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View Diary: Flu And You - Part VII (94 comments)

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  •  So I guess we should just forget about it (1+ / 0-)
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    OLinda

    then, applying your apparent logic. I don't see where anyone here implied that the flu is the biggest risk to America's children. Your comment is not helpful.

    "And tell me how does god choose whose prayers does he refuse?" Tom Waits

    by madaprn on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 07:59:48 AM PST

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    •  What's Not Helpful (0+ / 0-)

      Is that American medicine is plagued by this kind of myopic, short-sighted concentration upon the trees while studiously ignoring the forest. We love our little pills and shots, and will pour millions of dollars into them, but don't even try to deal with the big picture, which is far more important.

      Millions upon millions of children eat diets that are not only nutritionally lacking, but which actively undermine their health. Millions upon millions of children lack access to basic health and dentistry care.

      Vaccinating them against flu pours millions of finite dollars into propping up one small tree (the incredibly rare possibility that they may have serious health complications from a case of the flu) while much of the forest is on fire (they're chronically overweight and their cardiovascular system is already being degraded and their diet's lack of nutrition make them more susceptible to getting sick in the first place).

      •  Flu is pretty serious in terms of acute illness. (3+ / 0-)
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        pletzs, elfling, mamamedusa

        I think I understand your sentiment about health resources but that does not obviate the fact that
        we need to continue to study flu and other viruses that affect public health especially those that are transmitted by respiratory droplets like influenza.

        Prevention and treatment of chronic illness is another matter entirely as is "health". Medical education focused on treatment of illness with scant attention paid to prevention other than hygiene and vaccination.

        Why pick on the flu? Why not reflux or impotence meds? Why not a serious diary about the extent to which Pharma dictates medical and agricultural research and the collusion of Pharma and some public health policies?

        "And tell me how does god choose whose prayers does he refuse?" Tom Waits

        by madaprn on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 08:31:12 AM PST

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        •  I Agree (0+ / 0-)

          I just think the annual "you've got to get your flu shots" plays into the overall Pharma strategy, which is to parse and commodify "health" into easily manipulated (and sold) packages that depend on irrational fear.

          The vast, vast majority of people don't need an annual flu shot and the overall benefit of these shots is far outweighed by the fact that people who don't really need them help clog up an already overburdened health care system.

          •  the lost productivity is highest among (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mamamedusa

            young adults (i.e., parent age), so on economic terms and not pure health terms, that's exactly who should be vaccinated.

            What's this got to do with pharma? is that your underlying beef?

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 09:35:17 AM PST

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            •  A Bigger Beef (0+ / 0-)

              Is the blind faith that economic productivity is what life's all about.

              Manipulating our lives so that we're perfect employees who never get sick, never take a day off, or, horror of horrors, have to stay home a couple of days with a sick kid is a sickness in and of itself.

              Sorry, we're not just units of production that need to be given shots against every potential risk of taking a day off of work.

              Again, big picture versus little picture. I'm far more worried about millions of people not having any access to health and dentistry care than I am about people "needing" flu shots so they don't take a couple of days off from work.

              •  so am I but it's not either-or (2+ / 0-)
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                elfling, madaprn

                health care reform is about much more than who gets flu shots (and I write about it extensively during the week, because it is so important). But no one has ever said otherwise.

                As for big picture-little picture, SCHIP is important but not the whole picture. Public health is important, but not the whole picture. Hospital overcrowding is part of the picture, but not the whole picture. health in a recession  is part of the picture, but not the whole picture.

                I've written about all of the above. Sometimes the only way to eat an elephant is to break it up into bite sized pieces.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 10:27:10 AM PST

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            •  And children are the worst vectors (0+ / 0-)

              From my experience as a parent, I'd estimate that for every child under 8 or so that gets sick with any disease involving coughing or snot, 4-5 other people will also get sick. They just don't have the maturity to practice good hygiene reliably. I've always thought it made more sense to vaccinate kids than elderly for that reason, if you have to ration vaccine.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 02:44:56 PM PST

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      •  Even if all the kids get is the normal flu (0+ / 0-)

        That's a week or two of not going to school and not learning, and/or spread to other kids, and/or spread to their grandparents with weakened immune systems, and/or spread to their parents who have to take time off of work and have a resulting loss of income. It's a week of dinners of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese when the parents are too sick to cook.

        Even when people don't die, flu is a nasty illness and worthy of attention.

        And then there's the fact that every once in a while it goes super virulent and causes people with strong immune systems to drown in their own immune response.

        I don't think we overallocate resources to flu.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 02:42:01 PM PST

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