There is growing concern for everyone’s health and safety as the H1N1 virus (swine flu)
becomes more widespread. Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A
influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. Normally, people are not
affected by swine flu, but human infections can happen and as we have seen recently,
H1N1 in particular is a unique combination of four different strains of
influenza, of which two strains are swine flu, one is an avian flu, and one is a human flu.
The symptoms of H1N1 flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache,
chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting, as well.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warn that people may be able to infect others
beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming
sick. That means that the flu is contagious before you even know you are sick, as well as
while you are sick.
Our bodies are under constant attack from microbes, allergens and environmental
conditions, and it is the job of our immune system to serve as our protector or buffer
against these elements. Given the recent flu outbreak and with allergy season upon us,
supporting your immune system is more important than ever if you want to stay healthy.
The best way to strengthen your immune system is with a comprehensive approach that
involves healthy lifestyle practices, stress management, regular exercise, a healthy diet,
and nutritional supplementation.
The skin is the body’s first line of defense. Since many viruses are airborne, avoiding
them completely may be impossible because germs, viruses and bacteria live on
surfaces for a short time and can enter the body through the mucus membranes in the
mouth, nose and eyes. This is why it is important to wash your hands before touching
your face. Good health habits alone can be natural ways to boost the immune system or
at least prevent the immune system from having to work so hard.
Viruses can survive for several hours on hands, tissues, or hard surfaces. A healthy
person can contract a virus by touching a contaminated surface and then touching his or
her own mouth or nose. Using an antibiotic soap may help prevent the spreading of
germs, but these soaps can also contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant
bacteria, so it is best to use them only when necessary. Continue reading