You have probably at least heard about, if you are not actively following, all of the press regarding H1N1 or ‘Swine Flu.’ Despite the volume of news regarding this brewing pandemic, it is difficult to pick apart the facts, assess your family’s risk, and make decisions about prevention and vaccination.
In order to get your investigation underway, here are a few guidelines and resources that I have compiled. Please know that this information does not take the place of a detailed, informed conversation with your family physician about your concerns.
In case you are not already aware, the commonly reported symptoms of ‘Swine Flu’ include:
∮ High fever
∮ Lethargy and lack of appetite
∮ Runny nose and sore throat
∮ Body aches and chills
∮ Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
You may experience several or all of these symptoms, and many of these symptoms are not unlike our garden-variety flu. If you or someone in your family is affected, please contact your family physician right away to find out how you can prevent transmission to others as well as recover as quickly as possible.
With all of that said, prevention is the best medicine. Depending on your level of exposure to sick individuals, whether you are a healthcare worker, you are pregnant, you care for small children, or your own health is already compromised by other health concerns, you may be a good candidate for the H1N1 vaccination. In many locations, the vaccine will be administered in large clinics or hospital-based settings, and both your family physician and local hospitals should be able to direct you to the best place to receive the vaccination if you choose to receive it.
Whether you choose the vaccination or not, there are some key points in terms of preventing illness in your family during this flu season, or helping a family member recover more quickly:
∮ Regular exercise
∮ Frequent hand washing with soap and water
∮ Minimize exposure to sick people, covering your nose and mouth if exposed
∮ Plenty of sleep & adequate hydration
∮ Vitamin C & Vitamin D (please discuss specific dosing with your physician)
∮ Diet considerations: whole live fruits and veggies, low sugar, minimize dining out, prepare your own food when you can
Some resources for more information include:
Center for Disease Control Guidelines: http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1FLU/
American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists: http://www.acog.org/departments/dept_notice.cfm?recno=20&bulletin=4822
If you want to discuss immune system boosting, prevention, this and other vaccinations for your family, please visit www.eastsidenaturalmedicine.com to find out how to contact and schedule an appointment with Dr. Sunita