Swine Flu, Bird Flu and Emerging Diseases
New Strain of Bird Flu (H7N9)
In early 2013 Asian scientists announced the emergence of a new strain of Bird Flu. At the time of the announcement the disease had not mutated into strains capable of moving from birds to humans. Jason Koebler, U.S. News & World Reporter, discovered the first reported case of the new bird flu strain outside China. According to Koebler, potential vaccine tests in animals were weeks away from beginning. New information reveals that Chinese Officials suspect there may be 100 human to human cases spreading this new flu. Twenty- two deaths have reportedly resulted from this new strain of bird flu. People who come in contact with certain strains may become sick.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services at Flu.gov, human infections with a new avian influenza A (H7N9) virus are being reported in China. Poultry such as chickens were the first to experience this new strain of the flu virus. Some mild illness in human cases has been seen, but most patients have had severe respiratory illness and death has occurred. At present no cases of H7N9 have occurred outside of China. The new H7N9 virus has not been detected in people or birds in the United States.
Swine Flu Vaccines Pro and Con
Four versions of the H1N1 vaccine have been approved by the FDA. These vaccines are expected to become available in early October.
These versions are:
Sanofi Pasteur’s injected vaccine: Approved for ALL age groups (infants 6 months of age through adulthood and the elderly). It comes in several forms:
- Prefilled single ½ dose syringe with NO mercury – for infants 6 thru 35 months of age.
- Prefilled single full dose syringe with NO mercury – for anyone 3 years and older.
- Single-dose (full-dose) vial with NO mercury – for anyone 3 years and older.
- Multidose bottle (contains ten full doses or twenty ½ doses) WITH 25 mcg of mercury per full dose – for anyone 6 months and older (infants 6 to 35 months would get a half dose (0.25 ml), 3 years and older would get the full 0.5 ml dose).
Other ingredients include: the viral proteins, gelatin, formaldehyde, polyethylene glycol p-isooctyphenyl ether, sucrose.
CSL Injected Vaccine
CSL’s injected vaccine: Approved for anyone 18 years and older. It comes in two forms:
- Prefilled single-dose syringe with NO mercury.
- Multidose bottle with ten doses WITH 24.5 mcg of mercury per dose.
Other ingredients include: the viral proteins, sodium chloride, sodium phosphate, potassium phosphate, calcium, taurodeoxycholate, egg protein, 2 antibiotics, and beta-propiolactone.
Novartis’s injected vaccine: Approved for anyone 4 years and older. It comes in two forms:
- Prefilled single-dose syringes with a trace amount of mercury (less than 1 mcg because 99% of it is filtered out).
- Multidose bottle with ten doses WITH 25 mcg of mercury per dose.
Other ingredients include: the viral proteins, sodium chloride, phosphate, egg proteins, two antibiotics, betapropiolactone, nonylphenol ethoxylate.
Medimmune Live Virus Nasal Spray Vaccine
MedImmune’s live virus nasal spray vaccine: Approved for anyone 2 years through 49 years of age. There is no mercury.
Other ingredients include: the live viruses, MSG, pig gelatin, arginine, sucrose, potassium phosphate, an antibiotic,
IMPORTANT: Product inserts state that these vaccines have NOT undergone significant research. These vaccines are similar to other flu vaccines and as such are deemed to be safe.
It is important to realize that infants will receive 2 doses of the regular flu vaccine PLUS 2 doses of the swine flu vaccine. While there may be no significant danger to receiving the vaccine, it is clearly unprecedented for anyone, including children to receive four doses in one year. No one can predict the possible side affects or risks.
Getting Flu Vaccine
Should I or My Child Be Vaccinated
QUESTION: Should I get the flu shot or have my children vaccinated?
ANSWER: It is difficult for doctors to make a recommendation. You should consider your lifestyle first of all. Do you or your children spend time in large crowds of people? (schools, malls, movie theaters, or other places? Do you practice good hand washing techniques? Do you live in a rural or urban area? What about your immune system? Do you or your children easily contract illnesses?
There are side effects and risks with any vaccination. While the risk factor is low it is important to become aware of any risks before you make your informed decision.
Vaccinations for Children
Good hand washing is the first line of defense against spreading colds and flu. Taking the time to wash your hands and sneeze into your arm rather than sneezing on your hands where you will spread germs to everyone and everything you contact is important! Keep liquid hand cleaner with you all the time to constantly keep your hands clean. Teach your children to use liquid hand cleaner and how to sneeze properly. Every little piece of information helps your plan to keep colds, flu, and other sickness at bay!
Good Handwashing is the Best Defense Against Spreading Germs
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