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I've never had flu (35) nor has my mother (in 70s) - are we immune?

(23 Posts)
hercules1 Fri 19-Jun-09 21:47:59

That's it really.

Sidge Fri 19-Jun-09 21:54:03

Not immune, but maybe less susceptible than some?

If you are generally well it is quite uncommon to get flu. And loads of people say they have/had flu when all they've had is a bad cold!

I've never had flu - I'm 37 and a nurse and have nursed people with flu but never caught it myself.

AbricotsSecs Fri 19-Jun-09 21:55:56

Message withdrawn

Meglet Fri 19-Jun-09 21:56:39

you're lucky smile

rempy Fri 19-Jun-09 21:57:14

Thing is, if you're not a whinger, you may have had flu and called it a cold.

At our childrens hospital they do nose swabs and type the virus (looking for respiratory syncytical virus) and lots of kids that clinically have bronchiolitis (caused by RSV) have a flu virus, usually Influenza A.

mrsboogie Fri 19-Jun-09 22:09:37

There are many different flu viruses so it's not just a question of being "immune to flu". You might have certain biological qualities that make you less susceptible to it but statistically speaking not everyone will get flu in their lifetime. I have only had it once and I know several other people who have never had it.

mrsboogie Fri 19-Jun-09 22:10:25

and you could have had it and never exhibited any symptoms - that happens too.

CacklingandBarking Fri 19-Jun-09 22:12:10

Maybe not, I got flu for the first time last December and I'm 39 (and was pregnant at the time and felt flaming awful).

Hope you don't get it, ever.

Hulababy Fri 19-Jun-09 22:13:13

As fr as I m aware I have only ever had flu once, when at uni aged about 19y. I had a i=kidney infection directly after to and ended up in hospital for a few days with it all. I was very oorly for a few days; never felt so ill before or since. It was definitely way worse than any cold I have ever had.

I do know a couple who apparently forever get "flu" - in realisty they get colds.

bigstripeytiger Fri 19-Jun-09 22:17:50

I have had flu once, and I ended up in hospital. Since then I'm very aware that when most people say they have had flu they mean that they have had a bad cold.

Flu isnt something that you can be generally immune to. The prevalent strains change each year, which is why the vaccines are offered annually.

Ozziegirly Sat 20-Jun-09 03:18:36

I have had it once, aged 4 (am now 31) and my mum had it at the same time. Neither of us have ever had it since.

But then I have never been to hospital, never taken antibiotics, never had a chest, ear or any other form of infection. I haven't been to the Dr for anything other than family planning stuff since I was 12 (mumps).

Funnily enough though, when I was tested for immunity I wasn't immune to chicken pox or mumps, despite having had both.

So, just lucky I think (keeps fingers crossed at all times)

singersgirl Sat 20-Jun-09 09:53:18

In one of the last relatively big seasonal flu outbreaks (1999 - 2000) my stepfather came down with flu on Christmas Day. One stepsister, my husband, DS1 (then 16 months), DN1 (same age) all got the flu from him. DH was ill on Millennium Eve so we stayed in. My mum, me and the other stepsister were fine. Maybe we had it but were asymptomatic - we were certainly all exposed.

I don't remember ever having flu either though I have had shivery colds. That's the first time DH had it.

So it seems rather difficult to predict, on the face of things, who's likely to get it or not.

expatinscotland Sat 20-Jun-09 10:06:39

there's no way a person can be immune to every strain of flu virus out there, unless they've had them all already.

so no, you're not immune.

scottishmummy Sat 20-Jun-09 10:23:29

no flu is viral and mutates so no one immune.that is why flu jab changes annually to include recent strains

Bucharest Sat 20-Jun-09 10:24:58

I've only had it once and thought I was dying. That's why I get so cross when dp maintains he gets it at least 5 times every winter.....but manages to go to work, eat, drink and go to football matches....

elsiepiddock Sat 20-Jun-09 10:26:41

I have never had it either, nor has dh.

Weegle Sat 20-Jun-09 10:38:32

I've had it twice and both times been very ill - DH exposed to it didn't get it. I swear if you've ever had real flu then you'd never say a heavy cold is "flu" - I'm sure people who say that have never actually had flu because there is a world of difference. I couldn't even get myself to the loo during one of the two times I had it, and was fatigued for a good few months after as well. I think it's mostly luck - but the two times I caught it I had been run down, so maybe there's that in the bag too.

scottishmummy Sat 20-Jun-09 10:42:30

completely agree weegie,peole say flu/cold interchangeably,but proprer flu is really debilitating

had it once.fainted in bathroom sustained 2 black eyes had eleveated temp for days.

duchesse Sat 20-Jun-09 10:52:05

I've had it twice. Once aged 14, once aged 30. Not looking forward to ever having it again. Both times were horrible.

duchesse Sat 20-Jun-09 10:54:35

And forgot to say, second time was the only person in household of 6 to get it. At least there were people to nurse me and bring me soup when I started eating again.

First time even my own mother didn't nurse me. Just told me I was malingering. Contracted chicken pox a few weeks later. Had really fun time that year..

Ledodgy Sat 20-Jun-09 10:58:28

I've only had it once when I was 6 or 7 (spanish flu), My dad had it too. it was over Christmas my dad collapsed with it on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day I was too ill to open my presents. That is real flu.

People have a bad cold and call it flu in the same way people have a cracked lip and call it a cold sore. Two completley different things.

Elibean Sat 20-Jun-09 11:40:20

Agree with all so far. I've had real flu once, in 1976, and a milder version (because I was vaccinated due to health issues) which I caught off dh, who had full-fledged 104 temp flu, about ten years ago.

Its actually quite rare.

Which means you could continue to avoid it forever, even though not immune smile

lilacclaire Sun 21-Jun-09 00:12:02

I've had it once and its easy to see why the elderly/lower immune etc can die from this.
Also really annoys me when people constantly say they have the flu.

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