Most flu cases are mild and include symptoms like fever, fatigue, muscle ache and headache. Some more moderate symptoms include dry cough, sore throat and runny nose, while severe cases also demonstrate nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Most hospitalizations and eventual deaths are typically attributed to poor hygiene and nutrition.
While the combination of pneumonia and influenza ranks No. 7 among leading causes of deaths, the separate entry of deaths related to influenza alone moves down the list to No. 100. (Keep in mind that the Journal of the American Medical Association conservatively rates Standard medical care as the third leading cause of yearly deaths.)
What's in the Shot
Besides the attenuated viruses contained in the shot, there are also toxic chemicals such as ethylene glycol (antifreeze); phenol (disinfectant/dye); formaldehyde (a known cancer-causing agent); aluminum (linked to Alzheimer's, cancer and seizures); thimerosal (mercury linked to brain injury, autism and autoimmune diseases); and Neomycin and Streptomycin (antibiotics to which some people are allergic).
Types of Vaccines
There are two types of flu vaccines available, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) and the inactivated influenza virus (TIV). The LAIV is a live virus that can be administered through an intranasal spray and is approved for use in people 5-49 years of age. The TIV uses a dead virus that's injected and is approved for anyone age 6 months or older. According to the pharmaceutical industry researchers, the TIV cannot cause influenza, though the LAIV can potentially produce mild flu symptoms.
Who's Being Vaccinated
The CDC recommends vaccination for everyone over 6 months old and especially for persons with medical conditions that could be complicated by the flu. About one-third of the U.S. population received an influenza vaccination in the winter of 2006-07.
-- Matthew Kays, D.C.
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