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Discussion Starter #1
I think a lot of us here are on immunosuppressant drugs and I was wondering how you're going to handle the whole swine flu business. Last Monday my rheumy increased my Imuran from 150 to 200 mgs. daily, and since there's no vaccine for this particluar flu, I was thinking about asking if I should go back down to 150 mg. for the time being and if I should get a prescription of Tamiflu to have on hand.

I'd be interested to know how you veterans handle this kind of situation.
 

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Lisa_S
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Hi Jesse - I was on immunosuppressants during the avian flu epidemic a couple of years ago (I'm Canadian, but on the other side of the country from Toronto, where it was worst.)

I made no changes to my lupus drug regimen, and didn't get any Tamiflu - it was all needed for the actual victims of the flu and the healthcare workers who were caring for them I think! Frankly, I didn't worry about it very much. I just figured that I needed the immunosupressants to treat something that I KNEW needed to be dealt with, and messing with that plan on the chance that the flu would spread didn't seem like a good idea.

I think the media tend to head straight for words like "pandemic" and downplay the "potential" aspect of it which feeds public panic. Unless you're actually going to Mexico, the chances of being exposed to this are pretty remote at the moment. That could change, but at the moment I wouldn't be overly concerned.

That's my opinion anyways - I'd be interested to hear what others think!

Lisa
 

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I'm with Lisa on this one, and I would not consider any changes in my medications for lupus unless my doctor suggested it. Right now, the swine flu problem is NOT an epidemic, but it has the potential to turn into one. The media certainly is all on this news item!

If you live in Mexico City, then I'd probably want you to talk to your doctor as that's where ~1100 cases have occurred. I believe you live in Texas or Arizona... so I can understand why you're a bit more concerned but I don't think this warrants any kind of changes yet or trying to get a script for Tamiflu "just in case".
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmm, OK, I guess I'll just sit tight. I spoke to the pharmacist and he said they have lots of Tamiflu so if there's a run on it I should still be able to get it. I live in the mountains of NC and we have a smallish population but it's also a tourist area, so it's possible the flu could come here too. Oh well, I can't worry about it. I'll just take the sensible precautions. What will be will be.......
 

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florie
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That swine flu really got me nervous. Although i live in florida this is the time of year we get visitors from all over the country to visit florida. Go to our beaches, visit disney etc.

Swine flu is similar to regular human seasonal influenza they say.
Stay away from pigs at fairs and stock workers!

Symptoms are: fever,lethargy,lack of appetite and coughing. Some people have reported runny nose,sore throat,nausea,vomiting and diarrhea.

I read your can't get it from eating pork. But i wouldn't trust pork for a while.

12 milliion doses of the drug Tamiflu willl be moved from a federal stock pile to places where states can quickly get their share if they need it.

This is one scarey flu that us lupies don't need.. God I hope we will all be safe.
Florie:grouphug2:
 

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I listen to NPR, and all reports are fairly calm at this moment. It does suggest regular precautions...wash your hands, stay away from sick people, wash your hands, wash your hands...LOL

Right now they haven't even classified this as an epidemic, not a little thing, but mild and mostly controlled...however there are concerns since there have been verified cases in NY, Ohio, Kansas, California, Texas, Canada, Spain, New Zeland and obviously Mexico.

Pork is not an issue at all, although live pigs might be a concern...Pork should no matter what always bee thoroughly cooked to avoid many intestinal diseases.

The concern is that this is now passed from human to human, and contact with pigs is not a requirement.

I advise everyone in areas that are affected to use caution when venturing out, all others are reminded to use normal flu season precautions.

I also suggest anyone who must travel on an airline no matter where they are going to get a surgical mask and brin anti-bacterial wash.

Stephanie
 

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Hi there, I was worried/am worried as still on a high dose of steroids for current flare, but my Dad who works for the W.H.O (World Health Organisation) as the World Expert in Animals and Food Poisoning, and is in contact with various World experts re disease control, said not to worry, but to take precautions like wearing protective anti-bacterial hand foam and not flying (unless you have to!)
Will keep you updated if anything changes
JXXXXXX
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You're welcome. We all can benefit from each others' experiences and thoughts on the subject.
 

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The swine flu really scares me, no cases have been reported in the netherlands (where I live) but it will only be a matter of time, I'm afraid. I just hope everything has been 'blown up' by the media, and that it won't get as bad as they say...
 

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sweetpsychosis;543383 said:
Hi there, I was worried/am worried as still on a high dose of steroids for current flare, but my Dad who works for the W.H.O (World Health Organisation) as the World Expert in Animals and Food Poisoning, and is in contact with various World experts re disease control, said not to worry, but to take precautions like wearing protective anti-bacterial hand foam and not flying (unless you have to!)
Will keep you updated if anything changes
JXXXXXX
hello,im jazmine i apreciate you sharing what u know because i am lil scared about the whole swine flu.ibeen sick of a"cold"atleast thats what i think.sore throat lil temperature and chills all over my body for about a week,it comes and goes well not the sore throat or temperature.hopefully it'll go away soon.thanks!
 

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Pollianna
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This swine flu thing hasn't got me worried so far. I think the bird Flu scare did it for me. All that hype and that word pandemic bandied all over and it subsided. We were tortured by images of all kinds of things such as bird flu victims to images of massive Tamiflu stockpiles. Everyone was terrified and then there was SARS.... I think the media have a lot to answer for personally.

For some reason only Mexican nationals have died so far, bless them but they say there may also be another virus at work within Mexico and the two may contribute to the fatalities. They really don't know very much at this stage

Hopefully if we keep our heads, take appropriate measures maybe this too shall pass
 

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Interesting J, thanks for posting that info.

Jen :)
 

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The Other Illinois Tammy
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Jesse,
I have posted a reply to a new member that might help you. I too was very worried about this as I deal with the public everyday from all over the world. So I contacted my health department for advise that would work for me. Do what you usually do with flu outbreaks. Wash your hands more often and carry the germ gel ( that is what I can the gel stuff that don't need water). I stay away from people that even look like they have a fever. I have bought a can of something called Lysol spray that I use for myself on the counter, my desk area, the lobby area, and anywhere else that is common area that I spend a lot of time in. When you cough or sneeze do it in a tissue or your elbow. I do hope that this helps some. If I even start to feel sicker than normal than I am doing to the doctor just to be safe. We will make it if we all take the precautions. Take care and stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Tammy, that is good common sense advice.
 

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Can't say it worries me..got so many other things to fret about already. Like Pollianna I am a bit immune to the scaremongering that goes on via the Media. I am more concerned about dying from driving, than swine flu. As for pork, it is fine as long as it is dead and these days there are no concerns ref worms hence why alot of chefs now cook it slightly pink, our childhood memories are of chicken and pork have to be well cooked... then they did, but now only the chicken would be a health risk.... so says my butcher who also cooks fabulous meals!! :)
Claire X
 

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Hi I don't know if Lupus patients can use Tamiflu, I think if we're ok with Antibiotics it would be the same deal, but can ask.
My Dad has told me that Swine flu is nowhere near as serious as SARS, it is similar to the level of flu in the 1970's epidemics in the UK, so more like Russian flu than the scary Spanish Flu that killed so many. He says it's really not that worse than normal flu. He also says (a s agovernemnet scientist) to bear in mind that a lot of the info will be being hyped-up by scientists looking to boost their government grants for next year!
Sensible precautions are wearing protective had foam and also I use nasal spray by nasaleze, which coats the nasal passages with cellulose and garlic. When ever you get in for the day, or anywhere you are going to be for awhile wash your hands and gargle with warm water with a couple of drops of tea-tree in it. The hand foam is a good idea as it's generally touching things that flu-y people have touched and then touching your face that transmits it. The only other way it to inhale droplets when someone sneezes or coughs.

JXXXXXXXXX
 

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thanks for the answer and please ask him for the tamiflu...a few years ago my mom got a regular flu and almost died from sepsa( i think u call it sepsa also, im from croatia so sorry if i dont express myself properly)...oh i just checked on google ( god bless google:) )...its sepsis...and today there has been a first case of swine flu in croatia...not confirmed yet but the girl just came from usa so its a good chance it is ...
 

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Hello daughter :)

As far as I know lupus patients can indeed use Tamiflu if necessary. Obviously that is a question best asked of your doctor as he knows your Mum's specific medical history.

This issue is also discussed in another thread

http://www.thelupussite.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74667&highlight=tamiflu

On the whole I think it is important to remember that there is often a lot of media hype surrounding such stories and that although it is obviously serious (especially in Mexico) it may not turn out to be the pandemic everyone fears.

In any case, worrying about it will not make the problem go away. Sensible precautions and seeking medical advice if one becomes ill are really all anyone can do just as is the case for normal flu which claims victims every year.

Katharine
 
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