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children going back to school will trigger major flu epidemic

(35 Posts)
dikkertjedap Tue 28-Dec-10 13:09:44

Here - also, it seems that the government is refusing to publish the minutes of a meeting with medical advisers on whether under fives should have been part of the annual flu jab ... this decision saves the government £85million. I am worried because I should have the flu jab but still have not been able to have it as I am all the time ill (with bad colds, fever, chest infections) and hence cannot have the jab before I am better. DD will have it this week privately but will take minimum two weeks to get some immunity and then booster after 4 weeks to get full immunity.

Are you worried???

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Tue 28-Dec-10 13:36:59

I am. Am also extremely angry at the idea that the health of our children is being compromised on grounds of cost (if that's true of course). No advertising campaign? It doesn't cost much in the grand scheme of things FFS.

Notevenamouse Tue 28-Dec-10 13:43:37

I am worried and you are right about them not telling people because of the cost. What is it to them anyway. It will get rid of some of the surplus population won't it angry

dikkertjedap Tue 28-Dec-10 13:47:19

But surely an epidemic must cost a lot more, with lots of ill people on special equipment in intensive care or like last year the pregnant lady who needed to be treated in Sweden! Surely, that must cost more than 85m???? So, even if purely based on cost (which I for obvious reasons don't agree with, why have public health any way if that is the way we start thinking) it does not make sense.

dikkertjedap Tue 28-Dec-10 13:48:34

And of course, lot of ill people means less people working with a clear impact on the economy, so it seems false economy in whatever way you look at it, apart from the huge personal cost and suffering.

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Tue 28-Dec-10 13:49:17

Agree. It's incredibly short sighted if that's one of their reasons.

TheParasiteofChristmasPast Tue 28-Dec-10 13:50:25

i don't think they can do much tbh.

dikkertjedap Tue 28-Dec-10 14:03:38

Well, if they really think that especially under fives going back to school might trigger an epidemic, then they could on public health grounds keep the schools closed whilst kicking off a big immunisation campaign. But given that you only build up immunity two weeks after the vaccination, you would need to keep the schools closed for at least two weeks (if you were to kick all this off now, i.e. today, next day)). So it is not too late, but it will be expensive and you need real political will to do this and clearly a lot will depend on what public health experts think should be done and then hoping the government listens to them. I am not an expert, but it may be that you don't have to close all schools but focus on under fives and stress that at other schools children will not be allowed when looking ill and enforce good hygiene (handwashing, disposal of tissues). Just a thought ...

melezka Tue 28-Dec-10 14:06:38

Lots of people being sick will affect the economy; just not the specific health budget. This is a massive massive problem - no joined up thinking and everyone being protective of their own portion of money rather than looking to the public good

Rosa Tue 28-Dec-10 14:17:04

Just a quickie is the swine flu the same version as last years or a slightly different one ?
My dds had swine flu ( confirmed / swabbed) so am just wondering if its different strain then they could get it again.

dikkertjedap Tue 28-Dec-10 14:25:01

I was just reading somewhere, (think was CDC website, see my link earlier, but will post if I come across it again) that even if it is exactly the same only strong healthy people will still have SOME NOT TOTAL IMMUNITY, but the young, elderly and people with underlying issues will not. So even if you had actual swine flu you can get it again if it is still exactly the same virus (apparently this applies to all influenza, no such thing as life long immunity, immunity is very short term (6 months to few years, depending on person and strain of flu!!!!). We had assumed dh would be fine as he had swine flu in 2009, apparently you can't assume that at all! There is so little useful information out there, you need to be a doctor to understand what is going on or spend hours trawling through information on the internet (useless info and some useful info, finding out what is reliable etc.). DH is now going to get vaccine at Boots once he has recovered from his rotten cold ...

dikkertjedap Tue 28-Dec-10 14:27:15

That last posting was meant for Rosa

expatinscotland Tue 28-Dec-10 14:46:36

'So even if you had actual swine flu you can get it again if it is still exactly the same virus (apparently this applies to all influenza, no such thing as life long immunity, immunity is very short term (6 months to few years, depending on person and strain of flu!!!!). '

That's not true. In fact, the reason why swine flu is affecting more younger and less people over 65 is because a large number of people over 65 have had a strain of swine flu already. They're either immune completely or to the point where they don't usually suffer complications from this type of flu.

Excepting people with certain conditions, most of the time, if you have one strain of a virus, you won't get it again. Ever. The reason why people catch colds throughout their lives is because there are so many different strains of rhinovirus.

In fact, you can even pass immunity to some viruses down - such is the case for some who have had measles.

Rosa Tue 28-Dec-10 14:49:57

Thanks for that . I am in Italy and so far nobody has said anything but they never do until its on us. I would not like a repeat of last year at all ...But then again there is not much that can be done.
DD1 was given the normal flu jab in Dec 2009 after she had the swine flu as doc reckoned it was best to try to avoid it seeing as she had complications afterwards. This year nothing......Fingers crossed ro you all .

wannaBe Tue 28-Dec-10 14:58:02

But we had this mass panic last year with talk of mass vaccination/the giving out of tamiflu to everyone with a sneeze and a cough and talk of signifficant amounts of the population being ill/dying and it all came to nothing.

The fact is that most people that catch swine flu will not die from it. And once you catch it you do develop life-long immunity, which is why older people are not so affected, unlike the vaccination which does not grant life-long immunity and has to be updated annually.

Closing schools will only force the population to panic more than is necessary, ditto forcing people to be vaccinated when they otherwise would not be.

If you have an underlying medical condition then you would be being vaccinated anyway, if not then there is imo no need to panic and get vaccinated just because the conspiracy theorists say so.

expatinscotland Tue 28-Dec-10 15:01:33

There are retroviruses, DNA viruses, RNA viruses, all types. Some types of viruses that can establish latency in the host cell nucleus, so that a person can appear to 'catch' them more than once, such as some herpes viruses. Or they can stay latent forever. Or not. Such as some human papiloma viruses and herpes viruses, which is why some people can pass on viruses, but never show symptoms of them themselves.

Influenza viruses are RNA viruses.

Yes, they can mutate, combine strains, even cross species and combine with other species' strains.

OhYouSnowySnowyKitten Tue 28-Dec-10 15:03:20

Unfortunately a lot of people are not realising that pregnancy counts as an underlying condition for pandemic h1n1 and a disproportionate number are becoming very ill for what is a largely preventable disease.

OhYouSnowySnowyKitten Tue 28-Dec-10 15:08:34

health protection agency advice for pregnant women. posted not to scare, but to help any one weighing up the pros and cons.

expatinscotland Tue 28-Dec-10 15:13:02

The other issue, too, is that flu viruses can live in air droplets. A bad thing when you have to breathe.

DD1 caught swine flu when 26 football supporters hired a coach to go to an away game.

As they needed more punters to fill the coach, they stopped in another region, unaware those people were carrying swine flu Either hey didn't know, either, as had not come down with it, or though it was just a cold, because it does not make all people very ill at all, and, when I had it myself, it did't affect me as much as when I had Hong Kong flu or a Type B flu in the past.

Indeed, DH tested positive for swine flu, but was functional the entire time (he did stay at home, however, from the time he was not 100%).

So it's entirely likely people can unwittingly pass it on.

Same thing with chicken pox. You can pass this on a day or two before breaking out in blisters yourself.

TheParasiteofChristmasPast Tue 28-Dec-10 15:31:36

midwifes inform all pregnant women about the vaccine, equally all high risk groups are advised to have the flu jab every year.

you are all getting in a flap over something that really can't be helped

sarah293 Tue 28-Dec-10 15:38:14

Message withdrawn

dikkertjedap Tue 28-Dec-10 15:39:42

Expatinscotland no, it is not just that they can mutate, even if they don't mutate, the immunity against the virus build up either through having that strain of flu or an immunisation for that strain of flu is short lived and this is the problem. That is why even if the flu vaccine was not to change at all from year to year people should still get themselves re-immunised. There are good virology sites which explain this in much more detail.

expatinscotland Tue 28-Dec-10 15:48:13

'Expatinscotland no, it is not just that they can mutate, even if they don't mutate, the immunity against the virus build up either through having that strain of flu or an immunisation for that strain of flu is short lived and this is the problem.'

Um, no, the immunity conferred by actually having the disease is, for most people (probably excepting those who have compromised immune systems) not 'short-lived'.

That's why people who survived Spanish Flu usually did not get another form of avian flu. In their lives. Indeed some, like my grandmother, appear to have passed immunity onto at least one of her children (via birth or breastfeeding, who knows), as he was once in a study when he managed not to contract Hong Kong flu (a form of avian flu) when the rest of his family did.

Or why older people are not as affected by swine flu. Because in the past, many of them had a strain of swine flu.

Same as with measles, mumps, rubella and other viruses like this.

You only get them once unless you are immuno-supressed/have a faulty immune system.

Same was with rhinoviruses, it's just that there are so many of them, it's impossible to have caught all of them over the course of one lifetime.

dikkertjedap Tue 28-Dec-10 15:51:08

I hope that you are not a doctor Expatinscotland, that would really worry me. I will got and trawl through the internet and find the scientific research showing that immunity is short lived in cases of influenza and it is thought especially in the case of H1N1 due to its make up

sarah293 Tue 28-Dec-10 16:09:12

Message withdrawn

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