Are We Ready for Swine Flu Next Fall?

H1 N1 flu factsQuestions and Answers about the Future of the H1N1 Virus

Q: I liked your explanation of how being healthy can keep us from getting the flu, and the suggestions of flu remedies [Flu Fighters], but I expected more from you! Why did the media hype this up so much? Is Big Pharma behind this? Do we have to worry about this flu next fall? Why was it worse in Mexico than anywhere else? You listed a lot of remedies for the flu—what are your personal favorites?

A: Americans are developing some immunity to media hype, which is the good news and the bad news. I went to CostCo in the midst of the H1N1 flu scare, expecting to at least see a few face masks and people stocking up to hunker down, but no. In fact people were, as usual, crowded around the free food sample vendors, munching away, freely chatting with each other in line, putting their hands all over the produce and acting as if nothing was different. And in a way, they were right. This turned out to be a mild flu.

The bad news is that if and when a deadly flu pandemic occurs, people may not be listening. A lot of people may have to die before a deadly flu gets any real attention. We can’t really fault the government for alerting us to a possibly deadly flu, and we can’t really fault the media for being the media. Sensation sells. Negativity titillates.

Media Hype and Mexico
We can’t trust much of what the media says because there’s little real journalism left out there. Real journalism meaning, for example, in-depth fact checking, in-depth research, consulting with real experts, and genuinely looking at both side of an issue.

If any of the big media outlets with the resources to do in-depth reporting had done real fact checking they would have discovered early on that the death toll in Mexico was based on guessing not laboratory testing, and that the majority of those who died came from an extremely poverty-stricken area of Mexico City, which would make them much more susceptible to any type of bacterial illness.

If the media had checked with the experts they would have found, for example on Dr. Henry Niman’s forum, that a swine flu was identified in the U.S. as early as February. There’s every possibility that this H1N1 flu strain traveled around the world long before anyone tested for it, but nobody paid attention because it acts like our annual garden-variety flus. Which means most of us have probably already been exposed to it and now have some immunity.

Is Big Pharma Behind This?
We’ll probably never know whether this flu was a natural mutation or was let loose by  Big Pharma. Conspiracy theories of every stripe have already emerged on this topic.

Before taking flu drugs, please read Buyer Be Aware: Tamiflu and Relenza.

This Flu Next Fall
There’s every possibility that the H1N1 flu could return next fall in a deadlier form. Then again, there’s an equal possibility that it could return in an even milder form, or even go away altogether for awhile. Flu migration and mutation is unpredictable. It is predictable that if millions of people take flu drugs, the chances of a flu mutation that is resistant to the drugs is much greater.

It’s unlikely that a swine flu vaccine will be ready for next fall, and even if it is, there will have been minimal testing for safety and effectiveness. If a swine flu vaccine is ready by next fall, and you get one, please remember that you are, in effect, a guinea pig.

What Do You Personally Take for the Flu?
If I’m feeling fluish, I start with the homeopathic remedy Occilliccocinum every four hours, and if that doesn’t help after two or three doses, I move to the Chinese herbal remedy Yin Chiao. If my throat is scratchy I gargle a lot with salt water or Heritage Product’s Ipsadent Herbal Mouthwash. If I’m starting to feel achy, before bed I’ll take a very hot epsom salts bath, get into bed and drink some hot tea, hoping the heat will kill the bug and pre-empt a fever. It’s been many years since I’ve had a bad flu infection.

However, that doesn’t mean my protocol will necessarily work for you. Individual differences in genetics, biochemistry and lifestyle means that different flu remedies work a little differently for everyone. Echinacea and the various mushroom products don’t work at all for me, but I know people who swear by them. For others, Yin Chiao doesn’t help but Zan Gao Ling does. The best approach is to experiment and find out what works best for you.