Not Totally Re-Assured

The ME Association have new advice on Swine Flu

1  Are people with ME/CFS more at risk of catching swine flu?
Overall, the answer is probably no.  However, if you belong to a sub-group who easily pick up infections, especially coughs, colds and flu-like infections, then the risk of catching swine flu may well be slightly higher than for normal healthy people.

They are saying that generally people with ME/CFS  are not at increased risk of catching swine flu or having complications from it unless you have other underlying health problems (like asthma) or are severely affected or bedbound.

I’m not totally re-assured having had a minor viral infection in the past cause a chest infection which lasted for 2 months when my husband and brother got over the same bug in a week.

But they say:

“Although a variety of immune system abnormalities can occur in ME/CFS, they are not usually consistent with the sort of immune system deficiency that makes people much more susceptible to this type of infection.”

I’m trying to be more relaxed about it. But when a common cold can rob me of a couple of months it’s difficult not to be a bit worried about what effect swine flu might have.

I would just like the ME Association to place more emphasis on the risks for that sub-group who easily pick up infections, for those severely affected, for those bed-bound and for those for whom infection worsens their condition.  Because if a group like them don’t highlight the risk factors for these people to health professionals, then who will?

If I get swine flu will the nurse on the phoneline take any notice of my past experience with virus and colds lasting for months and affecting me badly? Or will they just say that as I don’t have asthma I’ll be fine?

I guess a lot of people think I am a bit paranoid worrying about this.  But when this virus could set me back for months, when I might face a sudden and significant debilitation, it’s kind of worrying.


3 Responses to “Not Totally Re-Assured”

  1. 1 cusp July 19, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Well you’re quite right of course but we always ‘fall between two stools’ don’t we. It just goes to prove, I think, that our condition isn’t really taken seriously and is not thought of as a serious disease: just a nasty tiredness and a few other minor problems.

    What scares me more, however, is the idea of one of the new vaccines to ‘protect’ me when it would seem that they are barely tested. At the moment, from what I have read, I wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole.

  2. 2 ashysheela July 19, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Yes, I share these worries about the vaccine and also how much of a setback i would have if i caught swine flu… The last virus i had took 3 weeks to get over and my partner had it for about 2 days…

    I don’t think it is over-reacting to worry, especially when what we have can be triggered by a virus and our immune systems are evidently “different”. i always wonder what the next one will do to me (swine flu or anything else).

    I just got off a train and have washed my hands so carefully! Think i will just stay indoors now for a while 😉

  3. 3 ninacolors July 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Well, Rachel and Katie are in winter right now, so you and I (and others) have this ahead of us. I’m worried, too. But there’s really nothing we can do. Even if you stay at home, Paul might bring it in.

    So we just need to make sure we’re stocked up on food during flu season and go with whatever happens. actually, that’s something we’ve had a lot of practice at, so keep those worries on the back burner:-)

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