Tuesday, November 12, 2013

CDC admits flu shot link to febrile seizures

The CDC now admits that there is a verifiable link between the flu shot and seizures in children ("febrile seizures"). 

In a conversation with medical web site WebMD, Frank DeStefano, confirms the link when children get the flu shot with other vaccines (specifically the pneumococcal PCV13 vaccine).

"This adds perhaps 60 seizures per 100,000 children. And the good news is, if it were to happen, it would be on the day of or the day after vaccination, so parents can know what to look for," Frank DeStefano, MD, MPH, of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office, tells WebMD.

Although the link is confirmed, the CDC is not making any change to their blanket flu shot recommendation.

The FDA first investigated the uptick in febrile seizures over two years ago. http://flucrazy.blogspot.com/2011/01/fda-investigates-unusual-spike-in.html


Friday, August 16, 2013

Don't get the flu shot

There are good and valid reasons to get the annual seasonal flu shot, especially if you have an underlying medical condition such as asthma, heart disease, or a weakened immune system.

But, for the vast majority of healthy people (under the age of 65), there are also good and valid reasons NOT to get the annual influenza shot. Although some are distrustful of all vaccines, there are specific reasons to be wary of the influenza vaccine;

these include:

Complications related to the flu shot. Many people report feeling sick after getting the flu shot, and children have been reported to suffer from febrile seizures. Reports of narcolepsy and adverse reactions to the flu shot appear to be on the rise.

The flu shot is not entirely effective. You can still get the flu, even if you are vaccinated. So, while you incur the risks for adverse side effects you may still get the flu.

*  The effectiveness of the anti-flu treatment Tamiflu has been called into question, and it appears that it does not lessen hospital stays.  Further it appears some of the results of the trials were intentionally withheld when they painted a picture of doing exactly the opposite of the intended affect.  There was one trial that seemed to suggest that Tamiflu lessened the ability of the immune system to fight influenza. 

Lack of legal recourse (civil) especially in the US if you are harmed by the flu shot.  A US Supreme Court decision (BRUESEWITZ et al. v . WYETH LLC) sided with vaccine makers in a case involving a Pennsylvania girl who was denied a claim in vaccine court and was not allowed for file a claim in civil court. The fact is that if you lose your case in “vaccine court” you will have no further legal recourse. Some, including Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, argue that there are now no serious consequences for vaccine manufacturers if they produce a faulty product and that no other industry in America has such a comprehensive “get out of jail free” card.

Most healthy people do not require hospitalization for the flu, even though suffering from the flu is uncomfortable.

Washing your hands frequently, eating healthy, and getting plenty of sleep are very good ways to avoid getting the flu.

The majority of health care providers (approximately 60%) choose NOT to get the flu shot every year. Even the risk of termination of their job is not great enough of a threat to convince them to risk getting the flu shot.  [ Edit note: in 2012, the numbers have improved.  One study shows that 60% + of health care providers are now getting the flu shot.  But, this improvement has happened after employers threatened termination for non-compliance.   The fact that so many health care providers are still leery of getting the flu shot speaks volumes. ]

Recommendations for getting the flu shot vary widely from country to country. For example, most countries in Europe only recommend those aged 65 or over get the flu shot (with no underlying medical condition).

The odds of dying from the flu are minuscule. The CDC’s numbers for mortality are suspect, at best. Influenza is grouped with pneumonia statistics, thus blurring any meaningful comparisons. But, even the CDC admits that most deaths occur among the elderly population, yet still insist that everyone (over 6 months of age) get the flu shot. The is especially at odds with reality, given that pediatric deaths associated with flu are now at historically low levels.

Valid reasons to mistrust government and pharmaceutical pronouncements, including the influence of money in the political process. The recent case of trial tests of the antibiotic drug “Trovan” on African children, allegedly without parental consent, illustrates problems with the industry. Recent news reports about past horrors amplify the point. *

Valid reasons to mistrust media outlets. Many newspapers, web sites, and television news programs are beholden to vast pharmaceutical advertising dollars. Anyone who questions the necessity of flu shots is instantly branded a kook or “dangerous.” An outlet that does not follow the party line risks losing advertising dollars to other programs that are not so choosy about what they publish.

Not all flu shot formulas are the same. Risks vary by formula. The nasal flu shot, Flumist, contains a live, albeit weakened, influenza virus.

So, we will continue to remain skeptical of the CDC's blanket recommendation that everyone over the age of 6 months get the flu shot.

As with all medical decisions, you should ask your doctor if you should get the flu shot. But, also ask him/her if they have gotten the flu shot themselves.

Hopefully they will be honest with you.

See also: Flu Shots: Panacea or Propaganda? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/flu-shots-panacea-or-prop_b_831696.html

*AP IMPACT: Past medical testing on humans revealed

European Centre for Disease Prevention modest recommendation for flu shots

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control continues to advise that only older adults and people with pre-existing conditions get the flu shot.

Unlike the US CDC which recommends blanket immunization of the population, the Europeans take a much more measured approach.

There are various reasons for this, but the most likely reason is that there is not as much pressure from the pharmaceutical industry or they are better able to resist the pressure compared with the US regulators.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Flu cases drop again. 2,362 Lab Confirmed cases

Flu cases, as reported to the CDC have dropped again to 2,362 laboratory confirmed cases (FluView: http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html).

This marks 5 consecutive weeks that lab-confirmed cases have dropped.  But, since CDC keeps revising numbers for previous weeks, this is hard to pin down.   Research requires keeping previous sets of reported numbers to compare with current numbers.

But, the big picture is that out of US population of 312 million, only 2,362 cases have been confirmed.

We are still waiting for major media outlets to pick up this story.  They continue to trumpet the CDC’s flu scare message.

By the numbers…

For Week 5 (ending Feb 2, 2013)

A (H3)                                                   1026

2009 H1N1                                              74

A (Subtyping not Performed)                   640

B                                                             622

TOTAL                                                   2,362

Friday, February 1, 2013

Confirmed flu cases drop for fourth straight week in 2013

Laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza have dropped for the fourth week in a row, according to a report published by the CDC (FluView: http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html).

Despite hard evidence of a declining flu season, CDC is still preaching the gospel of “flu is widespread” with the media playing along as willing lap dogs.  And, nearly every news story trumpets the benefits of flu treatments such as Tamliflu and Relenza, even though a review of clinical trials provides compelling reasons to doubt the efficacy of these treatments.

Also, news reports rarely mention hard numbers.  The public might become wary of the “flu is widespread” story if the number of laboratory confirmed cases were widely published.

However we will happily report them here:

Number of laboratory-confirmed cases for 2013 -

week     1              6287
week     2              6104
week     3              4427
week     4              2701

One wonders how long the CDC will be able to keep up this charade. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CDC confirmed flu cases show steep drop

Reported laboratory confirmed flu cases were down sharply for the most recent reporting period (ending Jan 12, 2013). 

CDC reported that out a total 12,360 specimens only 3,638 were positive for influenza (source FluView: http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html).

A (H3)                                                   1,603
2009 H1N1                                              45
A (Subtyping not Performed)            1,355
B                                                              635

But, it is hard to know what to believe when it comes to reported numbers.    Numbers for weeks 51 and 52 of 2012 have been revised (up) since they were first released.  So, the numbers for the week ending Jan 12, 2013 may be revised in the future.  It is troubling why the numbers are being tinkered with.  CDC receives a certain number of specimens per week.   This number should not change.  But, it appears that CDC is releasing numbers before the final counts are in (thus lessening their usefulness). 
As previously reported on this blog, the hysteria surrounding flu this season appears to be overblown.  And now the hard numbers are bearing this out.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Calling BS on the Flu Hysteria for the week ending Jan 5, 2013

The Numbers Do Not Add Up
Who to believe, the CDC or the New York State Department of Health?
Last week, New York Governor Cuomo declared a public health emergency due to an outbreak of influenza.   But, the numbers just don’t add up.   The CDC has published numbers that show the new number of laboratory confirmed cases of flu nationwide totaled 4,222 (for week 1, 2013), down from a high of 5,108 for the last week of 2012. 
But, New York State is claiming that [laboratory-confirmed] “influenza was reported in all 57 counties plus New York City. There were 4,059 total reports, a 7% decrease over last week,”
 according to the weekly STATEWIDE INFLUENZA SURVEILLANCE REPORT, for the week ending January 5, 2013 (source:

The numbers just do not add up.  New York State cannot account for nearly 100% of all flu cases nationally. 

Weekly confirmed flu cases reported to CDC (source FluView, http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html).

YEAR      WEEK    number of confirmed cases
2012       40           162
2012       41           197
2012       42           299
2012       43           339
2012       44           408
2012       45           618
2012       46           841
2012       47           1328
2012       48           1995
2012       49           3366
2012       50           4449
2012       51           5417
2012       52           5108
2013       1              4222


Friday, January 11, 2013

Flu Season Appears To Be Ebbing, 4222 cases reported, but flu scare marches on

The influenza (“flu”) season appears to be ebbing.  For the week ending Jan 5, there were 4,222 laboratory confirmed cases reported to the CDC (source:  FluView http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html).
Out of a US population of 312 million, your chances of getting the flu are approaching zero. 
But, the drumbeat of the flu scare marches on. 
Approximately 130 million doses of the flu vaccine have been administered.   Millions of prescriptions for antivirals, like Tamiflu, have been written (even though the effectiveness this treatment has been called into question).
And, although nearly 27,500 people went to the hospital for flu-like symptoms, only 1/6 actually had the flu, so the vast majority of these symptoms were for something else.  

By the numbers --
Laboratory confirmed cases reported to the CDC for the week ending Jan 5, 2013:

A (subtyping not performed)                          1,550
A (H3)                                                                   1,783
A (H1)                                                                         0

B                                                                                853
2009 H1N1                                                                36
H3N2v                                                                         0
Total:                                                                     4,222