How to Tame the Swine Flu?

                                                                                             Dr. Arthur M. Echano

During the 2005 bird flu scare, the Associated Press news report warns, “The World on Brink of Worldwide Epidemic.” Well, we have a flu epidemic almost every year so what’s the big fuss about it? Of course, it did not become a pandemic. Today (April 2009), we have another flu scare, the swine flu. It is not an ordinary flu strain. This is the dangerous influenza type A (H1N1) virus, which according to experts is a hybrid flu strain.

Are you sure this flu scare is not a hoax? In 2003, the medical journal Vaccine reported that “It has been 35 years since the last influenza pandemic, and the longest interval between pandemics recorded with certainty is 39 years.” There have been 31 major influenza pandemics since 1580, three in the last century. When flu experts tell us that the world is long overdue for the next one, it is time to take heed. Especially so when history tells us that every time a new H1 flu virus enters the world scene, the world experiences a pandemic.

Be Ready For War

Is there going to be flu pandemic though? I really don’t know. And I don’t think anybody knows for sure. But I am not going to sit around and wait for it to happen. It might be too late by then. The key to this whole flu scare is PREPARATION. A well trained, pre-armed immune system is our best hope in silencing the flu virus.

As long as our immune system is in ready to fight and win mood, we will always be on the winning side. On the other hand, a weakened immune system is a recipe for disaster. Even well timed vaccination will not be of use if our immune system is not in tip top shape.

Is Flu Immunization the Answer?

Flu vaccine is available. Availability is one thing. Effectiveness is another story. The hard reality is that the flu virus can change or mutate quickly. The rule of thumb is “new strain needs new vaccine.” But if the virus keeps on changing, how can our scientists catch up with the changes? It is just impossible! It is not surprising then that even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admitted in January 16, 2004 that the success rate of the flu shot was low to zero.

With regard to the Tamiflu vaccine designed for the much feared Bird Flu of 2005, research showed a discouraging rate of effectiveness, 0-14%, depending on how the data was analyzed.
With the current swine flu, the effectiveness of Tamiflu is zero. The same is true of Relenza, another anti-flu shot.

What are the chances that the virus is never going to change or mutate? Slim to none. So if relying on flu immunization rest on the premise that the virus is not going to change, we are going to be sitting ducks when a super flu strikes. What should we do then to shield ourselves from a possible flu epidemic/pandemic?

How Should Our Immune System Respond?

To win the war against swine flu or any strain of flu for that matter, our immune system has to act quickly and appropriately. Here is the scary bit. Our immune system has to recognize the new virus strain to determine how to deal with it. This could take time. With this super flu reproducing at such an alarming rate, by the time the immune system has finished identifying the enemy and figuring out how to silence the virus, the battle is over. With the winner being the flu virus.

Overzealousness Can Be Fatal

Even if our immune system responds on time, it could go on overdrive and cause inflammation. When the inflammation is in the lungs, pneumonia sets in. In the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, the healthiest group, the 20-40 year-old bracket got hit the most. They died from inflammatory changes in the lungs- pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). When their immune system went on overkill, it turned against them instead of protecting them.

How can we make the immune system behave properly? By taking immune modulating agents long before the war starts. These are agents that can train our immune cells to quickly recognize the enemy, be in tip top shape for war and have eagle’s eyes in hunting for viruses. The military trains their men well and hard before deploying them into trouble spots. It increases their chances of survival and victory. The same thing is true with our immune system. If it is educated at post-graduate level, it can ward off the advances of disease-causing organisms like viruses. An excellent immune modulating agent that I know is bovine colostrum extract.

Preventing War is an Excellent Option

Wouldn’t it be better though if war does not take place at all? If we can avoid a confrontation between the immune system and the flu virus, so much the better. No danger of pneumonia or ARDS, the main cause of death in a flu pandemic. It takes two to have a fight. So if we can eliminate the flu virus at the start, war is avoided. As flu immunization is generally ineffective, there is an antiviral agent can help in destroying the flu virus- virgin coconut oil.

The beauty with virgin coconut oil is that it can neutralize any encapsulated bacteria or virus. This includes the flu virus. Furthermore, there is no danger of developing resistance to it. Isn’t this amazing? No matter what strain of flu virus gets into the scene, extra premium grade virgin coconut oil can silence it. A costly war is prevented since VCO is going to take care of the virus right from the start.

Diet, Hygiene & Lifestyle Changes

Be that as it may, it is crystal clear that flu vaccines will not guarantee anyone a flu-free winter. Of course, everybody in natural medicine realizes the futility of relying on drugs and vaccines alone for health and healing. Going down to basics, the key in preventing flu and other kinds of infections for that matter are diet, personal hygiene and lifestyle changes. Stay away from junk foods, refined foods, highly processed, greasy, fatty, salty and sugary foods. Get plenty of rest and avoid stress. Exercise, hand washing, sunshine, fresh air, fluids and adequate sleep are simple ways to decrease the odds of succumbing to flu.

You might ask, what else can I do now to decrease the odds of getting flu? Aside from virgin coconut oil and bovine colostrum extract (transfer factor), you could take Hawaiian spirulina, Amalaki, nanonised nutritional supplements, megadose of vitamin C, colloidal silver, olive leaf extract, beta glucan, etc. Of course, you don’t have to take all of these natural products. It depends on what is available in your area.

Flu Shot is Not for Me

I haven’t had a flu shot ever and I don’t intend to have one. I must be doing something right then since I’ve been flu-free for almost 30 long years. I am fully convinced that these natural preventive measures have resulted in freedom from flu and other nasty infections. To prove that something works, anecdotal and empirical evidence are enough for me. I don’t need double blind placebo controlled trial to prove the effectiveness of natural health formulations. The Chinese have been using selected mushrooms for thousands of years, with excellent clinical results. The bottom line is good clinical outcome.

For guidance, seek the help of a health care practitioner near you. There is no need to be scared with any type of flu strain if your immune system knows how to behave appropriately. If we give our immune system the support that it needs, we need not worry too much about influenza. Better still, if you can destroy the flu virus with something like virgin coconut oil, no need for war to take place. It will be nipped in the bud so to speak.

Dr. Echano is an integrative GP at Medisense Health Care, Taree NSW, Australia.