Skip to main content

Now that the Swine Flu pandemic seems to have peaked in mid-October can we all relax? Vaccine is plentiful now, but if you haven't already gotten a shot, do you still need one?  Back in October, I wrote about the difficulty of high-risk groups getting the scarce vaccine. Vaccine is now plentiful, and lessons from the 1957 pandemic suggest it's too soon to declare victory, and with readily available vaccine, now is the time to get vaccinated if you haven't already done so.

I have a form of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and the medications I take to reduce joint inflammation also compromise my immune system and make it difficult to fight off even minor infections.  Back in October, even people  in high-risk groups were having difficulty getting immunized for H1N1, due to the short supplies of the vaccine. I was finally able to get vaccinated in early December, when the vaccine became plentiful. I am happy to report that my grandchildren, and daughter who is a health-care worker also have been vaccinated.

My own un-scientific survey in my family indicates that apathy may be setting in. My brother-in-law and nephew recently  spent several miserable days with Swine Flu, battling fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.Even my ex-husband, who is a doctor, recently had a nasty case of Swine Flu. He sheepishly admitted he hadn't gotten the vaccine.

According to the CDC, H1N1 peaked in the United States in mid-October,  there are still a lot of flu cases being seen, and most of them are H1N1. In the 1957 pandemic, officials at the CDC declared victory in mid-winter, and  result was a second wave of H1N1 deaths in March. So far deaths from the current outbreak of H1N1 have been 25% less than the 1957 outbreak, but that may be due to better treatments with anti-virals and better ventilators. The extreme cold weather may play a role also.

The CDC is urging all Americans to get vaccinated now. Why take a risk? The vaccine is easy to get from your doctor, clinic, schools, and pharmacy chains. Flu.gov has a link to find vaccine near you.

Originally posted to loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:44 AM PST.

Poll

Have you gotten your H1N1 vaccine?

48%57 votes
27%32 votes
23%28 votes

| 117 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  New Poll Option: Too late! (5+ / 0-)

    Waaaaaay too late.

    From my unprofessional observations, my family had the H1N1 flu last spring.  Symptoms were consistent, plus when the kids' schools were reporting 40+% absenteeism in October due to H1N1 - they were completely healthy.  I got them the seasonal vaccine, but passed on the H1N1.  

    Me?  I think I had a very mild case at the same time the kids were missing a week of school due to not being able to stay awake.  (The nastier symptoms had passed, but they were wiped out!)

    Show me the POLICY!

    by Fabian on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:51:37 AM PST

    •  Wish I had thought of "too late!" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, lineatus, KelleyRN2

      Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

      by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:55:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm surprised one was created so quickly, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian

      as you say, way too late for you and your family. Thankfully, this is a Cat 1 pandemic so far. We still can't get vaccinated around here for lack of vaccine, which is ridiculous. This was acceptable under Bush, not O.

      He who distinguishes the true savor of food can never be a glutton, he who does not cannot be otherwise. - Thoreau

      by the fan man on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:00:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you have not gotten the shot (4+ / 0-)

      please do so even if you think you had the swine flu already .

      Japan uses 1/2 as much energy per capita as the U.S. , conservation works .

      by indycam on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:20:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fabian

        even if you think you had it already? i'm curious...why?

        "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

        by Pandoras Box on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 12:41:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Could have been something else, not H1N1 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pandoras Box

          Unless you were a confirmed swine flu case ( with a positive blood test for H1N1) , you can't be sure that is what you had. Best idea is to get vaccinated.

          Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

          by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 12:44:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it was confirmed by nasal swab (0+ / 0-)

            not the quick test

            "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

            by Pandoras Box on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 12:46:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't even take them in (0+ / 0-)

            to see the pediatrician.  We did the usual "treat in place" routine.  Tried to send them both back to school when they'd been clean and clear for the required 24 hours and had both sent back - one for falling asleep, another for spiking a temp.  That wrapped it for the week and they went back on the following Monday.  The characteristic lingering cough stayed with us for weeks and weeks.

            At this time, the H1N1 pandemic hadn't even been officially recognized, as this hit-by-a-bus flu was going around.  The painful truism that someone needs to die before people notice was in force.

            Later a vicious flu strain was identified in Mexico and the CDC was hot on the trail!  Ironically, I think.  At the time my kids were sick, there was no H1N1, no pandemic and no subtype testing.  The best we could do is to find out if they have antibodies to the H1N1. Titer tests are expensive and probably would NOT be covered by insurance.

            Plus my kids are in elementary school - not a demographic known for excellent hygiene practices - if almost half their school was out, they were likely exposed.

            Show me the POLICY!

            by Fabian on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:03:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thinking is not certainty (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pandoras Box, loblolly

          If you actually had a confirmed case of H1N1, then I can't see needing the vaccine.  But if you just think you did, well...

          As I told one of my reluctant employees yesterday, "Yes, you probably already had it, but won't you feel stupid when St. Peter says 'what were you thinking, girl?'"?

          •  i didn't get it but my sons did (0+ / 0-)

            and it was confirmed

            "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

            by Pandoras Box on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 12:47:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Possible to avoid infection but not get immunity (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pandoras Box

              Not sure what  precautions you took while caring for you sons to avoid getting infected yourself. I think it's possible to avoid  infection ( by hand-washing, wearing an N-95 mask, etc) without getting any immunity to H1N1.

              Here's a link on flu.gov where you can ask a flu expert questions.

              Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

              by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 01:19:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fabian

                i'm not against flu shots at all. get my seasonal shot every year.  the H1N1 has been impossible to find here in Pittsburgh but it's available now I guess.  

                i washed my hands a lot when i was caring for my sons, but no masks.  i had a few times throughout the process where it felt like some kind of bug was trying to get traction but failed.

                thanks for that excellent link btw

                "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

                by Pandoras Box on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 05:19:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Another poll option: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, Pandoras Box

      "The regular shot gave me colitis, so I'm not so sure about getting another shot."

      Too long of a story here, but it's been too tough to get the colitis cleared up to chance getting another shot, with yet another shock to my immune system.

      "And God separated the light from the dark, and did two loads of laundry"

      by Fiddlegirl on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 10:50:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Got mine yesterday...no adverse reaction. eom (8+ / 0-)
  •  Uh... no. (0+ / 0-)

    You can get the shot if you like, however.

    It's just a flu, more contagious and less deadly than the regular flu (unless the numbers have changed recently).

    •  CDC estimates between 9-13,000 deaths so far (7+ / 0-)

      Less than seasonal flu usually causes, although the numbers may be under reported. The worry is another wave of H1N1 later in the spring, as happened with the 1957 pandemic.

      Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

      by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:01:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In addition,... (9+ / 0-)

        I believe the mortality is skewed towards younger healthier age groups unlike the seasonable flu which is more deadly for the elderly who may have some immunity from past swine flu pandemics. I got my shot just before Christmas when it was opened up to everyone here in Arizona. No lines to speak of - I think apathy has set in.

        Just another socialist fuckstick homosinner!

        by Ian S on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:12:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Couple of reasons (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          loblolly

          and yes, middle aged folk have had more previous exposures.  I think it was in one of DemFromCTs articles that he posted a graph showing intervals of roughly 68 years between particular waves, which is or was a lifespan, leaving all born after without the immunities.  So this one, like in 1918 and some others, is really hitting teens and young adults.

          If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

          by marykk on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:12:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  1918 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            william shipley, marykk, loblolly

            Sadly, my grandmother's high school yearbook from those years includes 2 pages of photographs of classmates who perished from the flu.  In the yearbook, she (or her mother) had tucked their obituaries from the county newspaper.

            She lived on a small farm near what is now the Metroplex area.

            Sometimes it's better to individually address a problem rather than just criticize our politicians for failing to do so.

            by texasmom on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:23:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have cousins on both sides (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              texasmom, loblolly

              with a parent orphaned by the flu of 18.

              If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

              by marykk on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:27:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  My dad was born in 1918, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marykk

              and he had life-long lung problems.  Still, he lived to 86.

              "And God separated the light from the dark, and did two loads of laundry"

              by Fiddlegirl on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 10:53:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  My dad born the same year (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                loblolly

                and, given the high risk for women who are pg, now that I think of it, that was a lucky thing.  I wonder if there's any data on pregnant women from that era?

                If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                by marykk on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 11:18:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  my grandmother... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                loblolly

                had lasting effects on her liver, apparently -- a dr (who didn't know her) once joshed her about being a tippler (based on some test result or other) and she almost took off his head, 8-)  her father drank, so she was tea-total!  

                She would have been about 20 when she had it.  Two years before my father was born, so I've always been glad she survived!

                "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

                by chimene on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 10:14:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Read The Great Influenza (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marykk, loblolly

            by John Barry for a frightening historical (1918)look at how virus' morph, relapse and reappear over a course of years.  It is imperitive no one especially the CDC become complacent.  Already we've had species jump of the virus.  

  •  The H1N1 vaccine push was a scam (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prose

    I will never be manipulated like that again.

    I don't even KNOW anyone who ever got worse than a cold.  And as far as people who died from flu ... it's less than in years past.

    Some drug companies sure found out a way to drum up their own stimulus package though.

    •  The vaccine is not a big money (5+ / 0-)

      maker for the drug companies. That has been part of the production problem. The alert sounded as a result of documented cases in other parts of the world. The cdc confirmed the concern of Pandemic. This was not a conspiracy or scam.

      •  CDC acted promptly-vaccine was low yield (8+ / 0-)

        The seed virus used for the first vaccine batches begun in May proved to be low-yielding, something they couldn't know until August when the first vaccine was harvested.  They switched to a higher yielding strain as soon as they could. The only problem was that the original estimates of how much vaccine would be available were overly optimistic, which raised expectations, and led to frustration when the vaccine supplies were low initially.

        Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

        by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:11:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No it's not less than in previous years. It (12+ / 0-)

      killed far more young people than in a normal flu season. Having said that, it was a mild pandemic strain, thank goodness.

      He who distinguishes the true savor of food can never be a glutton, he who does not cannot be otherwise. - Thoreau

      by the fan man on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:09:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your friends and family have been lucky (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, loblolly, Larin

      Over half the people in my office and their families had what their doctors said was H1N1.  Almost all of them were out 4 - 5 days with their own illness and then many had to stay home with sick children.  Since we only have 5 approved sick days, the supervisors had to lobby (hard) for extended paid leave.

      While we felt deeply that our younger employees with families could not afford to lose a week's pay, we chose to base our argument on the massive slowdown of business that would occur if the managers/dept. heads caught it and were unable to work.

      My estimate is that we lost between 50 - 75 employee work days last fall.  That's the most I've seen at the company since joining in 1981.

      Sometimes it's better to individually address a problem rather than just criticize our politicians for failing to do so.

      by texasmom on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:11:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know someone who got worse than a cold (5+ / 0-)

      A 28 year old, healthy, atheletic employee of mine got the flu at a camping event.  She called in sick on Monday, on Wednesday the urgent care gave her antibiotics for the pnemonia she was developing, by Saturday she was in intensive care on a respirator.  They took her off of life support two weeks later and she died -- her lungs simply couldn't absorb oxygen, even on the ventilator and her brain died.

      This was a confirmed case of H1N1.  You're right, most people just got a mild case.  But my friend died.

      I and all the employees in my office got our shots yesterday.  Our insurance covered it but if it hadn't we would have paid the bill.

      •  I'm sorry to hear about your friend (3+ / 0-)

        When a healthy athletic person like your friend dies of H1N1 it is a painful reminder that the course of the disease can't be predicted. While most of the cases are mild, over 12,000 people have died world-wide according to the World Health Organization. I'm glad that all of you got your shots.

        Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

        by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:40:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I know someone who died from complications (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      william shipley, loblolly

      of H1N1. Left behind three young children.

      "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" RFK

      by Light Emitting Pickle on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 11:06:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When you die ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... of H1N1 flu, I want your stuff.

      We were married in each others heart, mind, body and soul. We were married in the eyes of our community and our respective Deities. We were married!

      by The Werewolf Prophet on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 12:58:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How come everytime (0+ / 0-)

        I make a comment about the drug industry pure progressives pick up my comment like a piece of broken glass and jam it into my heart, as though my death would be an amusement to them.

        This is a very dark and ugly side of people.

        •  I can only speak for myself, but ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... for me, it's simply because I've lost all patience with people whose willful stupidity is a danger to the rest of us.

          Pandemic flu is a public health crisis, which means each of us individually should cooperate with what's asked of us by those in our government charged with caring for the well being of the general populace.

          Does government screw up occasionally, even often? Of course, but pandemic disease prevention by mass vaccination is a simple concept easily executed, as opposed to, for example, managing a national economy in the face of globalization.

          H1N1 KILLS and in a different pattern than that of seasonal flu. Though you might survive with only mild symptoms, you could give it to me; with a compromised immune system, I'm at a very high risk for complications or death.

          In turn, I work with the youth at my church, and since kids are especially vulnerable to this strain, I have a responsibility to protect not only myself, but those I come in contact with. Consequently, I got vaccinated as soon as I could.

          We were married in each others heart, mind, body and soul. We were married in the eyes of our community and our respective Deities. We were married!

          by The Werewolf Prophet on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 05:58:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I was expecting an uptick after holidays (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, lineatus, loblolly, dmw97

    Maybe the vaccines/previous illnesses have had enough effect that even millions of people meeting millions of other people over the holidays won't give us another spike.

    Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

    by Inland on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:01:36 AM PST

  •  Nurse Kelley agrees (16+ / 0-)

    If H1N1 fades away without another peak, getting the vaccine will cost you a sore arm. If it surges again, as may happen after spring break - if not sooner - people should be aware that the number of ICU beds and ventilators are both limited.

    I understand the apathy. I didn't get the vaccine in the fall at one of the few "shot clinics" open to people my age because I am unable to stand for long periods of time. Now that it is widely available I'll be getting vaccinated this weekend.

    •  Only takes a few minutes now (9+ / 0-)

      My husband just got his shot at a chain pharmacy, and it only took a few minutes. Now is a good time, since there are now 136  million doses of vaccine available, according to the CDC.

      Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

      by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:07:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I got one last week free at walmart (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CoolOnion, texasmom, KelleyRN2, loblolly

      here in southside VA

      "I'd HR you for misspelling Bundt cake... but I'm not sure you'd see the humor in it." -wiscmass

      by mydailydrunk on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:08:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If Nurse Kelly says so, I guess I'll get one (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      texasmom, KelleyRN2

      I picked the last option on the poll, but I just never get the flu & never gets shots, either.

      So when this thing came up, I sat back and let the high risk people get the shots and figured I'd get by without.

      But I guess I'll get one.

      Change TX-32, Change the Nation. Send Democrat Grier Raggio to Congress.

      by CoolOnion on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:31:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Get the shot now even for over 65? I just (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KelleyRN2

      told my daughter she should get the kids out for the shots and got a shrug back.   Didn't throw anything or scream..............

      Medicare for all. Go with what works.

      by maybeeso in michigan on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 11:33:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm having that problem with my dil. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maybeeso in michigan, loblolly

        Their baby got his flu vaccines and I badgered my son until he did the same, but ... <sigh>  We'll see.

        While it's true that those over 65 are less likely to contract H1N1, they have a higher risk of respiratory complications when they do get it. You'll have to decide what your particular risks are. Are you around your grandchildren often? That's a consideration for many of us; we'd hate to get the flu and pass it along to the little ones.

      •  People over 65 should get vaccinated for H1N1 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maybeeso in michigan

        People over 65 should also get the H1N1 vaccine which is now widely available. They should also get a seasonal flu shot.

        Will people age 65 years and older be able to get the 2009 H1N1 vaccine this season?

        Anyone who wants to get the vaccine will have the opportunity to do so. H1N1 flu shots are widely available and everyone is urged to get vaccinated, Protect yourself in case there is a third flu wave this winter. Enter your zip code in the Flu Vaccine Locator to learn where to get vaccinated.

        Find out where to get vaccinated at flu.gov

        Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

        by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 12:39:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm only 62, but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maybeeso in michigan, loblolly

          we all got ours, both seasonal and H1N1.  

          Got our seasonals way back in Oct? or something, at the pharmacy.

          Then my guys got theirs at a free county clinic in November, because they're both protected classes -- a 17yo, and a Type2 + asthma adult.

          I FINALLY was able to get my H1N1 in mid-December, when the State decided they'd reached all the protected-classes they were going to, and had new stocks of vaccine.  We paid for mine also at the pharmacy.

          No particular side effects for any of us, either set of shots.  

          But I absolutely was going to get them -- I heard about william shipley's young healthy athletic employee from our (her and my) mutual "camping" group newslists.  This was back in August, maybe, so a very early one, and hit everybody like a ton of bricks.  

          I'm taking NO chances on this thing.

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 10:23:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Diahrea and vomiting are not symptoms of (0+ / 0-)

    H1N1. It is a respiratory illness.  Your relative had some other virus, bacterial infection or food poisoning.

    •  No, they are: (7+ / 0-)

      Fever – particularly a fever of over 100 degrees
      Sore throat
      Cough
      Chills and fatigue
      Body aches
      Headache
      Occasionally, vomiting and diarrhea

      http://www.symptoms-h1n1.com/

      Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

      by Inland on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:12:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diarrhea & Vomiting are symptoms according to CDC (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, marykk, JaxDem, earicicle, dmw97

      According to the CDC, diarrhea and vomiting are symptoms of the 2009 H1N1:

      What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?
      The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1 and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Severe illnesses and deaths have occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

      Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

      by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:17:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no such thing as stomach flu (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        myboo, LookingUp

        It does not exist. Not this year, not any year.

        Any digestive symptoms would be secondary to the stress of fever, dehydration etc.

        Influenza by definition is a respiratory illness.

        •  True, but diarrhea and vomiting add to the misery (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          earicicle, cdkipp

          You are correct that Influenza is indeed a respiratory illness, which is why the emphasis on covering your cough, etc.  It is also true that symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting have added to the misery of some people with H1N1.

          Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

          by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:31:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree.I was just trying to clarify (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heiuan, myboo, Naniboujou, marykk, LookingUp

            that if someone had fever and digestive problems, you should not assume you had H1N1. Those symptoms without the signature symptoms of sore throat, cough and body ache are very unlikely to have been H1N1 and you still should get vaccinated.

          •  H1N1- more diarrhea & vomiting than seasonal flu (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            earicicle, cdkipp

            As cdkipp correctly points out, "stomach flu" is not caused by flu viruses like H1N1. However, vomiting and diarrhea are more likely with swine flu than ordinary seasonal flu. H1N1 causes more nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea than seasonal flu viruses, especially in children.

            Although nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can sometimes accompany influenza infection, especially in children, gastrointestinal symptoms are rarely prominent. The term "stomach flu" is a misnomer that is sometimes used to describe gastrointestinal illnesses caused by other microorganisms. Novel H1N1 infections cause more nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea than the conventional (seasonal) flu viruses.

            Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

            by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:44:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Getting my H1N1 shot on Tuesday (6+ / 0-)

    And then getting on a plane on Sunday.  Just in time.

    Real progressives help Obama with helpful character attacks!

    by pontificator on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:37:15 AM PST

    •  Hopefully, but vaccine needs to trigger (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, earicicle, loblolly

      secondary immune response to be effective which takes 7-14 days so there is still a window of opportunity.

      •  Take other precautions- hand-washing! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        texasmom, marykk, addisnana, cdkipp

        Frequent hand-washing and/or hand-sanitizer are a good defense against germs. My daughter is an R.N. who is constantly exposed to infections swears by it. It worked well for me when I taught public school also.

        Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

        by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:49:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It takes about 10-14 days for the vaccine to (6+ / 0-)

      protect you fully. So you should still take as many precautions as possible when you are flying. Like the diarist, I have a condition that compromises my immunity. But my state maintained its restrictions on vaccine distribution well into December. It took some creativity to get my shot in time before I flew over the holidays--finally managed to get it just over two weeks before my 1st flight. I was fine.

      And for all those in the diary minimizing H1N1, my high school aged nephew--normally healthy as a horse--had it this fall. About 300/800 of his classmates out at one point, and a large portion of his football team was knocked out. One of his closest friends (who probably gave it to him) ended up with pneumonia. BTW, my nephew's case was officially confirmed as H1N1 by his state health department. Fortunately, he recovered well.

      "Women shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of women." droogie6655321

      by earicicle on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:46:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  H1N1 has been more serious in children (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        texasmom, Naniboujou, marykk, earicicle, cdkipp

        Getting more of them vaccinated is important to keep it from spreading rapidly in schools. As a former teacher, I can testify to how quickly respiratory illnesses can spread in classrooms. I'm not a big believer in perfect attendance awards, which in my opinion encourage parents to send sick children to school, exacerbating the spread of illnesses.

        Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

        by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:54:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was livid that the school refused to shut down. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk

          Long story...don't get me started!

          "Women shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of women." droogie6655321

          by earicicle on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:12:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I feel your pain (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            texasmom, earicicle

            In a perfect world,  everyone would follow the recommendations to stay home for 24 hours after the fever disappears, but many do not. My brother-in-law was so concerned about his son getting a perfect attendance award that he sent him back to school even though he still had a fever, therby exposing his classmates and teachers. Sigh.

            Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

            by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:29:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And of course, when you get the flu, you're (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              texasmom

              contagious BEFORE you're symptomatic. With that many kids out, seemingly "healthy" kids were certainly bringing the virus back into the school from their sick siblings at home. I guess, on the up side, the school should do relatively well when the flu peaks next, since so many of the kids have already had it. And it did motivate my nephew's intensely needle-phobic older brother (off in college) into the nurse's office for both flu vaccines: the seasonal shot and the H1N1 nasal version.

              "Women shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of women." droogie6655321

              by earicicle on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 10:09:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                earicicle

                Kids can be contagious before symptoms develop, but  as soon as  parents know their child is sick, especially with H1N1 , they should keep them home until 24 hours after the fever is gone to keep from infecting others. One reason I decided to retire from teaching was being immune compromised and being constantly exposed to infections. At least I never had anyone throw up on my desk as happened to one of my friends!

                Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

                by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 10:44:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  My asthma is what got me on the priority (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fiddlegirl, loblolly

    list though my little-understood neuro-immunological MCS is the reason I got one as soon as it was available locally.  Even though my last prick test said I wasn't all that allergic to dust mites, whenever I'm in a dry, dusty room my immune system goes haywire.

    IIRC, when you've got the flu, it's not the virus itself that kills you.  It's your own immune system.

    A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

    by Ice Blue on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:41:50 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the diary! (9+ / 0-)

    Amazing how quickly we become panicked, and then apathetic, in this country. Such short attention spans...

    "Women shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of women." droogie6655321

    by earicicle on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:48:37 AM PST

    •  Yes, it is not gone. (7+ / 0-)

      I suspect H1N1 will be part of the regular flu vaccine next year so it will not be as confusing. I think they usually include the 3 strains they are most concerned about in the shot.

      I heard as recently as a month ago, that they are concerned they missed one of the emerging seasonal flus in selecting the strains for this years shot. So after all of this, we still may be in for a tough regular(non H1N1) seasonal flu.

      •  Always a chance they might miss a strain (6+ / 0-)

        They make their best guess about which strains will be prevalent, but there is always a chance that they might miss a strain.  If H1N1 had appeared earlier, it could have been included in this year's seasonal flu vaccine, which would have caused a lot less confusion, and suspicions about the vaccine not being safe.

        Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

        by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:09:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True - I would tell that to my (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pandoras Box, earicicle, cdkipp, loblolly

          wingnut-leaning fellow employees, but then they probably would not take next year's regular flu shot either.

          Since I mentioned above that over half my office was out with H1N1, I should probably add that was AFTER many of them had sent me the Swine-Flu-Conspiracy emails.  And no, I never called them out on it when they returned.  ;)

          Sometimes it's better to individually address a problem rather than just criticize our politicians for failing to do so.

          by texasmom on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:19:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Glad to raise awareness (5+ / 0-)

      The good news is that the pandemic has been milder than feared, and the vaccine is now plentiful.  Hopefully people will take advantage of the increased supply and short lines now that the holidays are over.

      Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

      by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:02:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was very unhappy that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    texasmom, addisnana

    the vax wasn't available here until late November.  My husband is high risk (asbestosis, COPD, emphysma, insulin dependent diabetes, heart disease, congestive heart failure, high bp) and I am his full time caregiver so it upset me greatly that we couldn't get the vax sooner.  He's retired military and we have access to the military clinics and even they didn't have H1N1 vax.

    I read this

    France, Germany, Spain and Britian seek to break contracts with H1N1 vaccine suppliers.

    Britain on Friday joined several other European nations with an oversupply of H1N1 vaccines in taking steps to end contracts with pharmaceutical suppliers. The United States, also sitting on an overabundant supply of vaccine due to lack of public demand, has not yet decided whether to cancel any orders or whether it will sell or donate surplus vaccine.

    `snip

    Some government officials suggest they ordered supplies based on the understanding that each individual vaccinated would need two shots. However, it was later determined that one jab was sufficient to protect against the H1N1 flu virus.

    This leaves me totally confused.  First, why did we have so long to wait to get our vax if indeed we have an oversupply and second, why were so many countries allowed to procure almost double the vaccine than was needed for their population?  Does the CDC not oversee this?  

    The article states that some countries are now donating their surplus to lower-income countries that lacked earlier access.  Those folks in the lower-income countries are probably at higher risk are they not?   We don't have a way to provided for them?

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. - John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:00:05 AM PST

    •  Other countries use different (6+ / 0-)

      methods to produce vaccines. Obviously we have the capability. The amount of vaccine can be expanded by using different production methods.

      The primary reason we do not at this point is not safety concerns but public perception concern. Dr. Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Bill Mahrer actually cause incredible harm not just with flu vaccines but also much more important childhood vaccines.  

      Just the crap stirred up about the H1N1 vaccine which was made the same way as all other flu vaccines evidences this problem.

    •  US over supply due to lower demand? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, cdkipp

      It doesn't seem that the US has an oversupply as much as an apathetic public. The CDC is concerned about a resurgence of H1N1 in the spring, as happened in 1957.

      The head of WHO has asked for donations of vaccine for poor countries.

      Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

      by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:24:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mostly because (0+ / 0-)

      First, why did we have so long to wait to get our vax if indeed we have an oversupply

      Because it took longer than expected to produce the vaccine, for reasons explained by other posters.

      second, why were so many countries allowed to procure almost double the vaccine than was needed for their population?

      Initially it was thought that people would need two doses for full immunity. By the time it was demonstrated that one dose produced full immunity, the orders were already in.

      Does the CDC not oversee this?

      The answer lies in the word "countries." The relevant authority would be the WHO, but their powers may be limited in this area.

      There is nothing so practical as a good theory—Kurt Lewin

      by ebohlman on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 12:59:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I got mine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    addisnana, loblolly

    as soon as it was available here for the general (not high risk) population, December 18. My husband has a lung condition & immune-suppressing drugs, so he got his as soon as his pulmonary specialist could get it, November 16.

    As far as convincing the general public that it's a good idea to get vaccinated, the dilemma is that if a lot of people get the vaccine it may reduce the third wave, to the point where people will say, "See? it wasn't necessary, it was all about nothing." Then they will be less likely to get a vaccine next time there's a pandemic. The effect of the anti-flu measures will lead people to think they were unnecessary.

    "We did not come here to fear the future, we came to shape it." --BHO "Grab a mop." --BHO

    by sillia on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:31:06 AM PST

    •  Same people think economy didn't need rescuing (0+ / 0-)

      Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

      by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:45:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right (0+ / 0-)

        Another example--people like to scoff at the fuss over Y2K (the turnover to the year 2000) when computers and banking systems were supposed to go kablooey. There was very little problem in the end, so they point to this as an example of hype over nothing. Of course, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of person-hours went into solving this software glitch and fixing it before the deadline. The public doesn't see this, so thinks nothing happened.

        "We did not come here to fear the future, we came to shape it." --BHO "Grab a mop." --BHO

        by sillia on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 11:03:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Complication here (0+ / 0-)

          is that the real Y2K problems didn't involve the media-hyped possibility of massive crashes at the stroke of midnight; they involved systems that had to be made ready to deal with dates spanning a century boundary, and had to be able to do this well before 2000. Without that work being done, there would have been plenty of chaos in the last half of the 90s.

          There is nothing so practical as a good theory—Kurt Lewin

          by ebohlman on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 01:06:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  hmmmmm. I dunno. (0+ / 0-)

    my 22 yr old twin sons, who live with me, both had it.  I was clearly exposed - helping to nurse them back to health.  But not so much as a sniffle for me.  So, while I had my regular flu shot for the year, I am unconvinced that I need the H1N1 shot.

    "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

    by Pandoras Box on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 12:44:46 PM PST

    •  Glad you didn't get it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandoras Box

      Maybe one of our medical professionals can answer this. Were they definitely confirmed as having H1N1? There are other viruses which cause similar symptoms, in which case you wouldn't be immune to H1N1.

      Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

      by loblolly on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 01:09:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. I'm just back from getting my shot (3+ / 0-)

    I read this late morning. Googled locations and called a Walgreen's. No appointment necessay. $18.00. This had been on my list but I admit I forgot about it. Thanks to your diary I'll soon have some protection.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site