What is the Swine Flu ad what can you do?
An in depth definition can be found at the CDC site http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/. According to the CDC, the symptoms of the swine flu (pig flu) are similar to that of the regular human flu: 1. Fever 2. Cough 3. Sore Throat 4. Body Aches 5. Chills 6. Fatigue. In some cases vomiting and diarrhea have been reported. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
For children, the warning signs that they might need urgent medical care are: 1. Fast breathing or trouble breathing 2. Bluish skin color 3. Not drinking enough fluids 4. Not waking up or not interacting 5. Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held 6. Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough 7. Fever with a rash.
It is always better to be safe than sorry but keep in mind that there are regular colds going around and that seasonal allergies are also in play.
Regarding prevention, common sense as always prevails. First and most important: wash your hands. Try not to rub your eyes or put our hands in your mouth. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
From a Chinese medicine perspective we look at strong viruses as Toxic Heat. With thousands of years of history, Chinese medicine has had to work with many pandemic viruses and has therefore developed ways in which to deal with them. Within the Chinese medicine pharmacopoeia there is a category called " Clear heat and relieve toxicity". This class of herbs is used to work with the adverse effects of infectious disease. Here is a small sampling:
Jin Yin Hua: Flos Loncerae Japnicae, has been tested with good results with PR8 strain of the influenza virus as well as in cases of severe pneumonia.
Lian Qiao: Fructus Forsythiae Suspensae, with its antimicrobial has proven to be very useful in cases involving staphylococcus aureus.
Ban Lan Gen: Radix Isatidis, is a favorite on mine. It is antimicrobial, antiparacitic, it has been used successfully in the treatment of encephalitis and of course has very strong anti viral properties.
Most often herbs such as these would be mixed together with other herbs t create a medicine specifically suited for each individual patient adressing paricular constitutional strengths and weaknesses as well as specific symptoms.
A final regarding essential oils, something we can do at home. I have found that a mixture of organic tea tree and clove diffused into the air can be very effective protection against airborne pathogens.
Please if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.