Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Pig Flu Article

We’ve had Mad Cow Disease....now it’s Pig Flu Madness....

The world has been put on an unprecedented alert due to the imminent possibility of a swine flu pandemic – as if we haven’t got enough to worry about with the credit crunch and a World recession….not to mention global warming!

It came after the first cases of person-to-person transmission of the potentially deadly virus outside Mexico were reported. On the 29th April The World Health Organisation raised their alert to level five - only one below the highest level - for the first time in its history.

Its director general Dr Margaret Chan said: 'Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously, precisely because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world.

'All countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans. It really is all of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic.’

In response to this the UK Government launched a TV campaign showing just how quickly cold and flu viruses can spread and what can be done to avoid infection or infecting others such as washing hands regularly and sneezing into a paper tissue and throwing it away immediately. In other words....”catch it, bin it, kill it”.

However, this has not stopped the great British public from panicking as local pharmacies have found themselves inundated with requests for paper masks as customers are buying up entire stocks!

Doctors have also claimed that they have not been supplied with the appropriate antiviral drugs, confirming fears that local doctors lack the resources to deal with a potential outbreak of swine flu.

There are no alternatives to these medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of this potentially serious infection and the WHO has warned against the sale of bogus remedies on the internet and through adverts. But, healthy eating, a sensible life style and some extra supplements can help boost the body’s natural resistance to disease.

Hygiene is vital, so cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze; wash your hands properly – that means soap, hot water and for 30 seconds. If you are in an at risk group and normally get the flu vaccine from your GP, take extra care and avoid crowded places.

Planes can be bad news as the air-conditioning isn’t always filtered so bugs spread like wildfire. Because washbasins in the loos are so small it’s hard to wash hands well and they are often heavily contaminated. Antiseptic hand gels are a great idea, simple to use and available in your pharmacy. Use antiseptic wipes on shared keyboards, telephones, desks and other touchable surfaces.

So what is there that can be kept in your medicine cabinet just in case?
Kaloba® is a new weapon in the battle against respiratory tract infections that can be used to fight coughs and colds naturally. It’s the only MHRA registered traditional herbal medicine containing Pelargonium available in the UK to treat the symptoms of respiratory infections such as coughs, colds, sore throats and runny nose, reducing the severity of the symptoms and shortening their duration. Studies have shown that Kaloba® can also help prevent secondary infections such as chronic bronchitis.

Clinical studies have shown that Kaloba® has a triple action effect
• Stimulates secretion: loosens mucus containing viruses and bacteria.
• Anti-viral: stimulates killer t-cell production, they attack viruses.
• Anti-bacterial: prevents attachment and multiplication of bacteria.
Kaloba® oral drops can also be given to children six years and over, offering them protection from respiratory infections that are so prevalent in childhood.

Do remember that this is not a substitute for a medical diagnosis or a treatment for Swine Flu.

Available in Boots stores nationwide at £7.82 for 20ml.
For more information or to order online at the special price of £5.24, visit www.kaloba.co.uk

A combination of Zinc and vitamin C has been shown to significantly shorten the duration of colds, so I think it is always worth taking an extra dose during high risk times like the present. There is no risk, no chance of side effects and a reasonable prospect of worthwhile benefits.

The latest news from the WHO is as follows

As of 06:00 GMT, 4 May 2009, 20 countries have officially reported 985 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection.
Mexico has reported 590 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 25 deaths. The higher number of cases from Mexico reflects ongoing testing of previously collected specimens. The United States has reported 226 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (85), China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1), Costa Rica (1), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), El Salvador (2), France (2), Germany (8), Ireland (1), Israel (3), Italy (1), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (4), Republic of Korea (1), Spain (40), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (15).

There is no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products.

It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders.

Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.

By the morning of the 5th May, there were more confirmed cases in the UK and five schools were closed. In spite of some more encouraging news, the latest WHO warnings still advise extreme caution. They remind us all that even though most current cases are relatively mild, the virus may still make a serious comeback later in the year.

The Government's chief medical officer Professor Sir Liam Donaldson today said that it would be "premature" to assume that the swine flu virus is a mild infection, simply because none of the British victims have so far died.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Sir Liam said "There have been deaths in Mexico and the Mexican health system is probably not as well supplied as we are with drugs like anti-virals. So at this stage I think it would be premature to conclude that this is a mild infection.

"We need to be very cautious when we are dealing with children and that is why in each of the school outbreaks so far we have had local public health teams tracing contacts and getting children and others on anti-viral drugs on a precautionary basis."


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