Epidemic incidences of influenza are sweeping across the United States. This highly contagious respiratory disease—targeting all ages—is spreading with a vengeance. Forty-seven states have reported widespread “flu,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) current flu activity report. CDC officials estimate that the United States is only about halfway through a typical, 12-week flu season.
This season’s predominant strain of influenza is H3N2, a more potent type of influenza A virus that is statistically associated with more deaths and hospitalizations. What can you do to protect you and your family from this dreaded illness?
Is It Too Late to Prevent the Flu?
Proponents of the influenza vaccine are encouraging healthy people to get a flu shot, pronto. On the one hand, this season’s vaccine includes the H3N2 strain. On the other hand, anecdotal reporting suggests that some individuals who received the influenza vaccine have contracted the flu. However, it is too early in the season to understand the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Common Sense Approaches to Help Prevent the Flu
- Frequently wash your hands. Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Enjoy nightly sleep of at least seven or eight hours.
- Routinely exercise and consume a healthy diet.
- Avoid crowds, if possible, as well as people who exhibit flu-like symptoms.
An effective approach to thwart the flu is to maintain a healthy immune system. Benefits of a substance called “Beta 1,3D Glucan” include strengthening the immune system. High-quality, beta-glucan supplements are derived from the cell wall of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and available over-the-counter and online. Some healthcare practitioners exalt the effectiveness of taking a daily, beta-glucan capsule when your immunity may be threatened.
From a longer term standpoint, enjoying year-round, circulating vitamin D3 levels of at least 50ng/mL may be a proactive approach to fight influenza and other viruses. The direct correlation between influenza and winter seasons is no coincidence. Flu outbreaks typically occur during the season’s darkest days when little vitamin D is available from the sun’s rays. As a vitamin D advocate and writer, I emphasize the important role that vitamin D3 plays on the immune system. Activated vitamin D3 strengthens the immune system by producing peptides that combat viruses such as influenza. The more activated vitamin D3 in your body to bolster your immunity, the less likely you are to contract viruses such as the flu.
What Can You Do to Feel Better from the Flu?
Influenza strikes suddenly, usually without warning. According to the CDC, influenza symptoms include some or all of the following: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue.
You may feel as if you have been run over by a bus. Here are some tips to help alleviate your symptoms:
- Staying hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Avoid beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol. Try decaffeinated tea with honey.
- Enjoy chicken soup—a centuries-old remedy.
- Add natural garlic, ginger, and lemon to your diet.
- Stay home and rest. Misery likes company but no one wants your misery.
Lucine’s First Woman, Chandler Marrs, PhD, CEO and president of Lucine Health Sciences, says her flu remedy is black elderberry plus a vitamin cocktail and plenty of rest.
What’s your “tried and true” flu remedy? Join our conversation as we share tips about dealing with the flu.