It's the Flu, Not the Plague, Polio or Leprosy, So Chill Out

Flipping out over the flu.

The latest panic on the street is the flu -- it's coming, it's here, what should I do?

For starters -- relax.  We all know that stress can make us sick, so stressing over getting the flu, well, that just can't be good.

People are scared that there won't be enough flu vaccine to go around, and wondering whether they should get a shot in the first place.  Now think about it -- your odds of catching the flu are 50/50 with or without the vaccine, and with the shot 60/40, so they say.  But according to Dr. J. Anthony Morris, the former Chief Vaccine Control Officer at the FDA, "There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine, thus far developed, is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza."

Could the effect of these vaccines mainly be placebo-like or just plain old the magic of believing that because you've gotten the shot, the flu bug can't bite you?

Does geting a flu vaccine make the control freak in us relax a bit, just because we think we did something?  But wouldn't it just make more sense to keep your thoughts positive and see yourself healthy and well, then to expose yourself to the possible side effects in these vaccines?  And by the way, nobody, not any chemist, doctor, or any expert for that matter,  is ever quite sure if they've got the right strain of flu in the shot in the first place, but I guess we should all just hope that somebody guessed right this time.

Looking at the list of chemicals in these shots, a pretty toxic combination, of formaldehyde, aluminum, ethylene glycol (a.k.a. antifreeze), and thimerosol, which is a form of mercury, the most toxic of all heavy metals, is enough to make anyone sick.

So, what is a body to do?  How about believing that building a healthy mind and body via positive thoughts, exercise, healthy eating, getting enough rest and sleep, should go along way to helping you avoid the flu, and if you do get it, you will be able to keep the damn thing under control. 

Oh, and wash your hands -- a lot.  Try not to rub your eyes and nose.  And most of all -- avoid people with the flu. 

And if you've got it, stay home, and keep it to yourself.


Related Coverage:

  • Suffolk Notebook: County Executive Urges All to Get Flu Shots
  • Blog: Flu Resources for Parents and Teachers
  • Blog: Should Long Islanders Be Worried This Flu Season?
  • Blog: Doggie Flu Season

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Stinkerbelle January 15, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Cindi: Got some questions. How did you come up with the odds of you catching the flu are 50/50 with or without the vaccine? If someone reduces their stress by getting the vaccine, wouldn't that be a good thing? Ethylene Glycol is present in flu vaccines? Isn't it 2-phenoxyethanol? (A glycol ether but not antifreeze) Is the amount of Formaldehyde used in the vaccine less than the amount naturally found in the human body? Finally, if I am a person with a poor track record of eating healthy, should I get the vaccine? Just curious.
Melody Anne Butler January 15, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Stinkerbelle, those are great point you make. It's so easy to find information on the Internet, however the key is to find correct, accurate and up-to-date information- especially when it's concerning health topics and medical interventions. While the flu shot may not be as effective as other vaccines we in NY have access to, it's still a great resource to help protect ourselves and our loved ones. The best way to prevent flu-like illness is the flu vaccine. Flu-related hospitalizations are rising earlier than usual, and there have already been several pediatric deaths this year. The last time flu season started this early was the winter of 2003-04, which proved to be one of the most lethal seasons in the past 35 years, with more than 48,000 deaths. Unfortunately, the dominant type of flu during that season is the same one seen this year. Anyone who attempts to tell you that flu shots are dangerous or ineffective is either misinformed or has an agenda to sell you. Healthcare professionals who want to keep you and your family healthy also want to help you understand the importance behind the influenza vaccine. If you have questions and/or you're looking for accurate evidence based information on the flu, check out the CDC's main page for this year's flu season- http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2012-2013.htm Stay safe and healthy.
Karen Murphy January 15, 2013 at 09:26 PM
apparently you haven't had it. my 9 year old son does and he had the flu shot! good luck it's miserable, absolutely miserable!
Chris January 16, 2013 at 12:20 AM
4 People in my house. 3 got the flu shot and 3 got the Flu???? Coincidence? Im going to continue to hold off on the shot in hopes of continuing good health!!!
Michael Savini January 16, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Here is an example of somebody who doesn't quite know what she's talking about giving bad, potentially dangerous, advice.
Michael Savini January 16, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Oh, she's a "psychic medium". There goes any credibility.
Bryan P January 16, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Michael, I actual made an account on this site just to respond to this post directly. I was certainly hoping there would be SOME semblance of medical or health history in her profile, but nothing there would seem to make her REMOTELY qualified to dispense health advice without at the very least, giving some reason why we should listen to her OR clearly state she does not have medical training. As a member of the Public Health workforce, I felt it necessary to respond to some of the OUTRAGEOUS claims made in this post. First,the title. Yes, the flu is not any of those things. The flu also is not to be joked around about, especially in regards to the health of at-risk populations. While I can't give you exact annual death numbers (it is too complicated to record those, feel free to browse http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm), it is clear that the flu can easily affect thousands of people, and over the years kill thousands of people.
Bryan P January 16, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Continued: Secondly, I have no idea where you pulled the 50% chance of someone getting the flu fact. Numbers I've seen for those who get the flu range from 5% to 20%. I'm going to assume you are getting your "60/40" ratio from the Vaccine Effectiveness number that is put out (early estimates for this year are 62%). That is an estimation, and does not directly correlate to having a 40% chance of getting the flu. For more information you can read this http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm62e0111a1.htm?s_cid=mm62e0111a1_w Third, the quote you include seems to be a favorite among Anti-vaccine crusaders, and yet I can't seem to find it in any sort of reputable academic source. Only on websites that tout the ineffectiveness of vaccines in the face of statistical fact. Fourth, "And by the way, nobody, not any chemist, doctor, or any expert for that matter, is ever quite sure if they've got the right strain of flu in the shot in the first place, but I guess we should all just hope that somebody guessed right this time." Is not techically wrong, but the manner you portray it is offensive to the scientific community. So far this year, 91% of Influenza viruses analyzed this year by the CDC are included in this year's vaccine. Fifth, those chemicals would not be included in those amounts if they were not safe. Shame on you for suggesting otherwise. CONT.
Bryan P January 16, 2013 at 02:05 AM
For those saying people they know got the vaccine and got the flu, implying they got the flu from it is scientifically wrong. Your standard flu shot included DEAD flu viruses. Guess what, you can't get it from dead cells. You might have mild flu-like symptoms like a runny nose or fever, but you do not get the flu from the vaccine. This also includes the nasal spray which uses attenuated cells. They cannot infect you. Your body takes about two weeks to develop antibodies after the vaccine. If you are exposed to the flu virus between getting the shot and developing antibodies, it won't make much of a difference. Again, getting the shot doesn't completely prevent you from getting the flu even if you are exposed at a later date. And finally, there are plenty of scientific studies that have shown even if exposed and developed, the flu in those who were vaccinated is less intense and often lasts a shorter period of time. People can believe whatever they want, but please understand certain things are facts or statistical truths. If you want to tell people to wash their hands and stay home if sick, be my guest. I'm obviously all for people living healthy lifestyles. But please don't try to imply the flu vaccine is a waste of time or dangerous to the general population (not withstanding extremely rare allergic events). That's the end of my rant.
Michael Savini January 16, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Thank you Bryan for taking the ball further than I possibly could. Perhaps the editor of this patch would like to think about taking this article down.
Elizabeth K January 17, 2013 at 05:41 PM
sending positive thoughts your way!
John Azzara January 17, 2013 at 07:23 PM
For those of us that have other health complication, getting the Flu is like getting the Plague, Polio, or Leprosy.
Michael Savini January 17, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Don't worry John, I'm sending positive thoughts your way so you should be fine.
Cindi Sansone-Braff February 23, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Bryan P February 24, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Clearly an article (like many others I have seen recently) with a title designed to get views. It is absurdly inaccurate. Saying it "didn't work" is literally false. The point of contention was the effectiveness of ONE specific strain of flu, in ONE specific population. The effectiveness against other strains was typically what is expected. Again, no one has ever said the vaccine is perfect and 100% effective. The point is for most people there is no harm in getting vaccinated, only potential good.
Michael Savini February 24, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Again, the last person that anybody should trust regarding health information is a "psychic-medium". Clearly a different sort of agenda.


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