Desiree Jennings gets Dystonia from Flu Shot?
The H1N1 vaccine has seen a lot of skepticism and worry this week after a cheerleader for the NFL Washington Redskins, Desiree Jennings, is suffering from Dystonia. This is a neurological condition in which muscles are affected, causing twisting, abnormal postures and repetitive movements. The disorder can be inherited or caused by infection, a reaction to drugs, physical trauma, poisoning, or can be birth-related.
Just before getting a seasonal flu shot in August, Desiree’s health was fine, but then 10 days afterward she contracted flu-like symptoms. Things only got worse from there, and she was put in the hospital for seizures on two occasions before being diagnosed with Dystonia. Doctors have only speculated that the flu shot was the cause.
Desiree, who is 25 and married, has been completely disabled from this, as it has prevented her from walking forward, causes trouble with her speech, and even makes it difficult to eat. She has also experienced seizures frequently.
Shortly after being diagnosed and seen by doctors at Johns Hopkins, Desiree started having other symptoms. She and her husband went to Charlotte to get relief from these symptoms and were there for most of Monday. Brendan, her husband, says that they will be there for as long as it takes. He did add that there were some improvements in her condition after just the first visit.
One of the doctors says that Dystonia can be treated with physical therapy and Botox injections. The injections can help relieve some of the muscle contractions. He also noted that there is no reason to believe that getting a flu shot will cause this, as he hasn’t come across anything to link Dystonia and the shot.