LebGeeks

A community for technology geeks in Lebanon.

You are not logged in.

#1 April 5

NuclearVision
Member

Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Hello Everyone,
I would like to greet all of you and tell you about this study of ours.

We're basically a small group of medical students conducting a short survey about seasonal flu and its effect on your daily routine, our main objective is studying the relation between flu and absenteeism as well as productivity, other minor objectives include assessment of the perceived efficiency of the flu vaccine, smoking and self medication.

Ultimately, we aim to determine if raising awareness for the minor objectives and vaccine in particular is required.

Needless to say, the more participants there are, the more accurate our study will be.

Hereby we kindly ask you to fill out the anonymous google form, it's really short, we promise it won't even take 5 minutes, and the questions are pretty straight forward!
Thanks guys!
If you have any suggestions or questions, please let me know.
Link: https://is.gd/stat19

Last edited by NuclearVision (April 5)

Offline

#2 April 5

duke-of-bytes
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

I currently have malaria if you have some questions

Offline

#3 April 5

NuclearVision
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

duke-of-bytes wrote:

I currently have malaria if you have some questions

Well i don't have anything in mind, you can ask me if you want, i also want to say i hope you're taking your drugs regularly, and most importantly know that malaria have been treat with the same herb extract(well kind of) for thousands of years, so you're safe !

Offline

#4 April 5

Aly
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Ironically I currently have flu, so I filled your survey.
I would like to note that it is well organized, good luck.

Offline

#5 April 6

Johnaudi
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

There's a yearly vaccine for the flu? What?! Anyways, very well organized, good luck!

Offline

#6 April 6

NuclearVision
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

thanks for the heads up and your contribution everyone!

Offline

#7 April 9

NuclearVision
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

We need more participation guys, thanks !

Offline

#8 April 9

sero
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

I just filled the questionnaire. For me i started taking flu shots 4 years ago. Before that I had frequent flu all winter (and a few times in summer) with 1 severe one that puts me in bed for 2 days (i call it yearly sickness, since it only happens once a year).

After i started taking flu shots i rarely have flu nowadays. If i felt i am starting to have a flu i just take vitamin c and that's it. 4 years with just rare very mild flu.
the weird thing is that i skipped the flu shot this year, but it still seems the old shots are still effective since i didn't get a flu this year. Shall i take this year's shot, or wait till September and take next year's shot?

Offline

#9 April 9

NuclearVision
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

I believe you'd better wait until next season! I didn't get flu this year either and i didn't get the vaccine, it really depends on how your body which has a unique set of immune genes and hence a unique immune system reacts to each year's strain of the virus.
thanks everyone

Offline

#10 April 9

Joe
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

I'm not a fan of the flu shots, principally because I think the flu is just a 2-3 day inconvenience, with no real harm or long-lasting effects (for me at least). Also, if I understand correctly, shooting everyone is just teaching the virus to adapt and improve (which is why you need a new vaccine each year).

@NuclearVision: What are the cases where the flu vaccine is highly recommended as opposed to be a luxury and convenience?

Offline

#11 April 9

Draguen
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Joe wrote:

I'm not a fan of the flu shots, principally because I think the flu is just a 2-3 day inconvenience, with no real harm or long-lasting effects (for me at least). Also, if I understand correctly, shooting everyone is just teaching the virus to adapt and improve (which is why you need a new vaccine each year).

@NuclearVision: What are the cases where the flu vaccine is highly recommended as opposed to be a luxury and convenience?

Hey Joe, i'm happy to know that you have a strong immune system, but i just wanted to make it clear that getting vaccinated does not teach the virus to adapt and improve.

the Flu virus mutates naturally by what we call "Drift and Shift", Usually (for the drift) their DNA slightly mutates when it replicates, leading to small modification of their external proteins, and with time, your immune system won't recognise it anymore. the Vaccin here has the role of  an "update" to your immune system on the new strand of flu so to be able to recognise the new external proteins and hence the virus itself

the more you vaccinate people, the less the flu will be able to infect and multiply, the less chances of new strand / genetic mutation are to happen.

This is entirely different from antibiotics resistance, which leads bacteria (not virus) to "adapt and improve"

Offline

#12 April 9

NuclearVision
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Hello Joe:
As you might already know there's a difference between cold and flu, common cold is less fatiguing in general, flu is usually nasty. The vaccine, most of the cases, is an altered virus or part of virus, so it won't be able the adapt and spread again.
The reason there's a new strain each year is shift and drift, in a nutshell drift is a single mutation while shift is when the virus loses One part and takes another part from another strain, so you end up with new strain, the vaccine doesn't contribute to this, but what does is coexistence of both strains in same species, I hope this isn't too technical but just to say vaccine is not harmful.

You have a good point we might think it is a luxury, as one would only be affected for a few days, however medicine in 21th century is all about quality of life, combine that with economic impact of absenteism in epidemics, a scope much wider than our study.
Indications: it is recommended for people who might have their condition exacerbated by flu, a few i think of are asthmatics, COPD(smokers), old patient, healthcare workers, etc

Offline

#13 April 9

Joe
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Thanks a lot for correcting me both of you.

I found some light reading on Shift and Drift from the CDC website. This "shift" part is scary >.<

I also realize I know very little about viruses. I thought they behaved like bacteria (apparently not) and I didn't realize they have DNA (apparently they do).


Couple of questions about the flu virus (and don't be afraid to go technical, I can probably google stuff I don't get):

  • If the virus evolves (especially drastically, like in "antigenic shifts"), why are the symptoms on the human body the same?

  • Can you carry the virus without having any symptom? If I skip the vaccine and feel healthy all along, can I endanger my family or coworkers?


Also, @NuclearVision: can you explain the difference between the common cold and a flu? I've rarely been sick for more than 3 days in a row. Is the flu supposed to be harsher than this? What are the symptoms you look for to differentiate the two?

Offline

#14 April 9

duke-of-bytes
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

@joe : check this about the spanish flu from Wikipedia - 50 to 100 millions dead !!

The 1918 influenza pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920; colloquially known as Spanish flu) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. It infected 500 million people around the world, including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic, and resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world's population), making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.

Offline

#15 April 9

Joe
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Heard about the Spanish flu. A long time ago, I found some records that it reached Lebanon. I don't know how authentic it was. I cannot find it again.

Offline

#16 April 9

NuclearVision
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

hey again.
1-The way i like to describe it: Think of the virus 1(lets say you are already immune to this virus) as few segments A1 B1 C1 of RNA which is similar to DNA, so each segment has a function, it codes for certain proteins, Now virus 2 has A2 B2 and C2 coding for proteins with basically same function but they have a different shape and amino acid sequence, that why they are different antigens(antigen is the entity to which your body immune system reacts) so a recombinant a1 b2 c1 will have almost same effect on your body but your body will not be able to defend itself as virus 1 but since b2 is there, the immune system will need time to make a proper immune response against the new virus, during this time the virus will multiply and you will have symptoms.
2- yes its possible! even some people who get infected can spread the infection before showing symptoms, but it's not a rule really.

Cold is basically caused by rhinovirus, while flu is caused by influenza virus, usually cold is less severe, rarely do you get headache or fever with cold, even myalgia and cold lasts less than flu. It's important to note that their common symptoms of sore throat, fever, runny nose, can also be caused by bacterial infections the most common being strep throat, but also bronchitis which typically lasts more and needs antibiotic treatment.

Offline

#17 April 9

Joe
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

* RNA is the half DNA found in gonads, right?

* The A B C in your example are the A T C G we learned in high school, right?

* The a1 b2 c1 in your example would be the result of a "antigenic shift", correct?

* The thing that still puzzles me is, a1b1c1 a2b2c2 and a1b2c1 are all different viruses, yet the effects on the body are the same.

Offline

#18 April 9

Draguen
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

RNA is usually present wherever DNA is, it's a single strand complementary copy of your DNA, that essentially transfer the data from point A (your DNA) to point B (any region where the data needs to be transferred, usually the Ribosome that will "read" the RNA and create the corresponding proteine). there are many types of RNA such as tRNA (Transfer RNA) to mRNA (Message RNA) as well as regulatory RNA

most viruses are basically RNA strands that hijack your DNA-RNA process to "inject" their own coding within your DNA, so your own cell will now produce more viruses, instead of their initial function.

That's the biggest difference between a bacteria and a virus : a bacteria is a cell that can reproduce itself, a virus cannot reproduce itself and has to parasite a living cell to produce more copies of itself.

For a time, we thought at modifying viruses to inject "healthy" strands of DNA into people with genetic diseases could be a miracle solution, but reaserch are mostly inconclusive

2) Yes, but this it's RNA and not DNA, so it's AUCG, not ATCG. it is to be noted that RNA aren't as stable as DNA, they are not meant to carry the DNA coding in time, but to do a fonction.

RNA are in my opinion one of the most interesting piece of biology that we can study and observe.

3) Yes

4)  imagine that viruses are keys, you have many key types that all usually targets different lock types (different cells depending on the virus) now, if you take your home key, i'm sure you could recognise it by just looking at its form / brand / type, however if we change the brand, color and type and size your key, while keeping the same lock pressure points, even though it would do the same work, you wouldn't be able to recognise it anymore.

Keep in mind that some virus are constantly mutating, but viruses that have mutated and became non fonctional (lock pressure points being modified and hence ineffective) do not reproduce, because they simply can't anymore and are eliminated.

However sometimes they are lucky, and they mutate to modify the key pressure point to unlock another type of cell.

Last edited by Draguen (April 9)

Offline

#19 April 9

NuclearVision
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Rna is found in all cells, it's basically an intermediate step between Dna(gene) ->rna-> proteins

ATCG are abbreviation for nucleotides that make up Dna, the dna is a double strand of nucleotide sequences, a segement Is a part of Dna or Rna that could be thousands of nucleotides long.

It is a shift.

Because b2 gives a protein that has same function as b1(very similar, so same effect on your body), but it  is just different enough to let the new virus escape your immune system

Offline

#20 April 9

Joe
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Draguen, NuclearVision, thank you so much for taking the time to answer me.
Now all I want is to play with microbes and learn this stuff... TOO MANY INTERESTING THINGS IN THE WORLD >.<

Offline

#21 April 9

NuclearVision
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

unlike technology, biology is facinating, for the simple fact that it is well done but it is not us who made it.

Offline

#22 April 9

Joe
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Oh I'm not opening this can of worms.

Offline

#23 April 9

NuclearVision
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Joe wrote:

Oh I'm not opening this can of worms.

Definitely not for today! added to read later.

Offline

#24 April 9

VincentKeyboard
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

Joe wrote:

@NuclearVision: What are the cases where the flu vaccine is highly recommended as opposed to be a luxury and convenience?

That depends. I always had horrible immunity since I was a child and well into my 30s. I would stay very sick all winter and all spring. Going to a crowded pub at night was suicide. I would go home sick. The only way around it was a flu shot in October and another one in March. A doctor put me on multivitamin pills for long years.
This year, after starting to lose weight (9KG so far), I haven't been sick once. I didn't get the flu shot and I even stopped the multivitamin pills. Now, I walk under the rain for heck of it.
So it seems to depend on people's immune system and health.

For healthy people, it's basically enjoying the benefits of modern medicine and how it makes lives easier.

Offline

#25 April 9

eWizzard
Member

Re: Impact of influenza on Your daily activity Questionnaire

NuclearVision wrote:
Joe wrote:

Oh I'm not opening this can of worms.

Definitely not for today! added to read later.

Definitely not ever, is more like it.

Offline

Board footer