Preparing for Swine Flu and Other Animal-borne
swine flu virus has already been identified as a new virus,
with genes from human, bird, and pig influenza viruses.
Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches,
headache, chills, fatigue and, in some cases, vomiting and
diarrhea. In severe cases, it may lead to pneumonia,
multi-organ failure, and death. The incubation period is two
to five days. Currently there have been relatively few
deaths worldwide, but matters could become worse in the
winter months—you should expect no serious risk of
infections in the Northern Hemisphere until then; possibly
because of the high ultraviolet light exposure during the
summer and early fall. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which
killed 20 to 40 million people worldwide, began with a mild
wave of infections in the spring, but the virus returned a
few months later in a far more dangerous form. With
international air travel the disease could spread rapidly.
Worse than the infection could be the disruption of trade
and the economy that follows an outbreak. Everything you
take for granted (grocery shelves filled with food,
gasoline, heating fuels for your home, TV, etc.) may be no
longer be available, soon after a serious outbreak.
no current effective vaccines. My last experience with Swine
Flu vaccine was in 1976—two of my patients became
permanently paraplegic from the vaccine. The vaccine turned
out to be more dangerous than the original flu outbreak,
which killed only one person. From the vaccination of 40
million Americans, 25 people died and 500 were affected with
Guillain Barré syndrome, a serious neurological disorder. We
have learned much since then about vaccines. But don’t
count on this method for your salvation because effective
vaccines are difficult to produce against a virus like swine
flu that changes genetically so easily. The routine “flu
shot” that will be offered this fall will offer no
protection from swine flu. If an effective, safe vaccine
for swine flu does become available, I will personally take
Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Antiviral
agents (Tamiflu and Relenza) are of limited value because
resistance has developed. They may reduce the duration and
severity of the flu—so keeping a stockpile could be wise.
Tamiflu is most commonly recommended and can be purchased
with a prescription (A 10 pill regime for one adult is about
$60). No special diet, herb, or vitamin supplement will
protect you from becoming infected or dying.
chance to avoid infection is to avoid the virus. Everyday
habits of hand washing and not touching your face should be
practiced. Wearing a mask is a public-spirited act, adding
to the panic, but offering little to no protection. The day
may come when isolating yourself and your family may make
the best sense. You should be prepared. Suggestions on
stocking food are found in my March 2008 newsletter article:
Cutting Food Costs in These Times of Economic Downturn.
Drinking water will be necessary. Also consider a solar
oven. These recommendations for preparedness may sound
paranoid to some of you, and I do not like spreading
unnecessary fear—but we live in dangerous times.
the solution to preventing the most devastating viral
epidemics is to change the world’s food supply. The origin
of bird and swine flu viruses is the factory farming of
animals (chickens and pigs). My recommendation for a
worldwide change to a starch-based diet to prevent and cure
common diseases of over-nutrition (heart disease, cancer,
type-2 diabetes, obesity, etc.) and to slow environmental
destruction, applies also to the prevention of influenzas.
This is just one more big reason to support the Starch
Solution (See my
February 2009 newsletter).
interested in a detailed discussion of the origins of the
swine flu virus you can read this article by Michael Greger,
MD, Factory Farms:
Recipe for Disaster
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