Why Some Are Calling This Flu Season an Epidemic - And What to Do About it
The 2013 flu season started in November and is still going strong. Data from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) shows that the flu is still widespread in 47 states and is still rising on the west coast.
The current flu season is driven by 3 influenza viruses: 2009ís Influenza A H1N1, another Influenza A virus (H3N2) and Influenza B virus.†
All flu seasons are especially hard on children and the elderly.
Avoiding the flu is getting more and more difficult. All over the country, an alarmingly high rate of hospitalizations and deaths from the flu are being reported, especially among people 65 years and older. Most hospitals are currently recording higher numbers of visits to the ER for flu-like symptoms than the corresponding period last year.
The rising number of flu cases has placed this yearís flu season right on the threshold of an epidemic.
Experts warn that if the number of new cases does not drop sharply soon, we may well be experiencing the 2009 flu epidemic all over again.†
While the CDC wonít provide the official count of flu deaths until the end of the season, early figures (undercounts, really) are already alarming. So what is the official response to the 2013 flu season?
They are only 62% effective (actually good enough for the average flu vaccine).
However, these vaccines have been beset by supply issues. First, the amount of vaccines needed for the 2013 flu season was significantly underestimated. Currently, the government is scrambling to deliver 10 million more vaccine doses than it estimated. Even then vaccine manufacturers cannot produce more vaccines because they had already turned their production capacities towards making vaccines for the next season.
To make up for the shortfall, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) turned to Tamiflu, an antiviral drug, to meet the urgent need for protection against the flu viruses surfacing this season.†
The manufacturers of Tamiflu were asked to release the 2 million doses they had in storage.
Because it would take weeks to repackage this drug for 2013, the FDA gave a special concession to release the stored Tamiflu with its old label. So how can you protect yourself if vaccines and antiviral drugs are in short supply?
You can practice better hygiene by washing your hands with soap and warm water; by not touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and by avoiding sick people. But chances are that you are already doing these.
However, there is more you can do.†
There are natural supplements that can help boost your immune system†and they are very effective for treating cold, flu and other respiratory diseases.
Vitamin C is one good example. It can provide a broad antioxidant protection proven to reduce the duration and severity of flu attacks. Zinc is another proven cold and flu remedy.
Dietary supplements such as spirulina and inositol as well as herbs like Echinacea, elderberry and golden seal are also immune boosters. Different studies have shown that these natural remedies are especially useful in the prevention and treatment of common cold and flu.
To learn how supplements like these can help you avoid the flu, visit: http://www.progressivehealth.com/catalog/immune-system-booster/
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