Flu vaccine far less effective than claimed…

As regular readers may know, although I’m in a very high risk group, I have no fondness for the flu vaccine, as most years it causes more problems than would having the sodding flu (ME/CFS and the flu vaccine are a very bad mix), nor have I ever been entirely convinced of its usefulness. This year, with my heart problems ramping up the risk to even higher levels, I was seriously considering having the flu vaccine.

Then, in Pulse Today (log-in or sign-up may be required), this appeared this morning:- Continue reading

Flu crisis looming? Really?

Pulse magazine said, on Friday:-

The GPC has warned of a looming flu ‘crisis’ and claimed Government cutbacks in marketing have led to a dangerously low uptake of the seasonal flu vaccine among patients.

In response to which, a commenter observed:-

“…the patient’s major concern was the swine flu content. There should have been a national advertising campaign.”

Seriously? A doctor thinks Continue reading

COPD, flu, and Vitamin D3…

I’ve been taking D3 for about a year now, as I get very little sunlight (the major source of vitamin D3). Lately, though, I’ve been increasing my intake to try to take advantage of D3’s claimed anti-bacterial action (it’s also claimed to protect against some viral infections, like flu).

There are an awful lot of extravagant claims made for vitamin D3 online, but the Vitamin D Council is a reliable source of information, with no axe to grind and no profit motive.

For basic, not-getting-out-enough compensation, I was taking 600iu a day, but I’ve increased that, in several steps, until I’m taking 3,000iu a day, which I’ve been doing for 3 weeks now.

On Wednesday, my breathing began to deteriorate, and Continue reading

Flu vaccine – 2010…

I subscribe to Dr. Mercola’s newsletter and, just occasionally, there is a gem peering out at me from among the dross. Today is such a day. Just don’t abandon your critical faculties altogether, though.

In the US, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), is getting its knickers in a twist over the lack of enthusiasm for the swine flu vaccine last year.

Forget lunatic allegations of Continue reading

The annual flu vaccine – is it worth it?

There is a lot of rubbish written about the flu vaccine, both seasonal and pandemic. Here’s some (sorry, you have to sign up to read it**), alleging that influenza is really a vitamin D deficiency disease. Really, you couldn’t make this shit up. Flu – of whichever variety – is a viral infection. Rickets is a vitamin D deficiency disease – big bloody difference.

** If you don’t want to sign up, or wade through it, what it says is this:-

One credible hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease.

One hypothesis, though, is a Continue reading

Lies about the pandemic flu vaccine…

There’s an awful lot of bullshit and lunatic conspiracy theories on the Web about the flu vaccine, not least this egregious list of  vaccine “contents”:-

Mercury, Formaldehyde, Aluminium Phosphate, Aspartame, Human Fetal Tissue, Monkey Kidney & Lung Cells, MSG, Bovine Fetal Serum.

That list has been mendaciously cherry-picked from a whole range of different vaccines (minute amounts of mercury are, I believe, used as preservative in the MMR vaccine, for example), with one purpose in mind – to Continue reading

All my COPD and flu posts in one place…

Here are links to what I think are the most important of my COPD and pandemic flu posts, in one place. You can access a lot more by typing COPD into the search box (top right).

The post about the pneumonia vaccine isn’t COPD-specific, but since many people with COPD will be offered the viral pneumonia vaccine, it’s worth including because, as you’ll see from the Continue reading

My nebuliser…

As I said in this post, I’d ordered a Medel Clenny nebuliser. Well, it’s arrived, and it’s pretty good and, unlike my previous machine, is very quiet.

It comes in a zippered case that looks, worryingly, like a handbag (no matter, I have a small, black leather “man bag” that’s just the right size), complete with everything you’re likely to need.

What you get is:-

The compressor/nebuliser unit (the neb itself folds out of the top)

Adult and paediatric face masks

Plastic tubing, c/w connections, to allow you to remove the neb from the compressor and use it as you would normally, either hand-held, with a mouthpiece, or with a mask (the masks have head loops). The neb itself has Continue reading

Swine flu panic? Don’t, OK? There’s no need…

According to health secretary Andy Burnham, today, the health service is crumbling under the pressure of people panicking about the swine flu. Really? Well he shouldn’t be too bloody surprised, considering the torrent of bullshit that’s flowed from government sources of late.

From 650,000 deaths forecast – and without the slightest evidence to support the prediction – to the advice that pregnant women were probably doomed, we’ve been force-fed the ingredients of panic for weeks, and the problem is amplified by the fact that most people are (a), abysmally ignorant and (b), believe what they read in that scurrilous rag, the Daily Mail.

It’s all very simple – for most of you it’s a mild form of flu and you have nothing at all to worry about so, FFS, stop running around like headless chickens, or trying to blag Tamiflu from the flu help-line or website. In  my view, anyone who does that, and doesn’t have flu, should be jailed.

And I mean that. For every one of you who is perfectly well, yet fraudulently claiming Tamiflu just in case, someone with a serious health problem already may well die for the lack of the drug, you unspeakably selfish, subhuman, witless, bastards.

For most people the infection is mild, and the only ones who need to worry are those, like me, with a pre-existing condition, especially respiratory illnesses, as I’ve said. And not least because some fucker has swiped the Tamiflu!

And by the way, Tamiflu isn’t the panacea that most people seem to think it is. Tamiflu will ease the symptoms a little, and may reduce the course of the flu by a day. Er, that’s it. It is not a cure. OK, it doesn’t do much, then, but even that little may be critical for someone like me.

There is, according to my GP, who told me this a few weeks ago, when I got him out because I felt like shit and had a temp of 103F, there is one certain marker for this form of flu – a temperature of 106F or more.

So if you don’t have one, buy a clinical thermometer – every chemist/pharmacist in the multiverse sells them – and learn how to use the bloody thing! The most reliable method is to tuck it into your armpit for 4-5  minutes. This is because people can be dumb, and are likely to put it in their mouth after a hot – or cold – drink, or while smoking, and get a wildly inaccurate reading. And please, buy a mercury thermometer. Not only will it last you for many years, it’s more accurate. Just remember to shake the mercury down before each use.

To be honest, I was reluctant to post that information, as dishonest pricks can use it to try to get Tamiflu when they don’t need it, but it’s not exactly a secret and if it stops just some people hassling the health service, it’s worth it.

No matter that you might have a head full of snot, and feel like crap, if you don’t have that temperature, it’s just a summer cold – you do not have flu.

One final thought. I’ve covered flu and COPD in depth, but I have no idea how it will affect people with ME/CFS. Logically, there should be no risk, other than an almost inevitable relapse afterwards, as with normal flu.