September 2, 2009


Update! Update! We are not vaccinating for the H1N1 flu because we are not in any high risk categories. Please note, I am a licensed CPA and am barely capable of doing your books and taxes, much less giving you medical advice. This was just supposed to be food for thought. Nothing else. Go, me.

I am little verklempt this week. I have been reading, reading, reading, but have not been much inspired to write anything myself. (Sidenote on my reading: I am attempting to read a book by a blogger who was a bit of a bitch at BlogHer this year. It is affecting my reading of the book. I cannot get past the fact that the author is tongue in cheek about her bitchiness in her book, but was flat-out snooty to one of my friends TO HER FACE for NO reason. Is that weird that I cannot get past that? I knew virtually nothing about this blogger until that that unsavory interaction with her in the hotel lobby, then another friend lent me the book happenstance. Eh.)

Anyway! I came across this informative article about the H1N1 flu, "Dr. Gupta offers advice to parents on H1N1" (aka "swine flu") written by Sanjay Gupta. Oh sure, his desi credentials help (obviously, I love me an Indian, no?) but I have always appreciated his reasonable perspectives on issues. And this was no different.

This paragraph summed it up for me:
Yes, hearing between 30,000 and 90,000 could die from H1N1 is scary, but keep in mind -- around 40,000 people die from the regular or seasonal flu every year. The numbers may not be that much different, yet there is not panic about the regular flu. As things look now, H1N1 is causing only mild to moderate illness, not the widespread deaths people are worried about.
Also, here is a short and sweet list of "when to call the doctor":
• A baby younger than 12 weeks has a fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit

• A child, older than 12 weeks has a fever for three days

• A child's fever returns after a 12-24 hour time period

• A child is not passing urine or making tears for more than six hours

• A child does not smile or show interest in playing for several hours

Dial 911 if:

• A child cannot speak while trying to breathe

• Has a blue or dark purple color to the nail beds, lips or gums

• Is not responding to you because he is too tired or weak

I encourage everyone to read this article!

Are you planning to vaccinate? I have decided against it, in this case. Normally, I am 100% on board with vaccinating against the "standard" childhood diseases - in 2nd grade, I had a classmate die from chickenpox. Furthermore, I have spent my entire life hearing from grandma how devastating and fatal these "standard" childhood diseases were to families. I feel very strongly about vaccines and their importance in our country. (Exception: I am not completely sold on the HPV Vaccine.)

The H1N1 vaccine? I am not convinced and am very suspicious as to the extent of testing that would have been conducted to rush this to market in time for the upcoming flu season. We will not be vaccinating for it, at this time.


CPA Mom said...

we are vaccinating both kiddos. they both have asthma and their allergist wants them to get the "regular" and H1N1 vaccine.

jodifur said...

I am vaccinating me b/c I have lupus and am a high risk population. I haven't decided on Michael.

I think I know who you are talking about. But if it is who I am thinking, she was lovely to me.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

CPA Mom,
Ack! Thanks for pointing out what I neglected to - my kids are NOT high risk, I also have that particular luxury. Of course, if they had special situations such as yours, we would be vaccinating.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Jodifur, Again, I neglected to point out the whole "high risk" thing. Obviously, I am not a medical professional. Sigh.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Regarding the author, I really had NO impression of her at all - had heard of her and her book. That was it. Then, one of my friends had a very bad interaction with her. I am having a hard time getting past that in this reading of the book. A book that another friend of mine had given me just on the fly. Eh. I will probably move on.

I primarily thought it was more interesting that having previous knowledge of the author is affecting my reading of the book. That was all.

Jenny said...

Yeah, we're not high risk either. I've never given my kids flu shots, and I don't get them either. I am one of those freaks who abstains, because the two times in my life that I have gotten the flu shot, I've had my ass kicked by the flu shortly thereafter. So it just isn't worth it to me.
I read that article, too. An interesting side not, when I took my kids in the the doc last week because they had strep, she told me that the CDC has asked them to stop testing for H1N1 in the office, because the tests have tow many false +/_ results, it doesn't work. So now they are only testing those patients that are hospitalized for respiratory distress. And the bottom line of that is that the numbers we've been hearing are bogus.

Mrs. CPA said...

I think we might do both kids. Maddie is so prone to breathing problems, and Hudson has had the flu every year, vaccine or not. But I, like you, am hesitant with the vaccine being pushed through so quickly. Maddie is going for her 1 year old checkup in a few weeks (aside: SOB!) and I'll ask about it then.

meno said...

Well damn, all i can think about is WHO WAS THE SNOOTY BLOGGER??

I got my teenager vaccinated w/the HPV vaccine, but am not adamant that everyone make the same choices i did.

Olivia said...

Usually I don't get the normal flu vaccine as I am not high risk. But, this year our doc recommended my husband and I get the H1N1 and possibly the regular flu vaccinces to help protect our infant daughter.

Melanie said...

I just go with what my doctor recommends, she is a lovely woman with kids of her own, if she tells me that she would do it, then I do it. I figure she knows the risk/benefits and I trust her. We go mid-September for my daughters 15 month check-up so I will know then what we are going to do.

Christine said...

I'm with meno. Stop teasing us!

Still undecided, but probably won't do it in the end. I do believe in the benefit of vaccines but I don't necessarily agree the vaccine schedules, and something rushed through this quickly spooks me a little. There've been a number of veterinary vaccines that hit the market that ended up creating more problems than they helped and you just don't really know what the effects are going to be until a large number of people get the vaccine.

Plus, I'm curious about how the virus is going to mutate.

I do love a good conspiracy theory, though, and I enjoy hitting message boards that claim that Bill Gates is trying to spread autism in developing countries through his foundation.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I am not naming the Snooty Blogger. I heard it via hearsay. Although, admittedly it was through a variety of different folks and it was enough to affect my opinion of her - fair or not. The other day, I did not mind linking to Dooce and Sundry directly because that was more a matter of "public record" since it was plastered all over Twitter and their blogs.

I have decided to move on and not finish the book. Monkey in a Suit was kind enough to send me a copy of Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, which looks infinitely more positve.

Anjali said...

We are very lucky, because we are not high risk.

Last year I gave my oldest two Flumist. Before that, none of my kids had received a flu vaccine. I did it because both kids would be in school full time. And because they didn't have to get the shot, which I find painful.

This year, I'll probably have them get the Flumist again, simply because it's easy and doesn't hurt, but I don't know about the other vaccine yet. Regardless, I don't think I'm going to get the baby anything.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

I was surprised that older people like my parents weren't being considered. I would have liked my father to have gotten it at least.

LL said...

I don't think JP or I will get the vaccine, though I'm open to landon receiving it if his pediatrician recommends it, especially since he's in daycare.

To Monkey - the reason people above a certain age aren't recommended for the vaccine is b/c H1N1 is believed to be a mutated form of an older flu virus, so most people my parent's age and older have already been exposed and are far less likely to become infected. So far the vast majority of reported cases are in young adults and children. (At least this is what I understand frmo my microbiologist mother who reads voraciously about these things and is not getting the vaccine because of her age and lack of other risk factors.)

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Lag Liv-thanks for the reassurance. It's just that my father is older and on heart medication and I read all those stories about the principals in NY dying etc. and I REALLY don't want my father to get it. My mother is of hardier stock than my dad and I'm certain she's be able to throw it off.

Also, my father was sick with some sort of low-grade something or the other for 4 months about 4 years ago now. He was tested for everything under the sun and we (and Beth Israel) still have no idea what he had (he ran a fever of 99-100 for 4 months, basically). He shrank down to 110 pounds and he's a 5'6" I kind of get worried.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Anyway, I will probably get the regular one because it is free and they show up at our workplace to jab us. I'm sure we're getting the aluminum-steel-boride versions of whatever vaccines...because let's be honest, this is my employers!

lorib77 said...

The kids and I get the regular flu shot every year. Last year I did end up with the flu but it was very mild and only kept me down for about two days. I am asthmatic, aka high risk, so I'm sure the vaccine helped me have a less severe episode than I could have.

I'm torn on the H1N1 vaccine. I am nervous about how quickly they had to produce the vaccine too, but Lil D's asthma is primarily virus induced and can turn bad on us quickly. The risk of him getting H1N1 probably outweigh the risks of the vaccine, especially since he is in school now.

flybunny said...

So I am really torn on the vaccine. Tyler is high risk because of her asthma but like you I am not completely sure they have taken enough time to make sure it is effective, safe whatever. And of course, Matt works with kids and carries home all sorts of stuff so I am just torn.

Also torn on HPV as the girls have a sketchy history with various cancers on Matt's side and with my medical history a virtual unknown it would make complete sense to have them vaccinated but again, I am torn. Pediatrician is very supportive either way and is letting me work through it on my own.

Did said blogger write the book I lent you? Curiosity is killing me...

The Hunter's Prize said...

I read that article when you posted it on Twitter and I thought it was great information. I probably won't be getting my son the H1N1 vaccines since I do not think we are high risk. Also, like you, I am curious how well the vaccine will do so soon on the market.

bethiclaus said...

I am possibly more than 100% sold on the HPV vaccine, so I am curious to hear your perspective on this. I ask because our conversations have never led me to believe that you would be in the "take away a risk and the children will have the sex" camp.