Have you gotten your flu shot yet? You need to do that soon and be grateful there is such a thing.

Marilee Stripling gave us a talk recently at a Texas City Civic Club meeting about the Spanish Influenza, the pandemic that killed as many people in 1918 as were being killed in World War I.

They call it a pandemic if it spreads all over the place, and Stripling said this one went around the world twice, beginning in the spring and finally winding down in December 1917.

It was called the Spanish flu because it was first reported publicly by newspapers in Spain. So many other countries were preoccupied by the war and their newspapers reflected that.

Remember the “bird flu?” Well, that’s the strain of this epidemic, though nobody knew how to recognize a virus at that time. There were no microscopes strong enough.

There was no cure and very little treatment. Bed rest and liquids. Sound familiar?

Civilians isolated themselves but the military people were all gathered together. Many of them were isolated on ships were they were sent, mostly to die.

Some people went to the hospital, mingled in with all the other sick people, and soon the nurses and doctors were sick, along with the ambulance drivers and everybody else that came in contact with patients.

The only other disease that killed more people was the Black Plague in the 14th century, which took an estimated 75 million lives.

When health professionals tried to organize against it, the people were apathetic, but eventually the public health people closed all the schools and theaters and anywhere that people gathered in big crowds.

The war ended in November and most of the flu was over by December.

The Germans declared had it not been for the flu pandemic, they would have won the war.

Stripling said many have said that had that happened, there would have been no Adolf Hitler and no World War II. Interesting to speculate about, I guess.

Two-thirds of the people who got Spanish flu died and as the strain of virus continued, it mutated, creating a disease more and more resistant to any kind of treatment. Thousands and thousands died.

The same mutation happens today, of course, and the people trying to plan for the annual siege of flu try to estimate what brand of the disease they are going to get and plan accordingly.

So far, that seems to be working pretty well. We have had no more pandemics.

Cross your fingers. And get your shot.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at cgillentine1@sbcglobal.net.

(11) comments

Diane Brodie

The flu vaccine contains:
Formaldehyde (linked to multiple cancers and leukemia)
Thimerosal/Mercury (linked to autoimmune disease and inflammation)
Egg protein (used for cell cultures)
Sucrose and Gelatin ( both used as stabilizers)
Polysorbate 80 (linked to liver toxicity and severe non-immunologic anaphylactoid reactions)
Aluminum Salts ((linked to Alzheimer's and Dementia)
Penicillin/Sulfa Drugs (can cause severe allergic reactions and candida)
www.mintconditiondaily.com/flushot

Randy Chapman

It also contains an altered Flu virus that prevent you possibly dying from the Flu. The choice is yours, but it's idiotic to infect others because of your unfounded fears.

Gary Scoggin

The antivaxxers are immune to facts.

Jim Forsythe

antibiotics most likely to cause severe allergic reactions (e.g., penicillins, cephalosporins and sulfa drugs) are not used in vaccine production, and therefore are not contained in vaccines

Jim Forsythe

A research study conducted in 2001 with 4392 participants showed that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was decreased for those who had received influenza immunizations (flu shots), as well as with for those who received the vaccinations for diphtheria​ or tetanus (grouped together in their research) or poliomyelitis (polio).
This research did not prove that the influenza vaccination was what caused a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, but it did demonstrate that people who received the flu shot were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s  and that those who did not receive the vaccination were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
One other study involving nearly 12,000 people with chronic kidney disease found that those who received the influenza vaccine had a significant reduction in the development of dementia. 

Jim Forsythe

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the idea that flu shots (or the chemicals within the shots) cause or increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is a common myth and is false.

Jim Forsythe

Is the risk higher to get the flu shot vs. not getting it
.Between 3,000 and 50,000 people in the U.S. die of the flu yearly.
Thiomerosal — a preservative that contains mercury — has never been shown to be harmful, . The type of mercury linked with nervous system damage is methyl mercury. Concerns over methyl mercury levels have led to recommendations that pregnant women avoid eating large amounts of certain types of fish, such as swordfish.
In contrast, thiomerosal is an ethyl mercury compound.
Still, because the preservative raised controversy, especially over a now-disproven link to autism, it was taken out of almost all U.S. vaccines starting in 2001, .
The injectable form flu vaccine is available to health care providers in two ways — they can get large bottles of it, which contain many doses, or they can small bottles, which contain an individual dose of the vaccine.
There is a tiny amount of thiomerosal in the multidose bottles. The preservative ensures that no bacteria will grow in the vaccine, . The individual-dose bottles contain no thiomersal. People concerned about the compounds effects can ask their provider for an individual dose.
Per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the level of formaldehyde that remains in a vaccine (such as the flu vaccine) is much lower than the amount that occurs naturally in the human body. The residual amount of formaldehyde used in vaccines “does not pose a safety concern,” and “there is no evidence linking cancer to infrequent exposure to tiny amounts of formaldehyde via injection as occurs with vaccines.”

Every year, there are typically between 15 million and 60 million cases of the flu reported. More than 200,000 people with the flu are admitted to hospitals yearly.
Between 3,000 and 50,000 people in the U.S. die of the flu yearly.
One reason people may not perceive the flu as being serious is that cases of the "stomach flu" are mistaken for influenza virus infections.

Don’t get the vaccine if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient it contains, including egg protein.
You also should avoid the flu vaccine if you’ve had Guillain-Barré syndrome. In 1976, a swine flu vaccine was linked to an increased risk for Guillain-Barré, which causes the immune system to attack and damage the protective coating around nerve cells.
Guillain-Barré syndrome causes extreme weakness and tingling in the limbs, known as severe peripheral neuropathy. It can be life-threatening in rare cases.
There is no clear link between the current flu vaccine and Guillain-Barré. If any risk exists, it’s very small, affecting about 1 out of every 1 million people vaccinated.
The vaccine also isn’t recommended for babies under age 6 months because it hasn’t been proven safe in infants.
Talk to your doctor if you have a weakened immune system, or if you take medicine to suppress your immune system. You may not respond as well to the vaccine. If you’re sick, you might want to put off the flu shot until you feel better.

Diane Brodie

People who get the flu vaccine can "shed" the virus and are more likely to infect others than someone who hasn't gotten it or been exposed. Mercury is not harmless and is a proven neurotoxin. My family who all got vaccinated all got the flu, about 11 adults and 7 kids. I didn't. It's all chance because the strain they guess will be this year's flu is always wrong anyway.

Jim Forsythe

Which type of Mercury are you talking about? Methyl mercury or ethyl mercury compound? 
How soon after being vaccinated did they come down with the flu?
Was it 2015, when they had the flu?
Some years they miss with what strain of the virus it will be. 
If you think it's a good idea not to vaccinate, remember some can not take the shot, and are at risk.

When flu vaccines are well-matched to the prevailing flu strains, the shots can prevent flu in 70 to 90 percent of vaccinated adults, according to the CDC. Well-matched shots may prevent flu in only 30 to 40 percent of nursing home residents, but they can reduce the death rate from influenza and pneumonia in that population by 80 percent. American manufacturers need a 9-month lead to produce flu vaccine. That requires flu forecasters to predict in February what the prevailing flu strain will be November

Jim Forsythe

Which type of Mercury are you talking about? Methyl mercury or ethyl mercury compound? 
How soon after being vaccinated did they come down with the flu?
Was it 2015, when they had the flu?
Some years they miss with what strain of the virus it will be. 
If you think it's a good idea not to vaccinate, remember some can not take the shot, and are at risk.

When flu vaccines are well-matched to the prevailing flu strains, the shots can prevent flu in 70 to 90 percent of vaccinated adults, according to the CDC. Well-matched shots may prevent flu in only 30 to 40 percent of nursing home residents, but they can reduce the death rate from influenza and pneumonia in that population by 80 percent. American manufacturers need a 9-month lead to produce flu vaccine. That requires flu forecasters to predict in February what the prevailing flu strain will be November

Randy Chapman

The virus cannot be shed, because to do so would require the virus to replicate. Replicating is not possible with the heat or chemical treated un-intact virus that is injected.

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