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The following information is presented in the spirit of helping you feel more at ease amidst all of the media-infused, anxiety-ridden, and often short-sighted information abounding about the Swine Flu (H1N1) virus, and the "inevitable" dangers contained therein.
Note: This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for your own expert opinion (after all it is your body), nor in lieu of feedback from your primary healthcare provider.Take whatever action and precautions you feel necessary to truly protect you and your loved ones from any potential or perceived risk.
Here is a summary of what most people want to
know regarding the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic:
Now, here is my "long answers" with the rationale behind my responses above ...
First question ...
Are you and your loved ones truly at risk from the Swine Flu compared to any other flu?
In other words, are you any more at risk now for contracting a deadly viral infection, than you were prior to the discovery (or creation?) of the H1N1 "Swine flu" virus?
To help you answer this for yourself, let's see what has happened historically around flu pandemics* in the past …
If we go back to the Flu pandemic of 1918, where it is estimated that 50-100 million people died worldwide, it has been determined that the far majority of the people died from secondary infections (like pneumonia), largely promoted by poor sanitary conditions that were prevalent at the time.
Next … during the last Swine flu pandemic* of 1976:
The numbers suggest that more people died from the Swine flu vaccinations than did from actually contracting the Swine flu! (Dozens died, and hundreds more injured, from the Swine flu vaccines.)
How about the terrible Avian 'Bird' Flu pandemic* of 2003:
2 million deaths were predicted by President Bush, et al. There was a national alert and millions of vaccines were created and given to people of all ages to help prevent their contraction of this deadly disease. Actually, only 257 deaths were attributed to the Avian flu since 2003. Statistically, you would have had a better chance getting struck by lightening than to die from the 'Bird' flu!
Here are some facts about the current H1N1 Swine flu pandemic:
As of September 7, 2009: In America, there have been 593 deaths contributed to the H1N1 Swine flu infection this year.
Compare that to about 16,000* deaths from 'regular' seasonal flu, in the same period of time. (*Based on a conservative average of 2000 deaths per month from seasonal flu. Ref: CDC)
Are you more likely to die from the H1N1 Swine Flu than from 'regular' seasonal flu? The numbers say, "NO!"
So, ask yourself three questions:
Reports from the CDC say that "it is not possible to prevent the spread of this infection."
That is not to say that there isn't the possibility that this H1N1 Swine flu "pandemic" could turn out to be something significant, at least for some people, especially if there immune system isn't up to snuff (medical term!).
However, there is now evidence to at least suspect that the H1N1 virus could be a bio-engineered virus (man-made). This means that if sufficiently exposed, it could trigger a "cytokine storm" type of immune response.
When a cytokine storm occurs, your immune system reacts very powerfully to the pathogen, and in its response, may put your body's health at serious risk, and for some, result in death.
To minimize your risk to such an immune response, review Supercharge Your Immune System, including its reference on how to dampen a potential "cytokine storm."
Currently, though, there is no need for any more alarm now than prior to the relatively low number of people who have died from this Swine flu (especially compared to the number of people who have succumbed to 'regular' seasonal flu … which fostered no sense of panic).
Next question ...
How great is your individual risk of experiencing a more serious reaction from the flu?
In other words, given your current state of health, how vulnerable are you to being infected to a degree that might significantly impact your well-being?
That answer has everything to do with the status of your immune system.
First, check-in with your body and ask yourself how you are doing physically and emotionally, and if your feeling vital, or depleted. (Go with your initial 'gut' response here.)
Alert! Just because you haven't gotten "sick" in a while doesn't necessarily mean your immune system is 'primed' and responsive.
Then, more objectively, an Immune Screening could provide some clues as to the readiness of your immune system.
Information gained from blood tests, a Health and Lifestyle Assessment, and from a brief holistic physical examination, can provide additional clues as to your body's resistance to infection.
Higher Risk Age Groups
Certainly the very young tend to be more at risk since 'young-ins' haven't fully developed their immune system.
Similarly, the "elderly" (over 65) usually have a weakened system from years of unmanaged stress, compounding sleep debt, nutrient insufficiencies, sedentary lifestyles, and from an accumulating toxic burden.
Furthermore, if you are currently infirmed or on medications, you are likely at a greater risk for infection as well.
Next question ...
Does the current flu vaccine provide protection from Swine Flu?
The benefits of the flu vaccine are very limited, while the potential harm is quite high. Flu Vaccines have demonstrated far greater risk than benefit, in most instances.
Before injecting you or your loved ones, it is wise to consider the potential benefit vs. the potential risks:
Potential benefit from flu vaccine: (like Tamiflu)
Potential harm from the flu vaccine: (big, scary list here...)
By the way ... flu vaccines have been banned in Japan. (Why?)Alert! God forbid you get a vaccination and experience a harmful reaction, the pharmaceutical companies (who make the flu vaccines) are immune from lawsuits. (Why?)
Vaccination SCORE CARD?
Flu vaccination potential benefiT: Small
Flu vaccination potential harm: High
So goes it with these type of vaccines … not something to count on to protect ourselves from infection.
Next question ...
Will the new Swine Flu vaccine provide protection?
The answer is short and not so sweet:
Last question ...
How can you truly reduce your risk of infection?
And, what can you do to bolster your 'resistance' and strengthen your immunity?
Our risk for contracting an infection depends on the following factors:
So, to minimize your risk, you:
First, don't stress out worrying about the virulence of the Swine Flu virus, as this will just tend to weaken your immunity and increase your risk of infection. Besides, there isn't sufficient evidence that the Swine Flu "bug" is more dangerous than the 'regular' seasonal flu virus.
Then, minimize your exposure by:
Finally, strengthen your resistance.
As eluded to earlier, the 6 most essential and fundamental things you can do to build your immunity, is to take action on the following:
No need to PANIC about the Swine Flu.
Some safe and predictable steps you can take today to increase your resistance are:
Any action you take with respect to protecting you and your family from the Swine Flu virus, should be discussed with your primary healthcare provider, personally researched, and then based upon on what you feel is in your best interest.
Pandemic: a disease affecting the population of an extensive region, like several countries or more
Epidemic: when cases of an illness exceed normal expectancy