I received this email forward and thought that it is a very good almost "common sense" (or something like natural remedy) way to try to avoid catching the Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, perhaps even better than Tamiflu because all the measures recommended has to the best of my knowledge, no side effects. Disclaimer applies though, so read it but also consult with your doctor:
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.
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.
I do hope, this information could be passed on to one and all, for a healthy and H1N1 free