Thursday, April 30, 2009

Prepare: Protection from Swine Flu Pandemic

An entire school district in Texas shut down for the next week it was announced last night. That is a district in a city of about half a million people. And they are not alone..

Other districts and schools are shutting down as well. The fear is that one student will infect others who in turn will take it home and the whole cart goes downhill from there. No surprise, just the surprise is that is has happened so fast. It was only over the past weekend the whole "swine flu" thing exploded into the main stream press.

Are there ways to protect yourself from viruses, flu and pandemic? There are ways to increase your chances of NOT getting a flu or virus, but remember, nothing is guaranteed besides avoiding sick people to begin with.

First, the obvious. Stay away from infected people. Don't drink or eat after them. Avoid public places. Don't use public water fountains. Keep kids away from playground equipment, water parks, and indoor play areas found at restaurants.

But having some protection is wise as well. I already told you that I purchased a box of masks for my family and it is the smartest precaution you can take. There are a number of masks available.

The Disposable EARLOOP Face MASK is familiar from hospitals. Many experts recommend these as they are lightweight, inexpensive and due to their widespread use, may not frighten small children.

My favorite however is the Influenza N95 Mask which I purchased. I keep three in my work bag, one in each of my childrens school bag and one by the front door ready to put on when strangers come by.

I saw this particular mask online but I have no idea if it is good or not, but it is pretty interesting. Wein N99 Pandemic Flu Protection ViraMask With Viraseal It might be scary to small children though.

Hands and fingers are how most illnesses get into our system. Touch a surface that a sick person has been near, put a finger in the mouth, nose or eye and bingo: You have been exposed.

Two things. Gloves and hand sanitizer (and the obvious - keep fingers out of face. I have to tell my kids that a couple of hundred times a day!). I think you are going to start seeing more people out and about wearing Medical Exam Gloves for the same reason hospitals do: they keep germs away from hands.

And sanitizer, like washing your hands cannot be stressed more. You can make sanitizer yourself.
- Aloe Vera gel (one cup)
- Rubbing alcohol (two teaspoons)
- Some lavender oil for a pleasant smell
- Tea tree oil and oregano oil (optional) for additional anti-viral protection.

My wife whipped up a big batch of this yesterday and filled several pump bottles for around the house use. And it smells nicer than the store bought product.

Taking vitamins helps, but you should have done this some time ago to build your immune system. Vitamins A, C, E along with zinc, selenium, and herbs echinacea and golden seal. We take an elderberry extract called Sambucol as well. My kids take a teaspoon before school and another when they get home. Herbalists swear this stuff can knock an infection off its socks before it takes hold. My wife swears by it when she starts to get a cold.

Finally, get plenty of rest. Try to not get so stressed; stress lowers your immune system. Drink lots of fluids like water, juice and plenty of green tea. Stay fit; a healthy body can fight off infection better than a sick one. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. All things your grandmother would have done fifty years ago.

But the best advice of all is stay away from sick people. Like the schools, we may have to shut down most public gatherings until this thing burns itself out.

Swine Flu Guide Available Online

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