It's one more reason not to bother with this potentially dangerous drug. And, once a specific swine flu drug is created, you can be sure that it has not had the time to be tested in clinical trials to determine safety and effectiveness, which puts us right back where I started this article -- with a potential repeat of the last dangerous swine flu vaccine, which destroyed the lives of hundreds of people. Topping the whole mess off, of course, is the fact that if the new vaccine turns out to be a killer, the pharmaceutical companies responsible are immune from lawsuits -- something I've also warned about before on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, those prospects won't stop the governments of the world from mandating the vaccine -- a scenario I hope we can all avoid. How to Protect Yourself Without Dangerous Drugs and Vaccinations For now, my point is that there are always going to be threats of flu pandemics, real or created, and there will always be potentially toxic vaccines that are peddled as the solution. But you can break free of that whole drug-solution trap by following some natural health principles. I have not caught a flu in over two decades, and you can avoid it too, without getting vaccinated, by following these simple guidelines, which will keep your immune system in optimal working order so that you're far less likely to acquire the infection to begin with. •Optimize your vitamin D levels. As I've previously reported, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds, and vitamin D deficiency is likely the TRUE culprit behind the seasonality of the flu -- not the flu virus itself. This is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take. I would STRONGLY urge you to have your vitamin D level monitored to confirm your levels are therapeutic at 50-70 ng.ml and done by a reliable vitamin D lab like Lab Corp. For those of you in the US we hope to launch a vitamin D testing service through Lab Corp that allows you to have your vitamin D levels checked at your local blood drawing facility, and relatively inexpensively. We hope to offer this service by June 2009. If you are coming down with flu like symptoms and have not been on vitamin D you can take doses of 50,000 units a day for three days to treat the acute infection. Some researchers like Dr. Cannell, believe the dose could even be as high as 1000 units per pound of body weight for three days. However, most of Dr. Cannell's work was with seasonal and not pandemic flu. If your body has never been exposed to the antigens there is chance that the vitamin D might not work. However the best bet is to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D around 60 ng/ml. BUT to keep this in perspective the regular flu, not the swine flu, has killed 13,000 in the US since January. But there is strong support that these types of figures are grossly exaggerated to increase vaccine sales. However, the fact remains that the regular flu at this point in time is FAR more dangerous than the swine flu and were you worried about the regular flu before the media started talking this up? •Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods. Sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately, and as you likely know, a strong immune system is key to fighting off viruses and other illness. Be aware that sugar is present in foods you may not suspect, like ketchup and fruit juice. •Get Enough Rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you're tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Be sure to check out my article Guide to a Good Night's Sleep for some great tips to help you get quality rest. •Have Effective Tools to Address Stress . We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma. You can check out my free, 25-page EFT manual for some guidelines on how to perform EFT. •Exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads. You can review my exercise guidelines for some great tips on how to get started. •Take a good source of animal based omega-3 fats like Krill Oil. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the omega-3 found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. It is also vitally important to avoid damaged omega-6 oils that are trans fats and in processed foods as it will seriously damage your immune response. •Wash Your Hands. Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Be sure you don't use antibacterial soap for this -- antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, and they cause far more harm than good. Instead, identify a simple chemical-free soap that you can switch your family to. •Eat Garlic Regularly. Garlic works like a broad-spectrum antibiotic against bacteria, virus, and protozoa in the body. And unlike with antibiotics, no resistance can be built up so it is an absolutely safe product to use. However, if you are allergic or don't enjoy garlic it would be best to avoid as it will likely cause more harm than good. •Avoid Hospitals and Vaccines. In this particular case, I'd also recommend you stay away from hospitals unless you're having an emergency, as hospitals are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds, and could be one of the likeliest places you could be exposed to this new bug. Vaccines will not be available for six months at the minimum but when available they will be ineffective and can lead to crippling paralysis like Guillain-Barré Syndrome just as it did in the 70s. Factory Farming Maybe Source of Swine Flu Another theory as to the cause of Swine Flu might be factory farming. In the United States, pigs travel coast to coast. They can be bred in North Carolina, fattened in the corn belt of Iowa, and slaughtered in California. While this may reduce short-term costs for the pork industry, the highly contagious nature of diseases like influenza (perhaps made further infectious by the stresses of transport) needs to be considered when calculating the true cost of long-distance live animal transport. The majority of U.S. pig farms now confine more than 5,000 animals each. With a group of 5,000 animals, if a novel virus shows up it will have more opportunity to replicate and potentially spread than in a group of 100 pigs on a small farm. With massive concentrations of farm animals within which to mutate, these new swine flu viruses in North America seem to be on an evolutionary fast track, jumping and reassorting between species at an unprecedented rate. Why a True Bird- or Swine Flu Pandemic is HIGHLY Unlikely While in my opinion it is highly likely factory farming is responsible for producing this viral strain, I believe there is still no cause for concern. You may not know this, but all H1N1 flu's are descendants of the 1918 pandemic strain. The reason why the flu shot may or may not work, however, from year to year, is due to mutations. Therefore, there's no vaccine available for this current hybrid flu strain, and naturally, this is feeding the fear that millions of people will die before a vaccine can be made. However, let me remind you of one very important fact here. Just a couple of months ago, scientists concluded that the 1918 flu pandemic that killed between 50-100 million people worldwide in a matter of 18 months -- which all these worst case scenarios are built upon -- was NOT due to the flu itself! (4) Instead, they discovered the real culprit was strep infections. People with influenza often get what is known as a "superinfection" with a bacterial agent. In 1918 it appears to have been Streptococcus pneumoniae. Since strep is much easier to treat than the flu using modern medicine, a new pandemic would likely be much less dire than it was in the early 20th century, the researchers concluded. Others, such as evolutionary biologist Paul Ewald, (5) claim that a pandemic of this sort simply cannot happen, because in order for it to occur, the world has to change. Not the virus itself, but the world. In a previous interview for Esquire magazine, in which he discusses the possibility of a bird flu pandemic, he states:
"The dramatic rise of oseltamivir [Tamiflu] resistance in the H1N1 serotype in the 2007/2008 season and the fixing of H274Y in the 2008/2009 season has raised concerns regarding individuals at risk for seasonal influenza, as well as development of similar resistance in the H5N1 serotype [bird flu]. Previously, oseltamivir resistance produced changes in H1N1 and H3N2 at multiple positions in treated patients. In contrast, the recently reported resistance involved patients who had not recently taken oseltamivir."
"They think that if a virus mutates, it's an evolutionary event. Well, the virus is mutating because that is what viruses and other pathogens do. But evolution is not just random mutation. It is random mutation coupled with natural selection; it is a battle for competitive advantage among different strains generated by random mutation. For bird flu to evolve into a human pandemic, the strain that finds a home in humanity has to be a strain that is both highly virulent and highly transmissible. Deadliness has to translate somehow into popularity; H5N1 has to find a way to kill or immobilize its human hosts, and still find other hosts to infect. Usually that doesn't happen."
Ewald goes on to explain that evolution in general is all about trade-offs, and in the evolution of infections the trade-off is between virulence and transmissibility.
What this means is that in order for a "bird flu" or "swine flu" to turn into a human pandemic, it has to find an environment that favors both deadly virulence and ease of transmission.
People living in squalor on the Western Front at the end of World War I generated such an environment, from which the epidemic of 1918 could arise.
Likewise, crowded chicken farms, slaughterhouses, and jam-packed markets of eastern Asia provide another such environment, and that environment gave rise to the bird flu -- a pathogen that both kills and spreads, in birds, but not in humans.
"We know that H5N1 is well adapted to birds. We also know that it has a hard time becoming a virus that can move from person to person. It has a hard time without our doing anything. But we can make it harder. We can make sure it has no human population in which to evolve transmissibility. There is no need to rely on the mass extermination of chickens. There is no need to stockpile vaccines for everyone. By vaccinating just the people most at risk -- the people who work with chickens and the caregivers -- we can prevent it from becoming transmissible among humans. Then it doesn't matter what it does in chickens."