You've Got the Flu. Now what?
- Firstly, you've had the vaccination that matches the circulating strain? Yes? No?
- In either case, stay home, as much as you can. The flu virus hangs around in the air for up to 2 hours, so don't go out to get it, and don't go out to spread it.
- Breathe only warm air, drink only warm fluids.
- The flu virus enters the body through the nasopharynx, and it is most adapted to low temperatures, under 37 degrees C. So don't breathe cold air, don't drink cold liquids. Drink warm or room temperature liquids.
- If you go out, (and you should try not to), keep really warm. Wear a thick coat, hat, scarf and keep your throat warm and re-breath your own air.
- Keep your windows closed. Fresh air is NOT a good thing, as it cools the nasopharynx, which a flu virus likes.
- Enjoy the heater, keep loads of clothes on, and if you've got an electric blanket, use it... anything to keep your body temperature up. Of course we don't want you to be hyperthermic, but a mild temperature is a good defence.
- Use the classic home remedies... hot drinks with ginger, lemon, vitamin C, honey, garlic. Honey and garlic have proven effects on bacterial infections and you don't want to get a secondary infection on top of the primary viral one. If you do get a secondary infection, you need to see your GP and you'll see that antibiotics can be miraculous. Chinese medicine recommends home-made beef soup to prevent illness, and home-made chicken soup if you're already sick. This is supported by New Scientist magazine. If not home-made, just get a pho from the local Vietnamese restaurant. Canned soup doesn't cut the mustard! Neither should you eat raw or cold foods. Even if these are old wives tales, they can't hurt!
- The main active ingredient of Tamiflu is actually made from star anise, so use a lot of star anise in your soup and foods!
- In the 1918 and 2004 flu outbreaks in the USA, osteopathic hospitals used the above to great affect. While the death rate in normal hospitals in 1918 was approaching 60%, the osteopathic hospitals had a death rate of only 0.25%. Patients were kept very warm, were not administered the standard allopathic remedies of morphine, aspirin and fresh air, and they had a rib raising technique performed 5 times a day. So while you can't have osteopathic treatment 5 times a day, you can do the tai chi arm swing / rib twists and you can see an osteopath several times to keep your chest and lungs moving optimally.
But we cannot say emphasise this enough. If you are really sick, see your GP. If you are sicker than that, go to hospital.