What is Important to Know about the Flu

Beware of the coughing, sneezing, and hacking around you.

The coronavirus is getting attention around the world, Shortly, I expect, that the United States will have more than a few cases of this virus. The standard medical industry protocols for avoiding the flu are to get a flu vaccination, wash your hands, avoid touching eyes and mouth, get sleep, work out, keep hand sanitizer handy, and avoid people who are already sick.

Two flu seasons ago the United States had a very severe flu season. The flu affected a lot of people simultaneously all over the U.S. Death rates were highest for those over 65 years of age – just like China today.

The CDC states that a severe flu season can affect up to 35,000,000 (35 million) people, requiring 700,000 hospitalizations, and possibly 56,000 fatalities (less than 1%). The current coronavirus fatality rate is fluctuating around 3%.

Comparing a bad flu season in the United States is not quite the same thing as China’s current situation. Today’s (28FEB20) stats from China are 85,206 cases with 2,923 deaths (3.4%).
Flu vaccinations are not a guarantee that you will not come down with the virus. They can help. The vaccination effectiveness of the H3N2 viruses is 25%; against the H1N1 viruses it is 67%; and against the B viruses, the rate is about 42%. These numbers are approximations – some years the vaccinations are more effective and other years they are not.

The elderly are most prone to catching the flu. Nearly ¾ of all deaths due to the flu are to those over 65 years of age. Normally young children are the next most susceptible group, but lately, the 50 to 64-year-old group seems to be at higher risk.

What do I do to prevent or reduce the risk of catching the flu every year? The best defense against all diseases is a healthy immune system. Maybe that is one of the reasons the elderly have a more difficult time with a disease. I do a 72-hour-fast every month. This short term (3 days) fast rebuilds my immune system from ground zero. Your body is on the edge of starvation after 72 hours of not eating. The body rids itself of any nonfunctioning cells. The liver has time to rest and recuperate. The immune system is strengthened.

The next thing is to eat foods that provide balanced nutrition. Nutrient deficiencies make things worse, especially if you are trying to do battle with a flu virus. You need every part of the body functioning at 100%. Deficiencies make you vulnerable. Quality sleep is imperative. Sleep is when your body repairs itself.

Keeping your immune system strong is helping. However, you still must be smart about the world around you. If there are a lot of people (more than the normal number) around you who are coughing and sneezing, avoid them as much as possible. Consider, very strongly consider, washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Do this hourly when away from home.

Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth, and eyes when outside your home. I do not like hand sanitizers. Nanotechnology allows chemicals (toxins) to pass through the skin as if they were on a superhighway into your body. Overuse or frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause your skin to dry out and crack opening paths for germs to enter your body. Eye irritation, vomiting, conjunctivitis, cough, and abdominal pain are the common health risks of both alcohol and non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

I tell people often to listen to their bodies, especially when they exercise. We are smart people and sometimes we are not situationally aware of things around us. The early symptoms of the flu are fatigue, body aches and chills, coughing, sore throat, fever, and gastrointestinal problems.

We know that older folks are more likely to catch the flu. Avoid situations where they are – hospitals, retirement homes, assisted living facilities, and more. Stay home if you have a fever. Go to the hospital if you have symptoms and especially if you are over 65 years of age. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. You need antiviral medications. Don’t self-treat yourself with old or out of date medications.

The flu season comes and goes. Be sensible and make good decisions.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life – Red O’Laughin


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