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Why some people don't get the flu

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  • Why some people don't get the flu

    It's that time of year again (although not here in Auckland where we are baking in glorius heat). I'm one of those who have never had flu in my 50 years.

    Why some people don't get the flu - TODAY Health - TODAY.com

    To answer that question, University of Michigan researchers did the first study of its kind: They infected 17 healthy people with the flu virus and discovered that everyone who is exposed to the flu actually is affected by it, but their bodies just have a different way of reacting to it. Half of the study participants got sick; the other half didn’t notice a thing.
    ......

    “There is a behind the scene active immune response even when you don’t get sick,” Hero says. “What we found were differences in their biological metabolism and gene expression. These differences had to do with antioxidants.”
    So maybe I have had flu after all. I'd be interested to hear other opinions on symptom-free flu. Have you had it?
    My website: http://www.shoppinganywhere.net/

  • #2
    The above begs the question however that, if one is having "symptom free flu", can they still pass it on to others?

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    • #3
      The above begs the question however that, if one is having "symptom free flu", can they still pass it on to others?
      my money is on yes.

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      • #4
        Ermm I guess that's just a normal immune response? I mean, we're constantly being bombarded by germs (colds, flus etc.) and yet we don't get sick EVERY time. Maybe I'm off the mark though? I just figured the body's immune system was able to get on top of the flu faster in some people than others (and in some strains of flu, simply because everyone has varying susceptibility to different infectious agents).

        Case in point, I have never had a cold sore. I used to think it's because I'd never been exposed to the virus. However, my daughter got cold sores very early in life (she was less than a year when she had her first outbreak) and obviously since that time I've been exposed multiple times (as have her brothers), and yet the boys and I are still free of any symptoms. (And by this I mean... I've shared cutlery with her when she's had an active cold sore, I've kissed her when she's had an active cold sore...) so there's NO WAY I haven't been exposed.

        The thing is, on my husband's side of the family people seem susceptible to the virus (he has had cold sores, and his mum used to get them very badly) and on my side of the family no one has ever had one, exposure to the virus or not. This suggests to me that we have some immunity to the virus that the others (including my poor daughter) lack. My daughter is generally just as healthy as her brothers in other ways... she just gets a lot of cold sores!

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        • #5
          I had the flu one time about 7 years ago. Haven't had it since, and in most of those years I was carting flu-ridden people around in my ambulance constantly. I would say there was no way I was never exposed to the flu in all that time, but the symptoms never presented. So, maybe I had invisible flu and never knew it?

          Aren't there a ton of different viruses under the umbrella of "flu"? Maybe I was more resistant to whatever was going around, and the one time I caught it, it was a strange one my body didn't know how to deal with (would make sense, because I was on a trip at the time).

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          • #6
            survival of the fittest?

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            • #7
              I'm with Iron that it's a normal immune response. Researchers are noticing it with the flu because that's what they're studying, but I believe that the same thing can happen with any germ.
              My homeschooling mom, doula blog: http://naturalparentingsupport.blogspot.com

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              • #8
                Quite likely I had the flu, then. I had a sinus cold that lasted about 4 days. Go me!
                Out of context quote for the day:

                Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager

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                • #9
                  Very interesting responses. I work in schools so I am exposed to all sorts of stuff. It's well known that teachers come down with every darn thing when they start, and their immunity builds up as they go through their career. I certainly get fewer coughs and colds than I used to (although I also look after myself better and eat healthier food). Hmmm, lots of confounding factors there.
                  My website: http://www.shoppinganywhere.net/

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                  • #10
                    Since I got Vitamin D3 replete, I never get sick. 3 years and counting...Previously, I had at least 2-3 cold plus the flu each year.

                    FWIW, my sister has been teaching for over 20 years and still gets as sick as she used to.
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                    • #11
                      I usually just ignore illness. I have better things to do with my life than feel sorry for myself.

                      Then there is my sister who will take an entire packet of aspirin if she has a headache, lie in bed all day and claim she can't do X, Y and Z because of her illness.
                      http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

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                      • #12
                        people get the flu because they think they are suppose to

                        I dont get the flu because i opted out of group think
                        Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

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                        • #13
                          I've had it twice in my life, both times it absolutely floored me. 12 or 13 years ago.

                          I've hardly had as much as a sniffle since paleo.
                          Do what you love and do it often. If you don't like something, change it. if you don't like your job, quit. If you don't have enough time, stop watching tv. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop, they will be waiting for you when you start doing the things you love. Stop over analyzing, life is simple. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Some opportunities only come once, seize them.

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                          • #14
                            I do believe people can carry the flu without getting symptoms. My DH gets exposed to things at his office, he doesn't get sick, but I do. I work alone, and rarely come into contact with other people, plus am a germaphobe that washes my hands often. I'm virtually certain I have been getting my viruses from the DH.

                            This was pre-primal, so here's hoping I see a difference now. I've also added in a number of supplements known to be anti-viral.
                            High Weight: 225
                            Weight at start of Primal: 189
                            Current Weight: 174
                            Goal Weight: 130

                            Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012

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                            • #15
                              Haven't had the flu in 20+ years. I haven't gotten really sick in at least 5 years. I used to annoy friends because they'd all get sick and be floored for days or weeks. Meanwhile, even though I'm hanging out with them, in their dorm rooms/apartments, nary a sniffle. There were even a couple times where I got a little sick for like a day, and they would get sick again, as if what they had mutated and hit them again after going through me.

                              So, an odd chicken/egg question...would germaphobes be sick MORE if they didn't clean so much, or are they sick so much because they clean so much?

                              I think all this anti-bacterial stuff is killing people's immune systems while making the germs stronger. To think that this year the flu has spread farther and faster than it has in a while, in a time where there are antibacterial gels in every restroom, and antibacterial wipes for carts at all the grocery/department stores, says a lot.

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