Flu Prevention Practical Tips
When it comes to sickness, the old saying about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure is quite true. Doctors routinely see people with the flu, and many people treat sick family members without themselves ever becoming ill. Learn their preventive tactics for an illness free season.
The Flu Vaccine
It’s supposedly a way to prevent the flu with no other precautions need. However, the flu shot suffers several drawbacks.
- Effectiveness is estimated between 50-70 percent, according to the CDC.
- Many strains of influenza effect humans, and the ones circulating are often not the ones in the vaccine.
- Vaccines are less effective for people who need them most.
- Vaccines introduce a risk of side effects, many of which mimic the symptoms of influenza.
Doctors beat the flu primarily with good hygiene. Families use hygiene to prevent spread of the flu. Hands and clothes coming in contact with the sick person should be washed. Surfaces should be cleaned regularly as should hands. The riskiest surfaces are those in contact with the most people. Flu enters through the mucous membranes, so it’s important to minimize direct touch of the face or food.
Workouts prime the circulatory system, which is the basis for the immune system. Contact with germs is not enough to contract an illness. You may experience symptoms, but a healthy immune system will greatly reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 20-30 minutes per day of moderate intensity exercise for optimal functioning.
In the northern hemisphere, flu season runs from October through May. This is flipped in southern locales like Australia. Flu season there runs from May to October. Researchers theorized the lower angle of sunlight during those months reduces the vitamin D production in humans. Since the modern diet provides inadequate vitamin D, this becomes a limiting factor in flu sickness.
Studies show that vitamin D has a protective effect against respiratory illnesses. Mega-doses of vitamin D are also known to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. This should come as no surprise. Vitamin D is anti-inflammatory and a vital component in healthy immune function.
Medical research has uncovered truth behind many traditional remedies. Chicken soup is powerful medicine made more so by the use of chicken stock instead of broth. Buckwheat honey and lemon are proven to relieve symptoms better than OTC medicines, and these foods are far safer for children than dextromethorphan. An extra 500mg of vitamin C reduces suffering with flu by two days. Add in Echinacea extract for even faster recovery.
Lab tests for the flu take as long to run as the sickness usually lasts. Since symptoms mimic other respiratory illnesses, doctors tend to reserve prescription antiviral medications for those at great risk of complications. Use the above tactics for prevention of influenza and reduction of symptoms.
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