Each week CDC analyzes information about influenza disease activity in the United States and publishes findings of key flu indicators in a report called FluView.
"With the constant fear of H1N1 symptoms, the following measures can be
practiced by one and all. This is an information which I just received from
my father who is a Consultant General Surgeon & Gastoenterologist, based in
India and I do hope it could be beneficial to the students and their families alike.
Tamiflu does not kill but prevents H1N1 from further proliferation till the
virus limits itself in about 1-2 weeks (its natural cycle). H1N1, like other
Influenza A viruses, only infects the upper respiratory tract and
proliferates (only) there. The only portals of entry are the nostrils and
mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible
not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with
H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection,
in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development
of secondary infections, some very simple steps - not fully highlighted in
most official communications - can be practiced (instead of focusing on how
to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part
of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).
3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust
salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to
proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents
proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on
a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate
this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm
salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective
in bringing down viral population. You can buy a Neti pot at Walgreens for about
$10.00 and they are easy to use.
5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla
and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets,
make sure that it also has Zinc/bioflavonoids to boost absorption.
6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the
same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off
proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot
survive, proliferate or do any harm.
All these are simple ways to prevent, within means of most households, and
certainly much less painful than to wait in long queues outside public hospitals."