Influenza has reached epidemic proportions in the US reports CDC

Robin Wulffson MD's picture
influeenza, epidemic, deaths, flu vaccine, prevention
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On January 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that influenza has reached epidemic proportions in the US; 7.3% of deaths last week were caused by pneumonia and the flu. The CDC notes that this percentage is above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%. Nine of the 10 regions of the US have reported elevated flu activity; thus, confirming that seasonal flu has spread across the nation and has attained high levels several weeks before the usual time of late January or February. In addition, two more children have died this past week from flu-associated illnesses, bringing this season’s total to 20.

Only two states, California and Mississippi, do not report a widespread outbreak of the virus; Hawaii is at a lower rate than most of the US, with a level reported as sporadic. The CDC notes that the proportion of people visiting a healthcare provider for flu-like symptoms has risen from 2.8% to 5.6% in just four weeks––compared to the peak rate of 2.2% for the 2011 – 2012 season. According to the agency, the proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses (ILI) this past week was at 4.3%, which is still above the national baseline of 2.2%. New York City and 24 states are experiencing high ILI activity, and 16 states are reporting moderate ILI activity.

The virus most responsible for the outbreak is a particular strain of type A influenza called H3N2. Fortunately, this year’s flu vaccine is very well matched to H3N2, which has been historically associated with more severe illness. However, unfortunately, many people have not been vaccinated. The CDC recommends that everyone who is over the age of 6 months should get a flu vaccine. The people most at risk for developing complications from the flu include people over the age of 65, pregnant women, and those with asthma, emphysema, and chronic lung disease. However, the majority of Americans do not get the flu shot each year, with only 46% receiving the vaccine by the end of March 2012. It should be noted that the success rates are fairly positive: flu shots were shown to be 67% effective in preventing the flu.

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The CDC notes that if you have already been vaccinated this season, you have taken the most important step to protect yourself and those around you from flu. Unfortunately, there are a couple of reasons why it’s still possible to get the flu despite being vaccinated. First, people may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period it takes the body to develop an immune response following vaccination. Second, there’s a possibility of catching a different flu virus not included in the vaccine. Most of the viruses characterized by the CDC have been similar to the viruses in the vaccine; however, the flu vaccine is not likely to protect against other viruses. In addition, sometimes the flu vaccine doesn’t work as well for some people, which means that some people can get sick with the flu despite being vaccinated. The ability of flu vaccine to protect a person depends, in part, on the health and age of the person being vaccinated. In general, the flu vaccine works best among young healthy adults and older children. Some older people and people with certain chronic illnesses may develop less immunity after vaccination.

In view of the aforementioned, it is important to know what else you can do to help keep you from getting sick, and what to do if you do get sick with flu:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you or your child gets sick with a respiratory illness, like flu, limit contact with others as much as possible to help prevent spreading illness. Stay home (or keep your child home) for at least 24 hours after fever is gone except to seek medical care or for other necessities. Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, follow public health advice. This may include information about how to increase distance between people and other measures.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. This will block the spread of droplets from your mouth or nose that could contain germs.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Reference: CDC

See also:
Mutant norovirus strain triggers concern of US health officials
Has your young child been vaccinated against influenza?
Flu cases on the rise in the US, situation expected to worsen

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Comments

Those who do not support vaccination, but believe that our immune status determines susceptibility, are often accused of being uneducated, or worse, socially irresponsible. Those who promotes vaccines would have us believe that synthetic immunity is preferred over natural immunity. The main causes of viral infections are not a lack of vaccinations, but a compromised immunity. If the immune system is jeopardized by food allergies, environmental toxins, vitamin, mineral and trace element deficiencies, chronic stress, influenza virus can overcome the immune response. There are millions of viruses all around us. There are more than 200 viruses related to causing influenza and similar illnesses. The air someone exhales is inhaled by thousands of others. I therefore promote vitamin C and Zinc supplements to boost immunity before and even after the virus takes hold. Taken before it can prevent, and taken after, reduce the possible severity of the symptoms or the duration. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine contains formaldehyde, which is a known cancer-causing agent, and preserved with thimerosal, which is 49 percent mercury by weight. Some contain as much as 25 mcg of mercury per dose. This means that it may contain more than 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for mercury. Vaccines also contain detergents, aluminum, phenol, antifreeze, disinfectants, and some more 'goodies' These toxins damage the brain, in particular in young children.
I don't think vaccines have all those toxins in them. If you say that - please provide some evidence. There is much to be said for susceptibility, but please remember that's important. We can no longer have optimal immunity because of so many factors. Our immune systems could fight disease in the past, but we're living differently and we're more vulnerable. Vaccines do work and we need to develop more but we also need to understand why we don't all want to do what we should to protect our health. It's complex.
Sorry, i should have done so at the end of my reply. CDC centers for disease control and prevention have an information sheet called ingredients of vaccine. Fact sheet. Chemicals are added to vaccines to inactivate a virus or bacteria and stabilize the vaccine, helping to preserve the vaccine and prevent it from losing its potency over time. Vaccines are suspended in fluid (e.g. sterile water, saline, or fluids containing protein); 1.preservatives and stabilizers to help the vaccine remain unchanged (e.g. albumin, phenols, and glycine); and 2.adjuvants or enhancers to help the vaccine to be more effective. Aluminum gels or salts of aluminum which are added as adjuvants to help the vaccine stimulate a better response. Adjuvants help promote an earlier, more potent response, and more persistent immune response to the vaccine.  See also: "Aluminum in Vaccines: What you should know"  [ 579KB / 2 pages] Also available in Spanish  [579KB / 2 pages] Antibiotics which are added to some vaccines to prevent the growth of germs (bacteria) during production and storage of the vaccine. No vaccine produced in the United States contains penicillin. Egg protein is found in influenza and yellow fever vaccines, which are prepared using chicken eggs. Ordinarily, persons who are able to eat eggs or egg products safely can receive these vaccines. Formaldehyde is used to inactivate bacterial products for toxoid vaccines, (these are vaccines that use an inactive bacterial toxin to produce immunity.) It is also used to kill unwanted viruses and bacteria that might contaminate the vaccine during production. Most formaldehyde is removed from the vaccine before it is packaged. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and 2-phenoxy-ethanol which are used as stabilizers in a few vaccines to help the vaccine remain unchanged when the vaccine is exposed to heat, light, acidity, or humidity. Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative that is added to vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose to prevent contamination and growth of potentially harmful bacteria. For children with a prior history of allergic reactions to any of these substances in vaccines, parents should consult their child’s healthcare provider before vaccination. As a health professional I am not in the habit of spreading misinformation, but I feel lots of misinformation is spread by others and I present an alternative view based on proper research.
Thank you Hans. I understand your concerns. Of course, and again to provide our readers the best information that I can - the 'toxins' in vaccines that you describe should be of no significance and of course would not be allowed if they harmed health. The amounts are very small. "All routinely recommended pediatric vaccines manufactured for the U.S. market are available in formulations that contain no thimerosal or only trace amounts". Per the, Aluminum Q&A from Philadelphia Children's Hospital - it is found in nature. It is quickly eliminated by the body. Adding aluminum means less vaccine is needed to boost immune response. Children also accumulate aluminum from foods." For aluminum to be harmful, two criteria must be met: People must have kidneys that don’t work well or don’t work at all, and they must receive very large quantities of aluminum for months or years. In these situations, a lot of aluminum enters the body and not enough leaves the body." Here is that link: http://www.chop.edu/export/download/pdfs/articles/vaccine-education-center/aluminum.pdf Formaldehyde in vaccine - the amount is tiny and shown to be safe. It's much smaller than the amount that is naturally found in children. It's necessary to make the vaccine work to stop virus replication. There is no antifreeze in vaccines. According to the AAP, "Parents should be reassured that quantities of mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde contained in vaccines are likely to be harmless on the basis of exposure studies in humans or experimental studies in animals." Contaminated vaccines have been known to cause illness. Since preservatives have been added they are much safer. There are few vaccines that contain thiomersal due to public outcry over concerns of autism, but that has never been proven. The ingredients can cause allergic reaction - it's true. - but they are rare. The presence of these ingredients does not make vaccines toxins. Everything is a potential poison. "The right dose differentiates a poison." - Paracelsus.
Thank you, Kathleen, for your reply. I am not in favor of vaccines, no matter how safe they are assumed to be. I prefer the natural process. Appropriate diet, plenty of clean unadulterated water, and a supplement of Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance and Zinc, (up to 100 mg) should fend off the flu.One of the most important mineral fuels for the immune system is Zinc. A lack of dietary zinc leads to a decline of the immune system and increased susceptibility to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease diabetes and, of course, the dreaded flu. This trace element has a broad impact on key immunity mediators, such as enzymes, thymic peptides and cytokines, explaining the paramount importance of zinc.
And i's good to know these things also Hans. Thank you!
When I served as a battalion surgeon in Vietnam, the Vietnamese stopped fermentation of their national brew, "33 Beer," with formaldehyde. The amount was likely much higher than the amount in the vaccine.
That is probably why Candida albicans is so widespread in the middle east. Allergies to formaldehyde and other aldehydes is one of the causes of candida. I remember (I am a non drinker) the taste of beer from my teenage years. It tasted and smelled like the fluid collected from pregnant mares to produce HRT. As a surgeon you are probably aware that even the smallest amount of an allergen, formaldehyde in this case, causes an immune reaction.
The CDC is recommending that everybody should be vaccinated against this season's flu. I can find no reference regarding formaldehyde in the vaccine on the CDC's Website. The flu is klilling people!
I agree - it is killing people - children and elders are the hardest hit.