DailyDirt: Tis The Season To Catch The Flu

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

December is a time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but it’s also when flu season starts ramping up. Several states have already reported an increase in flu activity, and it appears that the predominant strain of flu found in patients who have been hospitalized so far is H1N1 — the “Swine Flu” that caused a global pandemic in 2009 but is now a human seasonal flu virus. Here are a few links about the flu season, pandemics, and vaccines.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Tis The Season To Catch The Flu”

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Paraquat says:

Vitamin D and flu

There is an increasing amount of evidence that the only reason why we have a “flu season” in winter is because that’s when people suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.

Most of the vitamin D that humans need does not come from what we eat, but rather is manufactured when UV light strikes the skin. In winter, less exposure to sunlight can lead to an insufficient amount of vitamin D being produced.

Evolution has given us a clue. People with pale skin manufacture more vitamin D when exposed to sunlight than those with dark skin. But pale skin is much less protected from sunburn, which can lead to skin cancer. Dark skin offers good protection from sunburn, but is much less efficient at producing vitamin D. So it should come as no surprise that those who have lived for generations in cold climates are pale, and those whose ancestors lived in the tropics are dark. There is obvious survival value in this.

Fortunately, modern technology offers us a solution to both problems. If you’re dark and live in a cold climate, you can benefit by taking vitamin D supplements – figure on 2000 to 5000 IUs per day during winter. If you’re pale skinned and living in the tropics, vitamin D is not an issue, but invest in some sunblock lotion to prevent sunburn (and possible skin cancer).

Rosco P Coltrane (profile) says:

Deadly Vaccines

The amount of research on vaccines being more harmful than good is increasing. Do a google search on “voluminous vaccines” and pick a few papers in the list to verify in scholar.google.com. And note that list was produced in 2009.

There’s also a growing collection of articles at naturalnews.com/vaccines.html worth your perusal.

In short, I don’t need the extra formaldehyde and mercury in my system. I’ll take vitamin D and C any day.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Smallpox and Rinderpest would like to have a word with you...

… or they would, had they not been wiped out via vaccinations.

Other infectious diseases on the ropes due to the ‘harmful’ effects of vaccinations include:

-Poliomyelitis (polio)
-Lymphatic filariasis
-Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and new variant Creutzfeldt?Jakob disease (vCJD)


This one is of particular relevance to your comment, as it shows just what happens when vaccination efforts are stopped or delayed for a time. From the wiki page:

‘The lowest annual polio prevalence seen so far was in 2012, with 223 reported cases. However, during the previous decade, following interruption of vaccination in Nigeria in 2003?4 and a reduction in immunisation in India in 2001?2, there was a resurgence of polio transmission: in 2001 there were 483 reported cases, but in the period of 2002 to 2010, the number of global reported cases remained between 750 and 2000 per year, with 1,349 cases in 2010. Some of these cases were the result of new importations in 31 countries which had previously interrupted transmission, leading to many subsequent outbreaks. Three further countries remain in which poliovirus transmission has never been interrupted (Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan). India was removed from the WHO list of polio-endemic countries in 2012 after no new cases were reported for one year. The 223 cases in 2012 were from 5 countries (122 in Nigeria; 58 in Pakistan; 37 in Afghanistan; 5 in Chad and 1 in Niger), compared to 650 cases from 16 countries for 2011.’

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Smallpox and Rinderpest would like to have a word with you...

Bingo…OP needs to play a game of Pandemic… the anti-vaxors seem to be proving Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest, since diseases like Measles and Rubella seem to be on the comeback, affecting their kids more and more (and sadly, taking out babies who are too young to be vaccinated in the process.)

If they want to be idiots, I wish they would do it to themselves and leave their kids and the babies who can’t be vaccinated out of it.

OP might also want to check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine_controversies and http://antiantivax.flurf.net/.

aldestrawk says:

DNA vaccine

One new vaccine type was missed here and is missing from the linked Atlantic article. A DNA vaccine takes the RNA for a gene from the target flu virus, makes DNA via reverse transcription, inserts that DNA segment into a plasmid, reproduces that plasmid in bacteria, purifies those plasmids from the bacteria to produce a vaccine. I took part in a clinical trial for a DNA vaccine last year at Stanford. These are quickly produced and offers other advantages or traditional flu vaccines. I have not seen the results of that study yet. I was thinking they would inform me, but results may have been published and I simply haven’t searched for them. It could be totally misleading to judge this on a single anecdotal result, but last year was the only year in a long time where I avoided the flu completely.

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