Sunday, December 10, 2017

2017-2018 Flu Season

According to The Daily Mail the flu season is off to a fast start and will be a bad one based on data from the Southern Hemisphere.  Australia, for instance, recorded 2.5 times as many flu cases as the average year.

Two factors came into play:

The H3N2 strain that is the major player this year mutates rapidly and the H3N2 component in this year's vaccine is a dubious match for what is out in the field.

Another factor is that fewer people received the vaccine so there is less "herd effect".  That is, people who are not immune are fire-walled from the chain-of-transmission if a critical mass of people around them are immune.

The question of whether the H3N2 component from earlier year's vaccine is a good match was never addressed.

Hand Sanitizers
This product was highly rated at Amazon. Unfortunately, it is not stocked at any of the local stores.
I just ordered a batch of hand sanitizer that has Benzethonium chloride as its active ingredient. Benzethonium Chloride is particularly effective against enveloped virus like influenza.

Not only does it not dry out the skin like alcohol, it has residual protection against the flu after it has dried.

In addition to its highly effective antimicrobial activity, benzethonium chloride contains a positively charged nitrogen atom covalently bonded to four carbon atoms. This positive charge attracts it to the skin and hair. This contributes to a soft, powdery afterfeel on the skin and hair, as well as long-lasting persistent activity against micro-organisms.

The difference between a severe case of the flu and a mild case probably depends on two things.  One is the state of your immune system.  The other is the initial dose of infective agent you receive.  If you receive a mild dose then it takes multiple generations to build numbers and that buys time for your immune system to get in the game.


  1. Just about recovered from a real nasty flu bug I picked up in early Nov., four weeks after my annual flu shot. Thanks for the heads up on the Gold Bond. I just purchased three thru Bezos' place. I'm also considering picking up some hazmat suits for when I go out in public this time of year.

  2. Good points, and I'll have to try that stuff. I'm tired of dry scratchy hands... sigh

  3. very interesting. Will have to give this a try. I have to use hand sanitizer all day long for work, but it really does a number on my hands. This time of year, I'm not only driving around with hand sanitizer but also a tube of hand cream.


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