This year’s flu season is in full swing, and according to authorities, it’s the worst since 2009. The predominant circulating strain this year is Influenza A-H1N1 (swine flu), and it seems to be hitting kids the hardest.
Whether or not you decide to get the flu shot there is much you can do to prevent the virus from taking hold in your kids and in yourself.
1.Decrease your exposure to the virus:
Influenza is a respiratory infection and is easily spread. Wash your hands often, and if you can’t, use hand sanitizer (triclosan-free please). Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. But most important: if you are sick, STAY HOME. Missing a day or two of work or school is better than spreading the virus around, but more important, it will help you heal.
2. Increase your body’s ability to fight potential infections:
- GET LOTS OF SLEEP if you are feeling a little dragged out.
- Get outside and go for a gentle walk in the fresh air. Clear out those lungs!
- Drink lots of water and eat lots of soups, stews, and curries. Avoid sugars and white carbs.
- Supplement with daily vitamin D and vitamin C.
3. Boost your immune system, preventively:
Research during the last H1N1 pandemic demonstrated the value of the herbal medicine Echinacea for the possible treatment of influenza. In-vitro studies showed a decreased uptake of the virus by the human cells, and in mice models, the infected animals getting Echinacea got less sick.
The research is not conclusive, of course, but Echinacea is a remarkably safe herb in both kids and adults. A daily dose through the cold and flu season may have some benefit.
If You’re Sick
If the flu has already got you, the best tool we have is IV vitamin C. This dramatic case study of its effectiveness in a case of swine flu in 2009 made it all the way to prime time:
We have seen IVC do wonders for all kinds of viral infections and it is a big player in our cold and flu season tool-box.
Supporting your immune system can be different for each person. Book an appointment with your ND to determine the best plan for you.