Swine flu has certainly made its way into the media. Each day, several of my patients ask my opinion as to whether or not the vaccine is a good idea for them and their families. So here is my opinion. First, let’s keep things in perspective. According to the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), around 15,000 people die in the USA each year from falls. 36,000 people die every year from regular flu. The World Health Organization, (WHO), reports ~4 million cases of flu world wide each year, from which some 300,000 deaths will occur. Since most of these deaths occur in third world countries, it doesn’t provoke a media response such as that associated with swine flu here in the USA.
I am not a proponent of flu vaccines. There is much in the literature to suggest that with respect to flu vaccines, they do not work. Making matters worse, there are known side affects which can be severe. By now I am sure many reading this article have seen the video going around the internet of the Washington Redskins cheerleader who is alleged to have been crippled with Dystonia following a seasonal flu shot.
Many readers may recall in 1976, the swine flu ordeal from which very few people actually got sick, yet following a vaccination hype, hundreds developed Guillan-Barre’ syndrome, a crippling neurologic degenerative disorder. Since pharmaceutical companies have virtual immunity from legal actions from vaccine related deaths/disorders, it would appear that the absolute safety of said vaccines would not be as high on the agenda as it ought to be.
Hygiene is of utmost importance during flu season. If you are sick, stay home, that simple. Whenever you touch money, one if the biggest carriers of germs, do not touch yourself or food/drink without sanitizing first either with soap/water, or with a alcohol based hand sanitizer. Immunocompromised individuals should wear a mask in public places. Keeping ones immune system working effectively in the first place, something that has been largely neglected by the vast majority of our society, is integral, especially during flu season. Information on healthy eating and on exercise/fitness can be found on my website, and virtually anywhere on the internet.