Is it worthwhile for runners?

12 messages
01/10/2002 at 08:32
i intend to have a flu jab nexy0t week.i read in Cycling weekly that as an athlete who trains you are more at risk of flu and other associated ilness.Any opinions?I think it will certainly do no harm?
01/10/2002 at 08:49
I agree, Graeme. It will do no harm (contrary to popular myth, you can't get flu from the flu jab because it's made of bits of dead virus capsule) and will protect you against the three most severe strains of flu expected that year.

Two drawbacks:
1) It won't protect you against the dozens of less severe cold viruses and strains of flu that are also around, so you still need to stay away from crowded places and wash your hands a lot.
2) As a fit runner under 65, you may have to get it done privately.
WildWill    pirate
01/10/2002 at 08:55
I heard on the news this morning tha they are offering the Flu Jab at Asda for about £8 less than private

Shop and Jab - whatever next

01/10/2002 at 09:02
You could get it at Boots for about £20 last year. Must admit, if someone can convince me that they're an athlete I'll give them a flu jab on the NHS.

Confession - I've never had one myself despite being eligible as a "key worker". I've also never had flu. I have my reasons.
WildWill    pirate
01/10/2002 at 09:11
I've had one once - The company I used to work for provided them free of charge - I am not prone to flu so i'll prbbaly not bother this year

Saying that my farther had a reaction to the jab and was out of sorts for some time afterwoods
01/10/2002 at 09:17
You can sometimes get them for nowt if you're an asthmatic, cos that puts you in a high risk group - especially if you're in he old farts age range like me !!
01/10/2002 at 10:01
If you've got asthma, or several other specified conditions (diabetes, heart disease, suppressed immune system), or are over 65, getting the flu could be more risky than for the rest of us and you can get a flu jab free on the NHS - appointments now being offered at your doctor's surgery because it's THAT time of year again. Comes round ever so quickly...soon be Christmas!

I don't have one because the same viruses tend to reappear after 30 years or so, slightly mutated. The flu jab makes you immune for one year. Catching flu makes you immune to that strain permanently, and should give a degree of protection against the mutated version of the virus when it resurfaces. So I take the view that it's best to take my chance with the "wild" flu virus while I'm still young(ish) and tough to get longterm protection for when I'm a bit more fragile. Besides, how else am I going to get a week or two off sick? Not that I have ever succumbed to flu - yet!
01/10/2002 at 10:14
I feel it's better to boost your immune system by looking after yourself, sleeping enough, good diet etc. Vrap's response is interesting - might as well get natural immunity if it's going to happen.
Putting aside the high risk groups, I get the impression there's an increasing tendency to think we can pill-pop and immunize ourselves to perfect health whilst ignoring the basics.

01/10/2002 at 10:15
For example, my other half glugging cough linctus by the half bottle whilst smoking 20-30 a day!
01/10/2002 at 10:27

Sorry to ask you work related questions, but...on the flu / cold front as you may know I have been suffering for the last 3 weeks with a cold which everytime I think is getting better seems to come back with avengance as soon as I try and do any exercise. Would you as a Dr prescibe antibiotics by now or should I just continue to try and battle through it drinking loads of water etc etc? And would having the flu jab now help in anyway? I just want to feel normal again!

Thanks and thanks for all your other great advice.
01/10/2002 at 10:36
Spans, I would want to see and examine you and would certainly prescribe an antibiotic if there was any sign that this was likely to be a bacterial infection rather than just a cold. In most cases, it's not - a persistently runny/blocked nose, annoying sore throat and/or ears, "sinus" pain and cough, even with a bit of a wheeze, are usually due to viruses and the only cure is your own immune system.

Having the flu jab now wouldn't help this illness, but would prevent flu if we get an epidemic of one of the nasty varieties later in the winter.

Whatever the germ involved, you need to give yourself the best possible chance to recover, which means resting rather than squeezing out miles when you can, plenty of sleep, good food with lots of fruit and veg in particular, painkillers and decongestants if they help, and a big dose of patience.

I do hope you're better and back in action soon!

Cheers, V-rap.
01/10/2002 at 10:52
Thanks V-rap, I'll stick with the visualisation training for the time being then - so much easier on the legs!

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