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Influenza A comes to Canberra

By GnT 4 August 2007 31

Four kids are dead in Perth, a four-year-old died in Brisbane, and now a busload of kids from the Gold Coast are sick in Canberra Hospital, all due to an outbreak of the dangerous “Influenza A”.

I’ve had first hand experience of this, as I spent a couple of hours yesterday in hospital with my two-year-old, who had a fever which wouldn’t go down. The good news is after a rough night of high temperatures, and 24 hours of force feeding him paracetamol and ibuprofen, he appears to be on the mend. They are apparently dropping like flies at his day care centre.


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Influenza A comes to Canberra
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asp 6:59 pm 07 Aug 07

To claify my comment about flu shots in the public service, I do not believe the government would be paying for desk jockeys to have flu shots unless it provides some sought of gain for them.

asp 6:56 pm 07 Aug 07

correction: logical

asp 6:55 pm 07 Aug 07

Okay maeliner, allow me to put this issue to rest, using language that will suite your apparanelty limited logicac thought abilities.

Firstly, I have provided facts from independant sources as well as what I have been told by doctors.

Secondly, in rrsponce to you comment “The Fluvax does not vaccinate you against this years virus”
I ask you, WHY SHOULD IT??? “This years virus[s]” will are not widespread yet and may not be for some time. The shot covers what is predicted to be the most probable, widespread and dangerous strains of flu. It’s no good being pedantic about covering the newest strain if few people would get it anyway, all the while people are getting the much more prvalent strain that has existed for a while. YOUR LOGIC IF FLAWED AND YOU PROVIDE NO EVIDENCE!

Thridly, in responce to ““predict”, “may show”, “even if it didn’t”, and “likely” – these are not words you want to use to reinforce your point”. I use these terms because these are common medical terms. Nothing is certain, and I don’t claim that anything is certain. Much to do with medicine is based on probability. The flu vaccine is based probabilty, the probability that it will cover the right strains, the probability that the vaccine will provide adequate protection against those strains and the probability of the vaccine being readily accepted by the body. Listen to any doctor and they won’t be saying this medicine WILL CERTAINLY protect you, they say it WILL LIKELY protect you.

“This is because this years virus has not been identified yet”
-Out-f**king-standing… great reasoning. Who would have thought that the experts haven’t identified the new strains before they’ve occured. Two thumbs up. But in your favour, you are correct. We we can’t be completely certain what this year’s flu is going to be.

Also, I would like to point out that the Commonwealth Public service (at least in some departments) offers free flu shots.

Finally, I would like to say that I don’t blindly support the flu vaccine. I have had the flu, and have made a choice that I will take steps to help prevent it in the future. But I do not claim claim nor do I beleive that every person should get it, nor does every person need it. I get it, but I’m not in a risk group for the flu. It’s simply a conveinience. But for some, the young, the old, pregnant women, etc, those in the danger group, the flue can be serious. A close relative of mine died years ago. He didn’t have the flu shot. Today, the biggest problem in gaurding against the flu is getting people at risk to have the vaccine. And comments such as yours do not help the situation. That’s why I am defending the vaccine and rebutting your ill thought and unsunstantiated postings. And they are unsubstatiated. I on the otherhand have provided links to onlne material that supports my claims. You on the otherhand have not. In academic terms, the person’s work who cites sources is always considered stronger than the work of someone who makes claims without supporting sources.

I’ve never had a flu vaccine in my life, and am unlikely to start any time soon. So who cares?

Thumper 1:03 pm 07 Aug 07

Oh yeah, but it is fun reading…

🙂

caf 12:29 pm 07 Aug 07

Oh for crying out loud. Can’t you two put the big swinging dicks away and step back for a second? It’s obvious to everyone else that you’re both partially right – asp is right when he says that it’s not a vaccine against last year’s flu, it’s against what’s predicted to be this year’s flu; and Maelinar is right when he says that we can’t be completely certain what this year’s flu is going to be.

Maelinar 8:50 am 07 Aug 07

asp, in response to your questions, yes and yes.

As indicated by Thumper, I am also vaccinated against shit you’ve never even dreamed of. And yes they are current regardless of the fact I’m no longer in the military, on account of I was in PNG earlier this year and got updated.

So stick that in a needle and inject it.

A question in return. Why are you so vehemently protecting the medical industry’s guesswork project ?

You yourself in your rebuttals are using the following words when making up the fluvax “predict”, “may show”, “even if it didn’t”, and “likely” – these are not words you want to use to reinforce your point, as they reinforce mine.

What I have continued to say, and I’ll say this very slowly now: The Fluvax does not vaccinate you against this years virus.

This is because this years virus has not been identified yet.

Please, I continue welcoming your reinforcement of my above statement, as you continue to attempt to rebut my comment. Unless you want me to 3 character space you, it might pay to come up with some facts that support your point of view though.

Thumper 7:53 am 07 Aug 07

hehehe.. It just occured to me, Mael has vaccinations for stuff you couldn’t even dream of. However, I doubt the flu is one of them.

In fact, courtesy of our military, so do I 😉

Thumper 7:50 am 07 Aug 07

I was always under the impression that they provided a vaccine for what was thought to be the most possible strains that could emerge for that year given that the virus evolves so quickly.

asp 6:47 pm 06 Aug 07

correction: I know the flu vaccine is not part of the schedule and is more of a “luxury”, but the way you talk is like that of people who don’t beleive in vaccinations full stop.
For the record, I AM fully immunised as per the sechedule, as well as having two optional immunisations.

asp 6:46 pm 06 Aug 07

maeliner, May I ask you. Are you fully immunsied as per the Australian Immunisation Schedule? And if you have any kids, are they fully immunised as per that schedule?

I know the flu vaccine is not part of the schedule na dis more of a “luxury”, but thae way you talk I like that of people who don’t beleive in vaccinations full stop.
For the record, I AM fully immunised as per the sechedule, as well as having two optional immunisations.

asp 6:42 pm 06 Aug 07

maeliner, BS!
“The flu vaccine immunises you against the previous year’s major strains of flu. – I was summarising the 3 selected virus strains into ‘major’. The selection is made from the previous years most virulent strains.”
— Not nessesarily. In some cases this is true, but in many years, they include strains which have not been very active for years because they predict a flare up. In other words, a strain that was very bad in 1985, may show signs of becoming a problem in 2009 and therefore they will include it, even if it didn’t become a major strain in 2008.

“Essentially they are playing catchup with the virus. – They make the selection from the PREVIOUS YEARS most virulent strains, by taking a ‘guess’ at what is the most likely to be a problem virus THIS YEAR. I summarised this as playing catchup.”
—This is mostly wrong. The new vaccine is not automatically based on the previous years most virulent strains. They are based on the likely strains for the next year. And in many cases, these are strains which have not be around for a while such as Wisoncisn, which I have to seen in the Aussie vaccine for a while.

“The Flu vaccine will not immunise you against this years virus strain. – Again, I stand by this comment. The Flu vaccine will NOT immunise you against THIS YEARS virus, as THIS YEARS virus has not been identified, nor has there been sufficient time for the medical industry to prepare a medical response. The Flu vaccine WILL immunise you against the most likely strains , but it cannot be fully expected to protect you against a morphed strain.”
— You are technically correct, but misguided. Yes, the flu vaccine will not protect you against new strains/mutations that appear in the year the shot is valid for. The vaccine will protect you against the top three most dangerous/probable strains that will hit in that flu season. And that is the way it should be. Take the following example:
A new strain of Influenza A appears, lets call it A/Melbourne/123 in the 2007 (current) flu season. The 2007 vaccine won’t protect against this strain. And why should it. The 2007 vaccine protects against relatively widespread and dangerous strains. The A/Melbourne/123 strain is new and is only in a tiny part of the population. It is not widespread and will not cause as much damage as the more established strains. A/Melbourne/123 may also be a weaker form of the virus which is not easily transfered from person to person, in which case vaccination would be unessesary.
So therefore, you are argument about the flu shot not protecting against this year’s strain is correct, thogh missing the point. Because if it were to protect against the new strains that form every year, it would be useless as these new strains are still in there infancy and not widespread. The current vaccine however protects against current widespread and quite dangerous strains.

Maelinar 3:07 pm 06 Aug 07

I’d guess you had the A/Wyoming/3/2003 X 147 reassortant, but on account of you had the injection, you were preprepared. Lucky you didn’t get the A/Wisconsin/3/2007 X 150 variant.

***Disclaimer***
I made that up. But it accentuates my point nicely. And I don’t like Wisconsin much.

My wife and I have both had flu for the last 2 and a half weeks. Not a bad strain, but enough to leave you feeling crappy. Interesting, our 2 year old has barely been symptomatic. He had a bit of a cough for a few days, then a runny nose, but seems just about back to normal. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old…

Maelinar 10:42 am 06 Aug 07

asp, pray tell which part of my comment was either BS, misleading or wrong or a combination of all 3 ?

Especially taking into consideration the further information posted by ant.

An expanded version of my comment:

The flu vaccine immunises you against the previous year’s major strains of flu. – I was summarising the 3 selected virus strains into ‘major’. The selection is made from the previous years most virulent strains.

Essentially they are playing catchup with the virus. – They make the selection from the PREVIOUS YEARS most virulent strains, by taking a ‘guess’ at what is the most likely to be a problem virus THIS YEAR. I summarised this as playing catchup.

The theory behind this concept is that your body will be pre-prepared to fight strains of flu that are similar, or will react to last years virus. – I am referring to the ‘guess’ made by selecting the most virulent strains as a theory, and the concept is referring to injecting yourself with these strains in an attempt to immunise yourself against whatever strain morphs this year. I stand by this comment.

The Flu vaccine will not immunise you against this years virus strain. – Again, I stand by this comment. The Flu vaccine will NOT immunise you against THIS YEARS virus, as THIS YEARS virus has not been identified, nor has there been sufficient time for the medical industry to prepare a medical response. The Flu vaccine WILL immunise you against the most likely strains , but it cannot be fully expected to protect you against a morphed strain.

A lot of the data I am referring to, actually comes from your extensive posts. I just read the other parts of it.

Thumper 8:05 am 06 Aug 07

I should add that I’ve never had a flu shot and have never had the flu.

Apparently it’s terrible…

Thumper 8:03 am 06 Aug 07

It flattened by superfit, super strong 18 year old son over the weekend.

In fact he’s still not feeling the greatest.

man, hope I don’t get it. pass the Glen 20…

Hasdrubahl 4:01 pm 05 Aug 07

Bah. I’ve not had a cold or flu for years. And no flu shots either.

But then, I come from a good pedigree – you know, crossing the Alps with elephants, taking on the Roman army & winning, etc…not a problem. It’s all in the genes.

VicePope 4:01 pm 05 Aug 07

asp’s stuff was worthy, if lengthy. The vaccine is not perfect, but it’s a lot better than nothing and I work somewhere that has seen its beneficial overall effects on absences. With a thing like a virus that can change rapidly, it’s not possible to anticipate and deal with every possible mutation in advance or immediately.

el is dead right. Someone who comes in when he or she is crook is not a hero but a saboteur. If it was only the boss/the government that took a hit, I’d be less worried. But it’s important to remember that someone in the work group might be (or be related to) someone especially vulnerable for whom the flu may be catastrophic. Subject to WorkChoices (ha!) people get sick leave for a reason and with the intent that it be used when they’re sick.

el 10:49 am 05 Aug 07

People catch flu because other people give it to them. stop tolerating people who come to work and school sick as dogs, and make it more laudatory for them to stay home rather than “soldiering on”.

Couldn’t agree more! Nothing shits me more than someone coming to work and coughing/spluttering all over the place.

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