Comments for en-gb 30 Wed 28 Jan 2015 21:05:17 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Dr Adrian Boucher Hi FergusI'm a new kid on this particular block, but am beginning to become concerned at the apparent lack of focus and direction in any "campaign" to encourage people to present for inoculation. In some ways, it repeats the serious errors surrounding the MMR fiasco. I should say that I am a statistician, although not a medical statistician, nor an epidemiologist, but I DO understand probabilities.Why, for example, has there been no mention about the geographical distribution of H1N1 cases? We have some limited information on demographics (ages, etc), but if cases are locally concentrated, an organised response is likely to achieve more effective results than a scattergun approach.Please keep up the good work; it is greatly appreciated.Thanks. Every good wish. Fri 31 Dec 2010 18:55:17 GMT+1 Questionsaplenty2 Okay - I have another question if Skyline or anyone else can answer immunity greater from catching swine flu than from vaccination, and why does catchin swine flu make you immune for many years to that exact strain whereas the vaccine seems to need repeating this Autumn even though the strain hasn't changed?ThanksAngels - nice to see you again. Oh gosh, I'm glad your son is Ok now, that must have been scary. Glad you managed to get the vaccine from the doctor. I just heard of the first local kid I know having flu this year. He was pretty poorly and had the cough so probablty H1N1...his father also caught it, but his mother had had the flu jab being an asthmatic and although she normally catches everything, didnt get sick. Thu 23 Dec 2010 12:31:43 GMT+1 angelscomeinthrees Hi, everyone,Tinkerbell, thank you, I'm fine and recovered within five days but I really was knocked for six. Skyline, thank you again for your reassuring posts.I've just been in hospital for a few days with my son who was admitted with a fever of 40 and stomach pain. I can tell you that round here the A&E depts are seriously pushed but where children are concerned it is mostly babies with brochiolosis, followed by chest infections and injuries caused by the weather. One doctor told me that it's seasonal flu currently causing the problems here and that is possibly what my son had, although none of us have flu symptoms, only mild sore throats etc.Questions, I don't 'qualify' for a flu jab. I contacted my surgery who said that we could have them at the end of their 'campaign' period for targetting at risk patients if any were left, which there were - quite a lot, from what I could gather. I don't know if I will get the kids jabbed or not - if I am honest I do feel happier that I have had the jab but I was very ill and having just seen my son coping - or not - with a temp that was over 39 for days I don't want that to happen unnecessarily. Also there is the possibility that it wasn't the jab that made me ill and that I was brewing something already, which again could be the case for the children. I will have a think after Xmas and decide.Just to add to Grannie's earlier message, I too have been through a lot of changes this year. I've learned that the best thing is to stay present. Live in the moment with life as it is now, not imagining what may or may not happen in the future and missing the miracle of whatever is happening now. The other thing is to accept that fact that life (at least in this form) is finite and that everything can change in an instant. It's really hard but making peace with this fact rather than fighting it is the only way to stop the mental torture. You cannot argue with reality. Incidentally, 'reality' as we think it is is often very different once we stop to question it.Ok, I'm off to check on my boy. Have a good one, everyone. xxx Wed 22 Dec 2010 22:50:39 GMT+1 Questionsaplenty2 Thanks skyline...its great to have your reassuring posts. I wish the media at large would give us consistent information and not spread fear stories...I guess it does sell as you say! Very glad of Fergus's blog.I'm very confused like Tinkerbell over the numbers in intensive care in the press compared to last year. It doesnt add up. More than at the peak of SF?Interesting other areas must be having much higher rates than we have locally here. Locally I haven't heard of anyone with more than a common cold or a headache virus. Perhaps the snow will stop the usual spread by families between areas at Christmas. Wed 22 Dec 2010 15:09:32 GMT+1 SkylineOnFire Remember last winter, how many "mutation" stories there were? Exactly. If something major changed in the virus, it would be all over the news. They constantly test every variant of influenza for changes, its standard procedure and has been for years as far as I'm aware. As for the change at D225G I think they are talking about, it happens. Happened in Ukraine last year if I remember correctly. Variants pop up and die off all the time. Greater Manchester has what... 4-5 Million people correct? A "death cluster" of 10 or so in 3 months, out of how many cases? Influenza is highly contagious. For these 10 deaths there will of been tens, to hundreds of thousands of cases in Greater Manchester. Last year, in the "flu season" there were over 400 deaths in the UK from swine flu. By Christmas last year there were far more deaths and cases than this year, I dont quite understand all the hysteria again in the media, didn't we go through this all last year? I guess fear sells... How many people normally die in an average flu season in the UK again? 3000 wasn't it, directly from influenza? How many from Swine flu last year, infecting far more than an average flu season? 400 or so? How many this year, despite the fact there has been at the very least several million cases so far, 30-40? Just try and rationalize this, just like we did last year.Fear sells, so they push it. Basic media economics. Luckily the BBC tends to keep rational, probably due to the fact its not as profit driven as the commercial stations, papers etc. So, bravo to the BBC as usual for the excellent, factual, to the point coverage of swine flu 2010/2011. Wed 22 Dec 2010 14:38:41 GMT+1 Questionsaplenty2 Thanks Skyline - put like that it does sound miniscule! Thank you it really does help hearing the numbers. Do you know anything about these variants they are talking about? Is that all nonsense too?Just a note to anyone else that gets anxious over this and doesnt fall into the free NHS vaccination categories. Both Boots and Tesco are giving flu jabs still...I managed to get in & get one this morning from my local Boots for £12.99! I'm sure Tescos are even cheaper! (I have health anxiety and feel vulnerable as I am overweight and also work with schoolkids - I pick up everything and I thought rather than lowering my immunity further with stress and worry, I'd just get the jab done!) Wed 22 Dec 2010 10:59:08 GMT+1 SkylineOnFire Death clusters!How on earth can you make a "death cluster" out of 15-20 deaths in a 3 month period! Incredible!9 million people have been ill with influenza symptoms over the past couple of weeks, a statistic I truly believe based upon how many people I know who have come down with flu. Swine flu is without a doubt the most common strain. So lets say as a very conservative number, a million people have had swine flu so far this winter (actual figure is no doubt far higher but I like to keep my estimations conservative) So one million cases, 15-20 deaths, 300 or so in intensive care. Need I say more? Wed 22 Dec 2010 10:17:43 GMT+1 Questionsaplenty2 Hi tinkerbell, I dont qualify as I'm not asthmatic or diabetic etc...I would need to get one privately, but I'm not sure where to go.Can someone clarify is critical care the same as intensive care? Must admit I am getting anxious about this again... (I have health anxiety which doesnt help). There are reports of it affecting people more seriously than last year (but fewer people being infected overall). This quote was interesting:"Bob Winter, of the Intensive Care Society, said: ‘We are certainly seeing more patients in intensive care this year compared with last year. They have a mixture of flu, mainly H1N1 and are aged 16 to 65.‘It seems to be behaving differently from last year. The ones that are getting it seem to be getting it more seriously.‘Last year most people got mildly ill. This year we have lots of people in intensive care when it doesn’t seem to be that high in the community."SKYLINE - please can you help put this one to rest and allay my fears ? - are recombinomics a reputable source of info? The following link talks about a strain which would cause more severe deaths and states " as happening in the Uk at the moment" and says that the samples taken to see if the virus had mutated were taken in areas of London away from the new death cluster areas. can you explain what they are talking about? I am so confused. Thanks! Wed 22 Dec 2010 08:12:45 GMT+1 Tinkerbellbobby3 Sorry, Hi Angel. Glad you are well. How are you feeling now? Have the kids had it yet? What are you going to do? I know a few people who have had the jab and had no probs apart from a sore arm. XX Wed 22 Dec 2010 00:42:40 GMT+1 Tinkerbellbobby3 Questions - If I were you and you want the jab, I would just phone your GP and ask them. Last year they couldnt wait to vaccinate, but I have seen some posters say they cant get vaccinated for love nor money. I dont think they (GP's) have prioritised it this year and now its bit them on the backsides. I have been trying to get my hubby to ask the GP about it. He works with vulnerable people and so is eligible. I want him to be safe also. I believe that the rest of us had it last year and he is the only one who escaaped it (I think) He rang the GP the other day and they havent rang him back yet. Get the feeling he will have to chase this up. Wed 22 Dec 2010 00:41:13 GMT+1 Tinkerbellbobby3 I read an article today in the DM stating that SF had become more virulent and yet in the same breath they said that nine million had been struck down with it. Some of these articles frustrate me. How can it be worse, if only 14 people have died when 9 million have had it. And anyway, how do they know 9 million have or have had it, when some peopple do not display symptoms? Also, they state that at present the numbers with flu presenting are the same as two years ago, but when they quote the numbers going into intensive care compared to last year, the numbers now are already above that of the pandemic peak last year. So 2008 was a worse year than 2009? Im confused. Wed 22 Dec 2010 00:37:00 GMT+1 Questionsaplenty2 I am so glad to see skyline on here again too!Oh dear why did this have to rear its ugly head again just before Christmas? Well my question is does anyone know if the flu vaccine is available in the high street still? I dont qualify for any of the free vaccines but I am a bit overweight. (Yes I have been trying to lose). Apparantly that puts me at greater risk of complications.... as an aside, anyone know why overweight people are not recommended to be vaccinated by the NHS if they are a high risk category?I feel really vulnerable not only for the weight issue but also as I am fighting a throat virus at the moment that has been going on some weeks (had all the blood test - docs say viral)Thanks Tue 21 Dec 2010 19:03:57 GMT+1 Jane Jackson I rang my GP this morning following the chief medical advisers report on Friday, as I am an Asthmatic, and have had jab for the last 4 years but was not going to bother this year.So my fault I agree.But they said I couldn't have one as they had finished doing it!Having put the phone down and thought about it I rang back spoke to someone different who went away and after much discussion said that they had found a 'couple left' so I could have one.Surely if we are told by the chief medical advisor that it is not too late and to go and get it done, this info should be passed on to surgeries? Mon 20 Dec 2010 12:05:02 GMT+1 sensiblegrannie hello angelscomeinthrees nice to hear from you and the rest of the gang.Although the UK is a cold and inhospitable place at this time of year, I would rather stay here than attempt to go away to an exotic holiday location. Better the devil you know!My daughter was saying that her brood are ill with something at the moment involving very high temperatures and blocked ears etc. We are due to have Christmas dinner at her house and I am hoping that this will still be ok. A lot has happened since last year. A lot! I have very good reason to be cautious about seasonal illnesses and their long term potential after effects. My message would be for everyone to maintain a healthy life style as possible, rest when you need it and get plenty of sleep at night. Don't take good health for granted and don't ignore health warning signs. Sun 19 Dec 2010 15:02:23 GMT+1 angelscomeinthrees Just thought I'd stick my head around the door and say hi. :-)Although sf isn't freaking me out right now I have had the flu jab this year, and I was quite ill afterwards for a few days' with flu-like symptoms. I've had conflicting advice as to whether this was due to the flu jab or not. Anyway, I was too ill to take my kids for their jab and haven't been able to reschedule so far. If it was the flu jab that made me ill (I lost half a stone in a week) I am reluctant to put my children through it, but on the other hand would I be better off protecting them even if they might get a rough couple of days??? Interestingly the nurse who gave me the jab thought that sf was done and dusted and was surprised when I said it was doing the rounds in other countries - she clearly hadn't been told to prepare for a new wave.Ah well, lovely to see you all again, esp, Grannie and Tinkerbell, and thanks once more to Skyline for saving my sanity. Have a lovely Christmas, everyone! Sun 19 Dec 2010 09:42:07 GMT+1 serendipity7000 "Last year, those under 65 were especially at risk from the complications of H1N1 and that pattern is continuing this winter." Why is that? Isn't it usually those over 65 and under 5 years of age who are most at risk"It is because people over 65 already have a level of immunity as they were exposed to a similar strain (in the 1970's apparently - I am 52 and was around in the 70's - so not sure why it is just over 65's - maybe it was the 50's when they gained immunity).The important difference between swine flu and other flu is - yes there are high statistics of people dying of normal flu every year and yes they are usually the elderly (many of whom are very ill and flu finishes them off - or just weak and unable to fight it off). And the very young who haven't built much immunity. Hence the high statistics as it is the elderly who have a high death rate anyway!However, with swine flu there are some extremely nasty effects on the lungs - and very deep in the lung - much deeper than infection usually goes. Which means death by respiratory failure. The usual type of ITU ventilation (life support machine) is no good in these cases as it cannot 'breathe' deep enough into the lungs, hence the need for this particular kind of machine (ECMO?)of which there are not many available.Because swine flu has this particular characteristic (attacking deep lung area) it can kill anyone, regardless of their age - and once that happens your previous level of fitness or having a good immune system is not as relevant as it is with normal flu. So a healthy 40 year old is more likely to die than an average over 65 year-old who has immunity to the virus and if they get it all will probably get a very mild form.The point about the swine flu is the uncertainty. Some perfectly healthy people can die - some weak people can get a very mild attack and not die.The information about the effects on lungs and breathing machines came from my Sister who is a paediatric nurse specialist and saw a lot of children die of swine flu.Asthmatics are at risk due to having compromised breathing in the first place (lung issues) but also if they use steroids or a steroid inhaler as these drugs compromise their immune system as well.A high proportion of those who died last year were asthmatics (I researched the statistics and I seem to remember it was about 50%). Pregnant women are at high risk of dying from it due to something I'm not too sure about - maybe some hormonal difference - which means they are extremely susceptible to the worst effects and cannot fight them off.My problem last year and now - as an asthmatic - is similar to the dilemma faced by pregnant women. We are in an 'at risk' group - and REALLY at risk and therefore should have the vaccination - it does save lives. However, there are also dangers for some of us. Asthma is an allergic condition - you can be allergic to many different things, and if you are allergic to something in the vaccine, then that could also kill you. Many asthmatics do not know everything they are allergic to, just some of the things they are allergic to. But generally the vaccine should be Ok. In my case, I have had anaphylaxis (serious life-threatening allergic reaction which can kill in minutes) to Tuna fish. I was reassured that the fish oils in the vaccines were not Tuna fish. I have also had allergic reactions to formaldehyde - which is in both vaccines - the amounts do not matter - any trace can trigger an allergic reaction. When I enquired which vaccine was best for me to have the nurse said they would not give either vaccine to someone who had previously had anaphylaxis to anything. So I had a very worrying winter last year and didn't go out much!Likewise I feel for pregnant women - who may risk having a miscarriage if vaccinated (I do not know the official stance on this but many women did miscarry after vaccination - I read their stories - and surely they weren't all coincidence) - and yet risk death if they are not vaccinated.And so my point is the same as last year - when will there be a vaccine that is SAFE for allergics and pregnant women - two of the high risk categories?Has research and development been done into other vaccines or have they just stuck with the rushed through ones from last year?I think - we are not a large enough group to warrant the money it would cost to research and develop a 'non-allergenic' vaccine - or one which is safe for pregnant women.As it appears that swine flu will be around forever now, and it is a life threatening disease (more so than normal flu as it is not just dependant on your level of health or immunity prior to getting it), then technically we should all be vaccinated every year - but with something that does not contain possible allergens.I believe the vast majority of people who have had the swine flu vaccine had no problem with it. Of the unlucky few who died after having the vaccine, I read that the cause was mainly sudden anaphylaxis. ie they were allergic to something in the vaccine and were unaware that they were.And so I agree with the above post - if you get it mildly - stay indoors and don't put others at risk. Just to make things worse for asthmatics, we have now had our life-saving steroid inhalers banned and replaced with cfc-free ones - which is all very worthy for the environment, but many people are having problems with the non-cfc ones and their asthma is now worse.In the middle of all this government protection (have the vaccine) will someone please tell them that one of their high risk groups is not being looked out for due to cost - production of cheap mass-produced vaccines which do not 'fit all' and abolishment of cfc inhalers. Sat 18 Dec 2010 23:51:27 GMT+1 Doctor_Dailley @Parent_of_2The link to the information you are interested in can be found on the Health Protection website at: at the report dated 16 December. The information is at the top of page 4.I hope this is useful. Fri 17 Dec 2010 16:48:17 GMT+1 Tina_Fisher Well I really don't know what to think, I'm 27 weeks pregnant and have been offered the Flu Vaccine. I did't contract Swine Flu last year, or at least not that I was aware of. I have friends within the BMC that will not have the vaccine as they don't believe that it has been fully tested !! and there are press reports that are really concerning me advising that pregnant women who have had the vaccine have suffered a miscarriage very soon after and the numbers of these cases are rising. So do I have the vaccine and risk losing my baby ! or do I leave it to chance and hope I don't get it, however if I do I might not just lose my baby but I could also die of the disease. Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:26:31 GMT+1 JP62 Skyline - sorry but your statement isn’t quite accurate, and since last year there has been a lot of data analysis and clinical papers published. The papers are fairly consistent in their conclusions: to quote a small section from an abstract of a paper just published in Clinical Infectious Disease (which basically agrees with other peer reviewed studies published in the last months):-"During the 2009–2010 pandemic, among all age groups less that 65 years old, excess mortality increased earlier than during any of the previous 47 seasons, eventually exceeding mortality in any prior non-pandemic season. In the ≥65-year-old age group, excess mortality remained relatively low, at rates typical of seasonal influenza A(H1N1) seasons. The model provided a timely assessment of severity during the 2009–2010 influenza pandemic, showing that, compared with prior seasons, mortality was relatively high among persons under 65 years old and relatively low among those ≥65 years old."In other words, if you are over 65, you are no more likely to get swine flu and have severe illness or die than in previous years.If you are under 65 and have an underlying health condition, your risks are much higher that in past years, and you should get vaccinated.If you are not in an at risk group, stay home if you fall ill will flu, if for no other reason than to stop the risk of spreading the bug to someone else *who may be at risk* even if you are not. Remember, it is estimated that 5.2 million of people in the UK have asthma, and an estimated @10% of children have asthma. All of these people are in the 'at risk' group. So the odds of passing a flu infection on to one of these people if you go out when you are sick are fairly high - one in 10 people you meet at least are likely to be in that higher risk group.So whilst the vast majority of us really don’t need to be concerned about flu in relation to ourselves, we do ALL need to be considerate and stay home when ill and infectious. Fri 17 Dec 2010 12:13:19 GMT+1 Parent_of_2 @Doctor_Dailley "Some of the earlier comments above have asked how many of those who have tragically died had been vaccinated. According to the Health Protection Agency website, the immunisation status is known of 14 of those who have died"please provide the link Fri 17 Dec 2010 09:30:49 GMT+1 Angryfinlandfff I have never worried about getting the flu, nor will I ever do. Last year we discussed things with my wife and decided that none of our family is getting vaccinated, if the flu comes then it comes, if we get sick we get sick, if we die we die! We live a healthy lifestyle, eat well, exercise and usually have a glass or two of whisky every day. So far it seems to be working, our family has not had a flu or anything more than a mild cold in the last 5 years. Big fuss about nothing if you ask me. Fri 17 Dec 2010 09:18:23 GMT+1 SkylineOnFire Tinkerbell, They can say it's worse than last year if they like. The virus itself, is identical to last year, I.e weaker than the 03,04,05,06,07,08 variants of winter flu. 15 dead from swine flu according the reports. Know how many died in 03,04,05,06,07,08 of influenza? 3000 was the average. Last year saw a huge fall in the numbers of influenza deaths in the UK, a huge fall. And the same will happen this year. It's a fact that swine flu kills far less than "seasonal flu" kills. Fri 17 Dec 2010 00:40:48 GMT+1 Tinkerbellbobby3 Again, another article stating that its already worse than last year. Thu 16 Dec 2010 23:28:10 GMT+1 Doctor_Dailley Hello everyone - good to see so many names from last year are still around!Some of the earlier comments above have asked how many of those who have tragically died had been vaccinated. According to the Health Protection Agency website, the immunisation status is known of 14 of those who have died. NONE of these 14 had either received last year's swine flu jab or this years trivalent seasonal flu vaccination.It seems clear to me, therefore, that if you want to avoid getting flu, and have a clinical condition or are pregnant, you should get the jab - I have! Thu 16 Dec 2010 22:52:01 GMT+1 Tinkerbellbobby3 Skyline, I am so glad you are still posting. Thank you. Especially as I have just read a link with the medical profession stating that this is already worse than last year. Thu 16 Dec 2010 22:49:06 GMT+1 Doctor_Dailley This post has been Removed Thu 16 Dec 2010 21:53:06 GMT+1 SkylineOnFire SkylineOnFire here, if anyone has any questions or needs some logic again, just like last year, let me know!This was always going to happen, since swine flu was the dominant strain of winter 09, it essentially moved onto the regular strains turf, and took over. It will be here for years in the winters, as its a regular winter flu strain now. The virus is still the same, and if anyone wants to go back to last winters posts and see the statistical analysis we all did in the comment sections, showing that swine flu was numerous times less virulent than your regular strain of winter flu, feel free.Nothing to worry about, but like last year, any questions etc... Let me know. Take Care everyone. Thu 16 Dec 2010 20:37:34 GMT+1 RandomArbiter I need to tell you all the grim news - we're all going to die. Could be now, could be 100 years from now. Could be from swine flu, could be from a murderer, the lights falling off and knocking your head, cancer... but you're going to die.Best make the most of life while you can. Thu 16 Dec 2010 16:35:25 GMT+1 ellen_b_p Hi Fergus,A good synopsis of what's happening. At the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, we're running an online flu survey to measure flu in the community, as a complement to GP-based reporting. Perhaps you'd like to take part? You can register at flusurvey scientist) Thu 16 Dec 2010 15:33:00 GMT+1 diffusa When will we know if this is the same virus that struck last year or has it mutated??? That is the $64k question. Once isolated it shouldn't take long to find out... Thu 16 Dec 2010 14:45:14 GMT+1 Chloe-in-france It's good to see that both sides of the vaccine argument are being put forward.Personally, I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole and prefer natural methods of boosting the immune system such as maintaining vitamin C and D levels and using anti-virals like echinacea, olive leaf oil etc. Some people have asked about data showing the effectiveness of last year's vaccinations and there doesn't seem to be much.That's surprising considering the fuss that was made about it. Anyway, I think figures can be tweaked to give the desired results. For those who are still worried I suggest doing some research: , for a start then read the 'government' arguments and decide which you want to believe. It's your decision but the main thing is - Don't panic!! Thu 16 Dec 2010 10:45:27 GMT+1 Parent_of_2 #21 VeniVediVocali Several news sources reported that half of the 10 who have died were vaccinated. The other half presumably were not.It concerns me that the BBC has failed to report this crucial fact as it does indeed call into doubt the effectiveness of this years formulation.I also note by the DoH own statistics that a mere 10.9% of frontline NHS staff have been vaccinated (Oct- Nov)Again this has not been reported by the BBCIs this a simple oversight or are the BBC suffering embedded journalism with medical reporting, Or as you say"This is not a theoretical debate - people's lives depend on it"And to question it is heresy. Thu 16 Dec 2010 09:51:52 GMT+1 Lenmark In Germany last year my partner had the flu and went to the doctor. After a 5 minute exam, it was "confirmed" as swine flu and the Doctor offered the Swine Flu shot. I had recommended that she refused this as it had not been properly tested and was causing some people extreme illness. The Doctor recommend that the Swine flu test could be done at 60 euros and a 5 day wait. Later that week a news story broke that the German People should not have to pay the 60 euros for Swine flu test as it should be covered by their health insurance, also a member of the German Parliment asked how many swine flu cases had been confirmed by this test compared to the all the Doctors tests, the Swine Flu Test only confirmed swine flu 1 in 15 times. The number of confirmed cases of swine flu fell dramaticaly and that over 85% of the swine flu deaths had other major underline attibutes. In others words the Swine flu "Pandemic" was a con Thu 16 Dec 2010 08:50:54 GMT+1 Grey Animal The adjuvants added to vaccines do not suppress the body's immune response - indeed, their effect is entirely the opposite.Some antigens (viral proteins, bacterial coat polysaccharides, and so on) when injected alone provoke only a very weak response from the immune system, insufficient to cause it to produce the protective antibodies that the vaccine is supposed to elicit. Vaccines using these antigens simply would not work in the absence of adjuvants.In other cases, it's desirable to limit the amount of antigen in the vaccine, either because it's expensive to isolate or because in high doses it would produce unpleasant side-effects; again, the use of adjuvants allows the production of safe, effective, affordable vaccines. Thu 16 Dec 2010 08:13:04 GMT+1 JP62 Should we worry about this? Well, yes, but not in the way you might think. Swine flu DOES have the capacity to produce more serious disease that normally associated with flu, especially in young adults i.e those under the age of 65, and especially pregnant women.Your risks of getting a serious bout of swine flu are also higher if you have an underlying disease condition such as asthma, cardiovascular disease etc, and you qualify for a free vaccine - which this year means the standard seasonal vaccine. That also provides protection against other strains that are circulating.But what about the rest of us in whom its mild, no more than an irritation and a couple of days in bed? Well yes, you should worry too - but not about you, but the people around you and the people you will meet if you go into work or shopping,who might be at higher risks of serious or even fatal disease. So the bottom line is, even if you dont have to worry, worry about other people if you catch flu of any kind. Stay home, and dont spread your germs about to someone who it might hospitalise or even kill. Thu 16 Dec 2010 07:14:42 GMT+1 VeniVediVocali Brother Augustus #21 ought to think what he is saying.Vaccines save lives, someone might have the vaccine and it might save their life. If people belittle the vaccine then people will die who otherwise would have lived if they had the vaccine.This is not a theoretical debate - people's lives depend on it.Part of the reason why so few people die of flu is because of vaccination, but we need to ensure that we do not become complacent. Thu 16 Dec 2010 00:30:34 GMT+1 Barone Be careful everyone, worrying about this kind of stuff can make you ill. Thu 16 Dec 2010 00:22:15 GMT+1 Albert Ramsbottom How many of the 10 who, sadly, died of flu had been vaccinated this year? I suspect the vaccine isn't as helpful as the politicians would have us believe. Should flu vaccines have a warning? FLU VACCINES KILL?? Wed 15 Dec 2010 23:55:57 GMT+1 mightymaverick "Last year, those under 65 were especially at risk from the complications of H1N1 and that pattern is continuing this winter." Why is that? Isn't it usually those over 65 and under 5 years of age who are most at risk? Wed 15 Dec 2010 23:43:34 GMT+1 ArcticFrog It's all very well saying ordinary flu kills thousands every year and not to panic. The difference with swine flu is the people it's killing - young children and pregnant women - not the demographic normally associated with flu deaths. Wed 15 Dec 2010 23:34:24 GMT+1 diffusa Flu viruses mutate and can even 'swap' bits with other flu viruses so that is why they are so unpredictable. If this is still the same H1N1 of last year my family is immune - we had it - but if it has mutated then we are back to square one. That is why the facts are slow in coming out - the medics are doing their best but only time will tell. The most important thing is not to mix unnecessarily when a virus emerges until it becomes clear what we are up against. The victory parades at the end of WW1 led to thousands of extra deaths. By the way the Foot & Mouth Disease virus is the most infectious virus known to human or animal medicine so that explains its amazing spread in 2001 - most flu isn't even in the ballpark there but who knows what combination of morbidity and mortality nature might throw at us (with a big helping hand from we humans of course with out intensive animal enterprises and air travel...) Wed 15 Dec 2010 23:27:30 GMT+1 sudha_v Phew! another pandemic this season? What is it this year! Just now my kid recovered from rotavirus apparently it was a bug everyone had! Then she has the chickenpox which half her class has! And now another one waiting to hit us swine again? Gosh what is this are we storehouse of all viruses which are let free during winter/fall? If viruses are so rampant because of the weather then it would just make sense to give anti-virals and control all these viruses during the fall/winter season rather than letting it spread to all and then doing something about it I guess when its too late! Atleast it would control the spreading! Wed 15 Dec 2010 23:07:10 GMT+1 haufdeed 13. At 9:49pm on 15 Dec 2010, John Ellis wrote: vaccines in most cases leave you open to greater symptoms due to the adjuvants used that suppress your immune system so the vaccine imprint can be taken for the immune system, also boosts the active ingredients of the vaccines. usually results in lung failure.=======================================================================Quite right, but nothing you or I can say will stop the hysterics and hypochondriacs, who currently form the majority of the UK population, from demanding as many vaccinations as the pharmaceutical industry can provide them with. Of course the medical profession are more than happy to oblige. Their bread and butter is medicalising as many people as possible. Sadly, it all comes down to money. My money, squandered on fake "pandemics". Wed 15 Dec 2010 22:48:30 GMT+1 Mark Good Lord people, get a sense of perspective. So H1N1 has killed 10 people in the last three months. In the same period, on average, over 700 people will have died on the UK's roads. Wed 15 Dec 2010 22:25:43 GMT+1 Edmund Burke Does this mean no kissing under the mistletoe? Wed 15 Dec 2010 21:58:28 GMT+1 John Ellis This post has been Removed Wed 15 Dec 2010 21:49:10 GMT+1 hounddog49 It's long been my opinion that one of the greatest risks to health in the UK is the hysterical nonsense propagated by certain irresponsible sections of the tabloid press about issues such as this. Flu of one kind or another is endemic in the human population and some people will die of it at any time, other than in times of major exceptions (the epidemics after WW1 for example) these will be those at high risk because of other (usually major) medical problems. As this, admirably level headed, article points out, it's usually pretty obvious who these are. Your GP can advise you if you're one of them and what to do. The vast majority of us are at risk of nothing more than a few uncomfortable days best spent in bed with a good book. The numbers who died last year were little different from what one might expect in a 'normal' year.Remember last year's press panic about swine flu? I caught it and it was one of the milder flu bugs I've had in my time.We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Wed 15 Dec 2010 21:28:30 GMT+1 Tinkerbellbobby3 I wasnt aware that HIV hardly ever infects straight British People? Wed 15 Dec 2010 21:26:10 GMT+1 plasticfoodmuncher Lemons are anti septic, anti venom and anti viral so good for viral infections. At this time of year when the pollen from hazel trees is filling the air, we can easily think that our blocked noses and coughing is flu when it isn't. If you control the mucus from irritation caused by pollen, air conditioning and dust mites then there is nothing for the flu germs to multiply in. Wed 15 Dec 2010 21:19:23 GMT+1 Henry Tudor Here we go with the scare stories. Seasonal flu kills 250000 people worldwide EVERY YEAR. 3000 people get killed in the UK alone - EVERY YEAR. The BBC are not immune from scaring people - last swine flu scare, they pointed out that the difference between swine flu and seasonal flu was that swine flu killed people. (They corrected this error when I complained about the article).So let's be clear: swine flu is a minor risk. Wed 15 Dec 2010 21:07:41 GMT+1 phillip This post has been Removed Wed 15 Dec 2010 20:58:33 GMT+1 Tinkerbellbobby3 Hi Grannie, nice to see you back. This should make some feel better. According to William Schaffner, MD, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, this year's flu season will likely be a mix of three different strains, one of them being H1N1 (a.k.a. swine flu), the same global pandemic flu virus that grabbed so many headlines last season. Still, H1N1 is not expected to cause nearly the widespread illness it did last year. "It won't be as serious as it was last year, but from time to time, we will likely see very local outbreaks of H1N1 because it didn't get everyone last year," explains Dr. Schaffner.Ten people sounds a lot, but another two were from 'normal flu' Lets hope the panic isnt as bad as last year, I spent most of last year in constant state of anxiety. Skyline was a saviour, lets hope he comes back this year. I think there will be little clusters as not a lot of people took up the vaccine, other than that I think it will come to nothing, hopefully. Thanks for the blog again Fergus. Reassurance would be good and not the scare mongering we had from some quarters last year. Wed 15 Dec 2010 20:50:11 GMT+1 gajp In September 2009, news stories reported that researchers in Canada had found an increased risk of pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza in people who had previously been vaccinated against seasonal influenza.In a school outbreak of pH1N1 in spring 2009, people with cough and fever were found to have received prior seasonal flu vaccination more often than those without. Several public health agencies in Canada therefore undertook four additional studies during the summer of 2009 to investigate further. Taken together, the four studies included approximately 2,700 people with and without pH1N1.The first of the studies found the seasonal vaccine to be associated with an increased risk of approximately 68 percent for pH1N1 disease. The further 3 studies similarly found between 1.4 and 1.5 times increased likelihood of pH1N1 illness in people who had received the seasonal vaccine compared to those who had not.take your choice, get the jab and an increased risk of flu or not. but don't follow the fear mongering over this or any other type of flu. Wed 15 Dec 2010 18:51:05 GMT+1 sensiblegrannie Stella 26Don't WORRY yourself sick. I worked in the thick of HINI last year amongst coughing and sneezing young people in very warm crowded rooms. I think I did get the flu early on in the outbreak. All of my grandchildren had HINI and so did my children. The ones I worry about now are my parents and my chap even though they have had the new multiple flu jab.As for the other flu, it is still a long distance way from us and at present it hasn't developed the capability to spread easily from person to person. Just don't kiss any ducks or live fowl no matter how much you love 'em. I have frozen down some game pheasant for one of the dinners at christmas but I shall take sensible precautions when preparing them (just in case) ;-) Wed 15 Dec 2010 18:37:38 GMT+1 Stella26 Sensiblegrannie - I remember your discussions from last year, please tell me there is not another flu to worry about! Wed 15 Dec 2010 18:08:11 GMT+1 stashadmin Fergus, well said. Not another pandemic wave. Wed 15 Dec 2010 18:04:00 GMT+1 Stella26 Hi Fergus, Well I had only just recently stopped worrying about it but how short lived that was! Silly I know but for much of 2009 I worried about this and it took over my life! Some will think I am stupid and probably am - however it really terrifies me! I Has the single jab last year as did my 2 childern and myself and daughter had the seasonal flu jab a few months ago Does this mean were no longer protected? Also the fact that people are now needing the ECMO treatment does that mean that the virus has become more serious? And one last thing - It doesn't mention in reports whether or not the people contracting it and becoming seriously ill have actually been vaccinated or not? Could you give any info to put my mind at rest? Wed 15 Dec 2010 18:03:19 GMT+1 sensiblegrannie hello Fergus,Yep its back! This time it looks as if the UK is in the forefront of this wave. I have been following this for a while and also following the resurfacing of the other flu in Asia through croftblogs. Wed 15 Dec 2010 17:54:21 GMT+1