In the final weeks of NFL play, as the Green Bay Packers competed against the Atlanta Falcons and the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the New England Patriots, rumors circulated that several NFL players may have had the flu.
Some sources say the players had fallen ill with a “flu-like bug”, though it’s unclear what that’s supposed to mean. It seems likely that a doctor’s exam, along with a flu test, could confirm, with relative certainty, whether these players were in fact suffering from influenza.
Some sources reported that the players have had the “stomach flu”, which is confusing since there is really no such thing as a “stomach flu“. With flu, some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. It is much more likely that these symptoms alone suggest gastrointestinal issues that are often referred to as stomach bugs, which again, should not be confused with influenza.
Then there’s the reference to the “24-hour flu” in a report from ESPN Staff Writer, Jeremy Fowler. The article leads with a statement that up to 15 people in the Pittsburgh Steelers facility suffered a setback from a “24-hour flu bug”. To clarify, the flu is never a 24 hour ordeal. Rather, the flu can last as long as 5-10 days.
In an interview on NFL.com, we hear sportscaster Charley Casserly and former general manager of the NFL’s Washington Redskins saying,
“Some of the best games I had players play in was when they were ill. They had the flu. Hey, I don’t know what it is, but the flu, the flu could be good. It could be good for those players. A lot of them play well.”
I’m guessing Casserly doesn’t know much about the flu. He has probably never had it himself or he wouldn’t suggest that players could play well while suffering with it.
This varied media coverage of these high-profile athletes and their suspected illnesses is just another example of how the public continues to be misinformed about the flu.
The flu is a serious illness, that kills and hospitalizes thousands of people in the U.S. each year. Yet the majority of people I talk to, day after day, are unfamiliar with flu symptoms and the dangers of flu.
Yesterday I had dinner with a good friend – a friend who was only in town because she had traveled four hours to bring her college-aged son back to campus after he had been home suffering with the flu for over a week. She explained that she had never had the flu, nor had either of her two college-aged children. Therefore, she had never even considered the need for a flu vaccine. She then went on to explain that she never knew how bad it could be, until she saw her son lying in bed for days. He was very ill and lost 10 pounds in one week. As he describes it, “It was the most awful thing and I’ve never been that sick ever.” Read more…
Today I’m concluding a week’s worth of flu-related posts with the wildly entertaining, never-to-be-outdone, ZDoggMD.
Yes, known throughout the land (or throughout the hippest of the kids in the U.S. medical community anyway), ZDoggMD is a soon-to-be legend for his humorous attempts at musical parodies. But rest assured, he is no newbie to the immunization scene. No splash in the pan. No. He has attacked many vaccine related issues in his highly questionable past. But be forewarned. With his elaborate wigs and mildly inappropriate lyrics, I suspect he may be a long-lost relative of Weird Al Yankovic. However, I must reassure you that he is considerably more attractive than Al (you can thank me later Z) and immensely more knowledgeable. Especially in regard to all the accurate medical stuff.
As the mother of five daughters – two of which are mildly obsessed with the immensely popular English-Irish boy band One Direction, and all of which are singers and musicians themselves – I anticipate that this video by ZDoggMD will be an inspiration (at least to my kids). And since my children have already gotten their flu shots, it’s more likely that this video will inspire them to create some parodies of their own. Before long I’ll probably be scratching my head, wondering how to respond to their bizarre desire to “be just like ZDoggMD” when they grow up. I guess my first bit of advice will be to shave their heads and get a medical degree.
So here is the clever ZDoggMD, with “One Injection”, a video parody of the One Direction song “What Makes You Beautiful”, singing about the importance of flu vaccination, while also taking a jab at a few of those unfounded flu myths.
As we wrap up National Influenza Vaccination Week, think about what you can do to encourage others to get their flu vaccine.
OK. Maybe you’re not as creative and talented as ZDoggMD. But don’t fret.
All we ask is that you share the information that we’ve provided this week and suggest that people get their flu vaccine this year and every year. Thanks again, and here’s hoping you stay flu free!