H1N1 Influenza, symptoms, call 911, WHO, vaccine, Tamiflu, vitamin D, yin chiao, vitamin C, zinc, selenium, echinacea
“H1N1 Influenza Symptoms: fever, shaking chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache and extreme tiredness. Some people also have diarrhoea and vomiting.
Call 911 if you have severe trouble breathing, severe dehydration, extreme confusion, or fainting.
You can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, 24 hours a day/seven days a week to speak to a nurse if you have more questions or if feeling ill. See the symptom checker link below.
Current status of outbreak
- On June 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its alert level to phase 6 (the pandemic phase). So far, the WHO considers the overall severity of the pandemic to be “moderate”, which means that most people recover from infection without the need for hospitalization or medical care.
- To put the H1N1 outbreak in perspective, 400 to 800 people die in British Columbia from the seasonal flu or pneumonia each year.
- The most current confirmed severe case counts are available online for Canada (PHAC), the U.S. (CDC) and internationally (WHO).
When and where can I get the H1N1 vaccine?
British Columbians can use the Flu Clinic Locator at www.immunizebc.ca to find out where to get the H1N1 vaccine. If there are no clinics posted in a particular area, people can call their public health unit or family physician to find out where and when they can get vaccinated.
Starting the week of Oct. 26, the people who will benefit most from pandemic H1N1 immunization, and who need and want to get vaccinated, are now able to receive that vaccine should they choose to do so. These groups include:
- Persons under the age of 65 with chronic conditions. (people with long term lung, heart, kidney problems) “my italics”
- Pregnant women.
- Persons – including First Nations – living in remote and isolated settings or communities.
People who fall into these groups AND for whom the seasonal flu vaccine is normally recommended will be able to receive both shots at the same time. People who do not fall into these groups are asked to put off receiving the H1N1 vaccine for a few weeks to allow those at most risk to get their vaccine first.
Starting the week of Nov. 2, the people eligible to receive the H1N1 vaccine has expanded to include the following groups:
- All initial groups.
- Children 6 months to less than 5 years of age.
- Health-care workers (including all health-care system workers involved with the pandemic response or delivery of essential health services).
- Household contacts and care providers of infants less than 6 months of age, and persons who are immunocompromised.
People who fall into these groups AND for whom the seasonal flu vaccine is normally recommended will be able to receive both shots at the same time.
Beginning in late-November or early-December, everyone else who needs and wants the H1N1 vaccine will be recommended to receive it. Public notification will happen at this time so that everyone is aware the vaccine is available to them. “
The above information directly from http://www.gov.bc.ca/h1n1/
What about the seasonal flu?
See link: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200911/brownlee-h1n1/3 for an in depth look at efficacy of vaccines for the flu. Below are some quotations from the article.
“Today, seasonal flu is estimated to kill about 36,000 people in the United States each year, and half a million worldwide.”
“More than 200 known viruses and other pathogens can cause the suite of symptoms known as “influenza-like illness”; respiratory syncytial virus, bocavirus, coronavirus, and rhinovirus are just a few of the bugs that can make a person feel rotten. And depending on the season, in up to two-thirds of the cases of flu-like illness, no cause at all can be found.”
“What is certain is that influenza viruses mutate with amazing speed, so each flu season sees slightly different genetic versions of the viruses that infected people the year before. Every year, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collect data from 94 nations on the flu viruses that circulated the previous year, and then make an educated guess about which viruses are likely to circulate in the coming fall. Based on that information, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issues orders to manufacturers in February for a vaccine that includes the three most likely strains.”
In this Atlantic article the following study by Jackson et al. shows that effectiveness of vaccines on death may be biased. The results of the study suggest that healthy people are more likely to get vaccines so that is why they were shown to have decreased death rate. Basically elderly and frail or immune-compromised patients were not able to get vaccine so that’s why there was a higher death rate in those people who didn’t get vaccinated against the flu. Not because the vaccination was more effective.
We know we should wash our hands but we don’t practice it. We should make sure we do it.
What about Tamiflu?
Is actually a drug that is derived from Star Anise a Chinese and Ayruvedic herb and is the main anitviral pharmaceutical. According to one study out of Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network, Tamiflu was effective in preventing one death out of 16 people to whom it was administered within 48 hours after onset of flu symptoms. Center for Disease Control (CDC) says not everyone should use it. They say it should be should only be used for most critical cases. Since resistance could develop. See this link: http://www.pharmacologyweekly.com/content/pages/oseltamivir-tamiflu-greater-48-hours-effecicy-H1N1-virus-swine-flu
How to improve you immunity: Sleep well, eat whole foods diet, and avoid sugar
Vitamin D: people with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu. The risks were even higher for those with chronic respiratory disorders such as asthma and emphysema. Study in Annals of Internal Medicine
Yin Chiao: A Chinese herbal preparation can be effective for sore throat and prevent worsening of colds and flus. Available at your local Chinese herbal store.
Vitamin C: can help at onset of cold and flu by stabilizing mast cells that release histamine. So you can get relief from sinus congestion, watery eyes, sniffling, and sneezing.
Zinc and Selenium: Zinc and Selenium deficiency will make you more susceptible to colds and flus
Echinacea: there is evidence that Echinacea can help shorten duration of upper respiratory infections