October 7, 2005

Info Overload

I've been reading thorugh the links on this flu pandemic info site, and my brain is hurting.

In a few places, I've seen a recommendation of getting a pneumonia vaccine to potentially ward of developing pneumonia as a result of the avian flu. Anyone out there with medical knowledge that knows if this is something one should do?

Posted by Ithildin at October 7, 2005 12:50 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

the pneumonia vaccine isn't going to help you if the bug filling your lungs with fluid is the bird flu. The P Vax only guards against certainbugs than can lead to pneumonia. The avian flu could easily be responsible for pneumonia on its own.

Sure, it could help keep you from developing pneumonia due to something else while your body is busy fighting the flu, but I'd suspect you're more at risk from the influenza itself.

Posted by: caltechgirl at October 7, 2005 2:07 PM

Okay, that's kinda what I thought because a few months back, I was trying to work through in my brain bird flu and getting pneumonia and whether the antibiotics they normally give you would have any affect on the pneumonia. I really do have too much information and not the smarts to be able to make much sense of some of it.

Thanks for filling me in. You're my medical guru :)

Posted by: Ith at October 7, 2005 2:37 PM

The protocol for giving pneumovax anyway is people over 65 or people with chronic ilness (diabetes, asthma) so unless you fit the criteria, its unlikely you could get one , at least at this time. Thats the situation where I live, anyway.

Posted by: debbie at October 8, 2005 5:52 AM

Does anyone know if the transmission of the avian flu virus is all that different than the other strains we've dealt with in the past? I mean I might catch the flu once every 10 years or so. How am I so lucky to avoid it?

1. I tend to avoid close contact with people outside my family.

2. I wash my hands much more often during flu season. It was a good idea as a kid, it's just as good now.

3. I do tend to eat better and augment with vitamins.

I'm not saying that the avian flu is a possible problem, but I'm just not that convinced it's as huge an issue as it's playing out in the press now.

See you on the high ground.

MajorDad1984

Posted by: MajorDad1984 at October 8, 2005 6:47 AM

It's because all of us have been exposed to the current strains in some form or another. But if this mutates to a human to human transmission, it will be something no one has any sort of immunity too, like the 1918 epidemic. That's why it's so dangerous. This one may not happen, but some sort of flu strain we have no defense agaisnt will happen at some point.

The 1918 killed a huge amount of people that are normally in the least risk group -- healthy adults between 20-40.

I've been very concerned about this long before the press finally took notice.

Posted by: Ith at October 8, 2005 2:09 PM

Debbie, I qualify :) Two bouts of pneumonia, the last one which landed me in emeregency due to my asthma.

Posted by: Ith at October 8, 2005 2:11 PM

I have always wondered WHY the 1918 pandemic killed young healthy men more than children and the elderly...

Posted by: Eclectra at October 8, 2005 7:51 PM