General Question

Rarebear's avatar

11 Bay Area flu deaths so far. Have you gotten your flu shot?

Asked by Rarebear (21075 points ) 3 months ago

One death was a 23 year old woman. We have two critically ill on ventilators in our ICU right now from the flu.

Get your flu shot. That is all.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

82 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Got it in early Sept. Surgeon wouldn’t do my knee surgery without the jab.

Mariah's avatar

I always do!

zenvelo's avatar

Got my flu shot in October, and my H1N1 a few years back.

dxs's avatar

I’m not sure if I did. Is there a way to check? When was the most recent one?

Seek's avatar

Nope.

I probably can’t afford it. I don’t know, though, because I can’t get anyone to tell me what they actually charge for them. They’re all like “No out of pocket cost with Medicare Part B, and we take your insurance!” And I’m all – Yeah, yo, I ain’t got that.

Ah, whatever. I probably won’t die.

There was going to be a free vaccine event at the college campus in October, but it was postponed, and if it was ever rescheduled I didn’t hear about it.

jaytkay's avatar

I probably can’t afford it.
I got mine free at my alderman’s office. City and county officials around here publicize it. If a public option isn’t avalable (and I know affordability is relative) Walgreen’s and CVS or their equivalent can provide for about $30.

Also, do you have insurance? With Obamacare, lots of folks just gained access to new health care options. Maybe the shot is covered.

whatever. I probably won’t die
True, but you can get vaccinated and prevent spreading the virus to people with weak immunity.

Seek's avatar

$30 a pop for three people? Not affordable. That’s my power bill.

jaytkay's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I think you responded to my post and then I edited. Does Obamacare help?

Oh dang, Florida. Dunno your specifics, but I know Governor Lex Luthor is working hard to deny you health care.

Seek's avatar

No insurance.

I make too little money for Obamacare, too much money for Florida’s full Medicaid, the “Medically Needy” Medicaid I do qualify for is only accepted by the emergency rooms, and I don’t bring in enough money for the free clinics. Isn’t that hilarious?

jaytkay's avatar

No, not hilarious, horrendous. I’d kick the Gov in the balls for you if I had the chance.

DWW25921's avatar

I don’t get vaccinated. I don’t believe in the flu. It’s like bigfoot, Santa Claus or global warming.

flutherother's avatar

I have never bothered getting a flu jab though we can get it for free on the NHS here.

The 2013/14 vaccine protects against three types of flu virus. This year’s flu jab protects against:
H1N1 – the strain of flu that caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009
H3N2 – a strain of flu that can infect birds and mammals and was active in 2011
B/Massachusetts/2 – a strain of flu that was active in 2012

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yep. I had it done while I was at the doc for another reason. (sinus infection)

cookieman's avatar

Yup. Every October I get one.

tedibear's avatar

Got it and so did my husband. I never used to get it because I rarely got the flu. I hadn’t thought about the spreading aspect of it until my niece came along. Now I get it every year.

@DWW25921 – how does one not believe in a disease?

@Seek_Kolinahr – I’m confused. “and I don’t bring in enough money for the free clinics.” Did you mean that you bring in too much? I’m only on my first cup of coffee and may have missed something here…

Seek's avatar

Nope.

In order to qualify for the free clinics in my area, you have to make enough money to not qualify for any flavor of Medicaid. They’re aiming to take care of people in the care gap, but they apparently don’t recognize how much the Medicaid share of cost program fails as real health care.

My useless version of Medicaid is preventing me from utilizing a low cost clinic.

tedibear's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – That’s absolutely ludicrous! How in the world does this happen?? I don’t want to derail @Rarebear‘s thread so I won’t go on but to say that I am upset on your behalf.

Seek's avatar

Refresh, I added more.

chyna's avatar

Yes, I got mine. I work in a hospital so it’s mandatory.
Before I worked in a hospital, our local health department gave them for free to anyone that walked in so I always got the shot there.

hug_of_war's avatar

No. And I don’t plan on it either.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr @tedibear @Rarebear

”...Already, two people in Pasco County have died from swine flu, or H1N1 virus, since Nov. 4, 2013 according to health officials there. And, just a few days ago, Brevard County health department officials said a woman in her 30’s died of the flu.

“Officials at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville said 12 people have died of flu there including five under 40 years old. According to a news release from the hospital, the deaths have occurred since October.”

970 WFLA NEWS Posted Wednesday, January 8th 2014 @ 5am

Kolinahr, I’ve search and searched and I can’t find any free flu shots even for children in your area. This is bloody unbelievable, especially after the above news item and others like it. There was one (Pasco Co. School Board) around Christmas time; you could trade a shot for a toy donation, but that “charitable effort” (In the name of Jesus, don’t strain yourselves!) ended on Dec. 19th.

Rarebear, our Bay Area ain’t your Bay Area, my friend. Evidently, we are light-years away.

Seek's avatar

^ We might as well be on a different planet.

GoldieAV16's avatar

I got mine last week, for the first time ever. I got a bad case of bronchitis after Christmas, and it really shook my confidence in my own immune system. I figured if bronchitis could kick my ass, the flu might finish me off. Not worth the risk. Right after I got mine, they started reporting on the deaths in CA. Scary!

gailcalled's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: Have you checked with any of your local drug stores (RIte Aid and CVS here) to see if they do any pro bono jabs?

Coloma's avatar

Yep, got mine in early Nov. Still had some evil virus in Dec. with a sinus infection but nothing like the 2 years of flus of 2007–8 that were horrible and spurred me start getting the vaccine.

Coloma's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I got mine this year at a $10 flu shot clinic hosted by my local fire dept. Most chain drug stores like CVS, Rite Aide etc. charge $20–25. I always go for the walk ins, even with a doctor why bother making an appt. when you can get it so many other places for cheap on a quickie walk in basis.

deni's avatar

How healthy of a life was the 23 year old leading?

BhacSsylan's avatar

Yup, get it every year. My campus gives it for free to covered students, thankfully.

And while that one was a man, there was also a healthy 29 year old woman who died recently, leaving three children and a husband just recently returned from Afghanistan. Let that digest for a bit. and then get your shot if you didn’t already. More details and lots of good info on the flu and vaccine here.

pleiades's avatar

Which Bay Area? SF?

EDIT Nevermind I found the answer through your link

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Has there been a cluster of FLU deaths in S.F. ? Sounds like a high number ill. Is the flu shot formula working this year? I usually don’t get one but I’m not against it. Risk is low I just hate feeling like crap for a day or so after. Most deaths are usually elderly but this a bit different and frankly alarming.

GoldieAV16's avatar

I had no symptoms at all after getting my shot. I felt just fine.

BhacSsylan's avatar

I don’t know exactly how good the predictions were (@Rarebear would know better), but it does seem that many deaths are being caused by H1N1, which is one of the three included, and the majority (if not all) deaths so far were unvaccinated. So overall it looks like it’s being at least decently effective this year.

Oh, and as it should be said, ‘most deaths are elderly’ is not an excuse not to get it. Herd immunity is what helps stop those, too.

And same as @GoldieAV16, my only side effect was a sore arm.

pleiades's avatar

@GoldieAV16 What state are you in, I’m in California considering the shot before it’s all run out.

jaytkay's avatar

Sounds like a high number

You’d be surprised how deadly the flu is. Mostly it kills people who are otherwise at risk – it pushes an unhealthy person over the edge.

But regardless, the number is many thousands every year in the US.

That’s why even robust, healthy people need to get the shot, too. By limiting the spread of the virus, we protect people who are more at risk.

Imagine an elderly person with a compromised immune system who can’t get the vaccine – we want to surround that person with vaccinated people, not people who are toughing out a bout with the flu and oozing the virus.

”[In the US yearly] flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.”

Link

Rarebear's avatar

This yeast the primary pathogen is H1N1.

Rarebear's avatar

San Francisco Bay Area. But flu is throughout.

Quakwatch's avatar

I’ve had it, but then I see a lot of flu cases. Furthermore, for anyone on the fence, where I work there have been several critically ill young, previously healthy patients dying from the flu. Several have been on ECMO with only one survivor so far.

Coloma's avatar

Well..the flu I had on a road trip in 2006 made a believer out if me. Lying on a rock in the sun in Sedona Arizona watching the vultures circle while I coughed up blood tinged gobs of lung material. It was really very special. lol

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Never had a flu shot, and never getting one, after I am dead, I will think about it.

dabbler's avatar

Likewise not getting a flu shot, never had one.
I’m not entirely vaccine averse, but the flu formulae are crap shoots.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I always kinda saw the flu vaccine as wash with regard to risk/reward. Seemed to me it was heavily pushed simply to sell them rather than really prevent flu. The anti-vaccine hysteria really screwed things up with workplaces making them mandatory which just freaks people out. If one out of a million die from the flu that was about how many were injured in some way from the vaccine. So my thinking is why take TWO risks even though it’s a low one. People in their twenties dying though that changes things, especially if there are far more being injured by the disease than by the counter measures. I still have not had one yet though.

DominicX's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me That’s the thing. I feel like a lot of people don’t like them just because it seems “fishy” when things are pushed on people, especially medical things, and let’s face it, people don’t like being told what to do. But if that’s the only reason people don’t get one, well, I don’t consider that a very informed decision…

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@DominicX When there is this much money on the line for manufacturers a little suspicion of “do I really need this?” is warranted. I can’t buy into the whole gov’t conspiracy or autism thing though.

gailcalled's avatar

Our other MD, @Shilolo, said this a few years ago here

“People don’t seem to realize that vaccination isn’t solely effective as personal protection, but also due to reduction of the viral reservoir as a whole. Thus, even healthy people can protect themselves, and their parents, their kids, their friends with cancer or autoimmune disease, their elderly grandparents, etc. It is rather selfish to turn it down (if it is readily available) based on simplistic rationalizations….”

Rarebear's avatar

@DominicX They’re pushed on people because employers don’t want employees to call in sick and use their sick time. Also, it drives up health costs not to get flu shots which are mostly payed for by employers (in this screwed up healthcare system, but that’s another topic). It is absolutely true that the flu shot is not 100% effective. It’s often barely 50% effective. But this year, the flu is H1N1, and the flu shot protects against it. There is no medical reason not to get one unless you’re allergic to eggs, you like getting sick or you’re a fool.

Judi's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr , mine was $29 at rite aide.

gailcalled's avatar

The pharmacy at my local supermarket (Price Chopper) charges $30 out-of-pocket and does no pro-bono jabs. I asked them today.

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

I probably should and I’m sure I’ll regret not getting it someday. I’ll deal with it then and I hope I don’t die.

Rarebear's avatar

@SwanSwanHummingbird The chance of dying is small. But being healthy does not prevent you from getting severe disease. That’s totally idiosyncratic, and that’s why it’s good to get protected.

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

I expect to get a weird disease, or cancer; I’m pretty sure I have a brain tumor. I have to die of something. I just don’t want worrying about my future to be a part of my everyday life.

I don’t want to be fearful of people or experiences. And I don’t want to take another shot. I have to give myself injections every month. It’s been over a year and I still get nervous when I’m about to get poked.

zenvelo's avatar

@SwanSwanHummingbird Yes, it would deb heroic to die of something weird or exotic. So when you get the flu will it bother you to die of something boring like the flu?

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

You misunderstood what I wrote.

Rarebear's avatar

@SwanSwanHummingbird okay but why not mitigate those things that you can?

Coloma's avatar

@SwanSwanHummingbird I agree with @zenvelo
Much more noble to be taken by a mountain lion while on a wilderness walk than to die of a flu virus that can be mostly prevented.

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

You have misunderstood my point. I’m saying that we are all going to die, most likely from cancer or heart disease. Some people will get a rare incurable disease others will get hit by a car or fall off a mountain. I don’t care how I die. I’d like it best to go in my sleep. Heroically would be the last reason I would want to die.

Now I realize this has nothing to with the question. Just rambling now.

Oops. Sorry for the ruining your thread.

Judi's avatar

There have been 6 deaths in Kern County California, the county that encompasses Bakersfield.

Quakwatch's avatar

I wonder how many of the young, hospitalized or deceased patients were “non-believers” in the vaccine? How many of their families now wish their loved ones had gotten the shot or nasal mist? 100%?

gailcalled's avatar

US Flu Cases Continue to Climb SW states hit hardest. according to CDC, Jan, 10.

You contract the flu; you feel like crap for two weeks; you weather it; you give it to people who are much more vulnerable and at high risk. Congratulations.

Rarebear's avatar

Changed my avatar to someone who didn’t get their flu shot.

Seek's avatar

I need to change my avatar to someone who just aspirated bleach + ammonia fumes on accident. Hack, hack, cough.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@gailcalled good link, i’ll probably get one tonight

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Gold star and a cookie on its way.

GoldieAV16's avatar

@pleiades I’m in CA, too. I hear that some places in the Bay Area are running out.

Rarebear's avatar

@GoldieAV16 It’s a supply/demand issue. All of a sudden there is a run on flu vaccine (for good reason) and they’re running behind. They’ll catch up.

Judi's avatar

Glad I got mine in September!

Rarebear's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I saw that Costco has flu shots for $15.

Judi's avatar

I don’t think you have to be a costco member to use the pharmacy either.

Rarebear's avatar

We now have 5 patients with flu in the intensive care unit.

Get your flu shot.

Judi's avatar

Kern county is up to 11 deaths now. All aged 22–62

tedibear's avatar

In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, OH) there were 4 deaths between December 29 and January 4. All of them were 45 or older. There have been 291 confirmed hospitalizations since December 1, with 190 of those since Christmas week.

Get your flu shot.

Rarebear's avatar

Update. All 5 flu patients have clinically improved on maximal therapy. We extubated our sickets patient today and he looks like he is doing okay.

Quakwatch's avatar

Well, in my neck of the woods, we lost a 25 year old previously healthy man today who was on ECMO for two weeks. Another young patient is teetering on the edge. We are really seeing some horrible outcomes in people who you would think should not be so sick.

Rarebear's avatar

@quackwatch. We don’t have ecmo, fortunately we’ve not had to transfer for it. We did ardsnet with the nimbex paralytic protocol in 3 patients. P/f about 75 in the worst.

tedibear's avatar

Two more deaths in Cuyahoga County.

Judi's avatar

I read an article yesterday that said that all the over the counter symptom remedies are adding to the spread of this flu. People feel a little bit better and then go out and spread it around. If you didn’t get your flu shot and you do get sick, PLEASE QUARANTINE YOURSELF!
I think the flu shot is probably cheaper than ten days wages but people make that decision when they’re deciding whether or not to get the shot.

Quakwatch's avatar

Well, I knew it was bound to happen. Multiple colleagues have been affected, and now lucky me, I have the flu.

Judi's avatar

Should have got the shot!

Rarebear's avatar

@Judi I’m sure he did. I did too. But the shot is not 100% effective, and its activity wanes after a couple of months. But it does mitigate effects. It can prevent it, it can turn what would be a severe case into a mild one. We only do what we can do.

@Quakwatch and I are in extremely high risk jobs. There really isn’t anybody who is in a higher risk job than us. I have DAILY exposure to several patients with severe enough flu that required mechanical ventilation and paralysis. All the vaccines, masks wearing and hand washing isn’t going to be perfect. I got mildly ill myself with a fever and malaise, but I was back at work in 3 days. I actually spoke with the infectious disease nurse of my hospital and offered to test me, but when she told me she’d have to shove a swab down my nose and into my throat I said, “No, maybe next time.”

Am I glad I got my flu shot? Hell yes. I’ve seen what this year’s H1N1 (2009) can do, and it is nasty.

Seek's avatar

Ah, I had the swab a couple of weeks ago. It’s not bad.

Negative, by the way. And yes, I got my shot.

Quakwatch's avatar

@Judi Yes, I was first in line for the shot when it was available. In fact, we don’t really have the ability to opt out as part of our jobs. I think my case is relatively mild. Bad cough, body aches, headache, low grade fever (though for me this is legit as I never have a fever) and malaise. Obviously I can’t prove it but I suspect the vaccination mitigated the effects. I also started Tamiflu early on, primarily to avoid spreading it to my family and other patients. I have to work on Monday in the hospital again and I have to be well enough to round, so time is of the essence.

@Rarebear You are right that I was vaccinated and that my job is high risk. Combine seeing many flu cases a day in the hospital, meeting/talking with other doctors/nurses who are also possibly sick (I know of at least 4 other doctors who had the flu that I work with daily), having young kids at school and other random daily exposures and I’m actually not surprised. I rarely get sick (probably all the low grade exposures), but this H1N1 is a bitch.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther