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03-01-2020 01:20 PM
I have not read all of the posts so this may be redundant! But I was just on a task force on coronavirus and I guess I will get on my soapbox. <Eyeroll.>
Just a couple of points about the flu shot and the rationale for not getting one "because you can still catch the flu". I was speaking to an infectious disease physician the other day. The point is not that getting a flu shot will totally protect you from the flu. We all know it does not. The point is that if you DO get the flu your chance of dying from it and its complications is drastically reduced. And yes you should get one, if not for you then for others you might infect. Hate me, whatever. Any ID doc will agree.
And again, nobody should be in a panic about coronavirus but people should respect it and follow CDC advice. The fact that so many do not take the flu seriously is one reason why the markets may be skittish as the thought is that many will also blow off precautions for coronavirus. And yes coronavirus has a lower death rate (won't matter if it is you though) BUT it is very contagious AND the rate of needing intensive care with intubation/respirators etc is relatively high. It really would not take many people our age sick with it and/or complications from the flu to overwhelm your local hospitals and limited ICU beds. And if you have coronavirus with pneumonia you will be in serious trouble if your hospital does not have an intensive care bed for you.
For those of you on chronic medications please see if you can get a 3-month supply or at least fill your prescriptions as soon as your refill window opens up. The FDA is looking into medication disruptions as certain drug components in the supply chain are sourced from China. My husband and made our trips to the pharmacy yesterday.
So I understand the overabundance of caution on this issue. Better safe than sorry. I hope it is overblown and the virus mutates to a less virulent form/goes away but these things are unpredictable. Best to prepare and then be pleasantly surprised.
Having said that I am planning to visit NYC this week to visit friends and family. But I will be bringing sanitizer and washing my hands a lot!!! So I do not live in fear but I will be very careful and will probably reduce travel and large events for a while.
I have read and heard a number of reports (from medical experts) that this is not true, that the death rate (not the number of deaths) is higher, up to perhaps 20 times higher than the death rate from the flu.
03-01-2020 01:53 PM
Our church has in tbe past mentioned no hand shaking during Sharing of Peace during Flu Season ,but currently not an issue with the new Pastor we have. Hand shaking has gone on as usual.
I felt like some parishioners were down right rude today. This is the first problem. Throwing up their hands saying not doing it or offering an an elbow saying bump! If they didn't want to shake hands fine, but just stay seated instead standing and making issue out of refusing to shake hands. I finally sat down as did not know who was willing to shake hands and who was not willing. The Pastor shook hands at the door as usual. It did not seem to bother him? I shook hands figuring wash them when I get home.
I can recall in the 1950s seeing a common communion up wiped with a handkerchief. That must have spread some germs!
03-01-2020 03:26 PM
Things that make you go hummmm:
I heard a medical commentator say any number of our Flu deaths
this year could have been COVID-19 but we didn't have a test for it.
There's so much we don't know about it up until now.
Anything is possible.
I hadn't thought of that but it's certainly plausible.
Except that if these deaths were counted as deaths from the flu then those people would have been tested for the flu and confirmed as having the flu.
If they were from another virus (COVID-19 being one) then they wouldn't have been counted as flu deaths. Deaths, sure, but not flu deaths.
Even more plausible. Thanks, @KittyLouWhoToo 🙂
03-01-2020 05:44 PM
I agree with both of your remarks. What I should have said is that the death rate from coronavirus is perceived as low, not lower. People see a coronavirus mortality rate of 1-2% and think so what, nothing to be afraid of. The rate of death from flu is 0.1%. Both low rates BUT when a large population is infected both viruses can result in many deaths.
I hope that you did not think I was trying to downplay the seriousness of coronavirus. Quite the opposite. But I also think that folks are very nonchalant about the dangers of influenza and excessively worried about vaccination safety (I am not talking about those who have medical reasons to avoid immunization).
The mortality figures for coronavirus are based on information from China, not the most open or transparent society in the world. Hopefully, they are reliable; hopefully, the US mortality rate will be even lower. Only time will tell.
@tansy Absolutely right about possible undetected cases. The US has not (yet) done the wider testing and screening needed to get a handle on where the virus is (or isn't).
03-01-2020 06:03 PM
There are antiviral drugs for the flu. But there are none for COVID 19 and the fact that it doesn't might indicate the possibility of more deaths from that virus. Deaths from the flu would probably be more if it wasn't for antiviral drugs.
03-01-2020 06:25 PM
@SilleeMee Well, the drugs for the flu are not that effective but hospital support really helps decrease flu mortality.
I totally agree with you that COVID-19 is new, unique with no current approved drug to treat it. I am more afraid of it than I am the flu. We all should be until we know more.
Remdesivir by Gilead is in phase 3 development (was being studied for Ebola); a US COVID-19 trial is underway at the University of Nebraska. China has a number of other drugs and traditional medicines in COVID-19 clinical trials. One drug that looks pretty interesting is chloroquine, an old malarial drug that has shown activity (like the Gilead drug) against coronavirus species. That drug is being studied in China. I wish we were also studying chloroquine in this country as it is readily available and cheap. Gilead has a history of price gouging with breakthrough pharmaceuticals (think HIV and hepatitis C). But those in the know chose the Gilead candidate. It looks like a good choice, other than the inevitable high price tag. I cannot imagine that company making it freely available out of the goodness of their hearts. But I am cynical.
03-01-2020 09:14 PM - edited 03-01-2020 09:15 PM
Surely, you're not encouraging panic over those flu deaths.
As for "Where's the concern [and panic]?" over 18,000+ flu deaths this year, that's probably because of the extremely low mortality rate.
Because so many with the flu don't even seek medical treatment, surveillance is difficult, and the CDC can only estimate those who've contracted the flu. From 10/1/2019 to 2/22/20, the CDC estimates that, of the 32,000,000 - 450,000,000 who've contracted the flu, 18,000 - 46,000 have died. That represents an extremely low mortality rate--nowhere near 1%.
Again, everyone who's exposed to the flu doesn't get it, the vast majority of those who do get it recover, and most won't even go to the doctor.
As for the flu, the effectiveness estimates of this year's (and studies of past) certainly make for interesting reading. I've never had the flu, and I've never gotten a flu vaccine. Should I ever contract the flu, chances are I'll recover just as almost everyone else does.
There's no need to panic, or even be overly concerned, about contracting seasonal illnesses.
03-01-2020 09:43 PM
We all have heard some say they do not get a flu shot,because it makes them get sick,i have heard someone say that for years,just crazy.
I have gotten the flu shot for many ,many years with no problems. The last two years I did come down with mild flu symptoms the day after receiving the shot. The first time the reaction lasted only 2 days. The second time it was 4 days. My doc said this is not unusual to have a reaction to the shot. This year I had no reaction at all. Em
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