Australia's big flu season and some possible reasons. Will the Northern Hemisphere follow with a bad season?

Australia's big flu season and some possible reasons.  Will the Northern Hemisphere follow with a bad season?

Want to know how flu cases are tracked and the common types determined? Or how each year's flu vaccine is designed? Ian M. Mackay, Adjunct assistant professor and Katherine Arden, Virologist, The University of Queensland look at the reasons behind this year's big flu season in Australia: theconversation.com/this-ma...

Note that "Some testing suggests this year’s vaccine is well matched to the circulating viruses.

The flu vaccine is not the most effective of vaccines, but it is safe and the only preventive option we have for now. Of those vaccinated, 10-60% become immune to flu virus." and as one of the authors advises in a reply in the comments section "- you may not have had “the Flu” - well done for keeping up the vaccine by the way - but you more than likely have had quite a few different Flu virus infections over that time. Thankfully, because you immune system has been taught the tricks of battling a range of different Flu viruses, it deals with the incursions quickly and effectively.

The immune system is great that way - its being challenged by many thousands of foreign antigens every day, and it has the capacity to learn about them all and be better prepared to react to them the next time it ‘sees’ them. Immune memory is a wonderful thing. As are vaccines.

Just like our normal memory though, immune memory wanes a bit as we age - so keep those shots up each year - memory needs triggering sometimes!"

Neil

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Thanks for the heads up Neil.

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Interesting stuff.

I've just booked my flu jab and was looking to see how effective it was likely to be. In other words, as well as our own immunity problems - how well did WHO predict the strains to use in the vaccine? The decision about which strains of flu are likely to be circulating are taken 12 months before, with different vaccines recommended for the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

However, Public Health England have said this year’s vaccine looked like it will match the most dominant strain, which is good news.

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Don't forget the effect of Herd/Community Immunity either...

This form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.

In a population in which a large number of individuals are immune, chains of infection are likely to be disrupted, which stops or slows the spread of disease.

The greater the proportion of individuals in a community who are immune, the smaller the probability that those who are not immune will come into contact with an infectious individual.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her...

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My husband has CLL and has never had a flu shot. I don't get them either. If they ever make a vaccine without the toxic ingredients, we will reconsider. We need to purge our bodies of toxins, not add them in. I know our decision is not a popular one, but it has worked for us. Even with his CLL, my husband remains healthy.

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The time to reconsider is now, given none of the quadrivalent single dose flu vaccines (protecting against 4 flu types) contain the microbial preservative and mercury containing Thimerosal, which I presume you are concerned about? fda.gov/biologicsbloodvacci...

And to keep things in perspective regarding the use of this preservative (which largely gained notiriety from the now thoroughly debunked concern that childhood vaccinations could be causing autism); from the introduction to that FDA article: fda.gov/biologicsbloodvacci...

Thimerosal, which is approximately 50% mercury by weight, has been one of the most widely used preservatives in vaccines. It is metabolized or degraded to ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. Ethylmercury is an organomercurial that should be distinguished from methylmercury, a related substance that has been the focus of considerable study. Methylmercury is the type of mercury found in certain kinds of fish. At high exposure levels methylmercury can be toxic to people. In the United States, federal guidelines keep as much methylmercury as possible out of the environment and food, but over a lifetime, everyone is exposed to some methylmercury.

:

A vaccine containing 0.01% thimerosal as a preservative contains 50 micrograms of thimerosal per 0.5 mL dose or approximately 25 micrograms of mercury per 0.5 mL dose. For comparison, this is roughly the same amount of elemental mercury contained in a 3 ounce can of tuna. (My emphasis.)

A couple of years ago, my township was shocked to hear of the death of a medical professional from a flu infection. The person concerned was fit and well and in their 40's...

Neil

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My GP lost his wife a few years ago to influenza.. she had vaccinations every year... regrettably they don't offer 100% protection. She was in her late 40's in otherwise great health.

Flu vaccines aren't perfect, but it increases the odds you won't die of pneumonia ... quite common in CLL.

~chris

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