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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Flu Shot Time Again!
Date: 29 Sep 1999 10:16:32 GMT

In <7sdoq4$ghf$> writes:

>It's that time of year again when flu shots are offered (for free)
>through my work. Last year I declined because I had some concern that the
>shot could, in fact, weaken my immune system. I was thinking that getting
>a good, hard case of the flu is actually good for the immune system if
>you are not young or elderly. Is that thinking rational?? Or should I get
>the shot this year? Has the shot been proven to be beneficial?

   No, the shots kill more people than help, but we all do it anyway,
just become we doctors are such sons of bitches.  And not only sadists
but also masochists, since they take the shots themselves.  You're
right to suspect a conspiracy-- it's a big one.

    Yes, it's true immunization weakens the immune system.  That's how
it works, don't you know.  Getting the real bug is better, as a few
million people discovered to their delight in 1918 and 1919.  As you
lie in bed wheezing, and feeling the virus inflame the covering of your
brain so that your head feels like a Kasava mellon, do remember that
your immune system is thanking you.  Perhaps then you'll start to
vomit.  Pay it no mind!  It's mother nature, who only has things to
teach you.  Things you won't learn here on the net, but can only get by
real experience.  Yes.  Call the wife to bring you your children.  Time
for School of Hard Knocks 101.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Flu Shot Time Again!
Date: 1 Oct 1999 09:02:37 GMT

In <7t0cbn$ffp$> writes:

> Okay, Okay, JEEZ, I get your point already!!!
>However, I am wondering how effective the flu shot would have been
>against that 1919 thing as it is my understanding that that was a new,
>particularly nasty strain that popped up out of the blue.  They wouldn't
>have had the antibodies already on hand to vaccinate with.

   They actually vaccinate with piece of "dead" flu virus.  3 types
(all there's room for), which they pick.

   They might not have done too well against the 1918 flu with today's
weapons, but who knows?  We have two anti-flu antivirals, and two more
in the pipeline, one due next week.  They can all be used together so I
doubt if we'll see 1918 again.

   As for a vaccine, the 1918 flu lasted long enough (sat least
1918-1919) that they might well have had time able to make a vaccine.
They do it now by finding and culturing the virus from China.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Flu Shot Time Again!
Date: 1 Oct 1999 08:56:40 GMT

In <> Carey Gregory
<> writes:

>Could you qualify that just a wee bit? Certainly the *likelihood* of
>disease is dose-dependent on the initial exposure. For example, a
>perforated bowel that releases fecal matter into the abdomen is almost
>certainly going to create a massive infection, but a small number of the
>same bacteria introduced during an otherwise sterile procedure might not.

    Well, if you model it mathematically, there's a huge innoculum
effect for just about everything that does anything to you directly.
Once you get infected, it's a mad race to see how large the culture's
going to get before your immune system finally wakes up.  Same
principle is used in beer-making:  you need to use quite a bit of yeast
up front to make sure you don't get the wrong bug, because very often
SOMETHING else will get into your wort, and you had better just rub it
out by making sure the good culture is overwhelming.

    I remember a candida expert some years ago who was of the opinion
that people with systemic candidiasis had something wrong with them,
and that most ordinary people had candida colonizing them all the time,
and that it was harmless.  To prove this to his students, he drank a
pure culture of candida.  A few days later he was in the ICU candida
growing out of everywhere.  If it hadn' been for amphoterrible, he'd
have been a dead duck.

   For the flu, I don't know.  Viruses (save for organ specific ones
like RSV, hepatitis A, B, and C, and Ebola and a few hemmorrhagic ones)
tend to make you sick mainly due to your own immune response.  If that
took a bit longer, it might make no difference. On the other hand, any
bug that tends to kill immunocompromized hosts whatsoever, including
all of the AIDS infections, I would bet all have very large innoculum
effects and you REALLY don't want a big dose of any of them to start.
Even with a good immune system, you're going to be a beer culture,

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