Are Flu Vaccines Unsafe? What You Should and Should not Do to Protect Yourself From the Flu Virus

When is the last time you got a flu vaccine? Do you get one every year? This is considered by many to be an extremely unsafe practice. But why is that?

Did you know that around eighty percent of people that receive flu shots get an unsafe dose of mercury. Mercury, is an extremely dangerous substance, so its presence should not be taken lightly. Mercury, especially in children, causes brain damage, and is often linked to causing autism. Vaccine makers note that there products often create an unsafe amount of mercury, but the CDC still continues to recommend people get the shot.

About 80% of these flu vaccines contain Mercury, a dangerous metal. The metal is in a chemical called thimerosal. Thimerosal is a anti-bacterial and anti-fungal that contains high doses of mercury. It is used so companies can send large containers of their drug without having to worry about it becoming contaminated.

But is the mercury in the vaccine enough to cause harm? Yes! A typical 0.5 milliliter flu shot contains 25 micrograms – or 50,000 parts per billion of mercury. The EPA classifies a liquid with 200 parts per billion of mercury as hazardous waste. The limit for drinking water is 2 parts per billion. That is 25,000 times more mercury than we are expected to drink and we are putting it in our blood streams, so it does not even have a chance of being filtered out.

Hopefully by now you see why flu shots or flu vaccines are not safe. But, it is still important to come up with something to prevent the flu. Some people say to just wash your hands often, but it is obvious you can still get it, due to the majority of time not spent washing your hands.

Doctors, now, are starting to swear by supplements. These supplements boost your immune system, not only preventing all the flu viruses, but many other things like the common cold or other common ailments.

Vaccine McCarthyism. What If the Vaccine Paradigm Itself Is Deliberately Flawed? | Global Research

This article was first published on GR on January 2015.

Within the mainstream medical and scientific community there is an unassailable pseudo-truth that vaccines are safe and effective, whether administered individually or in combination. Within the vaccine injured children and autism movements there is also an unchallenged belief that vaccines are effective but not always safe. In this case, vaccine-injured children or adult family members were simply one of the rare cases where they received a hot lot vaccine or possessed biomolecular abnormalities, such as mitochondria dysfunction, and suffered the consequences. Even many parents with two children developing neurological complications after vaccination, will continue to follow the recommended vaccine schedule. Any medical physician, scientist, nurse, public health advocate, politician, or journalist who questions the myth of vaccine safety and efficacy are often immediately attacked, ridiculed, and designated a conspirator.  In fact, the pro-vaccine propaganda machine sends forth articulate doctors and university scientists to engage in ad hominin personal attacks against vaccine dissenters. 

However, what if all of these individuals and their organizations, their shadow lobbying foundations and think tanks, are wrong? What if the vaccine paradigm itself is flawed? What if vaccines have never been soundly confirmed to be safe and effective? What if the CDC, vaccine manufacturers, and the leading vaccine advocates knew of these discrepancies and contradictions, yet intentionally ignored them against the public interests and the well being of the American population?  After several decades of studying the scientific literature regarding vaccines, following the money trails, and interviewing many dozens of toxicologists, immunologists, research physicians, pediatricians, and medical journalists the vaccine paradigm can now be accurately deconstructed with real independent science. The year, 2014, has been a particularly dismal year for the pro-vaccine movement. We are presenting the science that has unfolded during the past twelve months as indicative of a collapse in the modern vaccine paradigm.

Last year, 2014, may well be the watershed year marking the demise of the vaccine era.  Without any recent credible and sound biological science to support their claims for vaccines’ efficacy and safety, the vaccine complex and its federal allies have been forced to rely upon courts of law and the ignorance of an inept mainstream media to further promulgate their flawed mythologies to advance the vaccine agenda.

Rarely does a whistleblower emerge from the federal health agencies. Government and corporate entities that are notoriously hierarchical, such as the CDC, FDA, and Health and Human Services, ruthlessly prevent dissention from their ranks. In the Obama era, when whistleblowers are persecuted more than ever before, it is an act of great courage for a person to come forth and reveal government malfeasance, corruption, and criminal behavior.  Therefore, it was a shocking surprise last year when a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, Dr. William Thompson, acted upon his moral conscience and released thousands of pages of CDC documents with research data to Congress that unveil the agencies long history of fraudulent studies and medical cover-ups that hid the serious failures and health risks of vaccines.

Dr. Thompson is a distinguished scientist who has worked at the CDC since 1998. Prof. Brian Hooker, a specialist in molecular and cellular systems, and the first person to be contacted by Dr. Thompson, stated during a recent broadcast that the released documents are not simply a smoking gun. Rather it is a “wildfire.”  Dr. Thompson is currently cooperating with members of a Congressional subcommittee. Thousands of American parents with vaccine damaged children, suffering from permanent neurological impairment and autism, await a trial that will finally bring to justice many of the nation’s top health officials.

Dr. Thompson, who co-authored and published research on vaccine thimerosal mercury—still included in some vaccines, especially the influenza vaccine—has  admitted he was part of the CDC’s conspiracy to obscure scientific evidence proving thimerosal and the MMR vaccine as causal factors for autism.  During an interview on the Autism Media Channel, he stated that he would never give his pregnant wife a flu shot because of its high concentration of mercury.  “I don’t know why they still give it to pregnant women,” Dr. Thompson stated. “That’s the last person I would give mercury to.”[1]   After reviewing some of the CDC data received by Dr. Thompson, as well as data records acquired through freedom of information submissions, Prof. Hooker discovered that the CDC has known since 2001 that children exposed to thimerosal in utero were 800 percent more likely to regress into autism.  This data was intentionally excluded from the CDC paper published in the journal Pediatrics in an effort to disprove a thimerosal-autism association.  During the radio broadcast, Prof. Hooker unearthed evidence that the CDC has known for a decade that children receiving the MMR vaccines on schedule were nearly 300 percent more likely to regress into autism compared to children whose parents decided to withhold the vaccine until after the child was older.

Americans are rapidly losing confidence in the CDC. According to National Consumers League poll, over two-thirds of Americans believe vaccines cause autism, which the CDC categorically denies.[2] Almost two months after the media reported on the Thompson revelations, a CBS News poll showed public approval of the CDC nosedived to 37%, down from 60% the previous year. Vaccine apologists and the major media claim this large decrease is due to the CDC’s dismal handling of the Ebola crisis; however, Thompson’s whistleblowing received over 750 million Twitter impressions indicating that vaccine efficacy and safety is far more on the public’s mind.[3] Positive endorsement of the CDC would plummet further if the public knew the full extent of CDC officials lying to Congress and their conspiracy to commit medical fraud for over a dozen years. Imagine the tens of thousands of children and families who would have been saved from life-long neurological damage and immeasurable suffering if the CDC was not indebted to protecting the toxic products of the pharmaceutical industry and was serving the health and well-being of American children?

The Thompson whistleblowing case is the tip of the iceberg and now putting the vaccine establishment into a panic. Nevertheless, 2014 was a dreadful year for the vaccine establishment and other medical revelations provide further encouragement for parents to withhold or refuse vaccination.

The Council of Foreign Relations Mistakenly Proves the Largest Outbreaks of Infectious Diseases Are Within the Most Highly Vaccinated Populations.

An early 2014 report released by the Council of Foreign Relations to identify countries with the highest rates of disease outbreaks, accidently revealed that the most highly vaccinated populations are also those with the greatest number of outbreaks for those same infectious diseases.  This was especially the case for measles, mumps, rubella, polio and pertussis outbreaks.  The US, Canada, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand, and Japan—each with the highest number of mandated vaccines—led the list of nations. The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, which analyzed the report, concluded that the Council’s report clearly suggests the theory of “herd immunity” is failing or was flawed to begin with.  Given the repeated incidences of infectious outbreaks in populations with 94% or more vaccine compliance, and the emergence of new viral strains, the concept of herd immunity should be forgotten. The Office offers several possibilities to explain the report: 1) vaccines are increasingly becoming ineffective and causing “immune dysfunction,” and 2) “vaccine antigen responses” may be reprogramming viruses while weakening the immune systems of the most vaccinated individuals.[4]

Another World Health Organization Influenza Debacle 

Predicting the particular influenza strains to protect populations has never been a fine art.  We might remember the doom and gloom scenarios spread by the WHO and CDC over the H1N1 swine flu in 2009. The federal agencies of warning for a viral apocalypse, which never occurred, had as much credibility as Y2K and New Age Mayan predictions at the turn of the millennium.  At their best, flu vaccines remain around 60% efficacy according to official health statistics. However, the World Health Organization’s predictions for this year’s flu strains were a bust. The match was such a failure that the CDC was forced to warn the American public that the 2014-2015 flu vaccine was only 23% effective, off by 77%.[5]  Given that the 2012-2013 flu season was only 27% effective for the 65 years-plus age group, it can be estimated that this year’s flu shot is near useless for the elderly. Predictive methodologies to determine which flu strains emerge during any given influenza season have more in common with primitive mathematical divination than sound science.  For the 1992-1993 and 1997-1998 seasons, the vaccine concoction of flu strains was only 16% effective. Katherine Severyn, who monitors the actual WHO prediction results and compares them with CDC claims has stated that, “depending upon the study cited, [flu] vaccine efficacy actually ranges from a low of 0%.” [6]

Year after year, the US government spends approximately a billion dollars to purchase flu vaccines from the pharmaceutical cartel. Year after year, these vaccines prove to be capable of immunizing only a modest portion of the population. Since the CDC estimates it will have purchased 151-156 million flu shots to dump off this year, there is little else it can do except fudge science, release misleading propaganda and continue to distribute a useless snake oil.

More Bad News for the Influenza Vaccine

An ineffective seasonal vaccine is the least of the flu shots problems.  In December 2014, the Department of Justice released its report outlining compensation paid out to vaccine injured victims.  Based upon the statistics, the flu vaccine has been shown to be the most dangerous reported. Fifty-nine percent of awarded flu vaccine injuries were for Guillain-Barre Syndrome.[7]

Although, a final report of injuries and death from this year’s influenza vaccines won’t be made public until the end of 2015, the 2013-2014 vaccines accounted for over 93,000 adverse reactions, including 8,888 hospitalizations and 1,080 deaths according to the government’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).[8] By the CDC’s own omission, the VAERS database only accounts for approximately 10% of adverse vaccine events. Do the math and the actual number far outweighs reported complications from contracting wild flu viruses.

Although, earlier research has shown that influenza vaccines contribute to adverse inflammatory cardiovascular alternations, which are lethal to senior citizens, and significant inflammation in pregnant women that may be associated with an increase in pre-term births and preeclampsia, new studies published in 2014 should raise further alarm:

A team of Finnish scientists at Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare, recorded 800 cases of narcolepsy associated with Glaxo’s flu vaccine Pandemix.  Vaccine ingredients other than the viral antigen or engineered component, are most often believed to be the primary culprits to adverse vaccine reactions. The Finnish research, on the other hand, indicated that the Glaxo vaccine’s altered viral nucleotide likely contributed to the sudden rise in sleeping sickness.[9] Dr. Paul Offit, the premier media celebrity for the vaccine establishment, has repeatedly made claims that infants can safely withstand tens of thousands of viral antigens; therefore, according to Offit, parents should not fear innumerable vaccinations at a single time.  This new finding on the contrary, sends a warning to all pregnant women and parents that it is not simply vaccines’ many toxic ingredients that pose worry, but the bioengineered viral components are also potentially life threatening.

For almost a decade, the CDC has known influenza vaccines are ineffective in the elderly but continues to market them without hesitation. Hence in November 2014, five senior citizens at an assisted living facility in Dacula, Georgia, died within week after all residents were vaccinated.[10] During the previous year’s flu vaccine trials, Sanofi Pasteur’s  Fluzone killed 23 elderly participants during the vaccine trial. Nevertheless, the vaccine was approved and continues to be marketed towards senior citizens.[11]

The Mumps Vaccine: Another Useless Shot

The question whether the mumps vaccine should have ever been put on the market has been debated since the 1950s. Over fifty years ago the nation’s chief federal epidemiologist, E.H. Lossing, warned that the mumps vaccine, which doesn’t provide lifelong immunity, would create a far more medically dangerous and costlier problem for people who become infected as adults.[12] At its best, the mumps vaccine may protect a person for 2 years, according to Dr. Greg Poland, head of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group.[13]  In 2014, there were over 1000 mumps cases and all outbreaks occurred in highly vaccinated populations.[14] It was far worse in 2006, writes Lawrence Solomon for the Huffington Post. During that year 84% of the 6,500 mumps cases were fully vaccinated young adults.  Among the almost 450 mumps cases in the American South last year, only 3 were unvaccinated.  What is more disturbing, researchers at the Bordeaux University Hospital in France, found that vaccinated adults were contracting a particularly malignant strain of mumps that contributed to meningitis, inflammation of the testicles, and hearing impairment.[15]

Secondary Transmission of Measles from a Fully Vaccinated Woman

A study published in a 2014 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases confirmed that not only may measles occur in vaccinated individuals, but a 2011 measles outbreak in New York City may have had its source in a fully vaccinated individual. Not only did the vaccinated woman, dubbed “Measles Mary”, contract the disease, but she also passed it to four others, two who were vaccinated. This is the first confirmed medical case of secondary measles transmission causing an outbreak. Earlier in the year, another study confirmed that individuals vaccinated against pertussis can be infectious carriers of the virus and can likely infect others who either do not respond immunologically to the pertussis vaccine or who are unvaccinated.[16]

The conclusion is that the B. pertussis vaccinated individual now endangers the health of the unvaccinated and vaccinated alike.

Earlier, a far greater blow against the efficacy of the measles vaccine came when Dr. Gregory Poland, Editor in Chief of the journal Vaccine and founder of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, published a surprising statement that the measles vaccine has a poor record of efficacy. Despite the high 95% measles vaccination compliance of children entering kindergarten, and the CDC’s propaganda that the vaccine has defeated the virus, measles outbreaks are rising. For the first half of 2014, there were 16 large measles outbreaks in the US. Dr. Poland does not believe this is due to unvaccinated individuals, but because of the failure of the vaccine.[17]

These types of vaccine failures, which are also occurring far more frequently in pertussis outbreaks, further puts to rest the herd immunity hypothesis.

A Bad Year for the Pertussis Vaccine

Outbreaks of whooping cough have been increasing annually. However, state and local health authorities investigating and gathering statistics on pertussis outbreaks are discovering the highest numbers of infected persons among the vaccinated.  Mississippi, with the highest vaccination rate in the country, has shown significant increases in whooping cough cases, with only 9% of those infected being unvaccinated. Across the nation, the most highly infected are those who have received three or more pertussis shots and boosters.

However, it was in Australia last year that the government’s National Center for Immunization and Research of Vaccine Preventable Diseases found that the pertussis vaccine effectiveness is waning far more rapidly than expected, even among vaccinated 3 year olds.[18]

While the mainstream media and the vaccine establishment have launched a brutal campaign to blame unvaccinated individuals for the recent upsurge in pertussis infections, the CDC has publicly announced the contrary. Dr. Anne Schuchat from the CDC has stated, “We know there are places around the country where there are large numbers of people we aren’t vaccinated. However, we don’t think those exemptors are driving this current wave. We think it is a bad thing that people aren’t getting vaccinated or exempting, but we cannot blame this wave on that phenomenon.”[19]  What Americans need to know is that more virulent strains of B. pertussis have emerged that are not covered by current DpT vaccines. Earlier, Australian immunologists suggested that the emergence of a new vaccine-resistant B. pertussis strain may be due to over vaccination. What the world is witnessing with antibiotic resistant organisms, due to the over use and abuse of antibiotic medications, is similarly occurring with viruses targeted by vaccines.

Would You Like Some Depression with Your Rubella Vaccine?

It is common to feel out of sorts and depressed when feeling ill and under the weather. But might a vaccine be the cause for the depression? In 2014 medical departments at Hebrew University in Israel and the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Germany, two of the world’s most distinguished institutes, published a double blind study revealing that teenage girls vaccinated with attenuated rubella virus had a statistically significant increase of induced bouts of depression up to ten weeks. The increase in post-vaccine depression occurred among girls in lower socioeconomic brackets. Today with over 50% of school age children in America living in poverty, the rubella vaccine is now contributing to serious psychological episodes and problems that are repeatedly reported in the mainstream psychological literature.[20]

Put a Hold on that Hepatitis B Vaccine`

Although an association between multiple sclerosis and the hepatitis B vaccine has been debated for over 15 years, the CDC continues to categorically deny this relationship.  However, a 2014 retrospective French study investigating the sudden spike in multiple sclerosis cases since 1993, identified France’s mass Hepatitis B vaccination program as the perpetuator for a doubling of MS cases within a few years. MS is a demyelinating disease of the nerves. The French scientists suspect that a vaccine protein contributed to the breakdown of myelin.  Again, it is not only the non-viral ingredients we should be scared about. In the US there are 10,000 new cases of MS annually, and infants are vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine immediately after birth.[21]

The Safety of Paul Offit’s Rotateq Vaccine Questioned, Again

Sayer Ji, editor of GreenMedInfo, noted that the Rotateq vaccine against the rotavirus, developed by Paul Offit for Merck, contained a live simian retrovirus that has likely infected millions of children around the world. The study was published in the prestigious Journal of Virology in 2010. Yet a more recent 2014 study published in Advances in Virology identified another viral contaminant in Offit’s vaccine: a baboon endogenous virus “likely due to the monkey cell line in which Rotateq was produced from.”  Only time will tell whether Offit’s contaminated vaccine will have the impact of the tainted polio vaccine with the carcinogenic S40 virus.[22]

Exposing the Fraud of the Human Papilloma Vaccine (HPV)

A paper out of the University of California at Berkeley and appearing in the October 2013 issue of Molecular Cytogenetics came to public attention last year to suggest that cervical cancer may not be caused by the human papilloma virus. If the theory is correct that may prove that the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix do not prevent cervical cancer at all.[23]

Moreover, researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada reported that the HPV vaccine acts upon a “mechanism” by which the vaccine is altering transmission leading to higher oncogene expression among vaccinated girls. The implications from this research is that the vaccine is driving the evolution of viral virulence, similar to what is being observed with vaccines for pertussis, mumps and measles.[24]

Chickenpox Vaccine is Shown to Increase Disease Rates

Again, 2014 has been a dismal year for the pro-vaccine community. Even the chickenpox vaccine, long thought to be safe and effective, is failing with the others.  Back in 2005, South Korea mandated the varicella vaccine to all children under15 months. Regardless of the country’s 97% compliance—well, above herd immunity’s claims to eradicate infectious disease—chickenpox infections have not declined and in fact have increased three-fold between 2006 and 2011.[25]

Conclusion

The vaccine establishment is desperate. The ghosts of their fraudulent science, manipulated research, misleading propaganda across mainstream media and in the blogosphere are returning to haunt them. The pro-vaccine pundits are rapidly losing credibility as increasing numbers of parents and young adults educate themselves about vaccine efficacy and their health risks.  If it were left for an open scientific debate between pro-vaccinators and those opposing vaccines, the former would not have sound science on their side.

It is time for a national debate to end vaccine madness. As further research emerges, as the vaccine paradigm is further stripped away, future generations will be looking back upon vaccination as a barbaric, primitive practice.

NOTES

1  http://naturalsociety.com/epidemiologist-cdc-says-never-give-pregnant-wife-flu-shot/

2  http://www.nclnet.org/survey_one_third_of_american_parents_mistakenly_link_vaccines_to_autism

3  http://naturalsociety.com/american-public-officially-loses-faith-cdc/

4  http://whitetv.se/sv/inget-fritt-medium-i-sverige/1106-council-on-foreign-relations-cfr-visar-att-ovaccinerade-aer-friskare-aen-vaccinerade.html  (Sweden)

5  http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/12/3/flu-vaccine-ineffective.html

6  Richard Gale and Gary Null, “Flu Vaccines: Are They Effective and Safe?”  Progressive Radio Network, September 28, 2009

7  http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/why-are-so-many-healthy-people-dying-from-the-flu-after-receiving-the-flu-shot/#sthash.21InKK2H.dpuf

8  http://www.thelibertybeacon.com/2014/11/11/last-years-flu-vaccine-killed-and-injured-over-93000-us-citizens-will-this-year-be-any-different/

9  http://www.globalresearch.ca/finnish-scientists-identify-link-between-glaxosmithklines-swine-flu-vaccine-pandemrix-and-narcolepsy/5423154

10  http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/6-seniors-die-after-flu-shot-at-assisted-care-center-in-georgia/

11  http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/23-seniors-died-after-receiving-this-years-flu-shot-sold-by-pharmacies/

12  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lawrence-solomon/mumps-in-nhl_b_6351358.html

13  http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2014/12/16/nhl-mumps-outbreak-whats-up-with-the-vaccine/

14  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25391635

15  http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/27/cid.ciu105

16  http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/27/cid.ciu105

17  http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/measles-cases-are-spreading-despite-high-vaccination-rates-whats-going-on/2014/06/23/38c86884-ea97-11e3-93d2-edd4be1f5d9e_story.html

18  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/17/pertussis-vaccine-for-whooping-cough-effects.aspx

19  http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/t0719_pertussis_epidemic.html

20  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11268375

21  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12026-014-8574-4#page-1

22  http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/breaking-news-millions-children-infected-vaccine-safety-experts-rotateq-vaccine

23  http://sanevax.org/hpv-not-cause-cervical-cancer/

24  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25429011

25  http://naturalsociety.com/97-compliance-chicken-pox-vaccine-still-causes-outbreaks/

Influenza and the Coming Bird Flu Pandemic – Be Ready

Quick, what was the most deadly year in the 20th century? No, it was not 1943 or 1944 or 1917, or any other year with a major conflict. It was not caused by bombs or bullets either. The most deadly year in the 20th century was the period from September 1918 to September 1919. In that time frame, almost 40 million people died from the Spanish flu pandemic that swept the world.

The devastation it caused was profound. In many communities, most businesses were closed, public gatherings restricted and the health care system decimated due to illness and overload. People worried gauze masks in public in a vain attempt to avoid falling victim to the invisible killer. The death caused by this pathogen, an H1 strain of Influenza, was especially gruesome. It was nicknamed "the purple death" in some locales, in reference to the bluish-purple pallor taken on by victims, perishing from lack of oxygen as their lungs filled with blood and other bodily fluids.

In fact, the flu was responsible for more deaths in the 20th century than all the wars combined. This, in a century when wars had elevated killing to a fine art by applying the best new technology man could devise. Influenza, commonly called "the flu", tends to be minimized as a minor illness by most. Actually, the flu kills an average of 36,000 people each year in the United States alone. Some years see a rather dramatic increase. In the 1998-1999 flu season (December – March), 64,684 US deaths were attributed to the flu, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Traditional Influenza is most lethal to older victims or those with a previous illness. In those patients older than 85, the flu is an astounding 16 times as deadly as it is to those in younger age groups. A traditional flu prevention strategy, and one recommended by most health officials, is annual vaccine for those in high risk groups.

Flu vaccines are created by a sophisticated guessing method. Health care officials examine world wide trends to try and determine what strains of the flu will cause the most damage the following flu season. They then target the flu vaccine towards those strains. They have a fairly remarkable record for accuracy in this regard.

There are two types of flu vaccine, active and inactive. The active variety actually contains live Influenza virus and is typically administrated as a nasal spray. The trade name for this vaccine is FluMist. However, most vaccines are of the active variety, and are administrated as intramuscular injections into the quadriceps muscle of the upper leg or the deltoid muscle in the shoulder. The standard vaccines for those over 18 years of age are: Fluarix from Glaxo Smith Klein Inc., Fluvirin from Chiron Corp., and Fluzone by Sanofi Pastuer Inc.

According to many health officials throughout the world, there is a very high probability that the flu we really have to be concerned about is the H5N1 strain of avian Influenza that was first reported in Hong Kong in 1997. Known as the "Bird Flu" it has been detected in birds through the world. To stop the spread of this flu strain, over 100 million birds have been ordered destroyed by health authorities in the last year in South East Asia alone! It is now being detected in birds in Europe as well.

Apart from the economic concerns caused by the impact to the poultry industry, why be concerned about a flu strain that kills birds? Well, this strain of Influenza also kills people. In fact, it is especially deadly. Of the 125 cases of this disease reported to the World Health Organization through 09 November, 2005, 64 have been fatal. This correlates to a staggering 52% mortality rate. As a comparison, the deadly Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 had a death rate of less than 10% of those afflicted. In its current form the virus can not even be spread by human to human contact.

Scientists are worried, however, the H5N1 strain could mutate into a slightly different form that would allow human to human transmission. Such a mutation would trigger a pandemic. According to the WHO, a pandemic is created when a disease new to the population emerges and infects humans, causing serious illness and / or death. It also must spread easily and sustainably through human to human contact.

If such a pandemic were to occur, as a majority of scientists and health authorities fear, it would cause incalculable destruction. Some estimates place the world wide death toll from such a pandemic at over 100 million people, although estimates vary wildly. It is rented 100 million is a worst case scenario. The key is to prepare for as many eventualities as possible.

The pandemic is most likely not a question of if, but when. Be ready for it. It would be far better to over prepare than under prepare.

Getting in Your Shots: Your 2013 Flu Vaccine Shopping List

We've now arrived at that time of year again when hand sanitizers and tissues are ever close at hand and businesses, like doctors, keep reminding us that flu shots are available right inside their doors. And we should all take advantage of their largesse, as the more folks who get vaccinated, the fewer people spreading the flu around.

Unlike most years, though, this time around there is a "dizzying" array "to choose from:

  1. TRADITIONAL FLU SHOTS: This type protects against three influenza viruses ( trivalent ): two types of influenza A and one type of influence B. It's typically administrated via a needle into an arm and is recommended for those six months and older.
  2. NASAL-SPRAY FLU VACCINE: This one is made with live but weakened flu viruses and is quadravent , which means it contains four instead of the typical three strains of influenza. It's approved for those between 2 and 49, but not for those who are pregnant.
  3. QUADRAVENT VACCINES: Making an appearance for the first time, this vaccine protects against four strains of influenza viruses rather than the typical three. That means that, along with the three in the trivalent vaccine, this one adds a second strain of influence B for broader protection. About 30 million will be available.
  4. CELL-CULTURE VACCINES: Unlike the traditional cultured-in-an-egg vaccine, here the viruses are grown in animal cells, so making it ideal for those with egg allergies; it's available for those over 18. An added plus: No more waiting for chickens to lay their eggs.
  5. RECOMBINANT VACCINES: Thanks to genetic engineering, this new FluBlok vaccine is also egg-free and has been approved for those between 18 and 49. Here, only a small piece of the virus is used-a hemagglutinin protein. It's grown in a cell, is purified, and then put into a vaccine.
  6. HIGH-DOSE VACCINES: This one has been approved for those 65 and older, as their weakened immune systems leave them at greater risk of death from the flu. This type is loaded with four times the usual amount of "immunization-producing antigens." And while the result may be a bit more soreness at the injection site, that just means it's working.
  7. INTRADERMAL SHOTS: This one is perfect for needle-shy folks as it uses a shorter needle that just penetrates the skin rather than entering the muscle like the traditional flu shot. Plus, since it delivers a lower dose of the vaccine there's less chance of a reaction. This type has been approved for those between 18 and 64.

And speaking of reactions, there's really little risk of serious harm. Some, however, do experience such minor problems as noted here by the CDC:

  • headaches, upper respiratory tract infection (about 1 person in 3)
  • stuffy nose, sore throat, joint pain (about 1 person in 6)
  • abdominal pain, cough, nausea (about 1 person in 7)
  • diarrhea (about 1 person in 10)
  • fever (about 1 person in 100)

Bottom line: With all these choices and such minor side effects, there's no reason to forego getting your shot this year. And if still not sure which type is best for you, just follow your doctor's advice. Do it soon, though, so you'll be assured of protection all flu season long.

Are You Seeing More Flu in Your Practice?

US influenza activity is now the most widespread since the 2009 influenza A(H1/N1) pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a recent weekly update on flu activity.

Overall, hospitalizations are now significantly higher than what’s been seen for this time of year at any time since the CDC’s current tracking system began almost a decade ago in 2010. The rate is approaching the final rate of hospitalizations observed at the end of the most recent severe flu season of 2014-2015 — the most recent stats show the overall cumulative hospitalization rate at 59.9 per 100,000, with no signs of abating.

The CDC is encouraging Americans who have not yet had the influenza vaccine to do so as soon as possible. They also recommend frequent hand washing, covering coughs, and staying home if illness is suspected so as not to spread the virus. The youngest patients are among the most vulnerable populations, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that everyone aged 6 months or older receive a flu vaccine.

Take the poll below and then visit our Influenza Resource Center to keep up to date on all the latest news about this epidemic.