General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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Post by Krisfranks » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:31 am

Hello everyone!
Newbie here,just signed up today.I have the flu,so bad ended up in ER,
Finally starting to recover a little,my question is I used my cpap the first
Couple of nights when the (flu cough)started to hit me,I did do a lot of coughing into my mask
The last 6 days I have not used my cpap,flu was unbearable,so now that lm feeling a little better
I wanted to start using cpap again,but terrorfied that I will reinfect myself,should I call my sleep lab
To request a new mask,hose?which I actually just recivced,I was due for them.help!

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Re: Flu

Post by Mark55 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:36 am

Just clean your mask like normal. The flu virus does not survive very long on generic surfaces, plus you have already had the type of influenza bug that would have been on your mask. You don't need to worry about that variant any longer.

Your mask is safe by now.


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Re: Flu

Post by Krisfranks » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:46 am

Thank you Mark55,a very big relief! :D

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Re: Flu

Post by chunkyfrog » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:55 am

Normal washing will remove 99.9% of all germs.
Your own immunity will easily handle the rest.
When I had the flu, I did not miss a minute of using my cpap,
as all that lovely oxygen helped me heal faster.
I have a full face mask ready for that rare night when my nose
will not open up, even with drops or breathe right strips.

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Re: Flu

Post by Krisfranks » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:28 am

Thank you chunkyfrog

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Re: Flu

Post by palerider » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:59 pm

Krisfranks wrote:,but terrorfied that I will reinfect myself,
You can't 'reinfect' yourself with the flu. You got over it because your body built up immunity to it, not because it all died out in you.

It's like measles, chicken pox, etc. either get a vaccination, or get the disease, and get over it. you don't get it again after that, for many years, if not life.

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Re: Flu

Post by Captain_Midnight » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:45 pm

Back in Dec 05, on the very day that I picked up my very first CPAP, I came down w a nasty type A influenza.

I was determined to get used to the machine, even feeling yucky and goopy, as I had already read that OSA diminishes one's immune response. I stuck with it (washed everything each day), and I did observe that the severity and duration seemed shorter, and that the recovery phase was not as much of an issue as I would expect.

And, as an aside, since starting xPAP (and never missing even one night in over 12 years), I have had far fewer colds, and those that I did get have been milder.

Good luck getting over the bug, I hear that it's a bit nasty.

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Re: Flu

Post by Janknitz » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:28 pm

When I'm sick with an upper respiratory virus nothing makes me feel better than using my CPAP. I don't cough and I feel comforted by the steady flow of warm, moist air. I sleep 1000 times better with CPAP--before CPAP I'd go days with no sleep during an upper respiratory infection.

I hate that 1 or 2 days when my nose runs like a faucet and I sneeze a lot. But I've been known to just hold the FF mask over my face with my hand for quick removal when sneezing or dripping rather than go without--of course if I fall asleep the mask falls off that way, but I feel better while it's on.

I do wash it daily when I'm sick, but more for the ick factor than worry about re-infection.
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Re: Flu

Post by SewTired » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:37 pm

It is possible to get the same virus twice because your body built up insufficient immunity the first time around. However, this is just very uncommon and when it does happen, typically results in a much milder illness the 2nd time around. As mentioned, just wash your stuff normally and you should be fine.

While you don't have that option since you are new to CPAP, I found that when I was sick, having a selection of different masks helped - eventually you find one you can stand during that troubling period. Can get costly though.
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Re: Flu

Post by ajack » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:55 pm

you can't reinfect yourself with the flu, you now have immunity to that strain. Viruses are clever and stop other viruses taking hold, I was told you can't have 2 viruses at the same time. however you can get a secondary bacterial infection. normally the bugs on a mask and in the humidifier aren't the ones that can do this.. just give your mask a wash, as has been said.

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Re: Flu

Post by MrsRinPDX » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:54 am

ajack wrote:... I was told you can't have 2 viruses at the same time...
Not to scare anyone, but sadly, 35 year old, otherwise healthy Texas teacher has two strains of the flu right now, and did develop a resistant bacterial infection. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/public- ... etting-flu

How does the CDC recommend we "Fight the Flu"? 1. Get the flu vaccine. (Woman above did in October, btw.) 2. Take everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs (ie. wash hands, stay away from sick people) 3. Take flu antiviral drugs if the doctor prescribes them. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

Also, did a little research and Mark55 is correct, the flu virus doesn't survive very long outside of the body (up to 24 hours on hard surfaces, 15 minutes on tissues). Your equipment should be flu free. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/feat ... at-works#1

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Re: Flu

Post by ajack » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:33 am

There you go, It was actually said to me by a microbiologist, working for a blood lab. Not only can't you believe the net, you can't even believe the ones you trust.

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Re: Flu

Post by Krisfranks » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:21 am

Thank you all for your replies,I'm on the mend,and
starting back my cpap tonight,I've really missed using it!!!
I didn't realize how much it works until I stopped,it's a life saver!
Made sure I cleaned it very well,also called my sleep lab to make sure it's safe,they said
Give it a go!!im not a newbie to cpap,started June 29,2017,just a newbie
To this site,I've been trolling here for awhile,and finally signed up yesterday,
You guys,and gals are a wealth of information!i wish I would have signed up
Sooner,Thank you again,kristine

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Re: Flu

Post by Pugsy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:56 am

Here's what I was always taught about flu and colds and infectious bugs. Now I could have been taught wrong because it was some years ago and new information is always coming out and it's been some years since I worked in the medical field where I frequently came in contact with both types....viruses and bacterial infections. So take what I was taught with a grain of salt if you wish. It has served me well for probably over 40 years now both in and out of the medical field.

There are viruses and then there are bacterial type of infections causes by 2 different kinds of "bug" or germs or whatever you want to call them.
Viral infection (flu or common cold type of thing) ...usually once a person has experienced the "joys" of being infected with a particular little virus the body will develop immunity to that one single particular little virus. They don't usually respond to antibiotic therapy and why we don't take antibiotics for the common cold.
Bacterial infections...lots of them but not as many as the gazillion viruses out there....strep throat comes to mind as an example.

Viruses...a gazillion different little buggers and they change and mutate all the time. That's the main reason the flu shot prevention thing doesn't always hit a home run in the flu prevention department. The flu strain that gets predicted to be really bad back when the flu vaccine goes into production doesn't always end up being the flu strain that seems to be the main offender when flu season hits.
It happens...flu predictors do the best that they can in terms of predicting which ones of the gazillion flu viruses out there will decide to run rampant but sometimes the flu virus they think will be the latest big hitter ends up not being such a bad guy but one of the other flu viruses ends up being the sleeper on the virus team and steps up and hits a home run and makes for a lot of trouble.

Can we get a particular flu strain again once we have been infected? Usually not due to the fact the body's immune system builds up antibiodies to that particular viral strain but might not be impossible if the body didn't build up adequate antibiodies for some reason or other.
But usually when someone gets the flu again after experiencing the not so pleasant visit from one viral agent it's because they were unlucky enough to pick up a different viral strain. They don't/won't usually reinfect themselves with the same virus but instead they get a new different virus that the symptoms mimic the first one. After all the symptoms are pretty much universal no matter which one of the gazillion flu viruses you catch and they make a new home in your body and make you sick.

Viruses are usually going to have short shelf lives when on inanimate objects and fairly easily killed with common sense cleaning routines. The problem when out in public areas is we don't know just how long it might have been since the last person who had the flu touched something we might be touching...was it 2 minutes ago..2hours or 2 days. Hence the warning for adequate hand washing.
Airborne flu germs...we are screwed for the most part.

Bacterial infections and the agents causing them...they are totally different and it is possible to get a particular bacterial infection over and over again because the body can't build up immunity to bacterial infections. Most of the time common sense cleaning is sufficient but unfortunately as we all know there are some really particularly nasty bacteria out there that can be life threatening and they don't always respond to antibiotics because they have learned how to be resistant to antibiotics.

Now there are some bacterial infections that mimic the typical flu symptoms and unless a person actually gets a special test they won't know for sure exactly which type of infection they have. There's a test for the flu and the strain...if you get sick and don't have that test you won't know for 100% exactly what you have. We can make reasonable assumptions based on what seems to be happening in the flu ball game at the time. Back when I got sick last Oct from the old lady coughing her fool head off in the bathroom at the doctors office I didn't bother getting the test to see exactly what I had. Didn't matter...treatment was the same. I made an educated guess that it was the typical flu or common cold of some sort and not a bacteria caused upper respiratory infection. If it hadn't run its normal for me course then I would have gone back to the doctor and then decided what to do.

Then there are the people who just are unlucky enough to have a normal virus caused upper respiratory infection of some sort and it knocks the crap out of their own body's ability to fight off infection and they catch another bug. It's why sometimes antibiotics are given when a person might have a viral infection and it looks like they might have also caught a bacterial infection or there is a good chance they will catch it.

So back to our cpap equipment...mainly the mask and maybe the hose. For the common cold or all the flu strains out there normal common sense cleaning with hot soapy water is sufficient. Apart from the yuck factor of allowing snot or slobber to sit on the mask...it's really unlikely that we could reinfect ourselves even if we didn't clean the mask. If we really had a virus...our body will most likely be able to handle it this time because of our own immune system response...assuming we have a normal immune system.

BUT...for me I always worry about bacteria caused infections...and we can reinfect ourselves and unless we know for 100% certainty via the flu test...we can't know for sure that what we were unlucky enough to catch was viral or bacterial.
For that reason when I get sick...I make a special effort to do common sense cleaning of my equipment. More as a precaution than a real fear though. The odds of it being bacterial...fairly slim but still present.

I have a normal immune system...for those that don't for whatever reason then you guys have to make extra special effort in everything you do. This isn't something you never thought of. You already know you are at risk.
I am okay with normal cleaning routines...if I had a problem and was worried because my immune system wasn't normal...I would swap out my equipment after the illness...just to be safe for peace of mind if nothing else.

Your own peace of mind matters...If you are really, really bothered by the possibility of any sort of germ/bug/whatever living on your equipment...swap it out.

I think what I had back in Oct from the old lady in the bathroom was more along the lines of the common cold.
I didn't have much of a fever with it and it seemed to mainly want to be in my lungs with minor nasal issues. Pretty typical for when I get a cold...some nasal stuff of varying degrees and as time passes it moves to my lungs and the last thing to go will be a residual cough. I don't think it was the real flu because I didn't seem to have much of a fever but I suppose it could have been and I had a mild case of it. It wasn't bad enough for me to want to make another trip to the doctor to try to figure out exactly what it was.
Treatment wasn't going to change.
I was good with just a good washing of my nasal pillows to get the snot off them and kill whatever might be wanting to live on the silicone but I really didn't worry so much about killing...it was the yuck factor that really prompted the good washing. :lol:

The above...my own personal thoughts on all this stuff.
Each person has to end up following their own conscious about this stuff and do whatever it takes for their own peace of mind.
If you lose sleep worrying about the possibility of the bugs living on your equipment...and common sense cleaning doesn't ease your mind...swap it out. It's not worth losing sleep over.
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Re: Flu

Post by Krisfranks » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:06 pm

I will never laugh at my doctor again,when he ask do you want the flu shot?
I was convinced it was just a money making machine,but this flu had teeth!