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Gayle Hedrington

November 15, 2009

H1N1 Exactly What is Going On?

I've never been concerned about vaccine side-effects, until an online friend sent me a link to a "60 Minutes" segment from Nov. 4, 1979. There is Mike Wallace interviewing Judy Roberts, a woman paralyzed from Gullain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), as a side-effect of the 1976 Swine Flu vaccine. Mike Wallace also interrogates the doctors involved in developing the vaccine. It was apparent the vaccine was not tested thoroughly.

The transcript and video shows President Ford, claiming the swine flu was responsible for the pandemic of 1918 and 1919 resulting in over half a million deaths in the United States and 20 million deaths around the world. You can view the video and transcripts here:

Wallace reports the flu first occurred at Fort Dix, New Jersey in January of 1976 when several recruits complained of respiratory ailments. An Army doctor sent their throat cultures to the New Jersey Public Health Lab. One sample was from Private David Lewis.

The New Jersey lab identified most of the solders' throat cultures as the normal kind of flu going around that year, but they could not determine what type of virus Lewis and four other soldiers had contracted. Lewis left his sick bed and collapsed while on a forced march. His sergeant revived him by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but Lewis died a few days later.

Private Lewis was the lone swine flu death in 1976 although 300 people died from complications of GBS and another 4,000 people became disabled with GBS, after receiving the inoculation.

I started doubting if my grandson Dillon should get the vaccine. Dillon has asthma although he has had only two attacks in the last five years. One attack was right after he came to Croydon, and the other was last January after running around the gym five times.

The health agencies and media  state that H1N1 will hit the younger population and those with underlying health conditions the hardest. After much thought, I resigned to get Dillon the vaccine, but none was available and they put his name on a waiting list.

On Halloween, Dillon and several of his friends went to an overnight Halloween party, and on Monday, November 2, he developed a cough. I told him he was not going to school the next day. However, in the morning he was dressed and ready for school at 6 a.m. despite his cough and runny nose.

I reminded him that he had to stay home. His temperature was 102.9. This concerned me, since his normal temperature is 96.2. I gave him Ibuprofen and called the doctor. I asked them about the possibilities of H1N1. They told me there were cases of H1N1 in my area and I asked them to test Dillon.

The office at Newport Middle High School could not give me any information regarding students being ill with H1N1 and suggested I contact the school nurse. The woman on the phone told me it is possible that Dillon has H1N1.

While driving to the doctor's office, Dillon confessed that he hadn't felt well for awhile. He never complains unless he is sick. At the doctor’s office, the nurse said the state was no longer testing for H1N1, but now tests for "Type A Influenza." She explained that if the test came back positive there is a 90 percent chance it is H1N1.

I asked her to explain the difference between the seasonal flu and H1N1 and she said that H1N1 affects the chest, ears and throat.

Although Dillon had heavy chest congestion, runny nose, an infected ear and high fever (99 degrees at that point), the doctor diagnosed an ear and chest infection. Dillon was never tested. Two of the other four boys at the party were  ill, and one of them went to the hospital because of  dehydration.

Dillon’s fever continued ranging from 99 to 103. During the night he was so hot his feet were red. On Friday, he returned to school. Ironically, that same day I received a letter from Newport Middle High School dated Nov. 1 (a Sunday) along with Dillon’s report card. Highlights of the letter are:

  • NH is among the states that the CDC is reporting widespread influenza type illness.

  • NH Department of Health and Human Services is tracking school absences throughout the state.

  • Newport school system acknowledges high absentee rate due to flu-like illness.

  • It is clear that the flu is in our community.

  • Most cases of the flu-like symptoms are due to H1N1

  • There are no plans to close the school, and urge parents not to keep healthy kids home or send sick children to school.

  • They don't know if the seasonal flu will hit later this fall or winter.

  • Children should stay home until they have no fever for 24 hours without using a fever reducer.

  • flu-like symptoms are fever, cough, running nose, headache, body aches, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.

  • They encourage students to get the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine.

On Friday, Dillon brought a permission slip for an H1N1 vaccination clinic for Nov. 18. It is quite extensive and asks:

  • If child has allergy to eggs.

  • If child has any other serious condition

  • If child has had any reaction to a previous dose of flu vaccine

  • If child ever had Gullain-Barré Syndrome within six weeks of having a flu vaccine.

In an attached paper from the CDC the only items stated under severe reactions are:

Life threatening allergic reactions are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the shot.

In 1976 an earlier type of swine flu vaccine was associated with Gullain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), since then flu vaccines have not been clearly linked to GBS.

As a parent, I am frustrated with the manner in which all levels of government are handling H1N1. 

  • If the vaccine is so important why isn’t enough available?

  • If H1N1 is so deadly, why aren’t we receiving timely information as a community? Why didn’t the schools close for a thorough cleaning?

  • Why weren’t parents notified earlier?

  • Why has testing stopped for H1N1?

  • If the vaccine was truly vetted, why aren’t complications being reported? For example, the 14-year-old athlete in Virginia who came down with GBS within five days of receiving the shot?

  • Why does it ask about GBS on the permission form, but then states there has been no clear connection to getting GBS and the H1N1 vaccine?

At this point, I see no reason to get the H1N1 vaccine for Dillon. The entire H1N1 appears to be mishandled and it frightens me that the future of our health care lays in the same hands that are handling this so call pandemic.


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