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Is it the new swine flu or pneumonia associated with it that has killed people? If pneumonia, is this a new pneumonia, a pneumonia condition caused by the flu virus itself, or standard pneumonia(s)? If a standard pneumonia, will a pneumonia shot five years ago give any protection, and/or would one now give any protection? Also, will Tamiflu from 2004 still work?
the virus itself causes pneumonia, pneumonia is a symptom not a condition....check the expiration date on the tamiflu and a pneumonia shot probably wont do any good seeing as this is an unseen unheard of virus until now.
I think there is some bad information in this thread. Pneumonia is a bacterial infection. Swine flu is viral. A viral infection does not cause pneumonia. A viral infection can however leave the body susceptible to pneumonia bacteria that it would otherwise be able to defend against.
As a middle-aged adult I am thinking of getting pneumonia vaccine as well. My doctor thinks that the current vaccine - which protects against 23 specific strains of pneumonia - is probably not of much use to an adult because adults are typically stricken by strains of pneumonia not defended by the current vaccine. I'm researching it but I think I will get the vaccine because I see little risk and some protection is better than none to protect against rebound pneumonia after getting a flu.
You are supposed to get that vaccine once every five years so I would not rely on a five year old shot at this point.
Thanks for the good and informative post. I did not know this re pneumonia vaccine--mine is getting near to 5 years old so good to know this anyhow. You seem very knowledgeable; do you know how long Tamiflu actually lasts? I have a packet of Tamiflu (from Roche, prescription) from November 2004 that says it expires in 2006 but I've also heard that Roche guarantees its tamiflu for five years, and when I phoned Roche today they'd only say "We do not recommend use beyond the expiration date," nor will my doctor. But the area's pharmacies are out of Tamiflu and Relenza. If anyone has real info on this, appreciated!
Does anyone know how old are the stocked Tamiflu and Relenza antivirals that the U.S. plans to use if this swine flu worsens? See my post above; if we don't know whether Tamiflu or Relenza past their expiration date [2 years for tamiflu] have still any efficacy, and we don't know how old or new the U.S. stockpiled quantities of these drugs are, then how do we know whether (or rather, to what degree) they are effective?
do not listen to westes...he thinks pneumonia is a bacterial infection...look it up...i mean you ARE on the internet....and everybody thinks they are doctors now days no matter how wrong they are... pneumonia refers to an infection of the alveoli and bronchioles ...whether the infection be due to viral,bacterial, fungal, or parasitic...pneumonia is not a condition JUST A SYMPTOM of a condition or infection...i dont believ this vaccine they have is going to do anygood...this is probably not going to be a pandemic lkike everybody thinks...this is no spanish flu of 1918...everybody is getting so paranoid about a flu./..its funny these things show up at least once every five years...rember bird flu? SARS? werent those supposed to be pandemics to? were they? no...so quit thinking about a flu that is not even rampid in our country...and hopefully our epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists figurer out a way to keep people from freaking out...just dont go around sick people or pigs/birds!
I discovered on the CDC site, in the section re this flu, on Emergency Use Authorization, that there's now authorization for health departments etc. to use if necessary tamiflu or relenza with "expiration date extended" by the government. I presume that means either that the expiration date on the label does not give the true indication of full effectiveness, or that the government's ready, if things get desperate enough, to try even somewhat less effective stuff. Probably not too ineffective, though, since any usage that fails is likely to increase the chance of resistance developing. The scariest thing today was an article in Reuters noting that, should this flu really get going in, say, Egypt, where there are lots of avian-flu-carrying birds, there'd be a better than usual chance for these to mix. And KirbDude1, one difference between the current flu and avian flu or SARS is that this one transmits sustainedly human to human.
however there is evidence that this "swine" flu has infact mutated into an avian form---new england health journal. that is why they are so worried about it becuase it transmittable to bird/humans/primates...heres an excerpt from the health journal---
The 2009 flu outbreak in humans that is widely known as "swine flu" is due to a new strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that derives by reassortment from one strain of human influenza virus, one strain of avian influenza virus, and two separate strains of swine influenza virus. The origins of this new strain are unknown, and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reports that this strain has not been isolated in swine. It passes with apparent ease from human to human, an ability attributed to an as-yet unidentified mutation. The strain in most cases causes only mild symptoms and the infected person makes a full recovery without requiring medical attention and without the use of antiviral medicines. The World Health Organization has stated that symptoms may even be less severe than seasonal influenza symptoms.
this is really nothing to worry about...i believe this unfluenza has a very low chance of going epidemic or pandemic...fact is...its not to easy to get
Articles today (well, yesterday--Friday) in WaPost, NYT, BBC online give a few interesting statistics. As of noon (Friday), 141 confirmed US cases, 9 US hospitalizations, 1 death in US. Revised testing in Mexico showed tonight of 900-plus retested so far, 397 tested positive, with 16 deaths in that group; although no figures are given for how many of the Mexican dead were in the other 500-plus persons in this retested group, so we don't know if the death rate in Mexican cases was adjusted up or down, 15 out of 397 is still nearly 5 percent death rate. We also don't know how retesting will affect the astronomical hospitalization rate originally provided--over 1000 hospitalized suspected cases out of 2500 or so suspected cases--in Mexico. In the US, the hospitalization rate, according to the CDC figures from the Wahshington Post, was 9 out of 141 confirmed cases---BUT keep in mind that, if hospitalization occurs on average on, say, the 5th to 7th day of illness (which may or may not be the median for this flu, and probably no one knows yet), the 9/141 figure misleads, and one would have to get a ratio of 9 to the number of confirmed cases up to 5-7 days ago----not too hard to do if one checks the news reports from those dates, and probably (I haven't checked but trying to remember) around 40 or 50. And then, how long the average time from hospitalization (or onset) to death, among those who die from this flu or its complications? See, we don't know these things yet. So saying most cases are mild is perhaps optimistic.
when you start studying virology you learn that most simple and some complex virus' are somewhat "easy" to be fought off by our immune system. this strain is actually very very similar structurally and physiologically to the influenza type A genous...meaning that this flu doesnt have the structure and strength "YET" to go pandemic and kill hundreds and thousands of people...see when we go pumping ourselves full of anti-virals we are just making this virus stronger, we are giving more items to mutate with...fact is that the symptoms associated with this influenza subtype are the exact same as type A which is fever, sore throat, cough, congestion...and some cases of gastroenteritis as the virus moves to the GI tract. it is only dangerous to the very young and the elderly and those with insufficient immune system and by the way were up to 14 cases i believe here in the US...look all imtrying to say is that it is very unlikely that any of us on this chat forum will ever contract "SWINE FLU"
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