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91

A grain of truth, but not fully confirmed The claim... In fact, subjects who had received the influenza vaccine in both the current and the previous season were found to shed over six times more aerosolized virus than those who did not get a flu shot during either season. ...is clear enough to examine and the author has sourced it well. The source is ...


12

It sounds like this is a Russian variant of a common home remedy of inhaling steam as a decongestant. [Examples: The Health Site, WebMD] The Cochrane Library reviewed the evidence: Heated, humidified air for the common cold. There is not enough evidence to show if steam inhalation improves or exacerbates nasal congestion when a person has a cold The ...


11

Quoting from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page Misconceptions about Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines: Can a flu shot give you the flu? No, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are ...


7

This page from the University of Oxford vaccine knowledge project says that flu vaccine contains traces of antibiotics and formaldehyde. They don't define "trace" but it usually means something well below the level that might have any effect, and probably so low that it can't be measured accurately. This is likely to be something left over from the ...


6

According to Does Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Increase the Risk of Illness with the 2009 A/H1N1 Pandemic Virus?, wherein reference "4" is the Skowronski reference of the OP: Given the uncertainty associated with observational studies, we believe it would be premature to conclude that TIV increased the risk of 2009 pandemic illness, especially in light ...


6

The anecdote originates from The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by one Laurie Garrett (1994). There were reports of women boarding a New York subway in Coney Island feeling little else than mild fatigue, and being found dead when the train pulled into Columbus Circle, some forty-five minutes later. "There were ...


6

According to Deaths following vaccination: What does the evidence show? Vaccine (2015) vol. 33, pages 3288-3292: ...an unexpectedly high number of cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome were reported in vaccinated individuals. The vaccine was estimated to have caused approximately one Guillain-Barré syndrome case per 100,000 persons vaccinated [17], resulting ...


5

There's nothing about the specifically antibiotic properties of the ointment that would give any preventative effect against influenza. Flus are caused by viruses. Antibiotics kill bacteria. Even if an ointment would be effective in killing airborne pathogens when applied to nasal passages, a triple-antibiotic would be useful in fighting, say, a sinus ...


5

This study (2005) found that gargling with just water (no salt) protects against respiratory tract infections: BACKGROUND: Gargling to wash the throat is commonly performed in Japan, and people believe that such hygienic routine, especially with gargle medicine, prevents upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Its effectiveness, however, has not been ...


5

Yes. Influenza vaccines do work but might not be as effective as they could be (or as advertised). These two reviews should cover the whats, whys and WTFs... Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010 Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD001269. Authors’ ...


4

Snopes has an article on this one. "I don't even know of any evidence basis for gargling preventing influenza," Dr. Randy Taplitz (clinical director of infectious diseases at UCSD Medical Center) said. Read more at http://www.snopes.com/medical/swineflu/prevent.asp#wU3muCIQWhdLYjKo.99 Apparently this rumor was spread quite a bit during the Swine flu ...


4

Depends on what you mean, but the short answer is "not really". One study that seems to get peddled around as evidence that cold showers boost the immune system is this one, although the study authors don't state that. They state a slight or minimal effect in bloodwork, with an undetermined effect. From the abstract, emphasis added: The aim of this ...


4

From the CDC website. Why do estimates of influenza vaccine effectiveness vary widely? Estimates of influenza vaccine effectiveness are affected by several factors, including the specific study biases discussed above, the match between the vaccine influenza strains and the circulating strains, host factors and the sample size of a specific study. As ...


3

Plausible, but under-researched. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has this to say about UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI): There have been few published studies of the health benefits of applying UVGI systems in ducts of HVAC systems outside of health care facilities. In a study within three office buildings [50], UVGI systems were turned on and off ...


1

The claim may be indeed a bit premature to confirm as either true or not true, for the general outlook. It is a robust correlational finding. Explanations of causation may follow, if confirmed. But it cannot and mustn't be dismissed out of hand. But the finding is a valid one and the outlet from which we came here reported not that much exaggerated as ...


1

The article you quote says that several studies have been done that confirm the 'Canadian effect', so I think we can take it as true. However it's important to note that it is specific to the 2009 H1N1 flu strain. There is no evidence that the effect would be repeated with other flu strains, pandemic or otherwise. There is no possible way to interpret this ...


1

When my doctor asked me to get a flu shot, the reason he gave me was that it was to "increase herd immunity". Even if it's not measurably "effective" (in terms of quality of life) for the individual, I expect that it is effective for the "herd". One reason to have the shot yourself, is to (try to) protect other vulnerable people, like infants and the ...


1

According to an article published in Prescriber’s Letter, a prescribing journal for medical doctors, the benefits of gargling for the prevention of colds and flu is still unclear. A small study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine conducted by Japanese researchers showed that gargling with water was not only effective in ...


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