Rethink Health - July 2009

News through the GoodHealthKeeping lens

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Act In Haste....

I have a strong impression of contrived panic and covert marketing in the official response so far to Swine Flu.

There have to date been about 9,000 cases in the UK, confirmed by laboratory tests as swine flu. Of those 17 have died, all but one being predisposed by other known medical conditions. About 350 are in hospital of whom 40 are receiving intensive care.

The WHO has raised its alert level to 6, the highest available. The UK Government is expecting cases to double every month through the autumn, and has stopped confirming each case by testing.

A patent was taken out in August 2008 by Baxter International, an American company, on a vaccine against a wide variety of swine flu strains. That was even before the first human case. The UK Government has ordered 30 million doses of a more specific vaccine, and expects to immunise half the population during the autumn.

This all feels to me like a phoney war. There's been no report of swine flu around here that I know of. Are there any near you? I'd be interested to hear.

Of course, we will start hearing of cases now. There will be no more laboratory confirmations of swine flu, the diagnosis will rely on your GP's opinion of your symptoms. So every cold will be called swine flu until proven otherwise. I expect you will start meeting neighbours out shopping who think they may have a touch of swine flu. The common cold will cease to exist! 

Let us assume that we really are about to be surrounded by cases of this new disease. How should we respond?

In the first place, keep fit and continue to eat a good proportion of fresh, vividly coloured, vegetation and fruit. The anti-oxidant content and vitality of these foods are difficult to over-estimate. They are your chief natural protection against any kind of infection.

Minerals such as zinc and selenium are important components of your immune system. They can easily be deficient, given the way most of our food is grown. Either take extra as a precaution (as for bio-food or food-state from Cytoplan) or ask me for a hair mineral analysis to check whether you need it.

The personal protection we have adopted is to take 2 grams of propolis each day with breakfast. When we feel we have been exposed (in the tube or a crowded shop) we will take another five as soon as possible. We have found this a very powerful protection against virus infections, which has many times turned then away if taken at the first symptoms of onset.

It makes sense not to mix with sick people if you can help it, in public places or transport. International air travel is always risky in this respect, now doubly so. I wouldn't go near an airport without taking 5 grams of propolis first.

Breezy clear days are much safer than still, foggy days - which will have returned before this scare is over.

If despite these precautions you have a bad cold I suggest you keep rested, take extra vitamin C and inhale steam regularly. Those around you should take 5 gms propolis and extra C daily.

Quite a few mothers (www.mumsnet.com) have been deliberately sharing the infection, to get their children naturally protected at an early stage. Provided the child is well and well-fed, that's perfectly sensible - despite the disapproval of public health officials.

As to vaccine, it will be a lottery. There has been too little time to evaluate it.. Killed vaccines have limited effectiveness. Combined vaccines containing representatives of several viruses are flawed, since naturally viruses only attack one at a time - this is the chief objection to MMR. Act in haste, and there is a small risk you will find yourself repenting at leisure. 

But to be fair, the vaccine will probably be safe enough for a child who is well. However you should not rely on it for perfect protection. And if you can discover the company making it, perhaps you should buy some shares!

Don't Spoil Your Carrots

It should not have taken an academic to remind us that carrots are best cooked whole, with the skins on. This preserves and makes more accessible significantly more of the nourishment and flavour they contain. Just scrub them and steam them! No surprise to any WI member.

This is an exception to the rule that raw nourishes better than cooked. 

Subsidised Treatment

We have recently started work at Saville Turner Holistic Trust and have significant funds available to subsidise holistic treatment for residents of South Lincolnshire. But therapists need to register with us before we can recommend them, and this is proving slow.

We understand that busy, seasoned practitioners may suspect this offer is too good to be true; but it's not. If you have received our invitation to register, please do. We can't start approaching the public until we have some therapists to send them to!

Contact STHT, PO Box 9762 Newark NG24 9HA