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Flu epidemic rages in Japan with record-high number of cases reported in one week

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Every day my daughter gets off the youchien bus they have a tally of kids who caught the A or B strain and it's a bit nerve wracking. The two grades above her have like 15-ish kids each out, out of classes of like 70 to 80. We've gotten her the flu shot every year but this year we moved and all of the clinics around us weren't accepting new patients for the vaccine so we took our chances. I'm going to feel really guilty if she gets it... poor kids.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Mushrooms boost immunity response (IgA), so whether you have the flu shot or not it will help both situations. Especially elderly who tend not to have much of a response to shots.

Source: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/boosting-immunity-while-reducing-inflammation/

Citations: 15, from 2003-2012

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Vaccinate, and if you or anyone you know has symptoms STAY AT HOME!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

At least watch the 4-min video before downvoting. Ignoring science isn't going to help you

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Which shows it’s much better to be healthy and eat well and live smart.

I see this pattern of repeated antibiotics, meds whenever sick since birth, 2-3 preventative shots a year...most people are shocked at the allergies, flus, and skin problems that abound here.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

One of the problems this year that has caused the bug to spread, particularly the "B" strain, is that the symptoms are not so severe and there have been a number of cases, down here in Okinawa at least, where the patients did not have a high fever, and were experiencing only mild diarrhea that lasted for a few days prior to them going to the hospital to get checked out.

One of my coworker's children, a teenager, went to the doctor after having such symptoms, and while thinking that it was possibly something he had eaten, as according to my coworker, he had no fever, he was tested for the flu and was positive with the "B" strain.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Dilution is the solution. You have be on top of children and people with poor person hygiene. You have make hand washing the priority. If you see someone coughing into their hands tell them straight away to cough into the nap of your arm to prevent cross contamination. People caught into their hands and go back to holding on to a railing a handle bar on the train, arm rests and spread the virus onto to surfaces that people are going to handle.

It very hard to contamination when you cough into the nap of your arm. This practice and along with hand washing should be mandatory at schools and taught at home before schooling age.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

nap of your arm == elbow

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@thepersoniamnow - IKR. Way too much over-medication here. My wife is always telling me to see a doctor if I have just a slight cough or sore throat but usually that's from a hard day at work and gone by the next day. If it's bad enough I might take an aspirin but sheesh... meds for everything... not healthy.

@John-San - good advice about the arm. I know it but just training myself to do it naturally after years of being taught as a child to cover my mouth with my hands... sometimes I make the mistake.

Eat healthy, stay hydrated, get plenty of exercise (I'm bad at this) and good sleep... these are the most important things I reckon.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

stay home don't hack coughs in the train getting others sick in the train so your boss can think you are a hard worker

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Dango bong:

stay home don't hack coughs in the train getting others sick in the train so your boss can think you are a hard worker

Hear hear. This constant pantomime of pretending to be so indispensable that you can contaminate the whole train, and every doorknob, keyboard and kettle in your office really has to stop.

But who cares about epidemics when you can wear a mask and demonstrate how hard you gaman?

Every year we get a flu epidemic in japan, and every year it's no less severe than anywhere else where people don't go through the kabuki of walking about with a mask on. I have said it before, and will say it again:

MASKS ARE A WASTE OF TIME. They do nothing to keep you, or anybody else, free from the flu.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I'm guessing not a lot of sick leave given to employees?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You'll never train folks to cough into an elbow when they sit there wearing those stupid masks and coughing with no attempt to cover their mouth in ANY form. Plus the elbow cough doesn't seem widely known here period. I think a good ten percent of my office was in masks yesterday and several sounded horrible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh here's another one, Wakame salad also boosts immunity response: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-boost-your-immune-system-with-wakame-seaweed/

4/6 citations are from Japan

Osaka Maternal And Child Health Study Group

Kyushu and Okinawa Maternal And Child Health Study Group

...among others

You'd think they'd get some press?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Luddite: "Vaccinate, and if you or anyone you know has symptoms STAY AT HOME!"

Sorry, but I believe over-vaccinating is a big part of the problem of why viruses are becoming immune. I believe whole-heartedly in vaccines such as the ones you get as a child to protect you for life against measles, mumps, rubella, polio, etc., but a flu vaccine is not necessary, especially when pretty much every time you get one the flu spreading around is another strain and you get it anyway; at least, almost everyone I know who's gotten it also had their shots. They like to say "Well, it's made the symptoms lighter," but how do they know?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Take simple, natural, preventative steps, and yes, stay home if you're sick. Masks are bull, since people cover their faces with them and then think they can do anything else normally with hands, saliva, and what have you. Gargling, likewise, is a myth in terms of prevention.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

mushrooms. thats funny.

Reminds me of the "Super-duper Eat nothing but natto for 1 month" craze from a few years back where everyone was told they would lose tons of weight.

Turns out it was just shills from the agricultural industry trying to boost sales.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Clamenza

Your comment is meaningless. How about trying to watch the video for 4m or reading the scientific papers since it wasn't industry studied and had actual meaningful scientifically measurable effects? Same with Wakame salad?

Why be ignorant?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A lot of people who have the flu don’t know it or pass it off as a mild cold because they aren’t that sick. I mean, if I have mild diarrhea, a sluggish feeling, and a cough I’d probably go to work. That those are mild symptoms of the flu wouldn’t occur to me. I’d regard them as a cold. Then I pass the flu on to someone else.

People who have mild symptoms often got the flu shot earlier in the year. So, ironically, the flu shot is helping to spread the flu.

Also, why is Kyushu getting hit so hard?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@ Haa Nemui

Agreed.

Since eveyone is generally shocked at the amount of allergies and susceptibility to influenza and colds in Japan, I think you have to see what happens since birth.

A good percentage go to the doctor or at least get over the counter medicines whenever they are run down at all. All kidz get these “anti flu” shots, and then promptly after...an outbreak breaks out

I think that killing your virus through medicine and not your own immune system can be detrimental.

I grew up all over the world, never went to the doc or took meds. Got the flu twice in 17 years here and I am in the worst place as far as viruses go.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Mask do work. they stop across contamination. Hand to mouth. I am for ever touching my face e.g the odd nose scratch, mouth wipe and eye rub. Mask are great for children who have not develop, self control from touching themselves, but try keeping them on them. Mask work as a surface barrier. Mask work to prevent nano particles which can carry casingents. But only work as a surface barrier to prevent cross contamination of the flu.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@theperson. you are right. the human body has the natural ability to fight invaders. if too much medicine is used this natural ability literally turns on itself and attacks. that is why over 50% of japanese have allergies.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A lack of fruit and vegetable intake is known to be associated with higher asthma rates. I'd guess on top of that the KFC madness weeks earlier causing additional compromised bowel immunity makes for a perfect storm every year. With chicken consumption rising every year this isn't going to end anytime soon

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Wash your hands and use the sanitiser that is everywhere. Three classes at the high I work in are closed due to 30% of each class having influenza. The school has sanitiser everywhere, but I rarely see students or teachers use it. I used it at least 7 or 8 times a day and always have done. After more than a decade working in high schools and colleges in Japan I have never had the flu. Just wash your flipping hands and keep your fingers out of your eyes.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Similar epidemics are being reported from USA, Europe, etc.

Stay healthy everyone.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Turns out that in a British study, people who have had flu shots over the last three years have a large difference in their ability to not suffer from the worse effects when they do get ill. This was especially true for people 60 and older - death rates fell for those who got sick BUT had gotten flu shots each of the last three years. Even if only 10% effective, could mean the difference between a really severe illness and just a few bad days.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

At least watch the 4-min video before downvoting. Ignoring science isn't going to help you

Talking of science, are you aware what an immune response is? Fever, inflammation, swelling, cells attacking cells, that kind of thing. That's how the body actually fights disease. It's why autoimmune disorders have such distressing symptoms, one of which can be death.

If you really could boost your immune system - in particular your immune response, which by definition is the reaction to a stimulus, not the ability to react to a stimulus - simply by eating this or that wonder ingredient, you'd know it, because the physical effects of heightened immune system activity lie on the spectrum from uncomfortable to life-threatening. As a response to the presence of disease-causing agents in your body, or to injury, it can be extremely effective, albeit often at a cost; the rest of the time, you don't want it or need "boosting". The immune system is already present and ready to react, it doesn't need a fluffer to help it do the job.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

MASKS ARE A WASTE OF TIME. They do nothing to keep you, or anybody else, free from the flu.

Sure...and let’s also go back to bleeding people as a cure all!

Of course masks are no guarantee of not getting or giving an illness but neither is washing your hands or wearing surgical gloves. Neither is coughing or sneezing into the nape of your arm or hands or anything else other than directly into someone’s face. But they do help and are better than everyone doing nothing at all and not applying common sense.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Haaa NemuiToday 08:24 am JST

@thepersoniamnow - IKR. Way too much over-medication here. My wife is always telling me to see a doctor if I have just a slight cough or sore throat but usually that's from a hard day at work and gone by the next day.

Dont all the docs get paid on a per pill basis by big pharma??That is the reason for so many pills about.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think that killing your virus through medicine and not your own immune system can be detrimental. I grew up all over the world, never went to the doc or took meds.

That argument, which even at a glance looks pretty silly, breaks down when a viral disease has the potential to be fatal. Your globetrotting and your good fortune in avoiding harm demonstrate exactly nothing about the ability of our bodies to fight disease. We do have that ability, but it's a fight we frequently lose (by dying), and it was particularly so in the days before modern medicine and modern scientific enquiry - both of which some people seem weirdly anxious to abandon (but not in the cause of something better, that's for sure).

Here is a small selection of viruses/viral diseases: dengue fever, hepatitis A, B, and C, norovirus, smallpox, rubella, Lassa fever, hantavirus, rabies, HIV, HPV, polio.

Your recommendation is to let the body take care of it, and to not bother with medical treatment. By logical extension, you would be saying that we shouldn't even vaccinate against these, regardless of whether vaccination is available and recommended. Even if you were to concede that point and make an exception, your suggestion is bizarre. And, although I have mentioned the hardly trivial fact that diseases can be and often are fatal, there's far more to it than that. We aren't simply 100% healthy or 100% dead, as legions of people who have survived polio could tell you. Diseases often have unpleasant and life-changing complications, such as blindness, deafness, or paralysis.

I grew up all over the world, never went to the doc or took meds. Got the flu twice in 17 years here and I am in the worst place as far as viruses go.

If you're deluded enough to think this country is the worst for viruses, you must have be very selective in your travels "all over the world" means. Try Africa, where HIV is out of control, or South Asia, where even measles, for which a highly effective vaccine exists that has practically wiped out the disease in many countries, kills 50,000 people a year in India, many of them children.

In your own life, you'll face many opportunities to experiment with batty notions of virus management and treatment avoidance. Older people are susceptible to shingles, and basically every adult harbours the source of that condition. If you've been sexually active as a young adult, you may well carry HPV for decades of your later life - it can't be removed by nutrition or yoga but can be passed to others and can result in cancer both for men and women. Just two examples of virus infiltration that your body doesn't handle all that brilliantly. There are many more, obviously.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

wipeout

so after all that you STILL didn't watch a measly 4 min video on mushrooms or wakame salad?? Both show immunity response! Mushrooms in particular WITHOUT inflammation. Watch it now!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

sf2k: "How about trying to watch the video for 4m or reading the scientific papers since it wasn't industry studied and had actual meaningful scientifically measurable effects?"

Wasn't it also full of falsified data? Or at least, they pushed it on TV to sell, as Clamenza mentioned?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-natto/japan-tv-apologizes-for-false-natto-diet-tip-idUST2249420070122

"sf2kToday 12:20 pm JSTwipeout

so after all that you STILL didn't watch a measly 4 min video on mushrooms or wakame salad?? Both show immunity response! Mushrooms in particular WITHOUT inflammation. Watch it now!"

It won't change the fact that there are sponsors tryign to make a buck on the latest fad, and that next week it will be forgotten in favor of the next fad. Rather than watching a TV show that tells you what to do so sponsors can increase sales, get some common sense. A lot of the "science" you talk about being quoted in such things is carried out by "scientists" that work for the companies trying to boost sales. People that believe suddenly in such things will neglect others; same with masks.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The links are above from NutritionFacts dot org, and not anything you are posting.

Who is sponsoring NF? No one

What fad? It's by scientists!

Can you focus?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Record snow falls one week, record flu cases another week

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the natto link has nothing to do with me. I didn't post that.

Can you focus?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

so after all that you STILL didn't watch a measly 4 min video on mushrooms or wakame salad?? 

Good guess.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

they're really well done, please check them both out. All citations listed. Nutrition Facts is a charity

1 ( +1 / -0 )

smithinjapan - Sorry, but I believe over-vaccinating is a big part of the problem of why viruses are becoming immune.

Huh? Viruses are not becoming immune. Where did you hear that nonsense? Vaccination is incredibly effective at preventing viral infections, from smallpox to measles. The flu vaccine's efficacy varies from year to year, as there are many strains of the flu virus, and the medical community must guess in advance which strain will be prevalent the coming year, as they must produce it in advance. This year, they guessed wrong.

Bacteria, on the other hand, are becoming resistant to anti-biotics due to overuse. In Japan, doctors do tend to over-prescribe antibiotics from my experience, and from other members of JT, it seems. In the US, they are prescribed less so now that drug-resistant bacteria has become an acknowledged problem. Unfortunately, antibiotics are given prophylactically to livestock to prevent outbreaks due to the horrible living conditions they must endure in factory farms. So, antibitotics are ubiquitous in the US, regardless of human medical use.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It's going around my workplace and I feel it's just a matter of time for my turn...ugh. I'm washing my hands and eating real food as much as possible. My coworkers are staying home when they get sick but the problem is influenza is most infectious and easiest to spread 24 hours before you feel any symptoms...trying to avoid sharing food/meals with others without being anti-social!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@garypen for the win as far as comments go. Exactly right.

Overmedication IS an issue. There is no denying that. Particularly when talking about antibiotics and so many other prescription medicines.

However, that and vaccinations to protect against viral infections / diseases are two separate issues.

And the argument against vaccinations in general by the anti-vaxx crowd tends to be around the idea that giving so many to kids at a young age somehow impacts children's development, not some sort of development of resistance to drugs like antibiotics. Although there are a few that argue that over-vaccination can lead to a weakening of the auto-immune system. However, I have never heard anyone make that argument with respect to the flu vaccination.

Influenza pandemics historically killed millions. Well before there were vaccinations, antibiotics, etc. And, of course, there are reports coming out of the U.S. of healthy people getting sick and dying within a couple of days of showing symptoms of the flu. Almost all had not had their flu shots this year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I remember getting really sick last year and was down almost 3 weeks. If your sick stay home. Wear a mask. And limit what you handle if you have loved ones. The issue in the west is people doing nothing. I are people sick cough in people's faces in elevator and told to wear a mask at the docs and don't...thus spreading it..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wipeout

You twisted so much of what I said its almost ridiculous man. I also never said half the things you claim I must be a fool for thinking.

But thanks for reading what I wrote so carefully and writing such a long response to it lol.

I stand by my statement and my experiences.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you are a liberal, please go get the vaccine! Actually get 2 just to make sure!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I stand by my statement and my experiences.

Which is why my response remains valid.

In addition, no one is questioning your experiences - I certainly believe you, because there is nothing in the least remarkable about a person in this day and age going for years without getting sick and without resorting to medicine - but I definitely question their application to the wider population, as well as any implication that, other than through vaccination, you can be in sufficient control of your environment to be sure you can stay free of infectious disease, or even a single infectious disease, like influenza. You were lucky; I have been too, at times and for years on end; and at other times, less so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Every day, US news reveal stories of people who died with. Flu. When I goto my annual health check, I have to. answer. questions, One is if I had flu shot or not. My doctor check. if I had flu shoot or not first. No. and the doctooooor says Good.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Flu shot is not recommended in USA but some people get shot with flu symptoms. I am old. so I just use cough drops when I. start to cough in winter.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A doctor friend of mine (who is Japanese) tells me that trying to stop the influenza virus with a mask is like trying to stop water with a fishing net.

He illustrates the point with this web page:

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cells/scale/

And when I ask why the advice is always to wear masks, when they are demonstrably pointless, he says,

"Because it kind of shows that you are thinking about others".

That's it, folks. The entire mask methodology is pure Noh drama.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Flu is vcious, have only had full blown influenza once and do not wish to repeat the experience! Yep I get the vaccine each year and hope they guessed right. Unfortunately antibiotics and most medication is ineffective against viral infection, vaccination however is effective but is proactive so once you have got it it is of no use. By pre-arming your immune system it actually strengthens it not weaken.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pets. catch flu, because CBS warned Dog Flu.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hundreds of people already died to due to widespread flu in the US:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/flu-outbreak-aussie-flu-japanese-flu-america-cdc-100-dying-a-week-a8169896.html

Including 37 children reported by the CDC:

http://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/01/26/Flu012618

Many suffered flu response overdrive when the body's defenses overreacts trying to fight the flu that the body attacks its own cells

"Flu’s lethality is attributed to immune systems overreacting to the virus"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/flus-lethality-is-attributed-to-immune-systems-overreacting-to-the-virus/2011/11/21/gIQA76GpWP_story.html

While trying to destroy flu-infected cells, your immune system also destroys legions of perfectly healthy cells all over your body. This is why, even though the virus itself rarely ventures outside the lungs, the symptoms of the flu are so widespread, according to Michael Oldstone, a virologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

Most of the time, this immune response isn’t too severe. As the virus runs its course, the response subsides. But in some cases, an infection can trigger a reaction so destructive it can be fatal. Scientists call this a cytokine storm, because of the violent way immune cells respond to a virus. (A cytokine is a molecule that immune cells use to send signals between one another.) Cytokines usually help fight off infections by telling the immune system which specific viral cells it should be attacking. But sometimes an overabundance of cytokines floods into a part of the body, and that’s when you get a storm.

Cytokine storms are rare, but Perl said they may be more common among younger people because they have stronger immune systems, which are more prone to overreactions. She said this may explain one of the more surprising outcomes of the 2009 swine flu: that it was deadlier among young people than it was among the elderly.

Sometimes, too much of a good thing is bad

1 ( +1 / -0 )

toshiko, “Flu shot is not recommended in USA”

While it may be true some people and organizations in the US do not recommend the flu shot, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says “Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And for those who don’t know, the CDC is the leading national public health institute of the United States and a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services. If they say to get a flu shot, I think we can say it is recommended in the US.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

N95, N99 or N100 masks, or surgical masks. With ventilators. I'm buying some today. Only these masks will help not to catch it. Nothing is foolproof unless you want to go the John Travolta route and live in a plastic bubble.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0074236/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"trying to stop the influenza virus with a mask is like trying to stop water with a fishing net."

Well, I wear them in crowded trains as I feel it is slightly better than someone sneezing or coughing in my face. Some people are pigs and never cover their mouths.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

one influenza virus is 130 nm across. Tell me how a mask stops it. It's just foolish

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

sf2kJan. 28  03:41 pm JST

“one influenza virus is 130 nm across. Tell me how a mask stops it. It's just foolish”

For what it’s worth, the other day I saw a doctor say that even an ordinary mask will stop at least a portion of the viruses because they don’t travel through the air on their own but are covered in liquid (from a sneeze for ivstance), making their size larger.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Your standard Japanese mask is of pretty dubious value, although I guess perhaps there's something to be said for the folks who wear them to warm up their noses/mouths and thus to perhaps create a slightly more "humid" personal atmosphere to ward off catching things. I did just see NHK recommend coughing into the elbow, and while NHK is God here I have yet to see one adult doing so....so many wear the masks and then cough any way they like.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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