Don't Worry About Ebola, Worry About the Flu

Flu ShotsThere's lots of chatter about the Ebola outbreak in Africa, and if social media is to be believed, even many North Americans feel threatened.

I'm not your doctor, or your dad (unless your name is James, Michelle or Jarvis in which case I might be your dad), but I care about you and the herd immunity. I'd like you to stop worrying about Ebola and get a flu shot instead.

Here's Dr. Agus on Howard Stern telling him what he should do to live a longer life. As you'll hear in this 23-second clip, it's a no-brainer. It won't just help prevent you from getting the flu today, it will reduce your chance of getting cancer and heart disease in the future.

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Ben Vidal

This topic seems to be Pandora's box. Right on par with politics, abortion and religion.

I can't wait till all the people who have no medical background comment here with falsities, myths and outright lies.

You should have prefaced that the flu shot is not a live organism. It's the dead virus. Someone who saw invasion of the body snatchers of course will think it's something else.

October 15, 2014 @ 10:51 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

My six month old got his flu shot yesterday. At that age, you actually have to go back for a second shot a month later.

My local Shoppers Drug Mart (where I got my shot last year) tells me they'll have the shot October 23. They're only serving high-risk people now.

Everyone in my house gets the flu shot every year.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

Argie

@Mike
Why get something you don't need? I've never had a flu shot and I've never had the flu. Its a personal decision based on your health and age.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:08 AM

Cheryl

I always get the flu shot. I am self employed. I don't get sick days so can't afford to be sick. I heard nothing about them being out now though. I guess they'll be around October 23.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:11 AM

Cambo

Please tell me you didn't just quote something from Howard Stern as evidence...

October 15, 2014 @ 11:13 AM

Philly-Bob

I'm with Argie. It's not that I think there's anything sinister about the flu shot, I'm just not in a high risk group, haven't had the flu in 10 years, don't care for needles, and would rather "my dose" go to someone who really needs it (the young, the old and the infirm)

October 15, 2014 @ 11:15 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Philly-Bob

There are enough doses for the young, the old, the infirm and you.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:17 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Cambo

The quote is from a medical doctor. Dr. David B. Agus is one of the world's leading cancer doctors and pioneering biomedical researchers.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:18 AM

Ben Vidal

@ Argie And Philly Bob: So you haven't been sick in years? Have you been able to quantify which is a cold and which is a flu if you have been sick?

Do you have elderly people in your lives or young children? Even if you aren't in the high risk group, chances are you are around someone in the high risk group. You getting sick puts them at risk, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated.

"It’s easy to forget the risks of influenza, with the world being nearly a century removed from the Spanish influenza epidemic after the First World War. The 1918-19 outbreak killed about 50,000 Canadians and caused social and economic upheaval"

As for leaving your dose for others, that sounds noble at first glance. It is however quite the opposite when considering the far reaching affects and the chance that the more people that get the flu give it a greater chance to evolve and change thus becoming more harmful. If you are single and live off the grid and don't have much contact with the outside world, then don't bother with the flu shot.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:25 AM

Ben Vidal

To be fair mike. There was a potential shortage last year. So I could see where Philly Bob might get that worry from. The problem is that shortage arose, because there was a late in the season surge of people wanting to get the shot. This was because a lot of people went the wait and see route and once the cases of flu rose to high levels then went and got the shot.

So you are technically right, had those people gone at the beginning of the season or were part of the regular crowd that gets their flu shot then demand would have increased supply.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:27 AM

Argie

@Ben
I get colds once in a while which only require an anti-histamine and extra sleep. The whole idea of lying in bed, can't move a muscle, hoping I was dead condition has never happened to me.

I'll consider getting our kids vaccinated even though they seem to have a pretty good immune system.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:33 AM

Dawn Keibals

I have gotten a flu shot every year for the last 10 years.Not had the flu,before that I would get the flu minimum once a year and I was a lot younger and healthier back then.
The flu shot is free and now it takes less time to get than lining up in a drive thru line at Tim Horton's at 7:30 AM.

To all you nay-Sayers next time you are in No Frills or Food Basics go to the produce section and LISTEN for 5 minutes.All the sneezes and coughs then handling 10 apples to pick 2 then turning around to handle 10 tomatoes to pick 2.

Do that and you will be racing for a free flu shot!!

October 15, 2014 @ 11:40 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Mike - you can't have it both ways. Either there are enough shots for everyone, or they are being reserved for the high risk people.

I seem to recall you posting a rant a year or two ago about the Leafs getting flu shots ahead of some high risk people and how despicable it was for fully grown, healthy men in their prime to do this.

I'm a fully grown, healthy man in my prime. I do not think getting a shot gives you the flu, or that it's the government pumping stuff into our bodies. I believe it is exactly what we're told it is, an immunization for the flu...

October 15, 2014 @ 11:40 AM

Philly-Bob

This debate rages on torontomike every year at flu shot time and nothing gets accomplished.

Here's what will happen

-The pro shot people will can the anti shot people idiots.

-The anti shot people will call the pro shot people nanny state sheep.

-Someone will somehow manage to draw a correlation between this and the upcoming election (Doug Ford hates flu shots so you should/shouldn't vote for him, Olivia Chow loves them so she'll be the best/worst Mayor ever, John Tory is waiting for opinion polls to come back before he decides where he stand on them)

-All hell will break loose

I just don't like needles and only get them when necessary.... in my experience in MY life, a flu shot is not necessary.

As Argie said, maybe I should look into getting it for my son, but on the other hand, he's 7 and to the best of my knowledge has never had the flu.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:42 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Dawn - the number of people who pick at the various orifices in their bodies (Nose, Eyes, Ears, Genitals, Rectum) and never wash their hands scares me a lot more than a potential flu virus.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:45 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Argie

In a nutshell, you do need it.

Getting the flu shot makes it less likely you'll get sick. That means you're less likely to miss work / life and pass the illness onto someone else.

Furthermore, research now shows that getting the flu now increases your chance of heart disease and cancer later in life. Getting the flu shot every year will extend your life.

But like Ben wrote, many just don't believe in this science, despite the fact every doctor recommends it to their patients. My doctor wants me to get a flu shot every year and my kids' pediatrician wants them to get a flu shot every year.

The flu shot doesn't give you the flu.

But we have this discussion every fall. I just checked the archives, there's one entry every October where I urge everyone to get their flu shot (because it's a no-brainer) and people tell me they don't need it because they don't get sick.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:48 AM

Ben Vidal

Partially correct Philly-Bob. That was actually when the breakout of H1N1 occured, which wasn't your normal flut shot. The hockey team in question bi-passed that line.

Mike isn't trying to have it both ways and your point is moot. They reserve the flu shot first for those at the highest risk. Then go for people at the lower risk level. This has nothing to do with total supply, but rather seeing to the part of the population that needs it first. This is of course because each clinic, drug store or doctors office gets and initial supply that will of course be topped up later.

October 15, 2014 @ 11:53 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Mike

This has nothing to do with "believing in science" I am firmly in the camp of "its a vaccine and will not give you the flu."

I just have a dislike of needles that boarders on the pathological. Make it a "flu pill" and I'm in. Conversely, if either my son or I contract the flu, I might re-visit the issue.

But at this point I have no desire to put myself through the stress of getting a shot, when I've never suffered from what the shot is supposed to prevent. And unless you suffer from the same aversion to needles that I do, you can't know what it's like.....

October 15, 2014 @ 11:58 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Ben - you are correct, I went back and checked, it was in relation to H1N1, which is of course a special case.

October 15, 2014 @ 12:01 PM

Argie

Maybe one day I'll get it but my issue is lining up. I really hate lining up for anything. If someone told me they're giving out $1000 bills on the street I would say "if the line is long, I aint lining up for it".

October 15, 2014 @ 12:03 PM

Irv

Not to wade into this argument but I will regardless and it's not an emotional or preference. I'll ask these questions.

1. Who funds Agus? Did you base your recommendation on his based on what you read online?

2. Who funded the research of the flu shot? It was "big pharma & medicine". The ones sell us pills with more "side effects" than what they fix? The governments in Canada buy this shot based on information given to them. What makes you think this information is anymore accurate than "GMO'd food is safe" or "we have proof there is no global warming".

3. Further, exactly what evidence exist that this vaccine is effective? How can you say it may stop you from getting cancer. Science still has no concrete answer as to what causes cancer.

Ebola is WAY more of a risk to society than the flu Mike. The reason is very simple too. Ebola..in North America would be akin to Small Pox when it infected the natives. There was no natural immunity because there was no exposure whatever. There is repeatedly DAILY exposure to flu shots.

If Ebola gets hold of North Americans it will be a fucking disaster that will dwarf SARS man. It'll be the natives & small pox all over but on a much grander scale. That's exactly why world governments are investing MILITARY and MEDICAL resources to stop it. You aren't about to see a couple of US Army Chinook choppers over someone infected with the flu.

October 15, 2014 @ 12:06 PM

Cambo

I'm with Irv- to a point.

I'm FAR more concerned with Ebola, than the flu. If and when a vaccine for Ebola is made available- I'll be there. Kids and wife in tow. You can survive the flu without intervening medicine (except those in high risk). Ebola? Not so much. You're toast.

The flu does not represent enough of a health risk to me to justify it. Same with the chicken pox vaccine, and did you get vaccinated for that too?

October 15, 2014 @ 12:53 PM


Irv

@Cambo

President Obama just cancelled a campaign trip to meet with cabinet on Ebola (source, NY Times). This is substantial.

Governments are very secretive when dealing with potential emergencies. They put on a happy face to keep the population calm. When analyzing the Feds you analyze the "meta data" (aka actions) not what they say.

Truth is that that if 100 people contracted Ebola in the USA it wouldn't be the medical resources that would be stressed. It would be the generation population living in fear of contracting it. People react based on emotion & their reaction could be panic to the streets. I personally believe some of this sell off in the stock markets (currently happening on CNBC in front of me) is the result of Ebola.

October 15, 2014 @ 1:17 PM

Irv

@Toronto Mike

Well I don't blame you for not entering the rabbit hole. One could successfully argue that ignorance is bliss ;-). Otherwise you start waking up at night thinking about things or analyzing why your neighbor has so many plastic buckets on his balcony. LOL.

October 15, 2014 @ 1:19 PM

Douglas

I did not think it would take long for the ebola and flu topics to pop up here...

There are far too many, not just ignorant, but stupid people in our society. They feast on whatever the mass media feeds them. While at my brother's for Thanksgiving dinner, CBC news was on in the background. Three of us agreed that about 15 to 20 minutes of the 45 minutes of "news" was on the topic of ebola. Nothing else going on in the world? Nationally? Provincially? Locally? Talk about blowing it out of proportion, nasty and lethal as ebola is.

I am not stepping in to the do (not) get a flu shot debate, but we are all far more statistically likely to get decked, possibly seriously, by the flu bugs that are going around. Ebola? Yes, it is far more likely to be lethal, but the chances of coming into contact with it are somewhere between slim and none.

Okay, now I'll lob one out there: Our federal government has the power to ban all travellers from west Africa from entering Canada until further notice. I think that would be a good move, even though it is always possible that someone could get here indirectly. Click. Pull. Toss.

October 15, 2014 @ 3:30 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Oh brother here we go with this again.
I've had the flu shot about 5 or 6 times and only once did I not get sick and that was the first year I got it. Haven't had the flu shot since 2004, haven't been sick.

October 15, 2014 @ 3:43 PM

Philly-Bob

But Jason, it doesn't matter that you, me , Argie, Irv...all of us who don't get the flu shot, and also don't get the flu, none of that matters because the whores of the pharma industry....I mean....Doctors tell us that we need them.

All I would say to the people who's answer to this is that I'm not a Doctor, you're right, I'm not. Neither was my father when he told the Doctors in the 80's that there was no way they were putting me on Ritalin. Turns out the Doctors were wrong and Dad was right.....I made it through school just fine. But back in the 80's and early 90's every "problem child" could be fixed with Ritalin.

October 15, 2014 @ 3:52 PM

Greg

Just for PERSPECTIVE on Ebola in North America. 35,999 more people need to die from Ebola in the USA to match last year's USA flu deaths.

— Greg Brady (@bradyfan590) October 15, 2014
October 15, 2014 @ 3:57 PM

Ben Vidal

Couple of things people need to know is the difference between influenza and a cold. Symptoms can be similar and they can also be completely different.

Second. Antihistamines are for allergies not curing colds.

Third comparing the prescription of the flu shot vs. ritalin is completely ludicris.

Whats worrisome about the nay sayers is they only consider the environment within two feet of their face.

Lastly you have Irv. I think that's enough said my paranoid friend.

October 15, 2014 @ 4:06 PM

Ben vidal

Thank you Greg.

October 15, 2014 @ 4:06 PM

Philly-Bob

@ Ben - Other than the fact that you are pro flu shot, why is comparing a Ritalin prescription to a Flu shot ludicrous?

If Doctors are the whores of the pharma industry (there's plenty of proof to support that) what is the difference between a Doctor saying

"Mr. Vidal, you should get your child the flu shot, it will increase their resistance to the flu strain"

and

"Mr. Vidal, you should give your child Ritalin, it will calm them down and help them focus in school"

Honestly Ben, what's the difference?

October 15, 2014 @ 4:11 PM

Irv

@Ben Vidal. You can write off my paranoia or you could wonder why I question things so much & where it comes from.

I know the point Philly Bob is trying to make. He's referring to modern societies "magic pill" syndrome. And he makes a very valid point.

The flu vaccine is created by a pharmaceutical company whose main motivator is profit for it's shareholders. They sell their product & the "science" behind it. Decades ago, companies produced science that showed formula was superior to breast milk. DDT was sold as a good idea. We're told that genetically modified food is a great idea. We are told that cows milk is good for your diet (ignoring the 10's of millions who are lactose intolerant). How about "Wheat Belly". A "renowned" doctor has several books on the topic & he claims if you stop eating wheat wonderful things will happen. There was "no evidence" trans-fat was harmful to people.

I'll put my faith in science. I will not put my faith in science "funded by an agenda". I believe there is global warming but Al Gore used mostly junk science. I am very hesitant to put my faith in some huge pharma company who sells a bill of goods to our medical system that we "need this vaccine or else". Or else what? Where is the factual evidence that deaths/series flu cases have declined?

I see it like I see the debate on Temp Foreign Workers. "We can't survive without them". How'd the food industry survive before? Where are the numbers? Where is the evidence? Same for the flu shot.

October 15, 2014 @ 5:34 PM

twins from bolton

All family used to get the flu shot every year for 5 years when my kids were young, wife has Chrones disease & I going through cancer diagnosis starting in 1995.
WE all continued to get flu shot every year until 4 or 5 years ago when kids were late teens & cancer free but wife still with Chrones disease.

WE all felt like crap for those years when we got it & decided one year not to get it. We had normal colds but not the flu. Your Immune system can fight it without it using antibodies your system has built up during your lifetime. Since then we have all been OK except with 1 of my sons diagnosed with H1N1 - which was NOT THE COMMON FLU.

For those that are very young, with disease, elderly I totally agree with getting it.

BUT not me

October 15, 2014 @ 7:10 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@twins from bolton

You're doing you and your family a disservice. Heart disease and cancer risks are lowered with every flu shot you get.

October 15, 2014 @ 7:31 PM

twins from bolton

@ Mike

Your personal thoughts but not mine now. Maybe in a few years when I & wifey get older.

October 15, 2014 @ 7:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@twins from bolton

What does your doctor say about your decision?

October 15, 2014 @ 7:38 PM

Speysidephil

1. GMO's have saved and improved millions of lives in 3rd World and Developing Countries. That's a fact!

2. While I get the flu shot now, I was a caregiver to my wife, and my age made that decision for me. The flu shot does not reduce the risk of Cancer or Heart Disease. That is just irresponsible fear mongering.

October 15, 2014 @ 7:59 PM

twins from bolton

@Mike

I & wife would get the flu shot at our workplaces & sons at school in the past.

Since then the question hasn't even been discussed with our doctor. The question was asked by my wife a few years ago & said if you are all healthy (which we are) it's your decision.

October 15, 2014 @ 8:03 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@twins from bolton

Well, technically it is your decision. There's no law to force you to get a flu shot.

But I'll bet your doctor recommends you get one.

October 15, 2014 @ 8:10 PM

twins from bolton

NO OUR DOCTOR NEVER HAS, but if he sees a situation with physicals he would recommend it.

Our family is not in a high risk "range" other than my wife with Chrones which the flu doesn't have any effect.

Your situation Mike is more sussaptable to the flu with younger kids, especially Jarvis. If 1 person in a family is to get the flu shot all family members should.

So far there is no law for flu shot just like getting winter tires on our cars in Ontario. Now that should be a law like in Quebec.

October 15, 2014 @ 8:35 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@twin from bolton

Are you saying when you ask your doctor if he recommends you get the flu shot, he says "no"?

October 15, 2014 @ 8:48 PM

twins from bolton

@Mike

Doctor NEVER said NO to get flu shot but said OUR decision.

Winter tires are a more of a concern with many not having them.

October 15, 2014 @ 9:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@twins from bolton

Of course it's your decision! I'm asking if he recommends you get the shot.

October 15, 2014 @ 9:21 PM

Ajax Mike

@Argie
"I get colds once in a while which only require an anti-histamine and extra sleep."

Erm... antihistamines are primarily for allergies, not colds. They might help with a runny nose and/or extra sleep (both depending on the type of pill), but otherwise they do nothing. At least you're not demanding antibiotics from your doctor.

October 15, 2014 @ 9:31 PM

Cheryl

Well, I can't afford to be sick. That's why I get it so I will continue to get flu shots.

October 16, 2014 @ 4:37 AM

Sammi

So now we run the risk of getting cancer and higher risk of heart disease if we don't get the flu shot?? What's next???

Every year the threat or risk seems to get greater. It does make me wonder why they are pushing it so much.

October 16, 2014 @ 7:10 AM

Cambo

@torontomike

Can you please link a study to back your statement that the vaccine may help prevent cancer and heart disease.

I can find no such evidence to this.

October 16, 2014 @ 8:50 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Cambo

2 seconds of Googling revealed several excellent sources regarding the link between the flu shot and heart attacks and strokes:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/flu-shot-linked-to-lower-heart-attack-stroke-risk-201310236795

http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/flu-shot-halves-risk-of-heart-attack-stroke-for-heart-disease-patients-study-1.1508409

The link to preventing cancer is admittedly less clear. But really, if reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke isn't enough to persuade you, I doubt tossing cancer in the mix will make a difference.

October 16, 2014 @ 9:04 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Mike - you are misrepresenting a little here. The article states that not having the flu reduces the risks of stroke/ heart attack, it lists the way the flu can contribute to these problems. It has nothing to do with getting the shot.

So we're back to whether or not you think the flu shot prevents the flu.....

October 16, 2014 @ 9:10 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Philly-Bob

It's well documented that the flu shot helps prevent the flu. In fact, the number one best thing you can do for yourself if you want to prevent yourself from getting the flu is getting your flu shot.

But you've decided to ignore your doctor and trust your gut on this one, so nothing I say will convince you otherwise.

I sometimes wonder why people don't trust their own medical doctor.... if I didn't trust mine, I'd get a new one in a heartbeat.

October 16, 2014 @ 9:14 AM

Philly-Bob

I've been with my doctor since birth, and he gives me the same answer Ben's does, it's MY choice.

However, that wasn't my point. My point was you have said multiple times on this post that the Flu shot prevents heart disease, and that is not the case. Not having the flu prevents it.

For the sake of argument, lets look at the past 5 years. You get the shot every year, I don't. You've not had the flu in that 5 year period, neither have I. Are you at any less risk of heart disease than me cause you had the shot and I didn't?

No.

October 16, 2014 @ 9:24 AM

Philly-Bob

And, again, it was well documented in the 80's that Ritalin was successful in treating hyperactive children, it was well documented in the 50's and 60's that smoking did not cause cancer, well documented in the same time period that running countless currents of electricity through a mental patient would "cure them"

Imagine what will be "well documented" tomorrow....

October 16, 2014 @ 9:28 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Philly-Bob

Two final points and then I'm dropping out of this thread. My original entry contains my thoughts on the subject.

1. The study shows a link between the flu shot and reduced chances of heart disease and stroke. That's what the study shows. Take that for what it's worth.

2. Of course it's your choice! There is no law compelling your doctor to jab you with the vaccine against your wishes. It's also your choice if you want to drink a bottle of vodka tonight or eat a Big Mac for dinner every night for the rest of your life.

I'll bet you anything your doctor recommends you get the flu shot.

October 16, 2014 @ 9:29 AM

Philly-Bob

I'll take that bet! What do I win?

He said he neither discourages nor recommends it, because I'm not in a high risk group. It's simply an option available to me.

Mind you, my doctor is not a big fan of medicating your problems away so.....

October 16, 2014 @ 9:36 AM

Ben Vidal

The comparison of a prescription of ritalin to advising the flu shot is of course ludicrous.

The flut shot is widely available. In fact you can go get at No Frills or Shoppers Drug Mart without needing a doctors prescription. In fact your doctor doesn't even need to be involved in the process.

If your doctor tells you that you should be eating more fruits and vegetables is he/she a shill for monsanto?

Or as an adult you should be taking aspririn to prvent heart attacks, does that mean your doctor is a shill for Bayer?

Second to this is that you not taking ritalin doesn't put anyone at risk, other than perhaps the annoyance of your teachers and potential classmates as a kid. Not having the flu shot on the other hand does. It's herd immunity not individual every man for themselves. It's not about whether or not you put yourself or you children at risk, but your neighbors children at risk or their elderly grandparents. Would you want your child playing with or be exposed to a kid that didn't have any of his childhood vaccines for Polio or the mumps? No of course not, how is this really any different?

By your logic lets do away with all the vaccines we take as kids measels, mumps, hell eff the polio vaccine. Because that means we are just buying into the big business and the man has us. It's sad/funny depending how you look at it. When the government first introduced those vaccines as mandatory there was a big public outcry. After the world wars they likened the government to the nazi's for enforcing them. Now today we are having this debate over the flu vaccine.

Further to this you've already paid for the flu vaccine with your tax dollars, so there really isn't a reason not to have it. I've never had to wait to get mine, so that excuse doesn't fly.

So Philly-bob you're telling me you haven't been sick in the last 5 years even once? When you became ill how did you know it was the flu vs. a cold?

@ Irv: I don't discredit you for having paranoia. Sure if no one received the flu vaccine there wouldn't be a global extinction event for humans. However would more people die of the flu yes. Would there be a $ amount affect on the economy, hell yes.

October 16, 2014 @ 9:44 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Philly-Bob

Suggesting the flu shot is "medicating your problems away" is asinine.

Wow.

October 16, 2014 @ 9:51 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Ben - Comparing a polio vaccination to a flu shot is ludicrous.

October 16, 2014 @ 9:52 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Mike - Did not say that.

I Just said medication is not my doctors "go to" answer. Again, when I asked him "Should I get one?" his response was that he neither recommends nor discourages the idea.

October 16, 2014 @ 9:55 AM

Ben Vidal

The whole I'm not high risk comment is also a joke, because it isn't about you, but that's hard to drill into your head Philly-Bob.

How is that comparison ludicrous?

Again you don't answer the actual questions I pose to you, which seems to be your modus operandi.

October 16, 2014 @ 10:23 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Ben - I don't dodge questions. Please cite an example of this "modus operandi" of mine...

It is ludicrous because a polio vaccine makes you immune to polio, the flu shot does not.

How can the high risk comment be a joke when it came from my Doctor? (the ultimate authority according to you)

How do I know it was a cold and not the flu. The fact that I had only a runny nose and cough. No aches, no chills, no vomiting.

October 16, 2014 @ 10:35 AM

Ben Vidal

Ah self diagnosing. The flu does not need to have those last three symptoms in order to be the flu. I appreciate your medical expertise.

I never said the ultimate authority once. You were the one that stated never to trust MD's, because of your anecdotal personal story with a ritalin prescription. Which was crazy in the first place, because you compared preventing or lessening a virus to treating a behavior disorder.

Both the flu vaccine and polio were developed the same way initially with dead or inactivated versions of the virus. Depending on the year the flu vaccine is made and the version of the flu that spreads that season it can make you immune. The polio vaccine is only 99% effective as well.

Polio only affects 1% of the population, by that measure why would it matter if you had it or not, you might not be "high risk" based on your thought process.

October 16, 2014 @ 10:59 AM

Argie

OK, I think we've reached the point in this debate where our resident crazy "Lorne" will jump in with another signature rant/tirade. He'll use the F-word about 30 times.

Some will applaud him, some will think nothing of it and some (including me) will scratch their head and think 'something aint right with that person.'

October 16, 2014 @ 11:16 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Ben - you seem to live in a world of extremes. When did I say to never trust MD's??? I trust my family doctor implicitly.

I simply stated Facts:

The "experts" tell us things all the time that prove untrue. You keep focusing on this Ritalin comment of mine. That is a personal experience.

What about the "experts" who swore that cigarettes didn't cause harm when they knew for a fact they did?

What about the "experts" who said electroshock therapy or lobotomies cured mental illnesses.

What about the "experts" who said that people of colour where a lower form of evolution.

I just don't take what the "experts" say at face value because it seems our "experts" are always on someone's payroll.

October 16, 2014 @ 11:17 AM

Ben Vidal

@ Argie: I agree with you on that.

October 16, 2014 @ 11:32 AM

Cambo

This is a debate that will never be solved.

The flu will never be eradicated. Never. (and yes, the flu and cold are completely different- read the poster on the wall- VERY different and easy to tell) It is a constantly changing organism requiring a different formulation each year. As well, it's not 100% effective. It's about 50-60%, depending on researcher's forecasts for the year. The polio vaccine is much closer to 98-99%.

The other thing is that unless it's mandatory around the world, you will never eradicate it. Someone on a plane could have a strain that the flu shot was not designed to guard against. There, flu shot is completely ineffective.

Polio is a completely different organism. It doesn't change- and it required one vaccination. Some day, it could change- we don't know. Polio has not been wiped out from the earth. It's out there in certain corners.

October 16, 2014 @ 11:51 AM

Philly-Bob

@ Ben - now who's dodging questions?

October 16, 2014 @ 11:56 AM

Ben Vidal

@Philly-Bob: At this point in time I'm literally tired of bantering back and forth with you. I'll wait until the next blog post or open mike to get in to it with you over something you've gotten all hot and bothered about.

@Cambo: I agree with all your points. Except the last. There is a mutated version of the Polio virus that was found in the congo a couple years ago. I believe that it was very hard to treat and has some of the medical community on guard.

October 16, 2014 @ 12:07 PM

Philly-Bob

Okay Ben...you go ahead and take the "high road" after calling me out on dodging questions.

Class Act all the way......

October 16, 2014 @ 1:26 PM

Irv

@TorontoMike: Not related to the flu shot but related to our "medicated society". If Cobain was a youth today his angst and melancholy, which drove the creation of art, would have been painted over by meds.

Fundamentally what Philly Bob is saying is he doesn't trust the system. You can disagree but there is logic to his point of view. He is correct, we have been presented a fake bill of goods from the corporate world. The cigarette companies presented ample scientific evidence that smoking was safe. Formula beat breast milk. High Fructose corn syrup was a good choice. At one time medical research was handled by governments or universities AND..AND it was NOT funded by big business.

I know a senior medical type who is anti flu shot & anti vaccine to young children. The flu shot adoption amongst health care workers is no where near 100%.

October 16, 2014 @ 2:12 PM

Ben Vidal

@Philly-Bob: You want to go head to head, then ask mike for my email address. We can banter back and forth without continued monopolization of this post. I promise it will be civil.

@Irv: Yes there are some in the medical world against vaccine's and flu shots. I know a woman fairly high up in Cancer Canada that unequivocally states the importance of vaccines in young children and vaccines in general. No pharma influence. The main difference is your doctor is in the minority.

October 16, 2014 @ 2:47 PM

Irv

@Ben

To start, it's NOT my doctor Ben and at no such time did I say that either. I need to make that very clear.

Anyway, the opinions of the "professional" sometimes different from that of the "person". You'd be hard pressed to find someone in the medical field who would publicly speak out against the flu shot. Yet, strangely, in some jurisdictions less than 50% of medical staff (nurses, etc) have taken it. That's the kind of meta data that raises an eyebrow with me.

All business, groups, government have to present a unified front to the public. So, in the charade of life, take what they say with a grain of salt. Generally people want to find good in others and see things in a positive light. Canadians are a unique people in the world. They tend to trust their governments & institutions. It's the same thing that makes us believe we're somehow "safe" from radicals like ISIL. This country is, at times, not very self aware.

I explained this once to Toronto Mike about why people could like & support the Ford clan. Part of it is known as "framing" which is part of social engineering. I will enrage you (and the moderator) with my next comment but the blind "belief" in Ford ain't much different than the blind "belief" in the medical system. It's a form of "human hacking" Ben. You could never understand why someone would cherish and support Rob Ford. And others, like Philly Bob, cannot understand why you trust & believe the pharma industry. In the end Ben, there isn't any difference.

Of course debating this is a dog chasing it's tail. When & where do you draw the line? I'm not sure what I believe in Ben. My opinions have changed a great deal on many things in the past few years because of exposure to things. I do know one thing though. I'm glad I now question things.

PS. Buffalo's 97 Rock is a great listen.

October 16, 2014 @ 3:42 PM

Ben Vidal

@ Irv: you are correct you didn't say your doctor. You're medical professional friend. My apologies. Chalk that up to being a keyboard warrior?

I get what you are saying about questioning things. I don't implicitly trust the pharma industry and I don't think I've ever stated that here in this blog or ever. I think over medication occurs. I don't think that's the same as vaccines. Being injected with a dead virus so your body builds immunity vs. being injected with antibiotics to fight a virus are two different things. I think and I will agree with Philly bob that we are in an over medicated society. I listened to a guest doctor on Bill Maher talk about the greatest threat to humans is drug resistant bacteria as a result of over use of antibiotics not only in humans but in the food chain i.e. on pigs and chickens. I don't go to the doctors when I get a small or big cold to get antibiotics. I'll get some however if I have bronchitis as I'm prone to pneumonia from my childhood.

I think that there is a lot of bad mixed in with the good. Vaccines like the universal child ones or the flut shot I truly believe are provided with good intentions and noble principles. Until resounding evidence is provided that is agreed to among doctors suggests otherwise this will be my belief. This is why i like science and scientific though, because I don't mind things to change or be proven right or wrong. I think the steadfast belief in Rob Ford despite his history and folly's leans towards blind devotion or Mike's crazification factor

If you questions every single thing you eat, see, hear, read you'll end up in analysis paralysis. Because once you go down the rabbit hole you get lost. You find malevolance around every corner. Why is someone telling me to have more carrots. They must be part of the carrot consortium. Why does this person recommend hemp pants? They must want me start smoking weed nightly when I get home from work just to calm my nerves? Why do people care about the environment? They must just want me to drive a hybrid and eat organic food.

This of course means question things if you aren't sure or have a hard time believing things. That's what helps people grow, it results in innovation and invention. However too much of anything is a bad thing and you'll end up wearing a tinfoil hat and duct tape over your ass cheeks to ward off aliens.

October 16, 2014 @ 4:14 PM


Irv

@Ben Vidal

The last few years were "interesting" for me ;-). Yes there is "analysis paralysis" but the opposite is naive trust that's far to common in the populace. I'm sort of in the middle when it comes to the medical system but my trust is waning. There is far to much "science" coming out on medication which is funded by "for-profit" companies driven to meet shareholder expectations.

"I see no more than you, but I have been trained to notice what I see." - a bastardized quote from Sherlock Holmes.

October 16, 2014 @ 4:45 PM

Mike from Lowville

@ Philly-Bob I guess your in! You do NOT need to have the flu shot injected!! You can get your shot in a nasal spray. Now you can join the INFORMED!

October 20, 2014 @ 12:35 PM

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