State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield said almost all flu circulating now is H1N1. However, she said the good old seasonal flu which we’ve all come to love and appreciate, is apparently going to come off vacation and begin making people sick in December or January again.  I?guess that’s something to look forward to.


 


Word was released this past Thursday that the State of Minnesota has established an influenza help line with operators monitoring 50 lines. 

The state is using up to $2.5 million of federal money for  the 24-hour FluLine.

From what I’ve already heard (I haven’t tried calling the 866-259-4655 number) the lines are so busy people are being put on hold for up to 13 hours, and this was within hours after the announcement was made. My question? Is it worth $2.5 million for someone to tell you over the phone something you surely must suspect already – you have the flu? 

If every state set up one of these lines then you’re looking at $125 million federal dollars. 

I’ve had the flu a few times over the years, and I’ll tell you what, I’ll immediately recognize when and if I get it again. 

If I’m so terribly sick I think I’m gonna die, I’m heading to the doctor.

I suppose there are some people out there who are dumb as a box of rocks and don’t know how to take care of a sick person or purchase a thermometer to guage a temperature, etc.

Apparently the thinking behind this FluLine is to discourage people with flu symptoms from automatically going to their doctor, because it clogs clinics and infects others. Apparently doctor phone lines are also getting congested. Nurses (I hope they are RNs and not Candystripers) working this phone line are also able to prescribe medications to vulnerable adults, children under age two, pregnant women, people older than 65 and those with other medical problems. I don’t know about you, but I don’t put much trust in someone prescribing medication over the phone.

Personally, I think this whole flu vaccine SNAFU has been like the other old military acronym “FUBAR.” Fouled up beyond all recognition.

First it involved reporting our pigs were spreading it, now apparently pigs are getting it from humans, a bad rap either way hitting the farmers pocketbooks. 

Secondly, by the time any amount of the H1N1 vaccine arrives nationwide, I think a lot of those who were going to get the flu already have got it.

Why has it taken so long to get an adequate supply of vaccine shipped out? They’ve been talking about this flu pandemic since last spring.

I also heard some of the flu vaccine shipped to Minnesota was frozen, and now they don’t know if it works for those who already got their shots.

Speaking about paying, Alan Roebke, who once called these parts home and now lives in Alexandria sent me a piece he put on YouTube. 

Not having insurance, like 46 million others in this nation, he did some shopping around to see what a flu shot would cost him in Alexandria.

 

First he talked to a local druggist who told him it would cost $24. 

He also asked the druggist if he had to go through any special training. He was told the druggist had to go through 20 hours of government training just to administer a simple flu shot. 

When asked what the druggist had to pay for the vaccine, he said it cost him $10 per shot.

This piqued Roebke’s interest, so he decided to make some more calls around town to see what others were charging. 

After numerous calls he was quoted $24, $25, $28, $38 and $60 for the same shot. 

The pharmacist who quoted him $38 said that was the cost with insurance, someone without insurance would have to only pay $28. He also called his local public health office and they told him they couldn’t administer flu shots – that it was a private industry thing. It was something a government agency couldn’t do.You can see his video at: youtube.com/watch?v=mkJkwC9eRbo

Take this as good news or bad. 

State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield (not the same doctor Ruth you’ve seen on TV), said almost all flu circulating now is H1N1. 

However, she said the good old seasonal flu which we’ve all come to love and appreciate, is apparently going to come off vacation and begin making people sick in December or January again.  I?guess that’s something to look forward to.

Story for the Day

A first-time father, excited over the birth of his son, was determined to do everything right. “So tell me, nurse,” he asked, “what time should we wake the little guy in the morning?”

 

 

I suppose there are some people out there who are dumb as a box of rocks and don’t know how to take care of a sick person or purchase a thermometer to guage a temperature, etc.

Apparently the thinking behind this FluLine is to discourage people with flu symptoms from automatically going to their doctor, because it clogs clinics and infects others. Apparently doctor phone lines are also getting congested. Nurses (I hope they are RNs and not Candystripers) working this phone line are also able to prescribe medications to vulnerable adults, children under age two, pregnant women, people older than 65 and those with other medical problems. I don’t know about you, but I don’t put much trust in someone prescribing medication over the phone.

Personally, I think this whole flu vaccine SNAFU has been like the other old military acronym “FUBAR.” Fouled up beyond all recognition.

First it involved reporting our pigs were spreading it, now apparently pigs are getting it from humans, a bad rap either way hitting the farmers pocketbooks. 

Secondly, by the time any amount of the H1N1 vaccine arrives nationwide, I think a lot of those who were going to get the flu already have got it.

Why has it taken so long to get an adequate supply of vaccine shipped out? They’ve been talking about this flu pandemic since last spring.

I also heard some of the flu vaccine shipped to Minnesota was frozen, and now they don’t know if it works for those who already got their shots.

Speaking about paying, Alan Roebke, who once called these parts home and now lives in Alexandria sent me a piece he put on YouTube. 

Not having insurance, like 46 million others in this nation, he did some shopping around to see what a flu shot would cost him in Alexandria.