Disease Proof

Oh Flu You!

“Almost every year flu season seems to bring with it extraordinary anxiety and fear,” laments Dr. Fuhrman. And Allegheny County, Pennsylvania is REALLY freaking out. They’ve had “a record flu season.” David Templeton of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:
"I think we've peaked, although we're still at a fairly significant level in the number of cases over the last two weeks," he said. "It's still hanging on."

In the past two weeks, Type B Yamagata has become the predominant strain of influenza. Like Type A Brisbane, which predominated for most of the season, Type B Yamagata is not included in this year's flu vaccine.

"It's different than what's in the vaccine, so we're still seeing a significant number of cases, and it opens up the possibility of people getting the flu twice," Mr. Cole said.

For that reason, he said, the flu's persistence could repeat what occurred in 2004-05, when the season continued into mid-May.

The number of confirmed cases in the past two weeks was 141, which is only a slight decline over the previous two-week total of 149 cases. That brings this season's total number of confirmed cases, as determined by positive laboratory cultures, to 478. That tops the 2004-05 record of 395 confirmed cases.
Not to sound all high and might, but, if residents of Allegheny ratcheted up their diets, maybe things wouldn’t have been so bad. Here are a couple flu-proofing tips from Dr. Fuhrman. Take a look:
Eat Nutritious Food: Unfortunately the majority of Americans eat a diet style that weakens their normal resistance to simple viral infections. In spite of advances in science that reveal the critical importance of thousands of protective micronutrients in the natural plant kingdom, much of the modern world consumes a diet rich in processed grains, oils, sweets and animal products. In the United States, for example, less than five percent of total calories consumed come from fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. These are the foods that are richest in micronutrients. A healthy diet should include:
  • At least four fresh fruits a day.
  • Four servings of vegetables a day, of which at least two are green vegetables.
  • Some raw nuts and seeds.
Practice Good Hygiene: Viruses are primarily spread via hand-to-face contact. They can also be spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes, aerosolizing the viruses so others can inhale it. A person can be contagious the day before they develop symptoms and for seven to ten days after symptoms first develop. Here are some steps to take to minimize the likelihood of catching the flu:
  • Wash your hands after you touch something that other people have touched like a doorknob or gas pump.
  • Keep you hands away from your face, especially in public.
  • When you get home after being in public, wash your hands.
  • If you use a public bathroom, use a paper towel to turn off the water knobs and then to open the door to leave the bathroom, to keep your hands clean.
  • Keep young children at home, away from child care settings with large numbers of other children with runny noses. The last place you want to be with a sick child is an emergency room or a doctor's office because if you don't have the flu already, these places will certainly increase your chances of getting it or some other infectious disease.
Yeah, as for the public bathroom stuff, I’m like a cat in water when using a restroom—EEK!
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