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The Bird Flu and You
|There is more news about the Avian Bird Flu (H5N1), and some of it may be frightful sounding. Even President Bush finally addressed the issue in a recent speech. He mentioned that the US Military might be called in to help enforce a possible quarantine of those afflicted, since there is no vaccine for it.
This obviously is a worse case scenario, but it does bring to light how much impact something like this flu could have. For years now, experts have been warning about such a pandemic, whether or not it is the current H5N1 virus.
Currently the flu is only responsible for an estimated 65 deaths (October 2005 AP) and has been isolated to primarily Southeast Asia, a continent far away from the States.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other global health organizations have been warning the public and following the flu since its first outbreak in 1997 and HEALTHandFITNESS.com first reported it as a news-headline in early 2005. The main concern is that this virus could mutate and easily spread from human to human, which, in another worse case scenario, experts estimate would be fatal to a couple million and possibly up to as high as 100 million across the globe.
The most recent development has come from researchers who have reconstructed the world's most deadly flu virus, the Spanish Flu, a pandemic in 1918 that caused at least 50 million deaths (with some researchers stating up to 100 million).
As reported in the journals Nature and Science, scientists now know that this flu started as a bird flu before mutating its way into the human population, raising the immediacy of understanding and, hopefully, controlling the current bird flu.
What can you do?
Generally speaking, flu is most likely to become fatal to the very old, very young and those afflicted with chronic diseases.
This, however, was not true of the 1918 flu, which primarily affected young adults by filling their lungs with fluids that they drowned in, but the best fight can be made by those who have increased their own immune system's strength. By becoming healthier and stronger now, not later, you can improve your ability to prevent illness and,if you do become afflicted, increase your ability to fight the flu.
Improve your immune system response by following these guides:
1. Eat Healthier Foods
Make it a point to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables by including them with every meal and for snacks throughout your day.
Every day you need to do some type of exercise that lasts at least 60 minutes total. Emphasis should be on cardiovascular exercises, but strength training
should be included to improve the amount of lean body tissue.
3. Proper Sleep
Many of us are caught-up in working a great deal every day, including the
time for commuting to and from work and the stresses of that type of lifestyle. The best
combatant for this is to get proper sleep each night (6-8 hours on average).
4. Multi-Vitamins & Minerals
Even the American Medical
Association (AMA) agrees that taking a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is suggested for every
adult. Be sure to pick an all-natural food-based vitamin that includes close to 100% RDA of your
About the author:
Darren Rieck is a Health Scientist (University of Cincinnati) and Environmental Specialist (UC Santa Barbara). Darren is the Publisher and Founder of the informational website HEALTHandFITNESS.com
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