Disease Proof

Got the Flu Shot, Still the Got Flu

Wait! You mean the vaunted flu shot is not the miracle fix it’s marketed to be—nope. Apparently even people vaccinated with the flu-shot are getting the flu. William Wan and David Brown of The Washington Post report:
The stubborn virus has spread across the country, gripping several areas in the Washington region.


But the estimate doesn't mean people should not get inoculated this season, experts said. A flu shot provides some measure of protection, because even the strains not in the current vaccine are descended from ones that are.

"This season, we are seeing more disease out there, and probably higher rates of hospitalization and death than we have seen in the last couple of years," said Joseph S. Bresee, an epidemiologist in the CDC's influenza division. But compared with rates in the past two decades, he said, "it is not an atypical season."

Still, there are signs that the flu's reach may be extending.

Health officials in 44 states, including Maryland and Virginia, are reporting "widespread" flu activity, the CDC said, up from 31 states reported last week. Cases have also been reported in the District, but not at widespread levels.
Not all that surprising. Last week we learned that our flu-shots are pretty much outmatched. David Brown of The Washington Post was on that too. Here’s a bit:
"Most years, the prediction is very good," said Joseph S. Bresee, an influenza epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "In 16 of the last 19 years, we have had a well-matched vaccine."


But probably not this time…

…The viruses in the vaccine are either dead or, in the case of the nasal-spray flu vaccine developed four years ago, crippled so they cannot cause illness. What they can do is stimulate the body's immune system to mount a defense, sometimes a lifesaving one, should the virus be encountered.
We need to stop blindly beating the flu shot drum. Dr. Fuhrman will tell you. Eat healthfully. Bolster your body’s natural defenses. Besides the flu shot does not come without a price—mercury. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Flu vaccines have benefits and risks too. If you read about the flu vaccine in the information supplied by the manufacturer you will learn it contains formaldehyde and 25 micrograms of thimersol (mercury) per dose, used as a preservative. The injection of even this small amount of mercury repeatedly year after year from multiple vaccines can cause neurotoxicity (brain damage). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Public Health Service have issued a joint statement calling for the removal of mercury from vaccines. Chronic low dose mercury exposures may cause subtle neurological abnormalities that rear their head later in life.
Now, the “flu issue” is indeed a big one, and, I’m just a dingy blogger. So, if you want the lowdown on the flu and the flu shot, check out this post by Dr. Fuhrman: Flu and Nutrition. Actually the whole cold and flu category is worth a look.
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