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Swine Flu of the 80's

Original post made by Richard on Sep 10, 2009

Does anyone else remember the Swine Flu epidemic of the 1980's.
Then president Ford went on TV and got his Swine Flu shot to inspire us all to do likewise. The ploy must have had an effect as my wife and I along with our three school aged kids all went down and paid our pediatritions office for a shot. Then a second booster shot was required. Others were getting their shots free but for some reason we trusted our family doctor more. It was the only flu shot we've ever gotten.
Does anyone know if it's still good?
The flu epidemic by the way never occurred.

Comments (4)

Posted by Wife of M.D., a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 10, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Flu and cold viruses keep mutating. That's why we continue to catch them as adults. People can get partial immunities - perhaps the symptoms are not as bad as if they'd never been exposed, or they don't develop any symptoms. But there are so many cold and flu viruses out there (300+) that none of us can ever be completely immune to all of them. The H1N1 is a pandemic because people have never been exposed to it.

Each year, researchers try to guess which flu viruses are going to occur in the fall and they put them into the flu shot (3-4 dead flu viruses). The recipient's body will form antibodies toward those viruses so if they are exposed to one of those flus, they should not catch that flu. When people say "I got the flu shot and still came down with the flu" it's due to a different flu virus which was not in their flu shot.

FluMist, the nasal spray vaccine (instead of flu shot) is live viruses so the recipient is contagious for a period of time (as opposed to the flu shot, which is dead viruses so a person is not contagious).

We get our influenza shots at Safeway ($30 and receive 10% off coupon on groceries, valid for a week) because they offer them so early in the season, whereas, others don't offer them until October. It takes two weeks for antibodies to form in the body. Costco begins offering them for $20 on October 3rd (check the date to verify). Flu shots are the same whether in the doctor's office or at Safeway.


Posted by Wife of M.D., a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 10, 2009 at 7:41 pm

One more thing: the proper etiquette for coughing and sneezing is to cough or sneeze into your sleeve, NOT into your hands (which will put the virus on the hands and then the hands spread the germs).

Also, doctors always say to keep drinking fluids when sick. I used to say "yeah, yeah" until one time I actually followed my husband's advice and voilah! It really did help to alleviate symptoms sooner!

Proper sleep/low stress is the best way to avoid getting sick. The body can fight back better if the immune system stays strong from a well-rested body.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm

there were problems with Ford era vac, but they are fixed, SafeWway and Wall Mart have some good ideas about providing low cost high quality primary care.
For many non critical care issues you can get solutions for 70% less from MDs educated in the US abroad.


Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 10, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Walgreen's and Safeway at Midtown have the flu shots now. Free for Medicare enrollees- at least this year. Who knows what it will be next year. It is $25.00 at Walgreen's for those with no insurance.

There was a big flu epidemic in January 1960. Anyone remember THAT one?


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