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Wed, 7th September 2016

Patients are still asking if it is worthwhile having the annual flu vaccination and is it already too late. The official story hasn't changed much in the past twenty years. The answer is Yes, yes, yes and No, no, no. In short, although late autumn is considered the ideal time for the annual jab, dangerous bugs are still flitting around and infection is possible up to late spring. One single injection in the left upper deltoid (shoulder muscle) is given. This gives protection against the most dangerous and prolific viral variants that could be around this year. Each year is different.


Information comes from worldwide viral collection centres. The viruses to be included depend on severity of attacks and numbers worldwide. The germs used are dead and cannot give you the flu. However, many claim they "got the flu" a week later, but there is no relationship. Vaccination does not protect against any other cold of flu virus. It will not protect against the horrible "bird flu" if this inadvertently hits our country (and this is only a matter of time). There are thousands of viral variants that cause the true flu, which come from two different families called Influenza A and Influenza B. The others can suddenly change in nature, striking suddenly. Some are very serious (like SAARS and bird flu).


The name of each specific virus carries a title, the name of the town in which it was discovered and the date. Flu germs abound where large numbers of people congregate, That's why vaccination is specially targeted at those working in shops, travelling in close contact, buses, trains, visiting theatres, churches, supermarkets - or those at special risk, especially the elderly in nursing homes. Those with diabetes, renal or heart disease or on steroids are also more likely targets. Try plenty of hand washing after touching others. Cover your mouth and nose if coughing or sneezing then wash again.



Is it serious if a child has a fit?


This is pretty common, and fortunately, not necessarily serious. It is commonly due to a fever, often from a mildly infected ear or throat. The brain takes time for its heat regulatory system to normalize. Meantime, abnormal waves can be sent out, causing abnormal movements commonly called fits or convulsions. Cool the child and it will often vanish. Fevers in children are best treated with cool sponges and paracetamol mixture. It does not mean the child will become epileptic. Some occasionally do.

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How many times can a woman fall pregnant?


It all depends. At birth, the ovaries contain about 250,000 primitive "eggs". With time, these slowly then rapidly die off. Nature decrees that a woman is at her fertile highest between 15 and 32 years. Pregnancy can occur as soon as ovulation commences, which today is around 11 years. However, giving birth before 18-20 has increased risks. So does pregnancy over 40, but is currently quite common. If breast feeding, hormones inhibit ovulation. That's why many (including native races) often have a 2-3 year gap even if sexually active. In the days before artificial contraception, many women had up to 24 kids. This allowed for a high attrition rate, and heaps perished from diseases rarely seen today. Nature is very bountiful Charles Dickens (mid 1800s) was one of ten and had twelve children.

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My children often ask for certain brand clothing and other stuff simply because their school group is into it.


Peer pressure is enormously powerful, as all manufacturers and sales teams know. All humans want to be part of the "herd" - how like animals we are. It gives intimacy, being wanted and a feeling of protection. Being on the outer can be embarrassing and hurtful. So, to be part of the group, being as similar as possible is the perceived way to go. Another sad reason why youngsters, specially girls, start smoking often in their pre-teens. If old enough, encouraging the kids to find part time work and save for the stuff they "must have". This too gives them a sense of pride.

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Many seem to think their colon needs a good washout regularly. Is this so?


If you eat sensible food, get some exercise regularly and drink a fair amount of water, the body will take care of itself. Colonic washouts are unnecessary. Here enemas using vast amounts of water are given rectally. It was popular in the mid 19th century, when "natural cures" started in Germany and quickly moved to America who perfected this and similar profitable ideas. It was the era that Dr Kellogg invented Corn Flakes, and changed the eating habits of the world. Occasionally there are good medical reasons for enemas, but not in generally healthy people. It is "fad medicine".

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Why do guys want to roll over and go to sleep after sex, whilst many women are unsatisfied and are left high in the sky, still waiting and hoping?


Male sexual satisfaction is invariably quicker than with women. Once "satisfied", the sleep desire automatically kicks in. It depends on the relationship, for giving and taking is a mutual affair, and both ideally should be satisfied. This is the cause of much marital disharmony which often leads to the divorce lists.

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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.



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