In the news again this year are some alarming stories about the newer strains of Avian or bird flu. Health officials say we are not ready, in fact the under secretary of health and human services was quoted as saying “I lay awake at night and worry.” Any flu and in particular a flu that has a 50% mortality rate should not be taken lightly.


But before we all panic, let’s take a look at the latest facts about the Avian flu published by the CDC, The Centers for Disease Control. Or if you want, look at them for yourself at CDC.gov. Although this appears to be a dangerous flu, outbreaks here in this country have been minimal; the last cases to have been reported were last year and appeared in individuals working directly with poultry. Therefore, your chances of contracting this flu may be slim, but always protect yourself from this and all other strains of flu.


First lines of defense:


Thorough hand washing with soap and hot water is one of the best defenses against the spread of pathogens. A simple bar of soap is good enough. Put plenty of hand action into your hand washing. Granted most virus infections are airborne but the number of viruses transmitted via direct contact is greater. Therefore, wash your hands frequently and keep your hands and fingers out of your mouth.


Get plenty of rest. At no time are you more vulnerable to illness than when you are tired and short of sleep. Studies show that immunity can be chronically depressed with less than adequate rest leaving you vulnerable to cold and flu.


Drink plenty of liquids. Six to eight glasses of water will keep the body well hydrated and reduces the toxic load. Don’t skimp.


Zinc taken in the form of lozenges is a must. I am recommending to all my clients that they use zinc daily to help prevent flu. Zinc used to bathe the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat will prevent virus replication. If the virus you are exposed to cannot replicate it cannot make you sick. If taken after you develop the flu it will help shorten and lessen symptoms.  Carry extra zinc lozenges with you at all times so when out in public and accidentally exposed to someone with a cough and noticeably ill you can protect yourself.


Vitamin C taken daily helps boost immunity. The patented form Ester C clinically proven to remain in the body and available to the cells for 24-48 hours after ingestion is a great improvement over other brands that wash out of the system almost as soon as they are taken.


Flu vaccine has been proven to be effective in reducing the seriousness of flu should you happen to develop a full-blown case. The elderly and the very young are the most vulnerable and should be vaccinated.


Flu strains come and go. Most everyone in the course of a lifetime will develop the flu several times regardless of vaccines and other preventative measures- no one escapes. Using preventative measures may lessen the number of times you are sick and decrease symptoms and duration when you do get sick. Patience and persistence- till next time, Rebecca