Swine Flu- It’s coming to a town near you…that is, unless it’s already been in your neighborhood.
The number of cases of Swine flu (H1N1) have grown rapidly in many of our communities. As of August 1st, US swine flu deaths jumped by 51 to a total of 353. The majority of children killed in the U.S. by the H1N1 swine flu virus had underlying medical conditions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though the media has instilled panic about Swine Flu, we ned to keep this virus in perspective. There are about 3600 deaths yearly from the seasonal flu compared to the smaller numbers that we’re seeing with Swine Flu.
Swine Flu is not new to many of you who are old enough to remember the 1970s, when you were waiting in long lines to get vaccinated. But if you had that vaccine or even the seasonal flu shot from last year, do not consider yourself immune. This current swine flu is different than the virus in the 70’s, in that it combines strains of human, bird and swine flu. Despite the name, experts believe the virus is being transmitted human-to-human, not pig-to-human. A vaccine is expected to come out in October.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antiviral treatment is not required in patients not in at-risk groups. “Patients considered to be at risk are infants and children younger than 5 years of age; adults older than 65 years of age; nursing home residents; pregnant women; patients with chronic comorbid disease including cardiovascular, respiratory, or liver disease and diabetes; and immunosuppressed patients because of malignancy, HIV infection, or other diseases”, according to the World Health Organizaton. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or Zanamivir (Relenza) treatment should be started as soon as possible after the onset of illness in patients at-risk.
You will likely be exposed to Swine Flu, so it seems prevention is the key. Here are my six recommendations:
1. Influenzium- A Homeopathic Immunization. It is made from the same virus as the Swine flu vaccine, so it will be available in October. There will be another seasonal influenzum available when the winter flu comes around. Remember, these are two different viruses, and there is no cross protection for either of them.
2. N-Acetyl-Cysteine- Take 1000-1500 mg daily. It is an important anti-oxidant that is a precursor to glutathione, and helps strengthen the immune system and provides mucosal heath.
3. Flu Plus- A homeopathic treatment that is helpful in preventing and treating the flu. Take it if you’ve had known exposure from friends and family or are traveling by plane.
4. Vitamin C- Start at 1000 mg and increase up to bowel tolerance. Take it as ester-C or buffered C. It works as an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immune enhancer.
5. Olive Leaf Extract (d-lenolate)- take 2 capsules 3 times daily with food when you first feel symptoms. It is used for the treatment of viral, bacterial and protozoal infections including influenza, and other viral infections.
6. Elderberry Extract- has proven anti-viral effects in studies done in Israel. It is usually taken as a syrup. Take 1-2 teaspoons 3 times daily. “Sambucol” is a well known version.
To reduce your risk of contracting the flu, remember to eliminate sugar and caffeine, as these suppress the immune system. Drink plenty of water, rest, chill out (reduce stress) and wash your hands!