Flu prevention is based on education and making the right choices. Good health is what we all want for ourselves and our families. No one enjoys being sick, yet even with tons of vaccinations administered, this flu season is becoming one of the worst on record. We must take steps beyond just flu vaccinations if we really want to keep our families safe from all the various strains of flu, including the menacing H3N2.
Reports say that this year's flu vaccine is only 10% effective against H3N2 and has about a 33% overall effectiveness rate, as opposed to last year's vaccine being 39% effective in preventing illness from flu. The highest effectiveness rate of a flu vaccine is around 60% as scientist must guess which strains will have the most exposure in the population for the upcoming flu season. More flu strains are currently emerging so the threat this year may still be increasing.
We are only halfway through this flu season with 9 to 11 weeks remaining, and so far this season is the worst since 2009 and is reminding us of the 1918 flu epidemic that caused widespread sickness and deaths one hundred years ago. Beyond the H1N1 strain, this year H3N2, a rapidly mutating and more powerful strain of influenza virus, has spread rapidly throughout the United States, hitting all states at the same time instead of in staggered outbreaks. 26 states have reported high flu activity and 46 states have reported widespread flu activity, according to a recent public health agency report.
Currently, 6.6% of outpatient visits are for complaints of influenza-like illness (ILI), and all over they country there are reports of clinics and doctor's offices overflowing will flu patients. The situation is serious, many cities are setting up mobile flu units to help relieve the emergency rooms from patients. Children, the elderly, and Baby Boomer's have the highest risk of severe illness and even death. Death attributed to flu is between 12,000 to 56,000 Americans each year, depending on how bad the season is, and it hospitalizes 140,000 to 710,000 people.
Because of the rapid mutation of the H3N2 strain, it is hard for a vaccination to give the correct inoculation of the virus in order to prevent future infections. Vaccines are important and are probably a good idea, but they can't completely cover all strains of the viruses, so it is up to you to boost your immune system to its maximum, take the proper precautions to stay healthy, and be prepared for whatever strains happen to come your way.
There is no way to guarantee 100% immunity to any sickness or disease, but we can take steps to improve our own resistance.
Flu Prevention: Improve your Chances of Staying Healthy
A 30% effective flu vaccine and new emerging strains means that your chances of avoiding the flu and especially the H3N2 strain could be quite low. You might want to consider additional methods to increase your immunity with supplements such as Reishi Mushrooms and Nano Silver. The stronger your immune system, the more resistant you will be to the various flu strains. Here are some simple steps to stay healthy and achieve flu prevention:
- The most important! Get good rest! There is nothing more crucial in keeping our immune systems performing their best, than to rest and rejuvenate. Sleep and the circadian system exert a strong regulatory influence on immune functions. Make sure you are getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night so that your body has a chance to perform nightly maintenance and repairs on all your systems. Sleep loss not only makes us more prone to flu and sickness, it also affects our ability to recover once we have become ill.
- Don't Stress! Think Positive! Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system and impairs the body's natural ability to fight germs, viruses, and pathogens. Stress puts the body in fight or flight mode which causes it to produce high quantities of cortisol. Cortisol is good when needing to battle through a threatening situation, but bad for allowing our cells to rest and rejuvenate. Relaxation and deep breathing helps to boost the immune system. Our thoughts contribute to the state of our biology, so positive affirmations, prayer, meditation work may help keep our immune systems at optimum performance.
- Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol! These drugs, along with many others, severely lower the body's immune defenses and predisposes us to a plethora of infections complications. Both alcohol and tobacco are especially damaging to lung health and cause disfunction in the protective barriers in the respiratory tract. Avoiding substances is a key to flu prevention.
- No Junk and No Sweets! Eat Well! Avoid excessive sugary and greasy foods. Junk foods cause the pH balance of the body to move towards the acidic range, in which viruses and bacteria easily thrive. So eat instead plenty of organic vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds so that your body will stay balanced and have the nutrients it needs to fight pathogens. It is proven that, fresh fish, vegetables, mushrooms, medicinal herbs, omega 3 fat acids (plentifully in salmon and mackerel), complex carbohydrates, herbal teas, yogurt, kefir and seaweed stimulate the T-cells and other immune cells.
Immunity starts with the gut! Take Probiotics! Probiotics are the beneficial gut bacterial which digest our food and help protect us from bad bacteria and viruses. Our gut and intestines are made up of an ecology of bacteria which perform many functions to maintain our health and energy. Immunity begins in the gut because it is here that viruses and bad bacteria can replicate the fastest, using the freely available nutrients from the food we eat. Make sure you have ample beneficial probiotics in your gut for optimal flu prevention, probiotics help prevent the pathogens from getting an upper hand.
Supercharge your system! Eat Immune Boosting Superfoods! One of the most amazing immune boosting superfoods is Medicinal Mushrooms. Used for over thousands of years by ancient health practitioners, Reishi Mushrooms have many benefits including an incredible ability to support and strengthen our immune systems. Reishi is effective against viral infections such as the flu (influenza), swine flu, and avian flu. It may help with lung conditions including asthma and bronchitis. Not to mention Reishi helps with heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; kidney disease; cancer; and liver disease. That's why Reishi was given the name “The Mushroom of Immortality.” You can add Reishi Mushroom Powder to your smoothies, teas, and favorite recipes.
- Extra cellular defense! Take Immune Supporting Herbs! Herbal medicine is great because it acts in a comprehensive manner, gently supporting and strengthening the immune system over time. Medicinal Herbs can be used in moderate daily dosages as hot and soothing tea. Here are some of the most popular immune building herbs: Echinacea, Goldenseal, Elder Berry and Elder Flower, Ginseng, Propolis (a bee product), Reishi Mushroom, Chaga Mushroom, Garlic, and Turmeric.
High-powered, deep cleansing with Nano Silver! This powerful supplement kills every pathogen ever tested against but it doesn't kill your healthy flora. Unlike colloidal silver, Nano Silver is in-and-out of your body with 24hrs. Silver is one of the natural minerals our body uses for proper functioning; we need 40mg of silver for regular health.
- Stay Educated and Expand your Health Knowledge! You've already taken the first step by searching for more information on the internet. There is plenty to research, learn, and apply to our lives to benefit our daily health and well-being. Don't stop here, continue reading and researching Natural Remedies for the Flu and Cold Season.And be sure to read the CDC's list of good habits for flu prevention.
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Final Note: Always Seek Medical Advice from your Doctor / Vaccines
It is important to remember that nothing written here can substitute the advice of a professional medicinal physician. We are not giving medical advice, just helpful tips that you can use to keep your body super fit and super healthy along your quest of flu prevention. Always be sure to consult your doctor about your individual health needs before trying any supplements or health regimens.
Even though vaccines are on average only 40% - 60% effective against the flu, we are not anti-vaccine and not claiming that you should not get vaccinated, this is a choice that each person will need to make based on their own research. Instead, we are promoting additional methods that you can use to help close the gap and be closer to 100% safe from influenza, this flu season and all year around.