Colorado Caution: No Live Swine Flu

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Four Denver area hospitals are not using FluMist, the nasal-spray flu vaccine. Hospital officials are concerned that this live, though altered, microbe threatens some of their weaker patients.

Anyone, in this case hospital personnel, taking FluMist can shed viruses that could infect those patients. That could put them into life-threatening medical situations.

The Centers for Disease Control's policy is that health-care workers "in close contact with anyone who has a severely weakened immune system" should get the flu shot instead.

Consumers may consider following the hospitals' example by keeping their family members with serious medical conditions away from those who have gotten FluMist. One study found viral shedding can last up to three weeks.

However, the government's FluMist handout says the pharmaceutical is "made from weakened virus and does not cause influenza." The document does mention that the vaccine can produce mild symptoms such as nasal congestion, abdominal pain, vomiting, and chills.

*Originally Published: October 17, 2009.

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Gailon Totheroh

Gailon Totheroh

CBN News Science & Medical Reporter

Over the years, CBN viewers have come to recognize Gailon Totheroh as a valuable asset in reporting on a variety of issues, especially current health and science issues. 

His recent popular reports have covered the dangers of MSG, adult stem cell treatments, the otherwise unreported benefits of vitamin C, longevity research on special forms of resveratrol, and the relative merits and risks of different types of seafood. He has also done several investigative reports on such controversial issues as the development of "designer" embryos and the intelligent design movement.