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Flu: the epidemic is spreading


NormanH

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Our MT was complaining before Christmas that she was on near constant call out due to the flu. OH and I have both been inoculated and so far no signs, so I hope it is effective.

From Norman's link:

Cette année, la majorité des virus grippaux recensés en médecine ambulatoire sont de type A (H3N2), contre lesquels le vaccin protège.

So it seems to be effective.
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Oh dear Mint

Far too late to get best protection. Xmas and New Year are the prime times for spread as people move around the country and come into contact with one another - spreading the virus as they do so.

The vaccine takes about 10-14 days to become fully effective and is at its peak efficacy between 1 -3 months after being administered. The best time to have the inoculation is therefore around mid November.

Norman, the OH also had a bad reaction and showed all the symptoms of flu - although at a not severe level. I had no adverse reaction at all.
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Andy, I don't think that what you say about Christmas and the New Year applies to us[:D]

We have had no visitors and have not been to other people's homes and did not go near any shop or supermarket.

True, we have been out on walks with the dog but the places where we walked were completely denuded of human beings.

Anyway, I have had my vaccination now and, fingers crossed, I shall not be adversely affected by the vaccine and will not catch flu!  I'm thinking positive, regardless of whether that has any effect or not[I]

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Despite your apparent hermit like existence - have you truly not been to any shop or been in contact with anyone in the last week? - I doubt you live in a hermetic existence.

All it needs is someone in the post office sorting office to sneeze and spread a virus loaded aerosol across the mail, and you have to opportunity to pick it up when you handle the Christmas card envelopes. Admittedly paper is not the best habitat for the virus, but it is possible to be passed on this way.

Anyway let's hope all will be fine. But remember for next year - mid November.

Remember, remember the mid of November,

brain pounder, sneezing and snot

is what you will get

if you forget

to get your flu vaccine shot.
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[quote user="andyh4"]Despite your apparent hermit like existence - have you truly not been to any shop or been in contact with anyone in the last week? - I doubt you live in a hermetic existence. All it needs is someone in the post office sorting office to sneeze and spread a virus loaded aerosol across the mail, and you have to opportunity to pick it up when you handle the Christmas card envelopes. Admittedly paper is not the best habitat for the virus, but it is possible to be passed on this way. [/quote]

 

I used to get the flu as often as anyone else in the UK but since being in France in 12 years I have been completely free of all illnesses of any kind, accidents and strained back excepted and the back was only one time.

 

There has to be a reason, I live a hermit like existence but nonetheless faire la bise and shake hands with probably 120 people a week in my various outside activities and with up to 30 clients/tenants, I think its closer prolonged contact that passes the viruses, in the family home, the office, the marital bed etc, certainly these viruses sweep through families and long ago I noticed that the mother never ever fell ill until all the family had recovered at which point she too would get it, its the same dynamic in small businesses. Perhaps if you really are on your own, no-one to intervene if the flu threatens your life then you just dont go down with it.

 

In any case I thank my Lucky stars, on about 3 occasions I have been sure that I was going down with it, friends had had it, during one or two days I would have all the symptoms getting progressively worse until I was sure that I could not continue and would be laid up but each time after a good nights sleep (alone) I awoke free of the virus and all symptoms.

 

This will probably be famous last words!

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I've been taking immunosuppressants for the past 10 years. Never had a bad cold or flu in all that time. This year I stopped taking them and got the flu a few weeks later..and gave it to OH! I was at work the first day of the symptoms, but my ability to do anything other than sit upright was severely limited..and speaking in French was impossible!

There is an explanation. The severe symptoms of a cold are due to an exaggerated immune response. If you don't have a very good immune system then you still have the virus with mild symptoms but it doesn't always cause so many upper respiratory symptoms.
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I cant get my head around that or have misunderstood, are you saying that if you dont have a good immune system then you wont go down with flu or a severe cold?

 

So is the flu/severe cold just the body fighting and killing the virus and others carry it without suffering?

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That can't be right because I thought a lowered immune system makes you liable to all sorts of infections and could be responsible for leaving you predisposed to all manner of nasties, including cancer (so I understand!)

On a side track but maybe related to the flu vaccine, I had a tuberculin test recently and I had no reaction to the jab, none whatsoever.  So, is that good or bad?

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What I'm saying is that the symptoms of a cold (sore throat, blocked nose, fever), are caused by the immune system reacting to the virus. If your immune system doesn't work as well you don't get the same symptoms. You still have the virus but it affects you in a different way. I used to get headaches and general aches but rarely a sore throat or head cold, and for me, the symptoms were quite mild.
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[quote user="mint"]That can't be right because I thought a lowered immune system makes you liable to all sorts of infections and could be responsible for leaving you predisposed to all manner of nasties, including cancer (so I understand!)

On a side track but maybe related to the flu vaccine, I had a tuberculin test recently and I had no reaction to the jab, none whatsoever.  So, is that good or bad?

[/quote]

It may mean you're not immune to TB , I had my vaccine as a school child ,but didn't scar so twice I've had to have skin tests to prove my immunity ( I need to have this for work) I have had positive reactions both these times so the fact you aren't reacting is worrying
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Thanks for being the bearer of possible bad news[:-))]  Only joking, I am most grateful you have replied.

I was expecting some sort of reaction around the injection site but nothing, rien, nada[:(]

I also had a chest x-ray which, to my own great surprise (me being asthmatic and I expected at least some scarring), was perfectly normal.

The circumstances was that I was in contact with a migrant from Africa who was subsequently found to have tuberculosis and was hospitalised for several weeks.

So maybe the worst thing that could happen to me is that they give make a great big scar on my arm[:'(]

At least then I could meet any old migrant from anywhere else and I should be protected!

Thanks again, Pat.

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Yes, Mint, I had pretty well no reaction to the flu jab this year ... a slight achy arm for maybe 1-2 days, c'est tout.  Still desperately hoping to stay free, waiting my hip op in 6 weeks, and the last think I now want is a cold or flu!

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[quote user="Judith"]Yes, Mint, I had pretty well no reaction to the flu jab this year ... a slight achy arm for maybe 1-2 days, c'est tout.  Still desperately hoping to stay free, waiting my hip op in 6 weeks, and the last think I now want is a cold or flu!

[/quote]

Judith, I wasn't saying that I had no reaction to the flu jab.  I had a sore thigh muscle for about 3 days, the thigh being the most reachable site as I was giving it to myself.

No, I was talking about my tuberculin test and now PatHCA has told me that a non-reaction means that I am not immune to TB.  Hope they don't need to take this further because, although it is the Conseil Général which orders you to have the tests, you still need to pay for them yourself!

Good Luck with the op, Judith.  As far as possible stay well away from people and do not shake anybody's hand if you could possible avoid it.

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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]Is it possible to catch more that one virus at a time?  The reason I ask is that I caught bronchitis at the end of October, apart from having a cough hanging around for weeks, I actually didn't feel too bad , but no sign of the 'flu (or man-'flu) thank goodness

[/quote]

Perfectly possible.  In fact, if your body is "busy" fighting one virus, I would have thought that it might well have fewer resources to fight another one!

Also, the bronchitis might be due to a bacterium rather than a virus and so, yes, you could catch any number of viruses.

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My nurses always give the flu jab in the shoulder/back area and I have never had any reaction.

So far so good, no flu or even cold.

However I am off on vacance next week so feel sure it might catch up with me after all the air conditioning on the aircraft! Hope not.
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Our flu jabs are always given in the shoulder area too, but most years I get a fairly nasty reaction, not in 2016 though, don't know why. But we've both had what I'd call mild flu since about a week before Christmas.

I say mild, but it was quite bad enough, missing Christmas and NY celebrations and feeling really ill, and we've both still got the awful coughs. In the oast I had what I would call a serious bout of flu, didn't just feel ill, was sure I was dying!
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[quote user="alittlebitfrench"]

Until you have had 'proper' flu you will never now what flu is really like.[/quote]

Here I do agree with you ALBF, I have had real flu twice in my life - nothing you can do about it but go to bed, take paracetamol to ease pain and lower temperature (though I also swear by homeopathic remedies, and use them too), and stay there until you feel better .... drink plenty of fluids, but no need to eat (feed a cold and starve a fever seems to apply here!). If it is real flu you will not want to get up until you do feel better.

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