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Home > Swine Flu and Flu Season Worries: To Vaccinate or Not?
Swine Flu and Flu Season Worries: To Vaccinate or Not?
by Dave Foreman
This is the number one question I get going into late fall and early winter. To me, it is a personal choice. This is always a difficult question to answer because it depends on you. I don't recommend the flu shot at all. My feeling is that sick people get sick. The latest information available from the CDC is still showing that the majority of the people who are dying from the swine flu are those who were already in a weakened state of health to begin with. Healthy individuals are not dying from the flu. To assist you in your decision, I will try to help you understand more about this potentially deadly illness.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can be a mild illness or even lead to death. The flu virus is usually spread by a cough or sneeze from an infected person who didn't cover their mouth and nose. The little spray that comes from this person can land on your nose or mouth and end up infecting you. It can take as little as one day after this exposure for you to develop your flu symptoms. You can be considered contagious from the first day you are exposed.
Every year in the United States, on average:
•5% to 20% of the population gets the flu
• More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications
• About 36,000 people die from flu
• Who should get vaccinated? This is what modern medicine recommends. These are not necessarily my opinions:
• People 50 years of age and older
• People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
• Children aged 6 months until their 5th birthday
• Pregnant women
• People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities
When to vaccinate?
Flu season typically lasts from November through March, but it can take weeks (up to 6) after you get vaccinated for your immune system to protect you against the flu.
For more up-to-date information on the flu shot, check out the CDC's influenza web site: www.cdc.gov/flu.Enough of this negative talk! Sick people only get sick! I know that sounds crazy, but if you really think about it, we get sick when we let our guard down. Perhaps you are in a state of health that has your immune system weak. Or, you don't follow my 4-Pillars of health (Diet, Activity,Mind/Spirit and Supplementation). There are many reasons we may get sick. Even the Herbal Pharmacist gets sick. I can always link it back to not practicing what I preach. Maybe I ate the wrong foods, or didn't get the rest I needed. Or, maybe I didn't reorder my immune support supplements. There are literally tons of reasons why we may get the flu. The following are my recommendations for preventing the flu, or ridding the body of the flu if you wait until it is too late.
• Follow the 4-Pillars (Especially no refined/white foods)
•Use Probiotics daily (Flora Smart, Acidophilus Pearls, Ultimate 10 Probiotics)
• Oreganol Extract
• Olive Leaf Extract
• Host Defense
Got the flu and need to get rid of it:
• Homeopathic remedies (Oscillococcinum)
• Vitamin C (Higher doses - 1-3 grams or more)
• Zinc Lozenges (Immune Actin Zinc Lozenges)
• Esberitox (my personal favorite - kid friendly)
• Elderberry (Sambucus)
As I frequently mention, diet is critical during the cold and flu months. Increase the consumption of nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, and veggies. If you eat animal proteins, try to eat organic. While increasing these good foods, eliminate (not decrease) the bad foods such as refined oils and white foods (sugar, honey, pasta, bread(s), bagels, potatoes, etc.). Sugar and honey can have an immediate negative effect on how your immune system functions for extended periods of time (I always say it makes your immune cells stupid). Maybe this is why we get sick during the holidays? We tend to eat more of the things that are bad for immune health and less of the things that promote immune wellness.
Finally, your flu shot choice is and should be a personal choice. Don't let your family, friends or health care professional bully you into your choice. If you decide not to get the flu shot and are in a high risk group, please make sure you take every precaution to assure yourself of a healthy winter and early spring.