Flu season has arrived and so has the issue of vaccination and the new string of H1N1. Reports of deaths related to the H1N1 virus on the news have already
started. Is this media hysteria or legitimate cause for concern? Should I vaccinate my young family or let my body work it out should we come across this virus? How else to protect myself?
I received this email that seems to explain H1N1 and how to prevent contamination should we be exposed to the virus.
The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is. While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted as official communications).
2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).
3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t under estimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at using a Neti pot, but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton swabs dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.
5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.