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How To Naturally Prepare Your Body For Cold & Flu Season in 4 Easy Steps

How To Naturally Prepare Your Body For Cold & Flu Season in 4 Easy Steps

This year, cold and flu season could present all kinds of different issues with preparing your body to fight off illness. But these suggestions could help you naturally fortify your immune system even with everything else that’s going on.

Having to plan for COVID around cold and flu season has certainly given us more to be concerned about in the coming months. Now is the best time to begin preparing your body to fight off illness.

In The Coronavirus Handbook, author Tess Pennington outlined some necessary points to keep your immune system as strong as possible during the time of year when you are most susceptible to illness.

It is important to emphasize that herbs cannot cure a highly contagious virus, but they can certainly help boost your immunity. Turning toward natural remedies now will give you the knowledge and skills you need to keep your family well during flu season and in the event of a pandemic flu. 

When you begin feeling that your body is run down, it is time to start actively working to boost the immune system. By doing so, you are fighting off the infection before it overtakes your body, thus, significantly reducing being prone to colds and flu. You can help give your body the edge this winter by trying the following:

  • Herbal tinctures are natural medicines that help with a variety of ailments. You can stimulate your immune system function to help shorten the physical and mental recovery periods of illnesses.
  • Herbal teas that boost and even fortify your immune system during cold and flu season. Finding teas that have bioactive ingredients like echinacea, yarrow, lemon balm, elderberry, and marshmallow help you feel better naturally! Drinking any warm liquid calm our nerves, lower our stress levels, and decrease blood pressure as warmth itself is associated with comfort. 

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Pandemic and Growth

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Pandemic and Growth

There is no way authorities can limit the coronavirus and restore global growth and debt expansion to December 2019 levels. 

Authorities around the world are between a rock and a hard place: they need policies that both limit the spread of the coronavirus and allow their economies to “open for business.” The two demands are inherently incompatible, and so neither one can be fulfilled.

The problem is the intrinsic natures of the virus and the global economy. This virus is highly contagious during its asymptomatic phase, which is long (5 to 20 days), and therefore impossible to control with the conventional tools of identifying people with symptoms and isolating them, and tracking their contacts with others.

While there is much we do not know for certainty about Covid-19, what’s clear (and not well-reported) is that its lethality is not exactly like a normal flu. The number of otherwise healthy people under the age of 60 who die of a regular flu is near-zero. The number of otherwise healthy people under the age of 60 who die of Covid-19 is not large as a percentage of cases but it is worryingly above zero. A great many otherwise healthy people under the age of 60 have died of Covid-19.

Yes, the vast majority of those who die are elderly and suffering from chronic health issues, but the number of younger, healthier people who are dying makes this virus consequentially different from a typical flu.

Everyone looking at total deaths (currently much lower than the fatalities in a typical flu season) is missing the semi-random lethality of Covid-19 in younger, healthier people, or at least certain strains of the virus in certain conditions (air pollution, viral load, etc.) and in not yet fully understood sub-populations.

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‘We’re going to have more deaths’: Influenza kills more people than the coronavirus so everyone is overreacting, right? Wrong — and here’s why

‘We’re going to have more deaths’: Influenza kills more people than the coronavirus so everyone is overreacting, right? Wrong — and here’s why

President Trump tweeted Monday that thousands die of the flu every year, and suggested that life should go on as usual — not so fast, experts say

Some cite influenza as a reason not to be worried about COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, but health professionals say that comparison misses some very important points.MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto

Coronavirus. It’s just like the flu, isn’t it? 

Hundreds of thousands of people die of the flu every year, and people need to calm down, some say. Everyone should wash their hands for 20 seconds,  elbow bump, stop buying face masks because they don’t protect against the virus, note that airplane air is filtered 20 to 30 times an hour, avoid cruise ships, and just relax — right?

That appears to be the accumulated advice of exasperated Americans on Twitter and Facebook FB, -6.40% in recent days who despair at the long lines at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods AMZN, -5.28% (where people apparently have been stocking up on oat milk) and the panic buying and empty shelves at Costco COST, -3.00%. “Toilet paper is golden in an apocalypse,” one customer told MYNorthwest.com.

‘This is additive, not in place of. Yes, the flu kills thousands of people every year, but we’re going to have more deaths.’— Amesh Adalja, Infectious Diseases Society of America

Studies, however, suggest the differences between the flu and coronavirus are more nuanced than some people suggest. In fact, health professionals point out important distinctions between the COVID-19 illness and other viral sicknesses like the flu. For a start, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 and it could take many months or years to get one to market. What’s worse, doctors fear the virus will mutate.

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The Grim Reality About Pandemics They Don’t Want You To Know: “No Country is Prepared”

The Grim Reality About Pandemics They Don’t Want You To Know: “No Country is Prepared”

It’s been 100 years since the Spanish Flu caused a global pandemic. While you can rest easy right now knowing a global pandemic is not currently a threat, it is just a matter of time before the next one arrives. And when the next one does arrive, “scientists say an outbreak of a flu-like illness could sweep across the planet in 36 hours and kill tens of millions due to our constantly-traveling population.”

The Grim Reality About Pandemics They Don’t Want You To Know: “No Country is Prepared”

It’s been 100 years since the Spanish Flu caused a global pandemic. While you can rest easy right now knowing a global pandemic is not currently a threat, it is just a matter of time before the next one arrives. And when the next one does arrive, “scientists say an outbreak of a flu-like illness could sweep across the planet in 36 hours and kill tens of millions due to our constantly-traveling population.”

According to the Daily Mail, “The report, named A World At Risk, said current efforts to prepare for outbreaks in the wake of crises such as Ebola are ‘grossly insufficient’”. It was headed by Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Norwegian prime minister and director-general of the WHO (World Health Organization). He said in the report: “The threat of a pandemic spreading around the globe is a real one. ‘A quick-moving pathogen has the potential to kill tens of millions of people, disrupt economies and destabilize national security.’”

No country is fully prepared for the mayhem a pandemic flu can cause

Out of the entire world, a mere 13 countries had resources and health care systems to put up a fight against a global pandemic. Among the countries ranked in the top tier were Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada, France, and Holland.

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Britain’s Excess Winter Deaths Soar To Highest In Over 40 Years

Winter is always a period of increased work for health services, with statistics every year proving this in the most blunt of fashions.

Excess winter death figures represent the difference in the number of people dying during the winter months compared the rest of the year and, as Statista’s Martin Armstrong points out, are a good indicator of just how hard the cold season has been.

Infographic: Excess winter deaths highest in over 40 years | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

The winter of 2017/18 was especially hard and, combined with a strong flu and problems associated with vaccines, it was the worst winter for excess deaths in over 40 years.

Predicting the next global pandemic

Predicting the next global pandemic

Predicting the next global pandemic

The nature and likelihood of the next pandemic presents many challenges to governments and health organisations, as it could be an unknown pathogen that the world is ill-equipped to contain. The risks associated with such a pandemic has secondary effects as it not only affects human health, but also causes severe disruptions in economic, political, and social areas.

In 2017, scientists and public health organizations warned that the next global pandemic is imminent, and that no country is prepared to confront the coming waves of illness. If the next pandemic is anything like the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 30 million people in six months, the global population will face unprecedented uncertainty. There is some indication that the next flu outbreak could involve the H7N9 strain, an influenza virus that is not yet highly contagious. H7N9 is a type of avian influenza; the first cases in humans began appearing 2013 in China. This particular strain of influenza has mainly spread through poultry to humans. There are growing numbers of reported cases that are expected to be a result of human-to-human contact.  Scientists hypothesize that the longer the virus circulates in humans who have been infected with H7N9 , the potential exists for the strain to spread to larger populations.

At present, the Centers for Disease Control in the United States rate H7N9 as having a high likelihood of evolving into a wide-spread pandemic. Based on  H7N9 cases in China, scientists know that 88 percent of those diagnosed developed pneumonia, and 41 percent of these patients died. H7N9 will not remain contained within China; as it adapts to the human body, H7N9 has the potential to possibly infect  millions of people globally. The questions that remain are when will H7N9 develop these capabilities, how quickly the virus will spread, and to what degree will it contribute to social instability?

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City Size & Structure Can Influence Influenza Epidemics, Scientists Say

City Size & Structure Can Influence Influenza Epidemics, Scientists Say

Ready Nutrition - City Size & Structure Can Influence Influenza Epidemics, Scientists Say
New research is suggesting that the size and structure of the city you live in has the possibility of influencing epidemics.  With flu season upon us, and everyone lining up to get the flu shot, researchers are saying an outbreak may be less in our control than we originally thought.

But just how does your city’s structure impact an epidemic?

Regardless of whether flu cases rise to a wintertime peak or plateau from fall to spring, new research suggests that the size of a city itself influences the contours of its flu season according to Science News.  Larger cities with higher levels of crowding were associated with a steady accumulation of influenza cases throughout a flu season. Smaller cities with less crowding tended to have a flu season with a more intense surge in winter, researchers report in the October 5 publication.

“Understanding how the size and structure of cities impact disease spread may help us to predict and control epidemics,” study co-author and population biologist Benjamin Dalziel of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, said October 2 at a news conference.

In the United States, “flu season” occurs during fall and winter. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Flu activity typically peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). –Ready Nutrition

After the 2017 horrific flu season, many are wondering if in fact the CDC is prepared for this year's flu season. Hear the CDC's concerns, know the facts, and learn how to improve your immune system naturally to fight the dreaded flu season.Flu cases generally peak during the winter in most areas of the United States because the air is quite a bit drier.

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The Next Flu Explosion: Rise In Obesity And Diabetes Will Exacerbate Future Pandemics

Scientists involved in a new study published this month in the research journal, Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, have sounded the alarm over their ability to contain future flu pandemics in relation to the rise of obesity especially in the West today.

The study finds that growth rates in obesity and diabetes, along with populations which are increasingly resistant to antibiotics, could turn even a mild flu outbreak into an explosive global pandemic.

Image source: Getty via ABC News

One of the authors of the study, Dr Kirsty Short, virologist at the University of Queensland, told The Telegraph of the link between obesity and spread of dangerous diseases: “There’s been an incredible rate of increase of diabetes and obesity even in my lifetime.” She explained“This has significant implications on infectious diseases and the spread of infectious disease.”

Dr. Short continued, “But because chronic diseases have risen in frequency in such a short period of time, we’re only starting to appreciate all of the consequences.”

Reflecting on the now century old Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918, which infected a third of the global population and is estimated to have killed between 50 and 100 million people, she said of the next big outbreak, “we know that there will be one”.

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic occurred as WWI was winding down. Historical photo via AP

“As our population is ageing and chronic diseases are becoming so prevalent, that could turn even a mild pandemic into a chronic one,” Dr. Short concluded.

Though modern medicine and vaccines are better prepared to mitigate the impact of a major outbreak than in 1918, issues like obesity and diabetes more broadly present in society will likely provide a significant hindrance to prevention and treatment, scientists fear, as these conditions could alter the body’s immune response, leading to greater rates of hospitalization and even death.

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Are We Due for a Pandemic Flu? Here’s How to Prepare Just in Case

Are We Due for a Pandemic Flu? Here’s How to Prepare Just in Case

Ready-Nutrition Pandemic Preparedness
It has been 100 years since the Spanish Flu (also known as the 1918 flu pandemic) spread across the globe, infecting 500 million people and causing the deaths of 50 million – which was three to five percent of the world’s population at the time.

Imagine the catastrophic numbers in today’s time if a similar flu hit – and how quickly it would spread from the ease in transportation modern society allows.

While you can rest easy right now knowing a global pandemic is not currently a threat, it is just a matter of time before the next one arrives.

Although modern medicine has a lot more flu-fighting tricks in its arsenal than it did several decades ago, the risk of a pandemic flu killing many is still very real.

The growing population, ease in global travel, civil conflict, a marked decrease in medical facilities in outbreak regions, and a decrease in CDC resources could all create a perfect storm for an epidemic to rapidly get out of control and become a pandemic.

In The Big One Is Coming, and It’s Going to Be a Flu Pandemic, Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote that when a highly lethal flu pandemic comes, it will affect everyone alive today:

Pandemic flu is apolitical and does not discriminate between rich and poor. Geographical boundaries are meaningless, and it can circle the globe within hours.

Dr. Gupta goes on to explain that when most people hear “flu”, they think of seasonal flu, but pandemic flu is “a different animal, and you should understand the difference.”

Panˈdemik/: pan means “all”; demic (or demographic) means “people.” It is well-named, because pandemic flu spreads easily throughout the world. Unlike seasonal flu, pandemics occur when a completely new or novel virus emerges. This sort of virus can emerge directly from animal reservoirs or be the result of a dramatic series of mutations — so-called reassortment events — in previously circulating viruses.

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John Barry: The Pandemic Risk

John Barry: The Pandemic Risk

How big a threat is it? How much should we worry?

As far as existential threats to the human species go, pandemics rank near the top of the list.

What’s the probability of an agressive, highly-fatal outbreak occuring soon? Is it high enough to worry about?

And if one occurs, what can/should we do to protect ourselves and our loved ones?

To address these questions, we interview John M. Barry, author of the award-winning New York Times best-seller The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. John was the only non-scientist to serve on the US government’s Infectious Disease Board of Experts and has served on advisory boards for MIT’s Center for Engineering System Fundamentals and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has consulted on influenza preparedness and response to national security entities, the George W. Bush and Obama White Houses, state governments, and the private sector.

His verdict? The risk of a massively fatal world-wide pandemic like the 1918 Spanish flu is remote, but very real — and is heightened by the hyper-connectedness of our modern society (i.e., the ease and speed with with people can travel). And our readiness for such an outbreak is woefully lacking:

An often-overlooked part of the damage a virulent pandemic can do is its impact on supply chains and the economy.

If you’ve got 20 to 30% of your air traffic controllers sick at the same time, what’s that going to do to your economy?

Most of the power plants in the United States are still coal powered. They get their coal, most of them, from Wyoming. You see these enormous trains – that’s a highly skilled position, the engineers who move those trains which are a mile and a half long. Suppose they’re out. You’re not going to have power in many of the power plants.

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‘DISEASE X’: New Strain Of Bird Flu Kills 40% Of Those Who Contract, 100s Dead In China

A “new” strain of deadly bird flu dubbed “Disease X” by the World Health Organization (WHO) has killed hundreds of people in China, and is just three mutations away from becoming transmissible between humans, according to experts.

The strain, H7N9, circulates in poultry and has killed 623 people out of 1,625 infected in China – a mortality rate of 38.3%. While first identified in China in 2013, H7N9 has recently emerged as a serious threat seemingly overnight.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for the UK, told The Telegraph that H7N9 could cause a global outbreak.

“[H7N9] is an example of another virus which has proven its ability to transmit from birds to humans,” said Van-Tam, who added “It’s possible that it could be the cause of the next pandemic.”

The WHO says N7N9 is “an unusually dangerous virus for humans,” and “one of the most lethal influenza viruses that we’ve seen so far

H7N9 viruses have several features typically associated with human influenza viruses and therefore possess pandemic potential and need to be monitored closely,” said Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Researchers led by James Paulson of the Scripps Research Institute in California have been studying the mutations which could potentially occur in H7N9’s genome to allow for human-to-human infection.

The team’s findings, published in the journal PLoS Pathogens on Thursday, showed that in laboratory tests, mutations in three amino acids made the virus more able to bind to human cells — suggesting these changes are key to making the virus more dangerous to people. –Japan Times

That said, the mutations would need to occur relatively close to each other to become more virulent, which has a low probability of happening according to Fiona Culley, an expert in respiratory immunology at Imperial College London.

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Bill Gates Warns “Millions Could Die” If US Doesn’t Prepare For Coming Pandemic

Should a deadly pandemic comparable to the 1918 influenza outbreak reach the US in the relatively near future, the US government would be powerless to stop it. And in all likelihood, hundreds of thousands – if not, millions – of Americans will die. That’s the message from a Washington Post interview with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, which touched on many of the same subjects from a talk he gave Friday before the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Bill Gates says the U.S. government is falling short in preparing the nation and the world for the “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.”

Gates discussed his efforts to convince the Trump administration to set aside more funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to prioritize the creation of a national response plan that would govern how resources are deployed during a pandemic or biological weapons attack.

Gates

During the interview, the billionaire who appears to have gotten such a touch eccentric in his gray years, confirmed that he had raised the issue of pandemic preparedness with President Trump, and that he tried to convince the president that he has a chance to lead on the issue of global health security.

According to Gates, Trump told him to raise these issues with officials at the Health and Human Services Department, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Gates said he also met with HR McMaster, who was ousted as National Security Advisor last month, and he hopes to meet with McMaster’s successor John Bolton. He is probably the only one.

That said, Gates may have a point: Even this winter’s flu season – the worst in years – overwhelmed hospitals, some of which were forced to pitch tents outside the facilities and deploy other emergency accommodations.

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CDC: Second Wave Of “B-Strain” Influenza Has Begun, “More Severe For Younger Children”

Despite the flu season finally winding down and overall cases declining, the CDC reports that infections of the less common “Influenza B” strain are on the rise, surpassing “Influenza A” in their most recent weekly Influenza Surveillance Report. This season’s strains are a mixture of the H3N2 and H1N1 “A” strains and the now-resurgent “B” strain, which can be particularly severe on young children.

The March 23 release shows that cases of the B-strain comprised nearly 60% of new cases across the country – as reported during the week of March 17.

“We know that illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A,” said CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund via CNN. “We also know that influenza B tends to be more severe for younger children.”

This year there have been 26,694 hospitalizations for flu-related symptoms, nearly 80% of which have been Influenza A – however the late-season resurgence of Influenza B should be of particular concern to parents of younger children as well as caretakers.

“We often see a wave of influenza B during seasons when influenza A H3N2 was the predominant virus earlier in the season. Unfortunately, we don’t know what the influenza B wave will look like,” said Norland, who adds that it’s possible to get sick with multiple strains of the flu within the same season.

133 children have died so far from flu-related illnesses during the 2017-2018 season. Among adults, 7.8% of deaths reported for the week were flu related – noting a two week delay in the data. The CDC had estimated a threshold of 7.4%.

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The Flu Is FAR WORSE Than We’re Being Told: Tens of Thousands of Americans Are DYING

The Flu Is FAR WORSE Than We’re Being Told: Tens of Thousands of Americans Are DYING

We all know that this year’s flu season is bad. I have been pouring over numbers and reports over the past few days, and it’s actually even worse than we’re hearing about. Tens of thousands of Americans are dying. It’s now worse than the 2009 swine flu outbreak and is on track with the 2014-15 strain. And it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Despite this, the media is downplaying the severity of the flu and the government makes the statistics pretty difficult to find. Are they trying to avoid a panic? Do they know something we don’t?

Here’s what you need to know about why this year’s flu is so dangerous.

This Year’s Flu Strain Is More Deadly

The dominant Influenza strain this year is H3N2. This particular strain has a history of causing more hospitalizations and more deaths. According to the CDC:

In the past, H3N2-predominant seasons have been associated with more severe illness and higher mortality, especially in older people and young children, relative to H1N1- or B-predominant seasons. Between 1976 and 2007, for example, CDC estimates that an average of 28,909 people died from flu during H3N2 seasons, compared to 10,648 people during non-H3N2 predominant years.

That’s a difference of 18,261 adults each year. And that’s in a good year.

In addition to H3N2 producing a more serious infection in general, this year’s particular H3N2 influenza virus is particularly virulent. The number of deaths due to influenza or complications to the flu, such as pneumonia (a secondary bacterial infection following influenza), varies from year to year.

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The Cycle of Disease – It’s Just our Time

COMMENT: Sir,

It’s interesting, since your post on Madagascar and the pneumonic plague, I have Surveilled a site dealing with medical news once a week. What’s really interesting is the resurgence of older well-known entities such as cholera

Zambia has been hard hit with over 2000 cases of cholera with close to 50 deaths. The university is closed as well as other institutions. It has migrated from the urban areas to the suburban areas. The armed forces have been called out to help. Tanzania has shut its borders with Zambia due to this. Kenya has had 4 kid cases of hospitalization.

ProMED-mail post

Influenza strains are hitting geographic regions. The H3n2 is has hit Australia very hard and is currently hitting the UK. The US is also being infected. India has the H1N1 variant hitting them hard.

The avian flu has led to the culling of birds in the Middle East particularly Egypt and Iran. Saudia Arabia just had 6 new cases. Russia and Swiss poultry also have cases.
China has Influenza B hitting them hard but cannot confirm type nor number of cases and comparison numbers.

When it rains…. it pours.

Keep up the good work

DK

REPLY: The influenza virus changes its genetic makeup every year and complies with guess what – cyclical analysis! This constantly changing virus presents a cyclical challenge to medical science, and consequently, this makes it impossible to create a single vaccine to prevent the disease for life. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitor each new strain of influenza virus as it appears. They gather data and then try to predict which may be the predominant virus in the following year’s flu season.  Scientists then use this data to develop a vaccine each year against the specific virus they predict will predominate.

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