Prevention and Control of Influenza
H1N1 and other flu is transmitted through coughing, sneezing, or by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching your mouth or nose. The symptoms include fever, body aches, cough, fatigue, headache, chills, and sore throat.
Tamiflu and Relenza can help speed healing from the flu if taken within 48 hours of flu symptom onset, so please call us right away if you think yourself or a family member may have the flu. Per government direction we cannot write prescriptions for Tamiflu or Relenza to be kept on hand just in case of infection, because we could run out of the medicine for people infected with influenza.
The following are tips and actions to prevent the spread of germs that cause flu and other respiratory illnesses.
1. Healthy Living (all of these help build your immune system)
- Get plenty of sleep (at least 7 or more hours a night)
- Eat a healthy diet (at least 5-10 servings of healthy veggies and fruits/day)
- Exercise regularly (at least 1/2 hour a day 5 days/week of aerobic exercise)
- Drink plenty of water (at least 64 ounces a day)
- Take your Vitamin D!!! – A large study is to come out the end of the year showing significant help to avoid viral infections in people who take high doses of vitamin D taken for several weeks around viral outbreaks. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that has profound efects on our immune system, and has been shown already that Vitamin D deficiencies predispose children to respiratory infections. Please read my earlier March blog for more about the vital importance of Vitamin D. During this several week time of the swine flu pandemic, I recommend taking for most teenagers and adults 2000 – 5000iu/day (unless you have had kidney stones or feel you have a special condition/multiple problems that you want to consult us for your own dose). We carry a well absorbed and very inexpensive Vitamin D 5000iu capsule, and if we are not close to you or are currently out of stock (we have been going through a lot), please go to your local good health food store. Once the flu pandemic is over, then return to 1000-2000iu/day, unless we advise you differently. At your yearly physical and well child exams, please ask us to check your Vitamin D level to assess your individual ongoing need.
- Take your other vitamins, especially a good multivitamin (in my For Your Health information sheet accessed on our website tabs see an article written by chiropractor and nutritionist Dr. Zimmer about how to pick out good vitamins and supplements), Vitamin C, and omega fish/flaxseed oil
2. Prevention Steps-avoid close contact with sick people-wash your hands with soap and water often (or alcohol based hand cleaners), especially after a cough or sneeze-avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth (germs spread this way)-cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze with a tissue-if you get sick with influenza, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others
3. You can find out more information on the CDC website – http://www.cdc.gov/.