The CDC is doing its best to scare you. The public health experts want you to rush out and get a flu shot. The headlines have been designed to motivate: For example, The Chicago Tribune reported “Flu killed more Americans last season than car crashes and drug overdoses. But Chicagoans can protect themselves.” Fox News reported: “Flu season last winter killed the most people since the 1970s, CDC says.” CNBC warned: “Summer just ended, but CDC officials are already urging people to prepare for another potentially nasty flu season”
Last Year’s Warning:
A year ago we wrote an article titled: Should You Be Rushing To Get Your Flu Shot?
We warned you that the 2017-2018 flu season “could be worse than usual.” That’s because we were paying close attention to Australia. They are six months ahead of us when it comes to influenza.
The Aussies were slammed last winter. That was in part because the H3N2 influenza virus was especially nasty. And sadly the flu shot didn’t work all that well. A report in the New England Journal of Medicine (Nov. 29, 2017) reported that the vaccine was only about 10% effective.
Good News About this Year’s Flu Season?
If Australia is any predictor, this year’s flu season may not be as bad as last year. The preliminary reports from the southern hemisphere are that the flu season has been much less severe. We don’t know if that will mean an easier flu season for us, though. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, here is a link to some shocking information about influenza prevention and treatment.
Reader Stories :
Laurie in Cottonwood, Arizona offers her perspective:
“I have not had a cold or flu in many years and have been exposed to both. I have been using elderberry, probiotics and anything I can find to build up my immune system. I have never had a flu shot. I am 80 years old.
“My best friend’s daughter and her husband had the flu shots and died from the flu. The stores here have sold out of elderberry. But you should do what you feel is best for you.”
Marta in Washington State has a different viewpoint:
“After several bouts of the flu during the 1990s I started to get the shot annually in 1998. Since then the only time I have caught the flu was during the 2009 swine flu pandemic when there was not enough appropriate H1N1 vaccine available.
“Last January my 75-year-old husband, who is rarely sick, came down with influenza. (He never gets a flu shot.) Though miserable for about 2 weeks he eventually recovered, after being feverish, achy, fatigued and without any appetite. He coughed a lot and otherwise certainly spread the virus about the house. Meanwhile I never became sick. So I’m a definite believer! (We do both take daily vitamin C and D3 supplements.)”