Thursday, July 16, 2009

Swine flu around.. Don’t panic, there is a solution

WHO update
Monday 6 July:
94,512 cases worldwide
429 deaths

Swine flu advice - what to look out for

Flu is an illness caused by an infection of the influenza virus. The flu virus constantly changes and there are many different strains of flu. Find out the differences between swine flu, pandemic flu, and ordinary flu.

What is it and how serious is it?
Swine flu is the H1N1 strain of the type A influenza virus found commonly in pigs, although no pigs are known to have it in the UK. Viruses mutate, which is how this strain infected humans.
A new strain of Influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu, was confirmed in the UK in April and has spread to more than 100 countries around the world.
Although symptoms have generally proved mild, a small number of patients will develop more serious illness. Many of these people have other underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung disease, that put them at increased risk.

Check your symptoms

Flu symptoms can include:

· fever
· cough
· headache
· weakness and fatigue
· aching muscles and joints
· sore throat
· runny nose

As with any sort of influenza, how bad and how long the symptoms last will depend on treatment and the patient’s individual circumstances.
Most cases reported in the UK have been relatively mild, with those affected starting to recover within a week.

Who is at risk?
Some groups of people are more at risk of serious illness if they catch swine flu. It is vital that people in these higher risk groups get anti-viral drugs and start taking them as soon as possible – within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Health authorities are still learning about the swine flu virus, but the following people are known to be at higher risk:

pregnant women
people aged 65 years and older
young children under five years old
People suffering from the following illnesses are also at increased risk:
chronic lung disease
chronic heart disease
chronic kidney disease
chronic liver disease
chronic neurological disease
Immunosuppression (whether caused by disease or treatment)
Diabetes mellitus
patients who have had drug treatment for asthma within the past three years

Pregnant women are thought to be more susceptible to all types of influenza because of the physiological changes that occur in pregnancy, including changes to the immune system. The baby may also be at increased risk due to the mother's response to infection, such as a high temperature.

Their doctor may prescribe the antiviral medication Tamiflu or Relenza which are most effective if taken as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. Pregnant women should not take any antiviral medication without consulting their doctor. The doctor will assess the risks and benefits of the medicine on an individual basis and may need to seek advice from an infectious diseases specialist or obstetrician.
Practical steps that pregnant women can take to reduce their chances of exposure to influenza include:
• washing and drying hands frequently
• staying away from people who are sick
• avoiding crowded places

What is an epidemic and a pandemic?
An epidemic is a sudden outbreak of disease that spreads through a single population or region in a short amount of time.

A pandemic occurs when there is a rapidly-spreading epidemic of a disease that affects most countries and regions of the world.
Swine flu is now a pandemic. Pandemic flu occurs when an influenza virus emerges that is so different from previously circulating strains that few, if any, people have any immunity to it. This allows it to spread widely and rapidly, causing serious illness.

Ordinary flu and pandemic flu - the differences

Ordinary flu:

· occurs every year during the winter
· affects 10 to 15 per cent of the UK popuation
· most people recover within 1 or 2 weeks without medical treatment
· can be identified in advance and a vaccine can be made (this immunisation is known as the flu jab and helps protect people from ordinary flu)

Pandemic flu:

· occurs during any season
· affects more people than ordinary flu (up to half the population)
· is a more serious infection
· people of all ages may be at risk of infection
· a vaccine cannot be made because the virus strain has not been identifed
· antiviral medicine is stockpiled to treat people

How the flu virus spreads

How worried should we be?
Most people have had mild symptoms. It is unlike the flu pandemic of 1918, which struck sufferers down within hours. The virus may become more deadly, but it's too soon to tell if this will happen.

How quickly is it spreading?
Swine flu has reached more than 120 countries, with more than 94,000 confirmed cases and 429 deaths.
In the UK, more than 9,000 people have had the virus but there are likely to be many more. Health Secretary has predicted 100,000 new cases a day by the end of August. The reason it is so contagious is because we haven't yet developed immunity. The plan now is to concentrate on treatment as the virus can no longer be contained. Schools will not necessarily close and antiviral drugs will be kept for those with symptoms rather than being given to anyone at risk.

How can I avoid catching it?
It's caught by breathing in droplets when an infected person coughs or by touching contaminated surfaces such as taps or rails.
The virus can live on a hard surface for up to 24 hours and a soft surface for about 20 minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly clean hard surfaces at home such as door handles. Antibacterial cleaning products are useless against viruses.

Should we wear face masks?
They may do more harm than good. They must be changed often to be effective and may lure us into a false sense of security as they don't protect from infection via hand-contact surfaces.

What are the symptoms?
Like normal flu, a temperature of 38C or higher and a sudden cough. You may also get a headache, tiredness, chills, aching muscles, limb or joint pain, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite and diarrhoea or stomach upset.

What should I do if I think I've got it?
Don't go into a surgery or hospital to avoid spreading the disease. Instead, call your GP who can diagnose you over the phone. Then get a relative or friend to pick up antiviral medication for you.
Take paracetamol-based cold remedies to reduce fever and other symptoms, drink plenty of fluids and rest. Always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and flush used tissues down to avoid spreading the virus. If symptoms get bad and the sufferer is weak, call 999 or similar emergency call in your country.

Will antivirals cure it?
No, but they can help relieve symptoms and lower the risk of complications such as pneumonia. We already have enough of the two drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, to treat half the population and there are more on order to treat up to 80%.


Might they stop working?
The virus could become resistant to antivirals but hopefully, if and when that occurs, the vaccine will be available.

When will that be?
Hopefully next month. Any old vaccine won't do - it has to be adapted so it works for the particular strain of the virus.
Supplies are on order for the whole population but it may take until next year for us all to be vaccinated. Priority will be given to vulnerable groups, plus frontline health workers.

How to Treat Swine Flu Symptoms
Do you have the symptoms of swine flu? It certainly is what everyone seems to be talking about today. As new cases of swine flu continue to be confirmed internationally on a daily basis it seems as if the world may be headed for a global health crisis of significant proportion. Fortunately the majority of people infected in the U.S. have thus far had relatively mild symptoms similar to the common winter cold and influenza. So if you're sick with cold-like symptoms what steps can be taken to make yourself feel better and get well faster?

Treating Swine Flu Symptoms
· Do not go to work. It's likely your co-workers strongly prefer that you keep your viral infection to yourself. Take the time to rest and allow your body to mount a counterattack against the infection.
· Drink plenty of fluids. This will help to prevent dehydration and thin out that thick mucous in your head and chest. The fluids will also help to soothe your sore throat.
· Most people with flu-like symptoms complain most about the body and muscle aches as well as the associated fever. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen products are both effective at reducing these symptoms. Because these medications work differently alternating the two can often produce better results than using one or the other.
· To reduce your annoying cough stick with candy cough lozenges or OTC cough medications which contain dextromethorphan. Avoid cough medications that contain sedating amounts of alcohol. Elevating your head with pillows can provide modest cough relief as well.
· The head congestion and stuffiness can be alleviated by using a decongestant product containing guaifenesin and phenylephrine. There are many available OTC. Avoid using nasal antihistamines like Afrin because of their rebound congestion and addictive potential. If you insist on using nasal sprays then at least limit their use to less than three days.
· If you are diagnosed with swine flu then you might be treated with inhaled Relenza, oral Tamiflu or both. These are anti-viral medications typically used for seasonal influenza. The Center for Disease Control has indicated that both drugs seem to have some effect at combating swine flu.
H1N1 Swine Flu and Chinese Medicine
If you’ve been following the news at all, you’ve undoubtedly seen headlines all over the place about Swine Flu.

To date, over 50 countries have confirmed cases of swine flu totaling 13,394 people, including 95 deaths. More alarmingly, health experts in the U.S. warn that official figure is just “tip of the iceberg”.
Rapid transmission of swine flu is coinciding with the southern hemisphere’s traditional winter flu season. As of 27 May 2009, there are a total of 61 confirmed cases of swine flu across Australia, including 33 in Victoria, 18 in NSW, 5 in Queensland, 3 in South Australia, 1 in the ACT and 1 in Western Australia.

What is swine flu?
Swine influenza refers to influenza caused by any strain of the influenza virus endemic in pigs.
However, the flu outbreak in human that is widely known as “swine flu” apparently is not due to a swine influenza virus. It is actually due to a new strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that is derived from one strain of human influenza virus, one strain of avian influenza virus, and two separate strains of swine influenza virus.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most cases occur when people come into contact with infected pigs or contaminated objects moving between people and pigs.
When flu viruses from different species infect pigs, they can mix inside the pig and new, mixed viruses can emerge. Pigs can pass mutated viruses back to humans, and these can be passed from human to human. The symptoms are quite similar to those of seasonal influenza, including fatigue, cough, runny nose, fever, vomiting and etc.

With the spike in the number of swine flu cases across the country, many people are too concerned to eat pork. Facts have proved these worries groundless. People cannot catch swine flu from eating pork or pork products. As long as cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (72 degrees Celsius), the swine flu virus along with other bacteria and viruses can be killed.
You are probably interested in what you can do personally to fight against swine flu?

Most importantly, ensure personal hygiene. Then, get adequate sleep on a daily basis, because your immune system regenerates the best when sleeping.
Drink plenty of water each day to stay hydrated. For best result, remember to drink pure water.
In addition, exposure to nature and the great outdoors helps healthy emotions, and this in turn helps with your immune system as well.
On top of that, I would highly recommend using natural immune boosting herbs to give your body as much help as possible.
There are a vast number of Chinese herbs with proven immune enhancing effects, as well as anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects.
On top of the list would be Ganoderma lucidum and Cordyceps sinensis. Both are precious herbs once only available to the Emperors of China.
These herbs have been shown to stimulate and enhance immune system as well as having a wide variety of health benefits.

Ganoderma lucidum

The more we can do to protect ourselves from being infected by the “Swine flu” virus, the less the virus will spread. That’s the least we can do.
If you read the stories on H1N1 influenza written by the mainstream media, you might incorrectly think there’s only one anti-viral drug in the world. It’s name is Tamiflu and it’s in short supply.
That’s astonishing to hear because the world is full of anti-viral medicine found in tens of thousands of different plants. Culinary herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary are anti-viral. Berries and sprouts are anti-viral. Garlic, ginger and onions are anti-viral. You can’t walk through a grocery store without walking past a hundred or more anti-viral medicines made by Mother Nature.
And yet how many does the mainstream media mention? Zero.
The totality of influenza preparedness is defined by the mainstream media as the number of doses of Tamiflu a nation has stockpiled.
Tamiflu comes from an herbTo live in a world that’s saturated with natural anti-viral medicine and then not even acknowledge it in the media is beyond bizarre. It’s Twilight Zone-like. It’s like we’ve been teleported to an alternate universe where anti-viral plants have disappeared… or at least everyone is pretending they have.
Where do you think Tamiflu comes from, by the way?
It’s extracted from the Traditional Chinese Medicine herb called Star Anise. It’s one of hundreds of different anti-viral herbs found in Chinese Medicine, not to even mention anti-viral herbs from South America, North America, Australia, Africa and other regions.

Star anise herb

I find it downright comedic that Big Pharma and the world’s health authorities extract their “champion” anti-viral drug Tamiflu from a Chinese Medicine herb, and then they go out of their way to announce to people that herbs and natural remedies are useless against influenza. If that’s the case then why are they using herbs to make their own medicine?

How many stories have you read that bother to tell you Tamiflu is made from the star anise herb that’s been used for over 5,000 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine? Virtually none. The powers that be don’t want anybody to know they could actually grow their own medicine in a garden or a windowsill. If you can grow cilantro, you can grow medicine. If everybody figured that out, Big Pharma wouldn’t be reaping the enormous profits it’s making right now from Tamiflu sales, and the governments of the world wouldn’t be able to scare and control people by promising to distribute Tamiflu (but only if you behave).

The Tamiflu scam is global

The Tamiflu scam is globalH1N1 influenza is not a hoax. But the way it’s being reported by health authorities and the mainstream media certainly is. The scam in all this is what they leave out of the stories — the fact that human beings live among a huge natural medicine chest of anti-viral drugs found in every city park, every forest, every swamp and every open field.
You cannot walk across any patch of natural land in America and NOT find anti-viral medicine. It’s everywhere! It’s in the weeds growing in the cracks in the sidewalks; it’s in weeds on the side of the stream; and it’s growing in the small patch of dirt left remaining in the median between highway lanes.
In the deserts of the American Southwest, you can’t even drive to work without passing mile after mile of abundant anti-viral medicine grown by Mother Nature and just waiting for humans to wake up and be smart enough to recognize it.
I have a sobering prediction about H1N1 influenza (formerly “swine flu”): If it does become a global pandemic, many of those people who refuse to recognize the anti-viral medicine provided by Mother Nature will die. Their misplaced faith in Big Pharma will literally cost them their lives. In contrast, those who have the wisdom to get their medicine from Mother Nature will not only survive the pandemic, they’ll thrive even as others around them are dying. It is those who embrace Mother Nature’s powerful, synergistic and living medicines who will weather any pandemic storm, and they will emerge as the DNA holders of the future of human civilization.
The reason I bring this particular subject up is because when SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) hit Asia in 2002, it was TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) with specific attention to herbs and strict precautionary measures that got Asia through the crisis.

I strongly feel the same approach can be used with relation the Swine Flu outbreak.

So what are the symptoms to watch for? Some of the cases have reported runny nose, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea. Add these to the normal, seasonal flu symptoms of high fever, lack of appetite and coughing you will have a good idea if you have been infected or not.

Do you think that the common cold and the flu (influenza) are the same? They are not. The common cold virus attaches to the adenoids, the flu attaches to lung tissue. It takes 1-4 days for you come down with the flu. It's to early to tell if the Swine Flu follows the same pattern.

How do you know if someone in close proximity has the swine flu and can infect you with it. It may be impossible to tell as a person can be infected and contagious for 24 hours before they exhibit any symptoms.

Oriental Medicine (OM) establishes 3 phases for most infectious diseases. They are prevention, exposure and full treatment. We are only going to discuss the prevention phase.

It is important that you have a strong immune system. Our immune system is capable of and does protect the human body from diseases of the common cold and influenza to cancer.

Depending on the age of the individual, OM has a different approach. Persons under the age of 40 have a stronger immune system than those over the age of 40. In the younger (under 40) person it is preferred to treat using the yuan qi (pronounced "wan chi") approach.

Oriental Medicine

In Chinese medicine their are many forms of qi. Yuan qi is roughly translated as the qi (the motive force or energy of all living things) that all persons are born with. This could further translate to a strong immune system in a person under the age of 40. Individuals under the age of 40 only need to enhance or boost their immune system with natural herbs like cat's claw, echinacea, maitake, reishi and shitaake mushrooms, probiotics, vitamin C and zinc. There is a 5-mushroom formula that is excellent named Wu Gu Fungi.

Persons over 40 (weaker immune system) need the Wei Qi and the Yuan Qi methods. Wei Qi translates to a defensive mechanism and it is present in the skin. It defends the body against invasion. These individuals need Yu Ping Geng San (commonly known as a Jade Windscreen formula) This formula primarily builds up the resistance (immune system) of the body against the invasion of pathogens.

It normally consists of six Chinese herbs. Astragalus Root , Ledebouriella , Atractylodes macrocephala , Schizandrae , (Pseudostellaria , Radix Oryzae.

This was the basic formula that was used in Asia to combat and treat SARS and it should be good for the Swine Flu as well, but it is really to early to tell.

Other immune system boosters are astragalus (huang qi jian zhong tang), ginseng endurance formula (ren shen pian) and Yin Chiao formula which is quite well known for its ability to expel viruses while they are still in the exterior.


This formula could be used in the prevention phase as well as the initial exposure phase.

Vaccines for pandemic influenza A (H1N1)
Influenza vaccines are one of the most effective ways to protect people from contracting illness during influenza epidemics and pandemics. Other preventive and treatment measures include anti-viral and other drugs, social distancing and personal hygiene. These measures must be used both prior to development of a pandemic vaccine and following the availability of a vaccine, expected in limited supply at first.