Stronger flu in DR?

Adrian Bye

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Over the past few days I got very sick with the flu - I was in bed with a huge fever, etc for 4 days straight. A friend told me she was so sick with the same flu last week that she was admitted to hospital for 2 days. We compared notes - and realised that we both were almost as sick about 2 years ago.

But in my life overall, I don't have a tendancy to get sick.

The doctor I got antibiotics from said that people often overuse them here since they're so easy to get. Then the antibiotics lose their effectiveness - I wonder if this gives the germs a chance to become stronger?

So I have 3 questions:

1. Do other people think that when they get sick here that its worse?

2. Do you think it could be caused by people overusing antibiotics?

3. Are there flu shots worth taking?
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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Don't know about 2 & 3, but I am positive that the DR flu is the worst that I have ever encountered.
I bet that it kills people in weakened condition..
 

curlyq

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Mar 20, 2006
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Hi

If you take prescription meds for every illness you have even if you don't need them, you get to the point where when you really need them they are less effective.

Remember when you are prescribed meds from a doctor always finish the prescription even if you feel better before you have taken all of them. You are given a certain amount for a reason. And yes the flu shot does work. It doesn't prevent you from getting the flu but does lessen the severity of it if you do get it. You need to have a flu shot every year so your immunity system builds up a resistance.

This is just advice I have learnt over the years, but go and see your own doctor if you have questions.

curlyq
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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I think the theory of overuse of antibiotics has validity, however, this is common in the states as well. In fact, there have been a number of deaths lately due to a strep infection that seems to be common in hospitals.
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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Antibiotics are useless towards flue. Do not take antibiotics if you have flue, because flue is a virus.
AZB
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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Worth pointing out, AZB. It's amazing how many people you hear saying they've been to the doctor, who said it was a virus and prescribed antibiotics.
 

Rocky

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But we should also clear up that these DR flues can get so bad as to give you lung infections, in which case, antibiotics may be necessary.
 

planner

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Sep 23, 2002
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AZB as always is correct. BUT here they want antibiotics for everything - including a headache.

I had the flu and ended up in hospital for 3 days. Then just when I thought I was better it came back with a vengeance! It took me almost 2 1/2 weeks to get over it.

My opinion, the flu is worse here. But maybe it is just that we are not accustomed to the strains of flu here? Or we have no built up antibodies? I'm not sure but it feels worse!
 

Squat

Tropical geek in Las Terrenas
Jan 1, 2002
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I had classic dengue 2 weeks ago... 5 days of fever... Then a skinrash :(
It's about gone now...
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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Squat, Planner, adrianb - sorry to hear you've been so sick.

Sods law dictates that I'm bound to fall ill with a crippling case of flu or dengue as a result, but dare I mention that I hardly ever get sick?
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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The same vaccine against flu that is used in the US is available hear. I get it every year. No guarantee, but it helps.
 

Matilda

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Sep 13, 2006
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There is a massive overuse of antibiotics here. We sell them in the colmado and people always ask for an antibiotic and a painkiller. I explain that they have to take a full course of antibiotics and only if they have something that needs antibiotics. I am convinced that Dominican immune systems are worse because of this constant overuse. My husband used to always be sick and since he met me he has never taken antibiotics and now is never sick
 

ben jammin

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Aug 3, 2007
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i am visiting DR in 10 days.. can't wait! we will be traveling a lot, is there something i can take to ward off the bugs? i am definately NOT overmedicated but would not mind taking precautions to ensure no sickness while there... thanks
 

M.A.R.

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i am visiting DR in 10 days.. can't wait! we will be traveling a lot, is there something i can take to ward off the bugs? i am definately NOT overmedicated but would not mind taking precautions to ensure no sickness while there... thanks
take LOTS OF VITAMIN C - 1000mg -
as soon as I feel i'm coming down with something I take echinacea goldenseal for a few days, preferably in liquid form, its supposed to strenghten your immune system.
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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Flu strains are stronger here than in USA. I remember once I was sick for 4 weeks. I would feel better in the day time and then fever would creep up on me at around 6pm. body ache and cough etc. My flu usually lasts 2 days (tops) but this one really got me for 4 weeks. I finally went to my chiropractor in capital and had him perform cervical adjustments on my neck. For the first time that evening I didn't get the fever. I become well since that day.
AZB
 

Jan

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Jan 3, 2002
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I got the flu soon after returning to DR. I never even had a cold the 2 1/2 years I was in USA and came here and got sick. I tried to just let it run its course but after 3 days and getting worse I went to the pharmacy. they tried to give me antibiotics. I finally got something for the congestion and the cough and after a few weeks I was feeling better. Echenecia did nothing. I sniffed some goldenseal for the stuffed nose. took my vitamins and still the disease hung on. Even now about a month later I still have a cough.
Everyone was trying to give me antibiotics. I tried to explain that they were no good in my broken Spanish but no one really listened. They probably thought I was just a dumb Gringa.
But this flu here is for sure worse than any I ever had in USA. I was even thinking maybe I had dengue.
 

J D Sauser

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take LOTS OF VITAMIN C - 1000mg -
as soon as I feel i'm coming down with something I take echinacea goldenseal for a few days, preferably in liquid form, its supposed to strenghten your immune system.

That's what many say and up to a certain degree it would be correct... HOWEVER, most Vit C comes as ascorbic acid only... the body does not seem to assimilate great quantities of ascorbic acid... however, there seems to be indications that a "poliascorbates" will be assimilated in much greater quantities. Check out a product called Emergen C... you can find it online in the US.
There are many other supplements who are said to raise immunity against colds and the flu... like Zinc, Astraglus root extract and most commonly Echinacea. Dominicans recommend Berro.

When under attack, our immunity system can burn immense quantities of energy, this is one reason, one should get a good supply of carbs of all sorts, so not to get too weak. Sometimes this may even be the time to indulge on sugars for a while.

There are a wide variety of flu's. The common flu in some parts of the US will be different to the one(s) in, let's say Germany. When living in tourist areas like some of our coasts, the import and mix of flu's has to be taken into consideration.

Antibiotics do certainly NOT kill the flu, but yes, the flue can create complications like throat of lung infections which may require treatment.
What I have observed and deem even worse than an uncalled for antibiotics treatment is, that some will just pick up 1 or 2 caps and think that will help... if they had a light throat infection, they may actually feel better after that... but not taking a full cycle to an antibiotic treatment is a sure fire method to develop a resistance.

I am not a Doc... but I hate getting that thing... so this is just a report of some of what I've read or learned from those who say to know... J-D.
 

Caz

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I think that the flu here in Oct/Nov each year is the result of virus' brought in from the USA, Canada and Europe in October each year, and to which the locals have no immunity. I went to Canada last November and caught the worst cold/flu I have ever had - took me 4 weeks to recover and I first felt the effects in Canada. Makes me think it is not a Dominican problem but imported.
 

alicious

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Or maybe it's just as another poster mentioned, that our bodies have not built up the antibodies against the "regular flu" strain found in different countries....

To me that sounds like a very likely and logical explanation...

But I too have gotten some of the worst flu's of my life while living in the DR...way worse than the standard flu I would get in Canada.