The Obligatory Cold and Flu post.

The Obligatory Cold and Flu post for the year.

Yes Ladles and Gentlespoons it is that time of the year…….. Drum roll please……….

IT’S COLD AND FLU SEASON!!!!

OK Cold season is year round and flu normally runs from a couple of weeks before Halloween to May.

The CDC your family doctor recommended that you get a flu shot each year. Umm ok.” But I thought if the body survives a viral attack it is immune to it. But they say to get a flu shot each year. “


Well yes that is true in most instances. You survive a virus attack, Say our old and supposedly extinct friend Smallpox. Your body builds an immunity and when it sees that bug again it mobilizes the defenses and beats it back with little to no damage to the body. Flu is a nasty virus. As nasty as Ebola in its shear brilliance of execution (bad pun I know). The flu is almost intelligent,. It attacks like a human army. It does so targeting and then killing off special cells of the immune system that are actually best equipped to neutralize the virus.

ATTACK!

When confronted with a harmful virus, the immune system generates B cells capable of producing antibodies perfectly suited to bind to, and disarm, viral invaders. That is like the defensive properties of an army guarding a city. BUT enter Mr Flu. The flu virus exploits these receptors to gain entry, allowing the virus to disrupt antibody production and ultimately kill the cells.
By dispatching its enemies in this fashion, the virus is able to replicate efficiently before the immune system can mount a second wave of defense. Just like a secret attack on a enemy city, Infiltrate. Kill the guards. Kill the city.

Thank the gods that Ebola hasn’t figured out that little trick. The common cold vrius works in the same fashion. But it is much much weaker and much slower. The body can counterattack and beat it. Dr Leonard “Bones” McCoy said it best. Modern medicine can cure a cold in 7 days. But if you wait a week it will go away on its own. (Okay I don’t know if he said it but it sounds like something he would have said)

The flu vaccine. First some ground rules. I am not publishing support for or against the flu vaccine. This is pure information. Next Do not misconstrue anything we say in this to be supportive of against the flu vaccine. Got it? Thanks for your understanding

Lets start with some myths about the flu vaccine.

 

 

Myth #1

“I got the flu shot last year and the next day I got the flu!!”
The flu vaccine does not contain a live virus, so you can’t get the flu from the shot. Now some people get a bit feverish or pick up some muscle aches and pains. IF a person got the flus shot AND did catch the flu well it probably is pure coincidence. Like was said above the flu shot does not contain live virus.
Some logical explanations are, 1. You already had the flu. Very early stages. The Flu shot weakened your immune system just enough to give it that stepping stone it needed. This has happened. 2. There 4 codes in a the flu shot. Influenza A and Influenza B And then 2 more that are the most probable for this year. In a Facebook post I wrote, The shot is a roll of the dice. Sometimes it works very well sometimes not so well.
Via the CDC website

The A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine component was updated from an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus to an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus.

The A(H3N2) vaccine component was updated from an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 A(H3N2)-like virus to an A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus.

Both B/Victoria and B/Yamagata virus components from the 2018-2019 flu vaccine remain the same for the 2019-2020 flu vaccine.

File courtesy of Dave Granland
http://www.davegranlund.com/cartoons/wp-content/uploads/Flu-vaccine-off-target.png

This is the flu vaccine for this year. This is the shot you got. But say you were infected the day you got the shot with H4N3 Sweden Mallard flu? Well guess what thats what you got. And no fault of the shot.

The other method of “getting the flu from the vaccine is the nasal vaccine. It does contain a minute amount of modified live virus. It is EXTREMELY rare to get the flu from it. All of the examples of people getting it are those with depressed immune systems for one reason or another. Now that is NOT to say someone could not get infected from the nasal vaccine. Anything is possible. But highly improbable.

Myth #2

I am perfectly healthy. I NEVER get sick, so I do not need the vaccine.
AWESOME! If you are then you need to sell your blood to science so it the massive antibodies can be made available to all! See the explanation above on how the flu attacks. EVERYONE is susceptible to it
The age of the vaccine recipient also determines effectiveness. Adults 65 and older the average effectiveness is @ 58% when the vaccine vs virus are well matched. 36% when not. Adults under 65 with immune-compromised patient’s it hit upwards of 76% and had lows on normal immune system adults as low as 16% Children 1 to 15 years were the best protected during the 4 year study with up to 91% for H1N1 and 77% for H3N2.

Flu shot facts.

A flu vaccine that is only 50% effective can protect a lot of people No vaccine is perfect, and even if you are protected just 50 percent, you are shielding yourself from more severe disease.
Even in flu vaccine failures, the illness is less severe, you will still provide yourself with some partial protection and afford your body a better chance to survive. I make fun of it. We all make fun of how on a GOOD year the vaccine is only 65% or so effective across all age groups. But that 65% effectiveness  protects millions of people. Especially those that are immune-compromised from cancer or other diseases.

What else may help.

Now here is where my professional health care buds will go from cheering me to booing me.
Say you do NOT want to get the flu shot. Religious Personal, Just cant take it, whatever. And you want protection from the flu what can you do?
30 years ago not much except to NOT have contact with a living thing for the duration of the flu season. It is how the Native Americans lived on this continent for so long with out smallpox. Once the Spanish hit the western US and the British colonized the east coast they brought along their diseases and the natives were mowed down as if from mini gun fire.

What can we do?

Today there is not to much more we can do. We have HEPA masks. They do work. IF USED ACCORDING TO THE INSTRUCTIONS. But they suck to wear. I am a big proponent of Colloidal Silver. Made correctly and exactly with is safe to use. AND in practical use I have known some people who do use it correctly to either not have had the flu or got a hit less hard. During the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009 I personally know people who used silver and for to most part did not get as bad a case or not infected. 3 people I know who were infected had symptoms equal to a a moderate cold but did test positive for the virus. I am not going to say dump the vaccine for silver. I am saying to keep it in mind. There MAY be a day when the vaccine is not available.
So what is available?

4 things have shown to either boost the immune system to help the body fight off flu.

Elderberry. Elderberry has been show to be effective in combating flu. It has been show to lessen the effects of the virus.
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/147323000403200205
Star Anise. Star Anise used to be the prime source for the chemical shikimic acid. That is the active ingredient of Tamiflu. Current web searches do not find the older studies on it vs flu. But in Chinese medicine it is one of the main go to for flu treatment

 

 

 

 

Echinacea. This is an older plant one that for generations has been a go to for viral infections. It is also a complex plant. Hundreds of studies on it and its effectiveness on cold and flu are about evenly split on it works or it doesn’t work. Used correctly I have found it to be useful when combined with other herbal antivirals
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27055821

 

 

 

 

Reishi Mushroom This little guys has show a lot of promise in tis immune system response on many fronts. Including anticancer and antiviral. Polysaccharides isolated from reishi have been proven effective in vitro against herpes simplex virus types 1 and Reishi isolates also have been tested against other viral strains, including influenza A, and demonstrated effectiveness against their replication.
https://www.drugs.com/npp/reishi-mushroom.html#fandc-np5266.b46

 

 

 

Colloidal Silver has been used for decades as a go to for cold flu bacterial infections. There are HUNDREDS of studies both pro and con. Up to and including the famous Blue Man Paul Karason who turned himself blue with colloidal silver that was made by adding salt to the solution which made silver chlorides. This gave him the disease called argyria.
CS made correctly has been proven safe to use. But the key words here is MADE CORRECTLY. It has shown a wide effectiveness against common bacterias and even against viruses.

 

 

There is no “silver bullet” against the flu. No matter what the CDC or a herbalist says. In the flu war the best defense is a strong offense. Getting appropriate rest, manage stress, stay hydrated, avoid large crowds, keeping your body healthy. And either getting the flu shot OR trying one or a combination of the items listed. If you do get the flu. The best thing you can do is. Stay home and get plenty of rest. Both will go a long way to keeping it from spreading and helping your body to heal. Later on this flu season I can bet Freya will put out her managing the flu.

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