Avoiding the Flu: Precautions and Building your Immunity

Avoiding the Flu:
Precautions and Building your Immunity.
Some health tips and advice to get you
safely through the winter!

By Michele Carelse
(By permission, from her latest newsletter)

It's that time of the year again! Along with all the holidays and the festive season celebrations, we also get our annual 'flu epidemics. Every year, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) stresses the importance of vaccination against the 'flu, particularly for those members of the population defined as 'at risk' - this includes young children, the elderly and people whose immune system may be compromised due to various medical conditions like AIDS, asthma, diabetes, etc. Patients undergoing medical treatment which may lower immune functioning (e.g. chemotherapy patients) are also encouraged to receive a 'flu vaccine.

Why is there a shortage of 'flu vaccine?

According to the CDC, the Chiron Corporation, a major manufacturer of the 'flu vaccine, will not be able to produce any vaccine for the 2004/2005 year, following the UK's MHRA suspension of this company's license to manufacture the 'flu vaccine Fluvirin. This means that the US supply of trivalent inactivated vaccines (or 'flu shots) will be reduced by almost 50% for the upcoming 'flu season! For this reason and to help cope with demands, the CDC has recommended that 'flu shots be administered only to populations defined as being at special risk.

Instead of the 'flu shots, the CDC has recommended that healthy people use a nasal-spray vaccine (LAIV) which contains live (weakened) strains of the three major influenza viruses. Because of the risk of side effects and the theoretical possibility that people receiving the LAIV vaccine can transmit the virus to others with compromised immune systems, LAIV is recommended only for healthy people between the ages of 5 and 49 and is not recommended for caregivers of people with chronic illnesses, health workers or those caring for very young children. Side effects of the LAIV can include runny nose, headache, vomiting, fever (especially in children) and muscle aches.

What else can I do to protect myself against influenza?

According to the CDC, there are steps which can be taken to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the 'flu virus. Here are some recommendations:

1. Keep your distance from and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
2. If you are sick, stay at home and keep your distance from other people to prevent spreading the 'flu virus.
3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and turn your head away from other people when you cough or sneeze.
4. Wash your hands often to protect yourself from germs.
5. Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.
6. To keep your immune system healthy, get enough sleep, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, exercise regularly, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and keep stress levels to the minimum.
6. The use of anti-viral drugs can also help to protect you against contracting the 'flu virus.

Natural Remedies Can Help!

The major pharmaceutical companies are not the only ones with solutions to the 'flu virus. Herbalists and Naturopaths have had thousands of years experience in treating people with influenza and boosting immune functioning. Looking at the recommendations by the CDC as outlined above, here are some additional recommendations from Native Remedies:

1. There are some excellent herbal alternatives to the pharmaceutical anti-viral drugs which have been recommended by the CDC and the World Health Organisation. Native Remedies Immunity Plus Formula contains a selection of the most powerful and effective anti-viral herbs from around the world and can be of great benefit in boosting immune functioning to protect the system against the 'flu virus. It may also be used at the very first signs of 'flu or cold symptoms in order to stop the virus in its tracks. ImmunityPlus has an added benefit over and above the pharmaceutical anti-virals in that it also contains antibacterial herbs which act as natural anti-biotics. This means that you would be less likely to develop secondary infections from the 'flu virus. Although the 'flu virus comes with very uncomfortable symptoms, it is the secondary infections like pneumonia and bronchitis that are potentially very dangerous.

How Do I use ImmunityPlus?

According to Michele Carelse, Clinical Psychologist and formulator of Immunity Plus, it is best to take a 6 weeks course of Immunity Plus at the very beginning of winter. Thereafter 'booster' courses of about a week can be taken at eight - ten week intervals. At the very first signs of 'flu symptoms, take a 5 - 10 day course to stop the virus in its tracks. Michele also recommends using ImmunityPlus for about a week to protect yourself if you are exposed to someone with the 'flu.

2. If you have been following an unhealthy lifestyle or have been exposed to environmental toxins, we recommend a three week course of our Detox Drops along with the ImmunityPlus. Please be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day during this time.

3. Studies have shown that people who are suffering from stress or depression will have lowered resistance to illness and are much more likely than others to become ill, especially with viral infections. If you are depressed or suffering from stress, protect yourself by taking a 6 month's course of our Mindsoothe Capsules, accompanied by the Native Remedies Triple Complex Calm Tonic for extra protection.

Good News for Next Year!

Native Remedies is busy working on the development of a 100% homeopathic alternative to the 'flu vaccine. This will be ready for distribution before the winter season of 2005/2006 and can be safely taken by people of all age groups as well as those with compromised immune systems. Watch this space!

Michele Carelse is a Registered Clinical Psychologist and Licensed Counselor with more than 15 years experience running her own private practice.

Michele has also developed Native Remedies - a range of natural herbal and homeopathic remedies for adults and children, specifically aimed at promoting emotional, psychological, cognitive and physiological health.

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