I had my vengeance upon the swine of the world yesterday by eating pork chops at the local IHOP in the strip center near me and going to see the new movie "Earth" which was very beautiful and impressive. I have been following News reports of the so-called Swine Flu and with all the recent talk about the flu lately I decided to research about the 1918 flu pandemic to find out why it was so bad.
Apparently in the 1918 flu, people with healthy immune systems were affected the most because of the very fact that they HAD healthy immune systems. What the flu does is trigger a "cytokine storm." I'd never heard of this, but essentially it is an overreaction of the body's immune system to "a new and highly pathogenic invader" to quote Wikipedia's entry on the subject. The immune enters a positive feedback loop, constantly manufacturing more and more immune cells and the body essentially feeds upon itself. The result is that the body drowns in its own fluids in the resultant pneumonia.
While this new H1N1 influenza A, (as now officially termed by the WHO), shares the same characteristics as the 1918 flu, it hasn't triggered such storms in many of its victims here and elsewhere since many probably don't have the more healthy immune systems which would trigger the storm that destroys the body.
So what I gather from it is this. Even if you have a healthy immune system and have fought off the flu in the past, a trip to the doc might not be inappropriate if you get this bug. Trying to fight it alone might just result in your body feeding on itself and your eventual death because of your healthy immune system.
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