Skip to main content

View Diary: (86 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  more questions (0+ / 0-)

    Is that US death rate and if so for which age group?  How does a maximum rate of 15-25 a week compare to other causes of death? When was the last time a flu had this high a death rate in this age group? Is the real danger of this flu something that is specific to industrialzed countries or is the death rate higher in poorer countries where the listed numbers would be somewhat insignificant compared to other causes?  Is the death rate above normal levels for all age groups? Is it just above normal levels for all age groups younger than those who lived through the last swine flu or is it really specifically bad among young children?

    How useful is the current vaccine for those old enough to have lived through the last swine flu? How effective is the vaccine and what impact would it have on death rates? Once most people have gotten the flu once or have gotten vaccinated what is the risk of getting H1N1 again; could mutations make it very dangerous or would antibodies to H1N1 also reduce the danger of likely mutations of H1N1. In other words, is the current risk because this is a strange strain but it will stop being a strange strain once everyone gets it so it will be close to a nonissue in future years or is there something specifically dangerous about this strain that will also impact mutated strains that could re-infect people? How effective is a vaccine compared to actually getting the flu in terms of ones immunity to likely mutations?

    •  Some answers (0+ / 0-)

      US Only.

      It's through age 19.

      The chart is looking at how this influenza relates to other influenzas in the US. It's more deadly.

      The last time a flu had this death rate in the under 40 age group was 1918.

      It is above normal (but not as astronomically above normal as for under 19 yrs of age) in all age groups under age 50. 50 yrs and older are presumed to have had and survived the last swine flu, which is why they were excluded from the "high risk" category before sufficient vaccine was available.

      For those who lived through the prior strain, it's still useful - having been affected by the prior strain means your immune system is somewhat primed for this one. However, since this one is different, genetically from the prior one, you will not be completely immune to it. If you tend to get pneumonia or other complications from flu, a shot might be a good idea.

      Immunity to mutations is the same whether you get the shot or get the flu. That's why people can get the seasonal flu more than once in their lives. From your immune system's perspective, the shot and the actual flu are the same thing. It builds the same "hooks" into your white blood cells, whether you get the actual virus, killed virus, or attenuated virus. The big difference is that the actual virus will grow rapidly inside your body, and do its darndest to overwhelm your body's ability to keep up with it, thus making you very sick. Since the vaccine does not replicate, your immune system doesn't have to respond to a continually expanding invader, so while you may get tired for a couple of days, you won't get the flu.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site