Days of swine and roses
October 12, 2009 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Odds are that the flu I've had since Friday is H1N1: a Canadian government tracking site says that 97% of diagnosed cases of flu here right now are H1N1. Does this increase or decrease my need for an H1N1 shot when they become available?
posted by zadcat to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Decrease. Consider yourself immunized with a live virus... and here's hoping for your full recovery.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:48 PM on October 12, 2009

Best answer: The CDC says:
If you have had 2009 H1N1 flu, as confirmed by an RT-PCR test, you should have some immunity against 2009 H1N1 flu and can choose not to get the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. However, vaccination of a person with some existing immunity to the 2009 H1N1 virus will not be harmful.
posted by demiurge at 8:48 PM on October 12, 2009

If you've had the disease and recovered, the vaccine won't harm you but it also won't do you any good. You've already got the antibodies the vaccine is trying to induce in you.

Since the vaccine is in somewhat short supply, it would be better for you to let someone else have that dose.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:56 PM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

As far as I know, most vaccines won't help a darn thing once you have the "germ" that the vaccine is meant to protect against.
posted by bebrave! at 8:56 PM on October 12, 2009

You inoculated yourself by catching it early. Same result.
posted by rokusan at 8:59 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would say that the only reason to get the vaccine is if you're in a risk group and you haven't been tested to confirm that you do, indeed, presently have H1N1. So, if you're pregnant, elderly, have immune deficiencies, certain chronic diseases (i.e. renal disease, diabetes, asthma, seizure disorders), or are younger than 19 and are taking aspirin long-term, you might want to consider getting the vaccine if your case has not been confirmed.
posted by k8lin at 9:09 PM on October 12, 2009

Response by poster: Nope, I am not in a risk group, nor do I feel inclined to go sit in a clinic waiting room for four or five hours to get confirmation. The best thing I can do is stay home for a few more days, I think.
posted by zadcat at 9:11 PM on October 12, 2009

If you were wondering if the vaccine would help your current disease, no. If symptoms have appeared, it's too late.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:19 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: No. The vaccine is not available here yet anyway, but I meant later on, after I've recovered.

(By the way, don't catch it. No kind of big fun.)
posted by zadcat at 9:47 PM on October 12, 2009

I've got it as well, also since Friday... doesn't this mean the vaccine will now be too late for almost everyone (except those who seldom leave the apartment?) I was a little upset because I missed a chance to get a seasonal flu shot today (they won't do ya if you're running a temperature) but I suppose I should still get one of those to avoid sickness in January.

If you have had 2009 H1N1 flu should have some immunity against 2009 H1N1 flu

posted by Rash at 2:43 PM on October 13, 2009

Response by poster: Some. Flu immunity isn't one of those almost 100% guaranteed forever things like measles immunity. Flu mutates too fast. That's why there's a new seasonal flu shot every year.
posted by zadcat at 4:10 PM on October 14, 2009

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