer. My first really large one. The check bounced! I should have just framed it.

Bigbird  (Level: 250.5 - Posts: 3353)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 1:25 PM

Bonuses? Someone passing out bonuses? Send them to the teachers, please. We were not even supposed to accept token gifts.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 2:02 PM

And now - we're hardly allowed to GIVE gifts either. Other companies that would normally provide pens, calendars, etc., were not allowed to do so this year.

M48ortal  (Level: 263.7 - Posts: 3850)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 2:19 PM

I've taught for over 35 years now, and got a bonus one time. The small independent system employees got a bonus from the city government. The same city government that levied a 1.5 % "occupational tax" on everyone working within the city, which we did. Worked out to giving us a 1% rebate, and I didn't even live in that community, so my taxes paid for their services.

We did get flu shots, TB skin tests, etc from the school nurse, however. No charge. If a school nurse doesn't like you, it feels like she's using a dull needle and a 'run-and-go.'

I will take this shot, and I'm due for a booster on the pneumonia shot. I've had pneumonia at least twice, and flu several times, but not since the vaccines became available.

Gypsylady  (Level: 149.4 - Posts: 6108)
Sun, 23rd Aug '09 2:32 PM

Do others feel safe taking the 2 vaccines for H1N1 (Swine Flu) shots when they become available or do you feel like they have had a chance to be tested sufficiently?


Godwit  (Level: 81.8 - Posts: 435)
Mon, 24th Aug '09 12:45 AM

Great question. Inquiring minds would like to know.

It sounds like people feel the vaccines are effective in keeping away overall flu and pneumonia. Not much about the H1N1 and epidemic strain and 2 week home emergency supplies?? You aren't worried? You aren't thinking about it? You don't think it will be an issue? You believe the 2 shots will protect you?

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