Did you Get the H1N1 Flu Shot in 2009?

Toonaday flu bugH1N1 was probably the most talked about topic in the whole world in 2009. Worldwide, annual flu epidemics are estimated to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths. In 2009, H1N1, or Swine Flu was the pandemic.

It was hard to pick through the rhetoric to find out how spooked (or not) you should be by this bug. The easiest to read and most user friendly source I found was at the US Department of Health site at FLU.GOV

Less easy to read, but useful to Canadians is FIGHT FLU

I wanted to understand how this flu affected my age group. Good News! According to several sources, there may be some benefit to being a healthy person over the age of 60. Research suggests a percentage of people in this age group may have some natural immunity to the H1N1 Flu virus. This immunity may not prevent you from getting the flu, but it may reduce the symptoms significantly.

Apparently H1N1 has met the criteria for inclusion as a pandemic.  I lived through the two previous flu pandemics, but I don’t remember anything about them. Will I live through this pandemic? It’s hard to say. I’m pretty healthy, but no one knows what this virus might do. Will I get the vaccine? I might, but I am not going to take a vaccine away from someone who is at greater risk than I am. According to the clinic in my area, the criteria for getting a flu shot this week is “pregnant women, children under five and people under 65 with chronic health issues”.

I’m not going to fall prey to all the hype and fear that swirls around this flu. That could make you sicker than the flu itself, I think.

I do, however, love all the stories that have circulated on the internet about Swine Flu and Miss Piggy…

There, I'm finished. Now it is your turn:

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