(Naturalhealth365) This flu season, medical experts have a message for the United States population – “buckle up.” A particularly virulent strain of Influenza A is currently sweeping through the nation – and this year’s vaccine may be largely ineffective against it.
Australia, which often serves as a predictor of the flu season America will face, recently experienced record numbers of influenza cases and higher-than-average hospitalizations – and Australia utilizes the same formulation of the flu vaccine as the United States does. In fact, some medical experts are now predicting that the 2017-2018 flu season may be one of the deadliest in history.
Flu season WARNING: Experts really worried about this year’s primary influenza strain
The main strain in this year’s flu, both in Australia and the United States, is the Influenza A, H3N2 virus. And, it appears to be particularly lethal – especially for those with compromised immunity.
While swine flu infected 51,000 people in Australia in 2009 – and garnered headline for its virulence – experts say swine flu pales in comparison to H3N2, which struck over 215,000 people this year.
According to an article by an international panel of medical experts in New England Journal of Medicine, the flu vaccine was only effective in about 10 percent of the Australian cases – a lamentable statistic. (In other words, it failed to work 90 percent of the time).
The flu vaccine must be reformulated and administered annually – with its developers trying to predict which strains to target in any given year. Some experts say that the ineffectiveness of this year’s version is due to a virus mutation.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is among those who predict a “severe” flu season – and the prediction is already proving true in the United States.
Infection rates are dwarfing those of last year
Each year, between 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population contracts the flu. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, fatalities from flu-related illness can fluctuate between roughly 3,000 and 49,000 deaths per year. Young children, the elderly and the chronically ill are most at risk.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that influenza is widespread in 46 states – and at much higher rates than in past years. For example, as of New Year’s Day, Arizona had a shocking 758 percent more cases of flu than at that same time last year. Missouri had 17,182 cases, compared with 2,041 last year– reflecting infection rates that are over eight times higher.
The CDC reports that 13 children have died to date in this year’s flu outbreak. The most recent victim, a fourth grader in Illinois, died from a serious – but rare – heart complication. Many medical experts, including Dr. Fauci, stress the need for a universal vaccine, which would protect against all known and emerging strains of Influenza A.
In the meantime, government authorities continue to urge vaccination – in spite of the inefficacy of the vaccine – and maintain that vaccinating can save “thousands” of lives. Vaccination critics, on the other hand, point to adverse reactions from vaccines, along with the presence of toxic substances like, mercury and aluminum.
The decision to vaccinate – or not – is deeply personal. But, no doubt, it’s always best to arm yourself with as much information as possible before making a healthcare decision. It also makes good sense to formulate a natural self-defense strategy against the flu.
Properly supporting and enhancing your immune system may help you avoid the illness entirely, while natural flu remedies can help reduce uncomfortable symptoms and speed recovery if you do become ill.
Vitamin C is a potent ally against viral diseases
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and antiviral agent that boosts the immune system and prevents damage from free radicals. It also promotes production of interferon, which helps prevent cells from being infected in the first place.
In one study, megadoses of vitamin C (1,000 mg hourly for the first six hours, then dosages of 1,000 mg three times a day) reduced the severity of flu symptoms — by a drastic 85 percent.
When administered in sufficient dosages, vitamin C has caused dramatic recoveries from viral diseases. For example, in one case, megadoses of vitamin C caused a New Zealand dairy farmer to make a complete recovery from life-threatening swine flu.
In a turn of events documented by “60 Minutes,” Allan Smith developed white-out pneumonia and hairy cell leukemia as complications of swine flu. Placed on life support and in a medically-induced coma, Smith was not expected to survive – until a family member insisted on a course of high-dose intravenous vitamin C.
The results were nothing short of miraculous. Smith’s condition improved within a day – and his improvement continued steadily as long as vitamin C was administered. His condition deteriorated when the vitamin C was abruptly stopped – then resumed as the vitamin was reintroduced.
Check out the amazing video (below) to see how Mr. Smith fully recovered.
Elderberry extract stimulates the action of lymphocytes
Elderberry extract is another effective antiviral warrior that you can enlist in the struggle against influenza. With powerful antioxidant properties, elderberry extract combats free radicals and enhances the immune system by boosting production of disease-fighting lymphocytes.
Sold under the brand name Sambucol, elderberry extract is available in syrups and lozenges. It should be taken at the first sign of flu symptoms.
Echinacea is a time-honored and effective flu remedy
This trusty herbal standby has been shown in studies to inhibit viruses and rev up the immune system. Echinacea is believed to bind to receptors on the surfaces of white blood cells, helping to stimulate infection-fighting processes.
It is available in capsules and liquid form.
Olive leaf extracts attack pathogens
With potent antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, olive leaf extract wages all-out war on influenza.
Studies have shown that its active ingredient, oleuropein, can enhance phagocytosis, the process by which immune cells engulf and destroy pathogens. You can take olive leaf extract in capsule or liquid form – and even brew leaves into a soothing tea. (Here’s to a flu-free season!)
Of course, as always, check with a trusted integrative physician to see what’s best for you.
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