Monday, October 8, 2012

Flu shots available all over town - $25 or no co-pay

Medicare, insurance paperwork is a breeze

Six Shooter - High risk patients can get their flu shots all over Waco for $25, or no co-pay for Medicare Part B patients and those covered by health insurance.

Pharmacies offering the walk-in service include Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Target, CVS, Walgreen's and HEB.

Veterans can get immunized for nothing starting Oct. 15 in the basement of Building 4 from 8 a.m. to noon.

This year's targeted strain of the flu virus is H3N2, the same bug that caused a lot of misery in the pandemic of Hong Kong flue of 1968. It's a swine flu, but the label is really just a catch phrase because flu can infect any mammal or avian, and there is a lot of cross mutation.

This year's fatal infections seem to have originated in Ohio among high-risk patients who suffer from combinations of complicating factors such as diabetes and obesity. One thing they all had in common is that they had visited live swine exhibits at agricultural expositions.

Flu is nothing to play around with, especially for diabetics, women who are pregnant or will be during the peak season, the elderly, or anyone who is six months old or older.

Flu once stopped a world war dead in its tracks. Within a short time, there was literally no one available to fight. Most of the soldiers were dead. Those who managed to survive were way too sick to fight.

True story.

Flu virus entering cilia of human lungs
The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 – H1N1 – took the lives of an estimated 50 million persons, way more than the entire number of fatalities in World War One, which was about 16 million.

By the time the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month rolled around, the belligerents were ready and only too willing to sign a declaration of a “cessation of hostilities.”

Why was it called the “Spanish Flu” when its origin was located at an Army camp in Kansas, and it spread to the east coast debarcation ports of Boston and Philadelphia, thence to Europe?

There's an easy answer to that question. Spain was neutral in the conflict between nations, and had not imposed war time censorship, as had the UK, Germany, France, Austria, Italy and – yes - the US.

In war, as in peace, information is key to survival.

All hail!

Since Spain was the only real source of information about the deadly pandemic, it was dubbed the Spanish Flu, and the band played on.

The politicians and other hacks on the make made their speeches about honor and freedom and a patriotic love of their country.

The serotypes that have been confirmed in humans, ordered by the number of known human pandemic deaths, are:

  • H1N1, which caused Spanish Flu in 1918, and Swine Flu in 2009
  • H2N2, which caused Asian Flu in 1957
  • H3N2, which caused Hong Kong Flu in 1968
  • H5N1, which caused Bird Flu in 2004
  • H7N7, which has unusual zoonotic potential
  • H1N2, endemic in humans, pigs and birds

    ¡Tu salud!


  1. I had the killer asian flu in 1971..nearly died..and since then I have never had the flu, and never had a flu shot..if there is a connection I don't know..but I think once you get one of them son'sabitches, and survive it, your immune to the others.

  2. I hope that turns out to be true for you, Granny. My wife and I were bed-ridden with H3N2 in the pandemic of 1968. It hit the Navy towns of Norfolk and Portsmouth very hard. In fact, she coughed so hard she dislocated a rib - very painful. Then I was flat on my back with complications of pneumonia in 1990. Caught it in a motel in east Texas. They hadn't changed the sheets from the previous renter, they later admitted. This stuff mutates. What you catch in the fall might be something quite different from what killed people the previous winter, but part of the same strain. - The Legendary