Top Priority News: Influenza A (the flu) and Avian Bird Flu
Let us be clear. There are variety of ways to treat and prevent the flu -- even the bird flu. It is not inevitable. For most is not life threatening. For most of our patients and clients it is not even a likelihood.
So how did this take on even larger importance this year? It all started back in August 2004 with these unheralded headlines. First from the NIAID:
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has issued a task order under an existing contract to Chiron Corporation of Emeryville, CA, for the production of an investigational vaccine based on an H9N2 strain of avian influenza virus that has infected humans and has the potential to trigger a modern-day pandemic.
But, to make a very long story short, we allocated too much flu vaccine production to Chiron, which was found to have contaminated media. That did not happen in Britain and Canada which diversified amongst 4-5 sources.
And then this from the WHO (World Health Organization):
With increasing signs that bird flu is becoming established in Asia and several worrisome human cases that cannot be linked directly to exposure to infected poultry, it is only a matter of time until such a virus adapts itself to spread more easily from person to person and cause a severe worldwide outbreak, he said.
"We believe that we are closer to the next pandemic than we ever were," Stohr said in an interview before a speech at an American Society for Microbiology meeting in Washington, D.C.
[The WHO continues its warnings on the Avian or bird flu and a timeline of events. The latest warnings are even more dire predicting an impending worldwide pandemic] These warnings continue to be the number one subject of international epidemiologists. A BBC update continues to alarm.
Since late 2003, the world has moved closer to a pandemic than at any time since 1968, when the last of the previous century’s three pandemics occurred. All prerequisites for the start of a pandemic have now been met save one: the establishment of efficient human-to-human transmission. During 2005, ominous changes have been observed in the epidemiology of the disease in animals. Human cases are continuing to occur, and the virus has expanded its geographical range to include new countries, thus increasing the size of the population at risk. Each new human case gives the virus an opportunity to evolve towards a fully transmissible pandemic strain. -- WHO Global Infuenza Programme
We have even seen the most bizarre of all incidents where a woman waiting in line to get the flu, collapses, strikes her head and dies. A singular event, but one that stresses even more, what is a more most rational approach this year’s flu season?
An elderly woman died after collapsing during a long wait in line with hundreds of others for scarce flu shots at a California supermarket, an official said on Friday
Marie Franklin, 78, died on Thursday after collapsing in line on Wednesday and hitting her head on a pipe, said Lt. Michael Fisher, police chief of Lafayette, California, a town east of San Francisco.
A recent, very concise and well written article in The Scientist labels this the "Beanie Baby Syndrome:"
"This year is more like the Beanie Baby phenomenon," says Offit. "I think people are desirous of the vaccine because they see it as a limited edition."
Technically, the essential challenge is newer whole cell culture production techniques or even experimental recombinant DNA vectors vs. current use of chicken egg cultures. The daunting problem of producing large numbers of vaccines without governmental support, given today's legal minefield, makes this a most tenuous proposition in modern America. This is not an optimistic scenario for future success.
After careful consideration it is known that the flu vaccines are only a best approximation of the coming year’s epidemic. The virus mutates every year. We do not know with any certainty what strain is going to be prevalent in the next 1-2 months. The H5N1 avian flu is most worrisome. So vaccines are already “behind the eight ball.”
These two new studies confirm our contention that flu vaccines are of dubious value. One just this week in the Lancet, the premiere medical journal.
"The studies published today reinforce the shortcomings of our efforts to control influenza," wrote Dr. Guan Yi, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, in an editorial that accompanied the study.
In summary, we do not advocate flu vaccines.
The most curiously overlooked story over the last 10-15 years is that there are good prescription medications that effectively treat the flu.
You want to Activate white blood cells (T4 - helper cells) that kill the flu virus in its early replication stage, and acts quite similarly to the above prescription strength medications. It must be taken early in the course of an illness, so we highly recommend that you have 1-2 boxes at all times and take at the very first sign of an unusual sore throat or early signs and symptoms of the flu. This means purchasing as soon as possible. Side effect profile is virtually nil.
And then our "old standbys:"
- Thorough washing of hands. Simple -- but effective. Most infectious diseases are still passed by hand to mouth -- not by air droplets.
- High dose Vitamin C to bowel tolerance. Anywhere between 1 gram and 40-50 grams daily as tolerated. Most will only tolerate about 4-8 grams daily taken in divided doses almost as often as 1-hour intervals. This can be ascorbic acid powder. Even Abundalife Vitamin C powder is a good, well tolerated form.
- Hot steamy showers for congestion. Early in the morning and at night if necessary.
- Use of decongestants. We favor De-Hist, an herbal blend with NAC (n-acetyl cysteine), which is known to effectively break up nasal and sinus mucous.
- Use of Astragalus 500-1500 mg in divided doses. We find this to be highly synergistic with the action of Thymic Protein A. Can be purchased at any high quality health food stores or from us directly.
- And of course, all our patients are already taking high quality multivitamins , adequate Zinc and Selenium which are all necessary for a competent and vigorous immune system.