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Anyone else seem "immune" from colds and viruses?

Discussion in 'Immunological' started by cigana, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Dear all,

    Most people with CFS seem to have frequent colds/infections. On the other hand I seem to be immune from them - no matter how many people I am around with colds I never get one. I never used to be this way (used to get about 3 colds per year I suppose). I remember a CFS practitioner once commenting that some of her patients fell into this bracket....

    Anyone else?

    Thanks

    Cig
     
  2. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    I am in this group too..the last cold I had was in 2007 and that was actually the last time I was sick. I must admit that I really never seemed to catch much of anything even though I work in a pharmacy. Maybe it is just in the genes because my kids were hardly ever sick as kids and even now as adults...
     
  3. Forbin

    Forbin Forbin

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  4. Revday

    Revday

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    Lordy, I'm one of the catch anything that flies by me.
    :sofa:
     
  5. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I started out that way, Cig,

    But after about 10/15? years of "nothing" I changed to catch everything. Been that way for at least 10 years now.

    XMRV+
     
  6. helsbells

    helsbells Senior Member

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    Thats me only in reverse - got everything but last 15 years been immune - I love to catch something as the day before is my best day
     
  7. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    I'm immune to colds and flues, except for Swine Flu, I think because it gets into the lungs a totally different way. And the last time I had a cold was probably 1994 when I was severely rundown from moving out of state and I caught a bad headcold from the mall. That is alot of years ago. If I do get exposed, I might get mild symptoms, but I throw it right off. It's extremely rare for me to ever get a cold or a flu. Prior to getting swine flu last year, I hadn't had a flu since 1995. And that, too, was when I still was severely rundown from that same move. I do however get many stomach things. I spent alot of years seeming to catch lots of stomach things.
     
  8. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Yep, used to catch everything that came by, with a vengeance. Now, not one cold/flu since 2006.
     
  9. carolwxyz99

    carolwxyz99 Senior Member

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    I didn't tend to get colds for the first few years. But someimtes my ME/CFs symotoms just got worse when I was in contact with a cold so I got some sort of immune response. I get frequent bugs now, but don't get the full immune response to them.
     
  10. Cloud

    Cloud Guest

    Interesting how we have responses of one extreme or the other...and that's what I've heard for years from PWC's. My experience is that I don't catch things any easier than normies.....nor do I have a harder time shaking the infection once I have it. My problem hits 24-48 after clearing the infection...I crash hard just as if I just ran 5 miles. The crash is delayed, but I know it's coming...done it enough times. This is why I've become a germ-a-phobe.
     
  11. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Thanks for the link Forbin - does look like this has been discussed quite a lot before!

    I wondered if those who tend to be immune from viruses have the slow onset form (because of course there is no virus to "trigger" CFS). I will post on the thread Forbin gave.

    Cig
     
  12. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    I'm not "immune". I tend to get something at least once a year.
    I think the pattern of lack of infection is due to more limited exposure more than anything else - I am not entirely housebound, so I am exposed to whatever is going around.
     
  13. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Indeed this has been discussed massively before. It was a big shock to me to discover that my own little theory that "I don't catch colds any more" was yet another very common ME/CFS phenomenon that I'd never heard about before finding Phoenix Rising.

    When that old thread was active, there were actually two rival threads running: one was effectively "why do we always catch colds?" and the other was "why do we never catch colds?" It seemed at the time - and still does seem - a fundamentally important starting point for the definition of subsets. It's such a strong and clear phenomenon, although I can't imagine how you would demonstrate or prove it directly.

    I wonder whether it correlates with acute viral onset, with those people being the ones who catch viruses all the time.

    ETA: Actually I do have a wider theory which makes a lot of sense to me in this context. Whatever you are exposed to at the time of XMRV infection, is what you will be vulnerable to. If you get XMRV at the same time as a virus, you are vulnerable to viruses. If you get XMRV at the same time as you have mold exposure, you become vulnerable to mold. Whatever you have in your environment at the time of "the event" (which may or may not be the XMRV exposure), that is what your body is responding to at the time, and that becomes your personal "vulnerability profile". It vaguely seems to make sense that if XMRV is able to effect the B or T cell factories, the things that are activated at the time, then specifically which types of immune antibodies are active become those that are attacked, invaded, undermined and compromised. And of course, overall, you end up with a disease called ME/CFS that is so totally diverse that it doesn't appear like a consistent phenomenon.

    My own "never catch colds" phenomenon has transformed somewhat in the past year or two. When some of my friends caught severe week-long flus during the swine flu epidemic, I had the only bad cold I've had in the last 10 years: it lasted about 2.5 days, which is 2 days longer than I've had previously had flu symptoms for. More recently, the effect seems to have sharpened. Now, I seem to experience short sharp flu symptoms whenever I meet up with friends. There's now one good friend of mine who seems to trigger a 12-hour flu whenever I see him - the last 4 times I've met up with him it's happened every time. Sore throat, shivers, headache, temperature...comes on within an hour of meeting up and is gone within 12 hours...I presume all that's "impossible" just like everything else....(sigh).
     
  14. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    I tend to get flareups after seeing one particular friend. My theory, though, is not that he's passing on any germs to me - just that because he's a high-energy person, I unconsciously try to 'mirror' his energy when I talk to him or hang out with him, which is sometimes enough to put me over the edge of PEM.
     
  15. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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  16. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Well, there is something I'd like to add, which pertains to Mark's salient point about subsets. It will be important, in the process of determining those subsets, to realize that not only are there distinct groups like the two discussed here---but over time each individual patient's systemic dysfunctions seem to evolve/devolve with the illness. For instance, as I said before, in the beginning of my illness I got long-lasting URI's all the time. I also used to have hypersomnia, sleeping 10-12 hours each night without moving from the positiion I fell asleep in. For several years now, I dont' catch colds or flus, and my sleep is continually interrupted and rarely deep. We ought to consider adding a section about Subsets and Evolving Symptoms to the Patients Like Me section here. The medical community, in defining this illness, need to understand this and take it into consideration when ruling people "in" or "out."
     
  17. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    @ urbantravels: Your theory about your reaction to a particular friend sounds a bit too psychological to me; sorry but I'm not buying it. I can see why it would seem to make sense, pushing oneself too much for any reason might have the same effect, but in my case this is a guy I've known for years and years, our relationship is very natural and relaxed, and it's only in the last year or so that I've noticed this new phenomenon. So that theory doesn't work for my case. I think it's got to have a physical (presumably viral?) explanation. Actually, this guy did have a couple of really bad flus about a year or so ago, now that I think of it, he had two episodes of flu that he suspected as swine flu.

    ukxmrv: Ideal solution might be to merge the two threads? The old title might need revisiting though. btw, how'd things go down at the SMC demo the other week? Do keep me in the loop on stuff like that please...

    leela: Two big things that jumped out at me from your post. First that I don't recall anybody else confirming this phenomenon of sleeping all night 10-12 hours and not moving all night. So there's yet another weird personal observation confirmed. I never got round to videoing myself to confirm it, but I'm quite sure I never moved an inch during those years. I used little markers like bits of paper under my hands to confirm that I literally never moved all night. Don't know if that's "impossible" too, or whether the sleep disturbance involved is well understood medically? Would be an interesting angle to research. The second thing that jumped out, is what a good point you make about "subsets" being an inadequate way to think about it: you're right, we need to also think about "phases" or "states" of the illness, somehow...I'm not sure how to model or define that, but you've really got me thinking there...the patient data repository project will need to work out how to take that point on board...
     
  18. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Mark,

    It also seems possible that your Trigger Friend could have one of these things: a systemic yeast/fungal infection, fungus/mold in his house (thus on his clothes/person),
    uses horrid washing powder or dryer sheets or some other chemically-laden product that sets you off.

    And yes, it would be good to find a way to work this phase-relevant quality into our repository.
    It is nice to know I wasn't the only cadaver-sleeper too. I would happily go back to that phase, mind you; this Somnus Interruptus stage is for the birds!
     
  19. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    I wasn't referring to psychological factors at all in mentioning my particular "trigger friend" - but the physical way in which I tend to have a conversation with him, i.e., A fair amount of gesturing and physical posturing in the course of an animated conversation.

    As carefully as I try to govern my physical movements in most situations to avoid over-exertion, getting involved in a conversation is the easiest way to completely forget my physical limitations and become too animated. (Ummm, make that *second* easiest way. I leave it to the reader to make an educated guess about what the first might be.)

    YTFMV (your trigger friend may vary)
     
  20. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    Just a thought--Could it be that you don't notice when you have a cold or the flu anymore because you feel like you have the flu everyday? I also have bad sinus problems along with the regular cfs things: sore throat, headache, feeling fluish, achey, etc. I usually can't tell if I have a cold unless it is particularly bad. With the flu, sometimes I know I have it because the nose gets more stuffy or I have a cough. But, again, it has to be particullarly bad.
     

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