Dangerous flu season or media hype?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Imported, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Imported

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    SpeedoGuy: Fellow LPSGers:

    Here in the U.S. there has recently been a slew of scary news headline stories about the severity of the ongoing influenza season. There has been no shortage of feature articles on work absences due to sickness, mortality rate, shortages of flu vaccine and dire warnings that the worst is yet to come.

    Where I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA there are a few ill people and the usual absences from work and social functions. However, I see no evidence that this year's sick season is any worse than any other in my lifetime. What does everyone else see? Is this a serious problem or is it just more media hype?

    SpeedoGuy invites comments from all LPSGers, U.S. or  overseas.

    SG
     
  2. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    It's flu season. We have the flu (more of us than usual, but still, no big deal really) going around.

    The new culture of 24-hour-a-day news is hyping the flu as well as everything else since they have to keep the yakking up constantly.

    All we need is to have Capt. Kirk's starship zap the atmosphere with the proper anti-viral biopulses and we can go about our business without flu shots.

    Pecker

    I was in a bar nursing a beer. My nipple was getting quite soggy.
     
  3. Imported

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    prepstudinsc: Locally, we've had several deaths from the flu, including a college student. I know a bunch of people who are sick with the flu--even at church, the pastor announced that we weren't going to have a fellowship time and that we shouldn't shake hands with people and that we should be washing our hands and not thouching our eyes, mouths and noses, lol. I think that if precautions aren't taken that there could be a serious outbreak, but if we watch out exposure as uch as we can, we should be able to control the spread to some degree.
     
  4. Imported

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    Tender: i think it is alot of hype.
    but the flu can be serious, especially for 'weaker' folks, or those more prone to dehydration ect.

    i know if my boy got the flu, it would be bad.
    it takes weeks for him to get over it, and he loses alot of weight.

    the vet said our neighbors dog had the flu.
    i didnt think dogs could get 'people' flu?
    it is really sick.

    When my husbands sister gets stomach flu she has to have someone stay with her. she dehydrates, she also passes out. shes young and healthy otherwise.

    my prescription---
    lots of snuggles and laughs,
    no food, little drink.
    stay in bed with hairdryer.
    pet doggie.
    take nyquil, itll knock you out, IF you can swallow the stuff.
    works for me.

    Tender
     
  5. Imported

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    str8_nnj: ...mmmmm...don't think it's hype. If it was hype the manufactures would have made sure there was enough vaccines around.
    What happen this year is they only produced 75,million or so,because last year's flu cases reported was in the 70 million range after they produced 85,million vaccines...thus the companies bit the big one...so this years totals didn't add up....plus it's just a wee bit different this years virus.
    The alarming thing about this years flu outbreak is that it seems to be especially tough on youngsters.
     
  6. Imported

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    longtimelurker: Lack of news + little old ladies dying = sensationalism

    People die every year from the flu - it's an unavoidable fact. This year may have a few more deaths than usual, but I sincerely doubt we will have a 'Spanish Flu'-type epidemic that killed a large chunk of the world population in the early part of the 20th century.

    New Scientist have an article about it, which will be a bit more in-depth than your average news article, and they don't really gain that much from being sensationalist.

    http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994435

    Basically the problem is that the main flu strain isn't fully covered in this year's vaccine (the WHO decides the formulation WAY in advance), and the season has started earlier than normal. On the other hand, the new strain is similar to the one found in Australia last year and I don't recall mass graves being dug from the deluge of flu victims there.

    Children are usually at a greater risk anyway, as their immune systems wont have encountered these pathogens before, so will have less 'background resistance'.
     
  7. Imported

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    tracksuitboy: Obviously I am not seeing or hearing the hype that you refer to but we always have similar things here although mostly through word-of-mouth rather than the media ("there's a lot of it going around you know!").

    Wouldn't surprise me if it was more hype than reality; after all, 24 hour news channels have to fill their time! And then the evening broadcasts on the main channels will pick it up ... then the press! It could be similar to the Africanised Bees scare (now there was an insidious piece of hype!)
     
  8. Imported

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    8.5_inch_Canuck: There are always deaths from the flu, or influenza.
    Children and the elderly are always vunerable, but it has been around 35 years since the last pandemic.
    Apparently we're in for a real bad time when the next one hits. After last season's SARS outbreak, they might be right.
    In 1918, 20 million people died from Influenza.

    Just something to cheer us up before christmas.
     
  9. Imported

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    gigantikok: Sorry, but I don't think it is media hype.

    Maybe the media is exaggerating the details a bit, but what news station doesn't?

    Fact is, though, that this flu season is much more severe then any others I've encountered... at least in the areas I've lived in. In Utah, a few weeks ago, practically my entire theatre building was suffering from flu symptoms. You could make the case that this usually happens during the flu season in an enclosed environment like a theatre building, but the number of sick people this year is MUCH higher then it was last year. On top of all that, I got horrendously sick. That might explain to some why I haven't posted in so long. I think I even got a combination of the cold and the flu, and it practically took a full month to fight off just the flu. It was a nasty little strand that had mutated and adapted to most of the flu shots. I haven't just seen a lot of sick people in Utah, either. I have come to spend the holidays with my parents in South Carolina, and practically all of my friends have been ill. So, I don't quite think it's a regional thing, I think it is happening everywhere. Maybe some areas, like SpeedoGuy's area, is more isolated from the strand. Who knows? All I know for sure is that the media hype has some validity, and that there really are people dieing.
     
  10. Imported

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    drambone: Any way you look at it, flu season is a pain in the butt!!
     
  11. Imported

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    gigantikok: You got that right, D. Hell, I was taken out for practically a full month because of this stupid bug! Hope I never get this sick again.
     
  12. Imported

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    Thumper_10x7_CA: I think it's all media hype.
    I'm not saying it's not real. This years flu strain is taking a larger then normal toll but it's the media's unrelenting broadcasts they shove in our faces every second that keeps the publics minds focused on it. This years flu is the "news du jour." Remember a few years ago when amusement park accidents was all the media rage? "Man stubs his toe at Six Flags, news at 11."
    Living in Southern California I had a front row seat to the media circus that followed the tragic incident when the man was killed from a cleat ripping off the Sailing Ship Columbia and falling into the crowd waiting in line. It was sad. It was a horrible accident that could have been avoided, but for the following year anytime anything happened at Disneyland the reporters would bring up the accident. Even when the accident had nothing at all to do with what was being reported. Once the news was broadcasting a segment about grants that Disneyland annually gives to local organizations. 75% of that report was used to talk about the Columbia incident which had occured half a year before.
    Ironically this past year when a man was killed on the Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster at Disneyland the news reported the accident that day, had a few days of updates, then it fizzled away. Why didn't the news keep it's unrelenting coverage going for months and months? Well because the top stories were about Michael Jackson's arrest and Kobe Bryant's trial. The public was more interested in that so the media catered to the hunger.

    This is something that I've always hated about newscasting. The desire for ratings, and thusly large amounts of advertising dollars is all that matters. Facts, truth and unbiased reporting is next to impossible to find in today's sensationalistic attitudes.
     
  13. Imported

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    jerkin4-10: yeah...its nasty...and i didnt even have the full-blown version...kept it at bay mostly with lots of vitamin c, ecchinasia, hot liquids nothing cold at all, and lots of rest...thought i was better and went and hiked a mountain down the street...shee-mofo-helll....shouldnt have done that...cost me another week...but the real issue is...my wife works for a doctor and the docs were being consulted about whether or not to take a flu shot..
    the doc told everyone in the office not to because now there are concerns that the flu shots are mutating and causing these more difficult strains of the virus...interesting...my wife has gotten flu shots the last 3 years, til this one...and has been sick on Christmas all 3 years...too weird...ill just, wash my hands LOTS with HOT water and anti-bacterial soap, drink tons of hot liquids, take more than normal antioxidents [vit c and e] and avoid my exposure to potential flu vics...
     
  14. Imported

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    Thumper_10x7_CA: Flu Shots! The last 4 years I had flu shots and those last 4 years I too was sick about a week after getting it. I don't take them anymore. Besides, a flu shot is only good for one strain of the flu. There are hundreds of strains, so what's the point really? Also my friend who is a nurse told me that this years flu shot doesn't even do anything for the current flu that everyone is talking about.
    My buddy swears on Apple Cider Vinegar to keep the flu away. He says all you do is take a teaspoon a day and you'll never get sick. I admit that I can't even remember the last time my buddy was sick, but just thinking about having to down a teaspoon of vinegar a day. blech! SICK!!! I'd rather eat ass.
    Oh wait, I WOULD rather eat ass! LOL
     
  15. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    Heh, I'm used to eating apple cider vinegar with Romaine lettuce. Doesn't affect me.

    Knocking on wood as I type, it's been a long time since I've been sick. I am usually susceptible to colds. My sinuses are already wrecked by mild allergies to lots of stuff. On top of that, I work part-time in a restaurant and being around so many people, I'm asking for germs.

    Since I've started working out and taking my daily multivitamin, I've been consistently healthy. Even with the bad up-and-down weather here in Kentucky, I try to stay active and eat right, and so far it's worked like a charm. It helps to stay warm if you have to be outside and to take preventative steps, including vitamins and echinacea, herbal tea, stuff like that.

    Truth told, I haven't heard much on the dangerous flu season. Worst thing I heard concerned a Chi-Chi's in Pennsylvania whose contaminated chives lead to an outbreak of Hepatitis A. A few cases in Kentucky, and we don't serve green onion anymore...

    Grain of salt... but of course, it doesn't hurt to take care of yourself, whatever way possible.
     
  16. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    "Three burgers and two fries. Would you like green onions with your order? How about a mad cow?"

    You can't give 'em away.
     
  17. jonb

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    [quote author=DeeBlackthorne link=board=99;num=1071619827;start=0#14 date=12/25/03 at 20:32:28]It helps to stay warm if you have to be outside and to take preventative steps, including vitamins and echinacea, herbal tea, stuff like that.[/quote]
    Echinacea as PREVENTION? Do you take penicillin as prevention too, Dee? LOL
     
  18. Imported

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    hungwitz: Actually, this flu is nothing to take lightly. I just returned from a Large Work Convention - about 800 people from around the world.

    The flu hit our group and about 10 people went to the hospital. Unfortunatley, one person died after 4 days of being ill as a direct result of contracting the flu.

    Don't think this is total hype. It is serious.
     
  19. Imported

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    prepstudinsc: I know a lady who died of the flu yesterday and know several people who are very sick with it right now, one of whom is in the hospital with it--it's nothing to be taken lightly. It's definitely not just hype, it's serious.
     
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