I recently came across a guide for doctors about how to identify and treat this year’s flu virus. And, as you might expect, the guide was full of propaganda about the completely useless flu vaccine.
As I’ve reported many times, you have many more effective options for preventing the flu — and I’ll tell you about three of them today.
But first, to effectively prevent it, you should have an understanding as to how the flu is transmitted…
Flu travels by land and by air
You can catch the flu by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth. You can also catch it by inhaling droplets expelled into the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes ¾ or even just breathes — near you! (I’ll tell you the latest research on airborne infection next month.)
The virus’ incubation period — which is the time between when you’re first contaminated and when you start exhibiting symptoms — ranges from one to four days.
But when flu symptoms do finally show up, they typically hit suddenly. For example, you may feel fine when you get up in the morning. But by your first cup of coffee, you could feel terrible.
Common flu symptoms may include:
- Dry cough and respiratory symptoms that may start slowly, but progress
- A fever, ranging from 100 to 104° F, though older people may run lower fevers
- GI issues — including abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting
- Increased heart rate (due to fever)
- Serious fatigue
- Skin that may feel hot to the touch, especially if dehydrated
- Sore throat, but no nasal discharge (unlike a cold)
- Watery, red eyes
Once infected, people can pass along the virus for five to 10 days. And those with compromised immune systems, like those who have HIV/AIDS, remain contagious for weeks or months. Also, children can shed the virus longer than adults.
Plus, an infected person can transmit the virus before they become symptomatic. So, it’s possible to catch the flu from people who don’t even know they have it and are still walking around in public. (And that’s typically how any virus survives and spreads among people.)
Of course, the only treatment the mainstream has to offer against the flu is completely ineffective…
Flu vaccine goes from bad to worse
To prevent the flu, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months or older gets the flu vaccine each year by the end of October.
(Oops — sorry, too late for this year!)
In the next breath, the CDC says if high-risk patients (including pregnant women) come down with the flu, they should be treated right away with dangerous and marginally useless anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu™.
But wait — if these high-risk patients got the vaccine, isn’t it supposed to protect them?!
Ironically, although more and more people in general over the last 10 years have been getting the influenza vaccine, the annual flu epidemic is actually getting worse.
Last year’s vaccine was particularly dreadful — only protecting 10 out of every 100 people who got it!
And researchers with the University of Pennsylvania — my alma mater — have figured out why…
Chicken egg medium causes mutations
Manufacturers make flu vaccines with proteins purified from the outer layer of killed flu viruses. By exposing your immune system to these purified proteins, the vaccine should prime your immune system to recognize and attack the real virus as soon as it appears in your body.
But manufacturers grow the vaccine in chicken egg cells. And some strains of the flu virus don’t grow well in that environment. Instead, they mutate. And that viral mutation is then incorporated into the vaccine.
If the mutation is big enough, it creates a mismatch between the vaccine and the circulating virus in any given year, rendering it ineffective.
And, the news on the flu vaccine has really gone from bad to worse…
A 2017 study at the University of Maryland found that people who get the vaccine and then get the flu anyway, are six times more likely to pass the virus than people who haven’t been vaccinated. (Of course, I didn’t see that study mentioned in the recent guide for doctors.)
Despite all this grim evidence — doctors still want you to go out and get a flu shot.
Well, instead of resorting to the worthless flu vaccine, I recommend a few simple steps to avoid the flu. The major keys are practicing good hygiene and building a healthy immune system. As an added plus, these same steps can protect you from other viral and bacterial infections.
Today, I highlight some of the lesser known, but extremely effective, precautions you can take to lessen your risk.
1.) Carry your own pen
Most people don’t think of this, but you should avoid using public pens at banks, post offices, retail check-outs, restaurants, and other places. Instead, use your own pen to avoid these sources of germs. You can even use it to push buttons on potentially contaminated surfaces — such as touch screens, credit card consoles, electronic consoles, ATMs, and elevator buttons. (In a few weeks, I’ll also tell you about some other dangers lurking on those ubiquitous touch screens.)
I also recommend wiping down the handles of shopping carts and shopping baskets in retail stores. Simply carry a wipe with you — they even make pocket-sized singles you can fit in your wallet or purse, or stash in your car. Some markets provide them at the entrance.
2.) Keep your blood pumping
Although the weather outside might seem frightful, keep up physical activity to support the circulation of virus-fighting blood cells. You can walk outside or do some yard work when properly dressed. (Raking leaves or shoveling snow is a great workout, as long as you layer up, and practice moderation.) Or, find an indoor saltwater swimming pool. I also find I can really get my heart pumping simply by working around the house, in the basement, the attic, or in the garage.
3.) Nestle snug in your bed…for a long winter’s nap
If you don’t get enough sleep from night-to-night, you can’t effectively fight off the flu or common cold. In fact, if you sleep fewer than seven hours per night, you’re almost three times more likely to come down with a cold. So, strive to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night to help support your body.
For the rest of my commonsense flu prevention tips, you can visit this handy guide from my Daily Dispatch archives.
If you do still happen to catch the flu, make sure to get plenty of rest and fluids.
I also recommend taking two key supplements and a few herbal remedies to shorten its duration and lessen the symptoms. You can find out all about these immune-boosters in the September 2015 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“The deadly dangers of flu vaccines”).
If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started, as we enter the height of flu season.
And remember, when you read about people dying from the flu, it’s because the infection went into the lungs, causing pneumonia. So — if your symptoms progress to your lungs, get to a doctor for a chest x-ray. If pneumonia is confirmed, you’ll need medical treatment as soon as possible.
“Fast Five Quiz: Influenza,” Medscape (medscape.com) 11/6/2018