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Old 02-10-2007, 10:09 PM
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kskerr kskerr is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ames, IA/Chicago, IL
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Originally Posted by Maverynthia
i would have to say that I agree that being too clean is a detriment. Every since I had the flu as a kid, I haven't had the flu as an adult, same way with chicken pox. Thus I feel my system has built up an immunity to all types of flu (or I just haven't been exposed to the virus..) while the people that rush out and get flu shot of the day are only really protected against that one strain since they were so clean as to not get it.
The flu vaccination is not even close to the same thing. The flu vaccine exposes your body to several strains (3 per shot) of the flu virus that were identified as the most dangerous or most common. As with all vaccinations your immune system then mounts a response against that agent and you are thus immune to it, sometimes a vaccine will also give you partial immunity to a related agent(s), as is sometimes the case with the flu vaccine. It is highly unlikely you are immune to all types of flu as there are so many and they are so different, you are likely just lucky that you have not gotten it. Microbiologists in general, myself included, are strong advocates of vaccinations, they save millions of lives every year. The over cleanliness hypothesis applies to overuse of antimicrobials and not being exposed to organisms like worms, bacteria and such when you are young and the immune system is developing and needs stimulation and not being properly stimulated can lead to autoimmune disorders such as allergies. With chicken pox it is normal to not get it again once you have had it, it is not like the cold or flu viruses where there are so many different versions. Though from what I have heard you can have shingles later in life as the virus lays dormant in your system indefinitely, not sure but that vaccination could possibly prevent that.
~~Nonpathogenic microbes are our friends~~
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