Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Flu Prevention Methods

H1N1 Swine Flu Prevention Methods

With the constant fear of H1N1 symptoms, the following measures can be practiced by one and all.

Tamiflu does not kill but prevents H1N1 from further proliferation until the virus limits itself in about 1-2 weeks (its natural cycle). H1N1, like other Influenza A viruses, only infects the upper respiratory tract and proliferates (only) there. 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 and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps – not fully highlighted in most official communications – can be practices (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of fact (unless you want to east, bathe).

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 underestimate 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 Jala Neti or Sutra Neti or “Nasal Cleanse” from Walgreens for $12. Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities are very good, but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population. I recommend the neti pot from Walgreens as it comes with the salt packages. Using warm water will really help your head stay washed out.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets make sure that it also has Zinc/bioflavinoids to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids 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.

All these are simple methods of prevention, within the means of most households, and certainly much less painful than waiting in long queues outside public hospitals.

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