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November 6, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS: For Nov. 6, 2013

(Continued)

Well, in 1996, I got a flu shot, had an adverse event, and got a disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Long story short, I was misdiagnosed and did not get preventative medication that could have prevented the disease from continuing damage to my myelin sheath and nerves, but I didn’t. I have spoken with many doctors doing research on GBS/CIDP, attended symposiums and have personally experienced GBS progressing into CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy — aka Chronic GBS). I have completed more than eight years of research, and I know more about GBS/CIDP than general practitioners and most neurologist. 

I get regular infusions of IVIG (IntraVenousImmunoGlobulin) today because my immune system still produces autoantibodies that attack my myelin sheath. The IVIG infusions keep me out of a wheelchair. 

My life as I knew it was gone 17 years ago. So add life’s experience to my credentials. And by the way, I diagnosed my CIDP myself after being brushed off by my doctor and neurologist (the same neurologist that misdiagnosed me, and doctor that told my wife to make arrangements for a post-mortem).

My question: Why do we need an influenza vaccine? Go to table one in “Google Trends in Pneumonia and Influenza Morbidity and Mortality.” Table 1 shows all deaths from pneumonia and influenza. Then page 1 shows only pneumonia deaths, and page 2 shows only influenza deaths. The records cover from 1979-2006. Please note there were only 257 deaths in 2001 and 753 in 2002. The death rate from influenza averages 901 per year, and influenza is not a major cause of pneumonia. So how does the CDC come up with 36,000-plus deaths? They add pneumonia and influenza together, that’s how.

It is estimated by The National institute of Allergy and infectious Diseases as well as other health agencies that the single bacteria “streptococcus pneumoniae” is responsible for more than 50 percent of all cases of pneumonia in the U.S., including the leading cause of death annually. Pneumonia is also caused by other bacteria such as streptococci, staphylococcus aureus (staph), Pertussis (whopping cough), and mycoplasma pneumonia (a cause known as walking pneumonia). And there are many noninfectious causes of pneumonia, such as asthma, aspiration of fluids, immunodeficiency, etc. So, it stretches credibility to assert that the flu causes pneumonia when, in fact, the data shows that it only causes a small minority of the cases.

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