Let our children develop a natural immunity to flu

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 March, 2008, 12:00am

Classes disrupted because of flu? Preventing cross infection among children?

Is this a decision based on public health risk assessment, or is it just giving in to the Hong Kong media?

I hope the government can substantiate its decision based on the flu statistics in the past which can easily be found in the Department of Health records. Influenza kills the elderly and the young. This is a known fact.

It is also a known fact that we can build up our natural immunity to a disease once we have recovered from an infection. What is wrong with having the flu?

With a lot of rest and fluid, maybe a dose of paracetamol to reduce the fever, a child can recover within a week.

Unless there is a secondary infection, there is no need to take antibiotics or see a doctor.

What are the so-called experts thinking? The flu viruses are mutating, and we need to build up a stronger natural immune system to defend ourselves. I just cannot understand why doctors want the elderly and the young to be vaccinated against the flu to develop immunity artificially, whereas we can develop this immunity from childhood from recovering from common flu. Moreover, the flu vaccine is not always effective, especially against the H3N2 this time.

Is the flu vaccination programme a commercial decision or a health decision? Why can't we build up our immunity the natural way? Is this how the doctors make their extra income?

Can the Department of Health tell me if we have had an epidemic of H3N2 or H1N1 in this peak flu season this year? How many people do officials estimate will develop the flu?

How much money can we save from future flu vaccination programmes if the population is to be allowed to develop immunity the natural way by getting infected with a non-life-threatening strain of the flu?

We need to be given the whole picture, not just opinions from a few which create panic among sectors of society.

William Cheng, Ap Lei Chau