I Don’t Need a Flu Shot!. Bill Rogers Ball State University.
Ball State University
Ashley just rolled her eyes. “What a wimp,” she thought.
Ashley is a biology major who is also completing a minor in public health administration. “Go get your flu shot soon,” she instructed Ryan. “I don’t want to be your personal nurse when you get the real flu!”
“I told you, I just got over the flu. I don’t need a shot! And besides, it’s not like I am going to die from the flu or anything!” responded Ryan.
Ashley retorted, “Sit down and let me tell you a thing or two Ryan. You are, well, how should I put this nicely, woefully uninformed.” Ryan just sighed.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“Now I feel nauseous,” Ashley whispered under her breath. “You did NOT have influenza. Ryan, it was probably something you ate. You ARE going to learn some things about the flu. If nothing else, maybe it will help you pass your next biology exam. I really doubt you will do well on the
test if you don’t know the difference between the stomach flu, the 24-hour flu, and real influenza!”
“Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. Antibiotics don’t work against a virus! You’ll feel so bad you won’t even think of, well you know, being romantic for maybe several weeks!” responded Ashley.
Ryan suddenly seemed more interested.
“Typical male,” Ashley thought to herself.
“No, no, no. He didn’t get the flu from the flu vaccine. In rare cases, a person may have a mild reaction to the shot that resembles the flu, but even that is definitely not influenza,” explained Ashley.
“Um. Sorry. In fact, I’m afraid you’ll have to get one every year,” replied Ashley.
“What! Why? Must not be much of a vaccine!” yelled Ryan.
Ashley explained, “Some viruses change or undergo mutations. Influenza viruses mutate constantly, so a vaccine that is effective one year may be limited the next.”
Flu viruses may change slightly from year to year. This type of a mutation is called “antigenic drift.” A person may have little immunity to this mutated form of the virus.
Ashley explained that a pandemic is sometimes described as a worldwide epidemic.
PanFlu Storybook: Beth Hines
Posted in Chicago, IL. 1918
"My grandfather, Nicola "Nick" Maffeo, and my grandmother Constance Maffeo came to America from Italy. Constance had a separate room curtained off when seven of their children got sick with the pandemic flu. When she entered the room she wore gauze over her nose and mouth. Of the seven children who got sick, four of them died. They were Frank, Nick and Rosa, and Dominic. Nick and Rosa were twins. One of the three surviving children, my aunt May Ann Maffeo, said that she knew when one of them was not going to live because Constance would sit with the dying child in the family's rocking chair and sing to him/her. The rocking chair would creak and when it stopped, she knew they were gone."
were high among healthy adults as well as the
usual high-risk groups. The attack rate and
mortality was especially high among young
Ryan responded “Yeah? Well, that was over 90 years ago. Something like that won’t happen again!”
Asian Flu (1957)
2 million deaths worldwide, 70,000 in the United States
Hong Kong Flu (1968)
700,000 deaths worldwide, 34,000 in the United States
“And new strains of influenza appeared in 1977, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2009!”
Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIH)
“Lucky for the pig!” thought Ashley.
different strains of flu viruses.
new strain of flu. This is called “antigenic shift.”
species as in the case of the “swine flu.”
The new strain may also be able to jump
from person to person.
“Flu shots can be very effective, but making one against a new strain takes time,” said Ashley.
“Huh? You mean you great scientists can’t even keep up with a stupid little virus?”
Source: Sanofi Pasteur, Inc.
“Read this,” Ashley replied as she handed him a pamphlet. “And good luck on your next biology test.”
“After all, with your attitude, you’ll need some luck!” Ashley thought.
Free flu resources are available at:http://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/index.htm
Not too surprisingly, Ryan, Ashley’s former boyfriend, did not do well on his biology exam. He didn’t feel too good the day of the exam, which he blamed on the stomach flu.