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Old 13th May 2019, 07:06 PM   #1
Skeptic Ginger
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Flu off to a bad start in Oz

Flu cases hit uncharted territory in NSW, but vaccines at the ready

Australia on track for severe flu season
Quote:
Southern hemisphere case numbers are rising sharply, doctors warn. Joseph Milton reports....

With 40,000 confirmed influenza cases in Australia this early in the season, experts this week warned that deaths in the country could hit 4000 unless infection rates slow before the winter peak, and urged the public to get a flu vaccination

The number of confirmed cases is triple the typical levels seen at this part of the flu season. In 2018 there were 58,000 recorded cases for the entire year.

Robert Booy, who heads a collective of health organisations called the Immunisation Coalition, says that this flu season has been “really strange”.

2019 may be shaping up to be a particularly bad year for Australia because immunity levels are low following a mild season in 2018, Booy suggests.

He adds that the presence of two types of flu this year, rather than the usual one, is also likely to be a contributing factor.

"There has been a sustained and rising summer and autumn surge that began at the end of last year and is continuing to increase,” he warns.
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Old 13th May 2019, 08:21 PM   #2
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I've had my shot. I'm as prepared as I can be.
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Old 13th May 2019, 08:33 PM   #3
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NOO yu'll catches teh AUTIZMS!!11!
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Old 13th May 2019, 08:50 PM   #4
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Had mine too. About to head off for Japan and didn’t want that ruined by the flu.
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Old 13th May 2019, 08:51 PM   #5
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Yep, had mine. Work in a hospital, so mandated.
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Old 13th May 2019, 09:03 PM   #6
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Old 13th May 2019, 09:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Yep, had mine. Work in a hospital, so mandated.
I don't, but as I said in another thread, I ride a crowded bus to work, and I regularly visit my octogenarian parents, so it's important.
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Old 15th May 2019, 12:57 AM   #8
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I went to the walk in center to get mine. But they would not give me one as I am not 65 years. I think they would be the ideal people to give them.

I have just made an appointment to have it done at a chemist.
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Old 18th May 2019, 05:55 PM   #9
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The season has got off to a particularly bad start here in South Australia:

Quote:
The death toll from influenza outbreaks in South Australia this year has risen to 17, including 13 residents of aged care homes, as an "unprecedented" flu season continues to wreak havoc across the state.

Chief medical officer Professor Paddy Phillips said there had been 53 outbreaks in nursing homes since the start of the year and at least 18 facilities were in lockdown.

He said there were 12,339 influenza cases as of last Saturday, compared with 1,348 at the same time last year.
SA Flu Outbreak

Often mentioned on the radio news, is the 15 year old girl, with no prior medical conditions, who is one of the 17 people listed.
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Old 18th May 2019, 06:13 PM   #10
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Fortunately had mine two weeks ago.

(Along with three team members who also jumped the queue).

Unfortunately the rest received theirs on Thursday last week.

So fingers crossed that none of us are exposed before our immune system response is fully prepared.
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Old 18th May 2019, 06:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I went to the walk in center to get mine. But they would not give me one as I am not 65 years. I think they would be the ideal people to give them.

I have just made an appointment to have it done at a chemist.
Must be they still don't have their full vaccine supply in. Evidence is strong that we prevent more flu in the elderly by vaccinating younger people. The vaccine still doesn't work as well in the elderly.

However, here, we give 4 times the strength to people over 65. So you shouldn't be competing for supply with them unless they aren't using the high-strength doses there.
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Old 18th May 2019, 06:42 PM   #12
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It's certainly a different vaccine.

My team were given Afluria Quad.

The recommendation for over 65s is:

Quote:
All people aged 65 years and over are recommended to have Fluad®. This vaccine is made to offer increased protection (especially against influenza A/H3N2 which is more common and severe in the elderly) and this benefit is likely to compensate for any loss of protection against the B strain not included in the vaccine that is provided to individuals less than 65 years of age.
Link

From the manufacturer's website, it would appear that the vaccine also includes squalene as an adjuvant to boost the immune response in seniors.
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Old 18th May 2019, 09:14 PM   #13
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This is from last year. It says both Fluad and High-dose flu vaccine were used in Oz last year. I've not seen Fluad marketed here.

There are a number of studies still comparing the effectiveness of the two formulations. It looks like the studies are still in progress.
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Old 18th May 2019, 10:08 PM   #14
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I've also heard a few rumours that some of the people who have died, tested positive to two different strains.

(Can't find anything online about that one, so take with a grain of salt.)
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Old 18th May 2019, 10:28 PM   #15
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Hmm...

For some reason, the high dose vaccine is not covered under the National Immunisation Program, I have no idea why that would be.

(Even though the article from 2018 proposed that it would be)

Quote:
Influenza vaccines for adults aged 65 years and over include:

Fluad - PDF 36 KB
Fluzone High-Dose - PDF 19 KB – NOT funded under the NIP
Source
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Old 18th May 2019, 10:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
I've also heard a few rumours that some of the people who have died, tested positive to two different strains.

(Can't find anything online about that one, so take with a grain of salt.)
Flu has the unique ability to infect a person already infected. It's how we get recombinant strains.

When you are infected, the virus breaks into 9 segments. If two strains infect one person or one animal, the 9 segments come out shuffled.

Slowly mutating flu gives us genetic drift.

Recombinant flu gives us genetic shift.
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Old 18th May 2019, 10:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Hmm...

For some reason, the high dose vaccine is not covered under the National Immunisation Program, I have no idea why that would be.

(Even though the article from 2018 proposed that it would be)



Source
The vaccine is not that expensive. I'm 66. If I were in Oz I'd look at the research outcomes and chose whichever was better even if it meant paying for my own.
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Old 19th May 2019, 05:18 AM   #18
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How long after getting vaccinated for the flu does it take for it to become effective?
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Old 19th May 2019, 12:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
How long after getting vaccinated for the flu does it take for it to become effective?
Depends on your immune response but on average 2 weeks to become fully effective.
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Old 19th May 2019, 01:55 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Depends on your immune response but on average 2 weeks to become fully effective.
Thanks.
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Old 21st May 2019, 06:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Flu has the unique ability to infect a person already infected. It's how we get recombinant strains.

When you are infected, the virus breaks into 9 segments. If two strains infect one person or one animal, the 9 segments come out shuffled.

Slowly mutating flu gives us genetic drift.

Recombinant flu gives us genetic shift.
Crumbs! I did not know that.
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Old 21st May 2019, 07:03 PM   #22
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I have just read that face masks do nothing to prevent flu infection. How do I break this to all the Japanese people wearing them even in late spring?
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Old 21st May 2019, 07:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I have just read that face masks do nothing to prevent flu infection. How do I break this to all the Japanese people wearing them even in late spring?
Don't worry, flu and measles are harmless but vaccines are terrible! See measles in the Northwest thread. Or better yet, don't. Totally off the rails.

"I'm not an antivaxer, but...."

All the usual idiocy follows.
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Old 21st May 2019, 07:46 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I have just read that face masks do nothing to prevent flu infection. How do I break this to all the Japanese people wearing them even in late spring?
It's really common here in Canberra, where we have a large population of Asian students. It's kind of faddish.
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Old 21st May 2019, 07:58 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I have just read that face masks do nothing to prevent flu infection. How do I break this to all the Japanese people wearing them even in late spring?
Well they do help said wearer to not spread said virus as easily. Pretty sure in Japan it is a courtesy if you are ill to wear the mask.
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