February just started, yet the 2017-2018 flu season has already recorded the highest level of infection since the swine flu pandemic of 2009. Nationwide, the flu has many hospitals at “surge capacity,” the limit of their ability to handle a sizable uptick in the number of people needing urgent care. H3N2, the main flu strain, is highly contagious, virulent and deadly. The flu vaccine is only 10% effective against H3N2, so preventive measures are the best hope for staying safe.
These strategies help:
Wash hands often, with plain soap and water. Prevent flaking and dry skin (a portal of entry for germs) by moisturizing with organic coconut oil after washing. If soap and water are not available, alcohol (i.e. vodka) or a few drops of organic lavender essential oil are effective, non-toxic hand sanitizers.
Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth), which spreads germs. No hands in the mouth, including nail biting. On average, the hand-face connection happens 16 times an hour!
Don’t share eating or drinking utensils, even if the person isn’t obviously sick, because flu has an incubation period of 1 - 4 days before symptoms show.
Use a neti pot or daily nasal syringe bulb rinse to flush out viruses and secretions that trap them. Buy a saline nasal rinse or make your own by combining 3 teaspoons of iodide-free salt plus 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup of distilled water.
Avoid areas in which air is re-circulated, such as shopping malls, locker rooms, long term care facilities, hospitals, mass transit and airplanes.
Sanitize surfaces, including doorknobs, handles, staircase rails, phones, computer keyboards, remote controls, faucets, water fountains, gym equipment, elevator buttons and anything that many people touch throughout the day. Viruses can live on surfaces for more than 24 hours. No sanitizer available? Grab surfaces with your hand wrapped in a tissue or paper towel.
Avoid close contact with those who are sick: sleep in separate bedrooms, don’t share towels.
Slowly breathe out until 10 feet away from anyone coughing or sneezing to avoid inhaling contaminated air.
Strengthen your immune system with lifestyle factors that make a difference: get enough good sleep, exercise regularly, reduce stress, eat real, organic food.
Up your intake of organic herbs and spices with known anti-viral activity, including oregano, onion, turmeric, ginger, (crushed, raw) garlic. Organic supplements are available.
These foods/nutrients have been scientifically shown to reduce the incidence of flu:
- Vitamin D: practice prudent sun exposure and/or take a vitamin D3 supplement to optimize blood levels to 50 – 70 ng/ml.
- Green or black tea: 1 -5 cups daily.
- Probiotic foods: live culture yogurt, kefir, kombucha, natto, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh. Organic supplements are available.
- Mushrooms: consume daily, shiitake and maitake are the best. Organic supplements are available.
The flu season commonly extends through May, so commit to these measures over the long haul. Why combat the flu when you can just skip it?
Disclaimer: This article was created for informational purposes only, is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Oobroo™ Inc or its staff.
References available on request: email TeamOobroo@oobroo.com