Bird Flu - A Virus That Has the Potential to Kill Millions of People
Sunday, January 1st 2006
With all the media hype about the Bird flu, it's a good idea to start thinking about how you can build up and support your own immune system so if this virus does hit NZ, your body will be better prepared to handle this.
Remember that Prevention is better than cure and there are many natural things that can be done to help.
So What is Bird Flu?
Bird Flu is the common name given to avian influenza - an infectious disease of birds. This flu is caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. The subtype that is the most significant to us right now is H5N1. Although this virus does not usually infect humans, if it does, it produces severe and sometimes fatal consequences.
H5N1 is a concern for many reasons. The 1st is that it can mutate rapidly. It can acquire genes from other viruses, which would allow it to infect humans. 2nd, it is a more deadly virus compared to other sub types. It appears that human infection with H5N1 most often occurs from contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces; however it is thought that in a few cases, human to human spread has occurred. Once a human contracted this though, they did not pass this on to another human. Because these viruses do not commonly infect humans, there is little "in built" immune protection against these in us. If the H5N1 virus were able to infect people and spread, an influenza pandemic (world epidemic) could begin. Currently there are NO infected birds in NZ.
What are the symptoms?
There is not a lot of info that has been published on the symptoms of people infected with H5N1, however in the 1997 Hong Kong outbreak patients developed symptoms such as a fever, sore throat and a cough. In a few of the fatal cases, symptoms such as those with viral pneumonia developed.
So what can You do to help prevent catching this virus?
Be prepared!! Because prevention is better than cure, start to build your immune system up, so that WHAT EVER virus comes into your body (not just H5N1) your "army" is better prepared to attack this and fight it off.
There are many natural ingredients that work specifically to build (not stimulate) your immune system. Take these products while you are well.
These include Astragalus, and also the nutrients Zinc, Vitamin A, as found in Cod Liver Oil,and Vitamin C, as found in Family C Powder.
Consider taking these products now, while you are well, either singularly or in combination with other ingredients, to build up immunity. These can be taken to build up a deficient immune system and can be taken long term, if needed.
If you get sick use these products to fight the virus.
If you start to develop any viral symptoms, then you should stop your immune building herbs and swap to an immune stimulating herb or combination such as Olive Leaf, Sambucus Elderberry Extract or Viralex attack.
These herbs are antiviral and will help to stimulate your immune system to fight a virus specifically. You can find these in combination or singularly.
When you are unwell you use these products as follows: The moment you develop the 1st viral symptom, you should consider taking one or a combination of these herbs and take it intensively to quickly stimulate your immune system to fight the virus. Most of the time an intensive dosage is taken each 2 hours for the first day or so and then, once improvement is noticed, then reduce down to two or three times a day. This should be taken for up until 3 days after all symptoms go. If at any stage while on the reduced dosage, your symptoms increase, go back to the intensive dosage again and take for another 24-36 hours before considering reducing again.
Zinc is a mineral that is deficient in NZ soils and vial for a healthy immune system, as well as the absorption of other nutrients in the body. At Ideal Health we offer a free Zinc taste test, to help determine your existing zinc stasis. This enables you to take the correct dosage to support immunity, rather than just covering daily nutritional zinc needs. We have found that most people who are unwell have virtually non existent zinc levels in their body, so their need for this increases dramatically when their immune system is challenged.
As well as this, a good quality multivitamin, such as MultiVite should be taken, to boost up your energy levels and to provide a general assortment of nutrients.
Your Vitamin C levels should also be increased, using a product such as Mega C, to approximately 1000mg 3-5 times a day. If taking the contraceptive pill, another form of birth control needs to be used, as high levels of Vitamin C can affect the way the pill works.
Other important things to consider Your own personal hygiene needs to be very high, ensuring your hands are washed before any food preparation, after toileting and after sneezing or blowing your nose. I always wash my hands after shaking hands with other people, as their hygiene may not be as good as yours is. A recent study showed that it was not how powerful your hand cleaner is to kill viruses and bacteria; it is the length of time you wash your hands for that is the most relevant. The study showed that simple soap and water were adequate to rid the hands of these "greeblies", so long as the hands were washed under running water for approximately 2 minutes.
Remember that viruses are transmitted by the transfer of body fluids, so if you are sneezing or coughing, make sure you cover your mouth, so as to not spread this to other people.
Other things that affect your immune system are a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality, a lack of exercise, an over load of toxins in your body and excessive consumption of alcohol or from taking drugs.
Stress also affects our immune system, so learning about the triggers for you and trying to avoid these can also help.
My conclusion to the Bird flu threat is Be Proactive and build up your immune system now, so it is strong enough to fight anything.
In ALL cases of ill health, seek professional advice from someone like myself before self prescribing.
Source Leanne James
The following products are all useful for Immune Support:
Chewable Vitamin C 500mg
Echinacea with Astragalus and Reishi
Formula VM 2000
Kyolic Garlic High Potency
Norwegian Cod Liver Oil
Sambucus Immune System Formula
Echimax - Chewable Immune Support
Related health information can be found here:
Astra Forte - the deep immune tonic
Cat's Claw, ideal for immune defense and digestive disorders
Co-enzyme Q10 - fundamentally important for cellular energetics
Colostrum, a universal healer with immune boosting properties
Echinacea - Nature's Immune Tonic
Fish oils, garlic and antioxidants for the prevention & treatment of cardiovascular disease
Free radicals and antioxidants
Vitamin C is essential for fighting infections, wound healing and coping with stress
Winter ailments and immune boosting
Related articles can be found here:
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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