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Thread: Why some people don't get the flu page

  1. #1
    jo's Avatar
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    Why some people don't get the flu

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    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?

  2. #2
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    survival of the fittest?

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    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

  8. #8
    Wildrose's Avatar
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    Quite likely I had the flu, then. I had a sinus cold that lasted about 4 days. Go me!

  9. #9
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    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.

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    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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