Monday, August 24, 2009

Odds Anyone?

My epidemiology professor in medical school calmly informed my class that AIDS was going to cross into the heterosexual community in the US and kill tens of millions of heterosexual Americans. Guess that makes for nice funding from the NIH, but really? And now this... I guess they are either serious, or they are trying to push an agenda. Wonder what it is?


  1. Funny you should post about this. We got the warning that we are allowed one missed clinical (deductions will apply with double focus penalty) to be saved for family emergency, or better yet let your family members deal with any emergency... was suggested, as you'd better save it for (when) you get the swine. Really?!

  2. Gee, they want to put the head of Homeland Security in charge of making pandemic decisions? Yeah, that makes me feel real safe. Not!

    And I hear H1N1 doesn't seem to be affecting seniors as much, possibly because their immune systems have had prior experience with flu viruses. I call that "senior's revenge," considering Obamacare's propensity for wanting to throw our seniors under the proverbial bus. Might want to keep those seniors handy after all.

  3. We were all going to die from the Avian Flu a few years ago too.

    Nothing wrong with being prepared, but the dire predictions and scare tactics are a pain in the butt. Every hypochondriac with a snotty nose comes to the ER convinced that they are dying.

  4. I have some questions about the vaccine. I'm NOT an anti-vacc person at all, but the rush on the vaccine has made me a bit nervous. If this thing is mutating as fast as some are saying it is, is it even worth it? Will you docs being taking it given the opportunity? Will the risks of this vaccine be as minimal as the yearly flu vaccine?

  5. Oh! I have a snotty nose! It must be H1N1 and not just bad allergies that I always get this time of the year.

    I love it when journalists use weasel words...

    "Hospitals may..."

    Well, I MAY encounter a space alien tomorrow or go out to eat. One is far more likely than the other.

    I guess we all MAY get AIDS...Hrrrm...sounds like an Academic Report/News Story in the making!

  6. Your seriously tempting the Karma Gods 9-11, HIV doesn't respect Race or Sexual Preference, I mean, Freddie Mercury got it, and NOWAY he was queer...
    Maybe Haitian...


  7. you are right again frank... that dude never actually sucked a cock, but he rolled a lot of them around in his mouth till the swelling went down.

  8. It sounds like, in the worst case, half the population gets sick some time during the flu season. A bunch of them feel bad, and go to the Dr. or hospital. Bam, healthcare gridlock.

    It is time to start saying: "If you have the flu, stay home!"

    As for HIV, I was just noticing yesterday that we hear about it at only 10% to 20% as much as five or 10 years ago. Perhaps the HIV community wants to get some attention.

  9. A question about flu viruses. I read somewhere once that during a flu season, the majority of people who harbor the virus are asymptomatic. Is this true? That would mean people who are not apparently sick could transmit it, and it would make containment difficult, if not impossible.

    Now our former governor Gary Locke in his role as commerce secretary is proposing a plan for businesses to control the spread of disease by encouraging ill workers to stay home and employers to expand paid sick leave. While I don't like being coughed and sneezed on by coworkers, I am wondering if any steps beyond vaccines and regular hand washing would really be practical ... or if it will just increase business costs and hinder productivity.

    Also - is it true that seniors are resistant to the most recent round of flu? Would that mean that old folks are not advised to get the flu shot this time around? I just had the momentary horrid thought that a deliberate shortage of a flu vaccine could be used to thin the population.

  10. Peggy U- Seniors should get the seasonal flu vaccine as usual, but they will not be first in line for the H1N1 vaccine. The high-risk population for the H1N1 vaccine according to the CDC would be pregnant women; people who live with or provide care for infants; health care workers; children ages 6 months to 24 years of age; and 25-64 year olds with medical histories that put them at greater risk.

    I heard the same thing about resistance to the H1N1 in people born before 1957...supposedly due to prior exposure to flu outbreaks. Lucky them!

    As for Anonymous' concern about the safety of the H1N1 vaccine, I just read an article out of the United Kingdom that says the association of British neurologists are warning about an outbreak of Guillain-Barre's syndrome. I don't know about the veracity of that report; I defer to the doctors on this site.

  11. I would appreciate an opinion, please.

    About a year ago, one of my close friends was diagnosed with cervical cancer and another one was put on notice that her PAP test showed precancerous changes. At that time, Gardasil was being heavily promoted, and I advised my 20-year-old daughter to look into getting the vaccination.

    Well, she just made an appointment and they have ordered up the shots. But I have been reading a bit on the vaccine, and I am not sure how much is gained by getting it. Is it worth the expense and the risk of adverse effects, in your opinion? If the doses have been ordered and sent to the doctor's office, is it ok to change your mind at the eleventh hour? Thanks, in advance, for your feedback.

  12. PeggyU,

    I have an opinion on this one!

    For a little background, when they test these vaccines, they obviously can't test them on the population as a whole. So, they test them on a few thousand people and look for side effects. They have the test subjects record ANY symptoms they experience during the study period. (which is why cold symptoms and menstrual cramps are "side effects" of so many medications).

    In the early clinical trials, there were just over 5,000 girls in 5 separate trials who were given the Gardisil. In the final clinical trial, just over 12,000 girls were studied.

    It sounds like a lot, but consider this. What about a serious side effect that occurs only 0.5 to 1% of the time? What if by chance selection, the study population didn't include a representative sample of those pre-disposed to that side effect?

    In that case, the incidence of the side-effect would be under-reported or under-observed. Now, consider what might happen if a side effect of the drug might be something that was rare, AND might be something that was not thought to be associated with the drug?

    I bring up these issues to make my point.

    My niece was 17 when her pediatrician encouraged her parents to give her the injection. A few months later, she began to have seizures. There is no family history of such, she had no history of head trauma or other pre-disposing conditions.

    We all assumed that her seizures were just the unexplained adolescent seizures that occur. But their neurologist commented that he had seen these idiopathic (unexplained) seizures appear in several girls who had received the Gardisil injection.

    It has now been reported in association with the vaccine.

    Point is, there is NO WAY that they can know the LONG TERM effects of these things without long term studies and before they are given to a LOT of people.

    The jury is still out as to whether Gardisil actually has a causative role in seizures. From what I have seen and read, I tend to think it DOES.

    But in my mind, cervical cancer is preventable by good choices, lifestyle, and proper health surveillance. That is why I refused to have my daughter given the injection. (I made my decision long before my niece ever got the injection).

    I sat and talked to her about HPV, how it is transmitted, what it does, etc. A vaccine isn't a substitute for using your brain when it comes to sexual decision making.

    That's my opinion.

    Hope it helps. It's worth exactly what you paid for it!


  13. PeggyU,

    I would like to add one more thing to what the ER doc said above about Gardisil.

    I have a nurse friend who worked in a county-run women's clinic in California. Of all the women who presented with cervical cancer, most did NOT have the HPV types that Gardisil is suppose to protect patients from. So even if these women had received Gardisil, they still would have gotten cervical cancer.

    No vaccine can replace healthy choices.

  14. Thanks! I greatly appreciate your responses. Earlier today, I told my daughter I thought she should decline the vaccine, even if we have to pay for the first dose out of pocket because of the short notice. Hopefully the physician will not try to pressure her into taking it.

    I have been generally in favor of vaccinating my kids, but for some reason this particular one made me feel a little uneasy. I think it might be because the American Academy of Pediatrics declined to endorse it - and in my experience they are somewhat zealous about vaccines.

    Plus, you are right. Thinking about the consequences of lifestyle choices is a more appropriate approach. The vaccine could impart a false sense of security.

  15. They are going to push circumcision again? I wonder if the AIDS activists have anything to do with this?

  16. erdoc85,

    A seizure in a teenager may make her appear "perky" to "the boys".

    Maybe Merck considers that a feature, not a bug, and will work it into its advertising!