It’s that time of year. Should you or should you not get the shot?
By the numbers
~ Number of times I’ve gotten the flu shot-3 (1999, 2008, 2010)
~ Number of times I’ve gotten the flu- 2 (1999 Type A swab positive, 2008-Type B swab positive, BETTER NOT GET IT THIS YEAR)
~ Number of deaths related to influenza in United States-30,000-40,000 a year
~ Number of H1N1 deaths from 2009 season- 16,000-18,000 from October 09-April 10
~ Number of “dead” viruses in the 2010 shot: 3
- an A (H1N1)–like virus;
- an A (H3N2)–like virus;
- and a B 2008–like virus.
~ Number of cases of influenza that were successfully treated by antibiotics- 0. They do not attack the flu virus—or any virus. They help other bacterial infections possibly exacerbated by influenza such as sinus infections and bacterial pneumonia.
~ Number of boxes of Kleenex needed per individual case? 2
~ Number of hot toddys used during a typical 5-7 day influenza period-35. (Overuse maybe?)
~ Number of sick days lost due to influenza?
The good news? They do not expect 2010 to be a pandemic flu season due to H1N1. Why? Two reasons:
- Many people got the flu, so their bodies began producing antibodies for H1N1.
- Many people got the H1N1 flu shot which began causing the body to develop antibodies.
In other words, if you got it last year, odds are you won’t get H1N1 this year. That doesn’t mean you won’t get the flu—just less likely to get H1N1.
So, wash those hands and cough into your sleeve! Stay well this season! It’s up to you to decide where you fall on the dividing line of the flu shot.