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What you need to know about the flu. J. Richard Burns D.C., D.Ph.C.S.

How many people really die of influenza every year? Following are from the CDC: 2002: 753 died http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr52/nvsr52_13.pdf (p.16) 2001: 267 died http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr51/nvsr51_05.pdf (p.16) 2000: 2,175 died http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr49/nvsr49_12.pdf (p.15) 1999:1,685 died http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr49/nvsr49_08.pdf (p.28) Do flu shots work? Not in adults: In a review of 48 reports including more than 66,000 adults, Vacci nation of healthy adults only reduced risk of influenza by 6% and reduced the nu mber of missed work days by less than one day (0.16) days. It did not change the number of people needing to go to hospital or take time off work. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults." The Cochrane Database of Sy stematic Reviews. 1(2006). Not in the Elderly: In a review of 64 studies in 98 flu seasons, For elderly living in nursing homes, flu shots were non-significant for preventing the flu. For elderly living in the community, vaccines were not (significantly) effective against influenza, ILI or pneumonia. Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly. The Cochrane Database of Systema tic Reviews. 3(2006). The results [of this study] were not encouraging. Vaccination was associated with an 8% reduction in pneumonia during broadly defined influenza periods. During p eak influenza periods, when influenza related pneumonia should be most common, v accine effectiveness was 4% [meaning influenza vaccinated elderly were 4% more li kely to come down with pneumonia than those who were not vaccinated].Influenza va ccination and risk of community-acquired pneumonia inimmunocompetent elderly peo ple: a population-based, nested case-control study The Lancet Volume 372, Issue 9636, August 2, 2008, Pages 398-405 There is no evidence flu vaccines help elderly Americans avoid death from the di sease, according to a study that tracked flu mortality rates during a 33-year pe riod. Led by researchers from the National Institutes of Health, challenges stan dard government dogma. Yearly flu shots have been recommended for people 65 or o lder since the 1960's, and for those 50 or older since 2000. The study, found th at vaccination rates had risen among the elderly to 65 percent in 2001 from 20 p ercent before 1980. But the researchers could find no corresponding decrease in death rates. Instead, the authors say, the government should consider extending vaccination to schoolchildren, the biggest spreaders of the virus. Archives of Internal Medicine. February 12, 2005 A review published by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research, looked at 51 studies worldwide involving more than 250,000 children under age 16. The review uncovered few studies of children under age 2, and found that in studies of vaccines using killed virus -- the on ly kind approved for use in children under 5 shots were no more effective than p lacebo. The Washington Post, The Toddler Debate , Tuesday, January 31, 2006 The flu shot helps infants and children with asthma and congenital heart disease ? Not at all. In fact a study published in Archives of Diseases of Children show ed the opposite. The vaccinated group had a significantly increased risk of asth ma-related clinic and emergency room visits. (Christy C, Aligne CA, Auinger P et al. Effectiveness of influenza vaccine for t he prevention of asthma exacerbations. Arch Dis Child. 2004;89(8):734-735.) There is no good science to back new American and Canadian policies of vaccinati ng children under the age of 2 against the flu. The researchers also did not fin d any convincing evidence that vaccines have an effect on death rates, hospital admissions, serious complications and transmission of the flu. "In children belo w the age of 2, we could find no evidence that the vaccine works lead author of t he study, which appears in this week's issue of The Lancet. HealthDay News Feb. 24, 2005 There is no proof that flu shots work well in children under 2, concludes a stud

y released Friday - the second in as many weeks to seriously challenge the Cente rs for Disease Control and Prevention's flu shot policies. "Immunization of very young children is not lent support by our findings, wrote the researchers, led b y Dr. Tom Jefferson of the Cochrane Vaccines Field in Rome. "We recorded no conv incing evidence that vaccines can reduce mortality, admissions, serious complica tions and community transmission of influenza." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 02/26/05 Not in babies: In a review of more than 51 studies involving more than 294,000 c hildren it was found there was no evidence that injecting children 6-24 months of age with a flu shot was any more effective than placebo. In children over 2 yrs , it was only effective 33% of the time in preventing the flu. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2 (2008). Not in children: Significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demons trated for any season, age, or setting after adjusting for county, sex, insuranc e, chronic conditions recommended for influenza vaccination, and timing of influ enza vaccination (VE estimates ranged from 7%-52% across settings and seasons fo r fully vaccinated 6to 59-month-olds). Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Among Children 6 to 59 Months of Age During 2 In fluenza Seasons Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine October 2008;162(1 0):943-951 Not in children with asthma: A study 800 children with asthma, half were vaccina ted and the other half did not receive the influenza vaccine. The two groups wer e compared with respect to clinic visits, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations for asthma. CONCLUSION: This study failed to provide evidence t hat the influenza vaccine prevents pediatric asthma exacerbations. Effectiveness of influenza vaccine for the prevention of asthma exacerbations. Ch ristly, C. et al. Arch Dis Child. 2004 Aug;89(8):734-5. Not in children with asthma (2): The inactivated flu vaccine, Flumist, does not p revent influenza-related hospitalizations in children, especially the ones with asthmaIn fact, children who get the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalizat ion than children who do not get the vaccine. The American Thoracic Societys 105th International Conference, May 15-20, 2009, San Diego. In Davenport, Iowa, 50 medical doctors treated 4,953 cases, with 274 deaths. In the same city, 150 chiropractors including students and faculty of the Palmer Sc hool of Chiropractic, treated 1,635 cases with only one death." "In the state of Iowa, medical doctors treated 93,590 patients, with 6,116 death s - a loss of one patient out of every 15. In the same state, excluding Davenpor t, 4,735 patients were treated by chiropractors with a loss of only 6 cases - a loss of one patient out of every 789." 2. "National figures show that 1,142 chiropractors treated 46,394 patients for i nfluenza during 1918, with a loss of 54 patients - one out of every 886." The Official History of Chiropractic in Texas By Walter R. Rhodes, DC Published by the Texas Chiropractic Association 1978 The ratio of flu cases cared for vs. deaths were as follows: Medical care: 1 out of 17 died. Osteopathic care: 1 out of 36 died. Chiropractic care: 1 out of 886! "The Flu and You.", Palmer College of Chiropractic published 1919