Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some Precautions for Prevention of H1N1 Flu

Some of the 1,200 people who braved rain and low temperatures line up to receive a free H1N1 flu vaccine at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago Oct 24, 2009. REUTERS/Frank Polich

A demonstrator in Florida urging people not to take the H1N1 flu shot.

Just a week ago many were protesting that they were being forced to receive the immunization from H1N1 – this week millions are lining up for the shots and demanding that they receive it. I am definitely not a medical authority and whatever you decide to do is a personal decision but most agree that it is wise to follow certain basic precautions to prevent the flu - some things just seem to be common sense.


Prevent Swine Flu - Good Advice

Physicians recommend the following:

The only portals of entry for the flu are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it is almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions.

Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as its proliferation (rapid reproduction).

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H 1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced.

1. Frequent hand washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one.

Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti, but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, water, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

How much will the H1N1 swine flu vaccine cost?

The U.S. government purchased the vaccine from manufacturers and is providing the vaccine at no cost.

The CDC has asked providers NOT to charge for administering the vaccine. Even if they do, several large insurance companies have said the costs would be covered.

For more information on the H1N1 go to this website:


The virus is spread through the air from infected people who cough or sneeze. Try to stay away from large public gatherings or anywhere where a lot of people are present. Stay away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly and carry a bottle of hand sanitizer for use when you can't wash. Careful observation of what you touch can be very worthwhile. You may sanitize your hands before entering an eating establishment but did you use bare hands on the door handle or hand railings--thousands of others did also. Did you put your hands on the counter while ordering fast food? Many others preceded you. How many people handled the money you received as change? Possibly quite a number. Is the plastic tabletop where you eat contaminated?--very likely. If you realize these things you can take steps to avoid infection. All it takes is careful observation and a little thought. Then apply the hand sanitizer after every possible exposure to a contaminated item.

In the final analysis taking every possible precaution to avoid the virus is probably the best.


President Barack Obama has declared 2009 H1N1 swine flu a national emergency, the White House said on Saturday.

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