Should you get a flu shot? Are there natural ways to prevent the for those of us in the Los Angeles area?
What Is The Flu?
The “flu,” also called influenza, is a respiratory infection caused by viruses that spread from person to person. Each year, millions of Americans get sick with the flu. Sometimes it causes mild illness. But the flu can also be serious or even deadly, especially for people over 65, newborn babies, and persons with a weakened immune system.
Year after year, during flu season, tens of thousands of people across the United States die of influenza. It is a dangerous condition often underestimated by people who consider it a more serious variety of common cold, and respond in kind. Some even try to work through the symptoms, instead of staying at home and resting. This is an understandable mistake— shared symptoms of colds and flu include a runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. However, there are many more severe symptoms:
- breathing difficulties
- chest and abdominal discomfort
- high fever
- aching muscles
- extreme fatigue
- severe headaches
Influenza is also a potential gateway for other severe conditions like pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. It is not to be taken lightly, and definitely not something to ‘tough out’, like you might with a cold. If you suspect you have the flu virus, you should seek medical help. These days, there are a plethora of methods intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent the flu. The healthcare team at Holistic Healing Heart Center at the ready to offer several options for those mindful of their health, and the health of their families.
Flu Season 2019-2020
Peak flu season takes place between January and February in the US. There are many different flu viruses and they are constantly evolving, which is what makes preventing and treating the flu so difficult. There are two main types of influenza viruses: A, B. Human influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of the flu, typically every winter in the United States.
Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses (depending on the vaccine) that research suggests will be most common. According to the CDC, or the 2019-2020 flu season, trivalent (three-component) vaccines are recommended to contain: A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus, A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus.
Flu Shot 2019 in Los Angeles
Influenza is the most frequent cause of death from a vaccine-preventable disease in the United States. Deaths are most common among the over-65s, under-5s, and those already at increased risk of complications resulting from influenza. However, fatalities can occur at any age. If you are in need of a flu shot in Burbank or flu shot in Valencia – Santa Clarita, Dr. Cynthia Thaik M.D. can help you. The influenza virus is a mutating pathogen, and so new versions of the shot are developed twice a year. The World Health Organization recommends everyone over the age of six months receives a flu shot every year. High risk groups (the pregnant, the elderly, under-fives, and healthcare workers) are particularly encouraged to get the vaccination. The Center for Disease Control also recommends the vaccine as the best way of protecting against the flu. The Food and Drug Administration also advocates that providers of important community services such as police, fire department personnel and emergency medical personnel also consider flu vaccines, in order to minimize disruption to those services in the event of an outbreak. The widespread use of flu vaccines can reduce cases of the flu in the United States by as much as 60%, saving tens of thousands of lives. The risk of side effects from the flu vaccine is very small, and the vaccine is available in nasal spray form, as well as intramuscular injection.
What Does the Flu Shot Do?
The flu vaccine does not work right away, which is why it’s important to anticipate flu season and get your shot in advance, preferably in October for those living in the United States. It can take approximately two weeks for the body to produce antibodies capable of protecting against influenza virus infection. These antibodies will provide protection against the three (sometimes four) varieties of flu that are anticipated by researchers to be the most widespread that flu season. The research is not always perfect, and so the effectiveness of the vaccine can vary. Even if it is not 100% effective, it is typically better to have gotten the shot than otherwise. Even on the rare occasions that someone who has received a flu vaccine later contracts influenza, studies have shown that vaccinated sufferers reduces the severity of the illness and overall time spent recovering from the flu.
How Long is the Flu Shot Good For?
Protection from the flu vaccine is considered by experts to last approximately 6 months. Over time, the level of protection offered declines as a result of the waning antibody and because of shifts in the influenza virus. In particular, those over the age of 65 might find that their antibody persistence is shorter than that of younger vaccine receivers. Those who are especially susceptible to viral infections might consider more than one flu shot a year to be prudent.
Natural Ways to Prevent Flu
Nature has been generous in providing us with ways that we can stave off the flu and similar viral infections. Herbal teas that contain star anise, honey, ginger, turmeric, or cloves are especially effective at fighting flu. Manuka honey has potent inhibitory activity against the influenza virus, demonstrating a potential medicinal value., while star anise is the plant which oseltamivir phosphate (commercially known as Tamiflu) is derived from. Additionally, essential oils can be effective in slowing or stopping the virus’ spread. They should be applied to the skin or diffused, not orally ingested. Tea tree oil is the most effective, but lemon, cinnamon, peppermint, eucalyptus, oregano, and thyme oil can all offer natural antibiotic and antiviral properties. Another natural form of therapy is steam inhalation, which can soothe the nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs, as well as loosening mucous congestion. Don’t inhale steam from boiling water, as that is too hot and may damage your breathing passages instead.
Natural Remedies for Flu
Even with all of this help though, sometimes people catch the flu. You don’t have to just grin and bear it, though— there are many ways of fighting the infection. Of course, two of the most well-known remedies for colds and flu are chicken soup, and orange juice. Chicken soup is beneficial because it contains high quantities of nutrients via its vegetable and mineral content, while orange juice offers bumper quantities of vitamin C. As important, though, is the fact that both are fluids. Dehydration is a common factor in many illnesses, and the longer a body is dehydrated, the weaker it gets and more prone to other conditions it becomes. Influenza is a particularly grave offender in this regard, as respiratory flu can cause fluid loss, whether it’s through overproduction of mucous and phlegm or feverish sweating. As well as soup and juice, it’s advisable to drink plenty of water, sports drinks, herbal tea, and even coconut water. You’ll know if you’re sufficiently hydrated, as you’ll have regular need of urination, and the urine you produce will be clear, or pale yellow. If your urine is deep yellow or amber, you are dehydrated.
IV Therapy for Flu
The Holistic Healing Heart Center offers a variety of IV Vitamin Therapy treatments, many of which are formulated to help the body resist and beat cold and flu. Actual absorption of nutrients by oral intake is inefficient: 40% of the vitamins and minerals we eat are taken in by our bodies. The rest is excreted, in one form or another. However, intravenous (IV) treatments deliver high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids directly into the bloodstream via IV fluid, which provides substantial nourishment to your body on a cellular level. Dr. Cynthia’s IV Vitamin Therapy is an accessible way of boosting patients’ immune systems and overall health. The Hydrogen Peroxide Cocktail includes antioxidant, antibiotic, and antiviral properties. The Classic Myers Cocktail IV Drip is a general wellness formula, boosting energy and immunity with a potent mix of vital nutrients. However, the cocktail most recommended for the onset of influenza season is the Super Immunity Cocktail, a significant dose of Vitamin C, super B complexes, calcium gluconate, magnesium, selenium, and taurine. IV therapy’s fast, effective delivery method frontloads nutrients to head off illness before it can take hold in the body, avoiding costly trips to the doctor or even the hospital. Not only are you saving yourself from sickness and saving time, you’re saving money.
IV Therapy Burbank/IV Therapy Valencia
A common use of IV therapy is as a method of sustaining good health. With that being said, it is also bent to treat chronic illness such as Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, and more, offering anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, and other effects. However, IV fluid flu relief is a highly popular use during flu season, especially among those who can’t receive flu vaccines for medical or other reasons. One of the advantages of IV therapy is that it can be administered in the home. The various debilitating effects of flu make it hard to leave the house, and doing so can expose others to your infection and further exacerbate the situation.
Since 2003, Dr. Cynthia Thaik MD has been providing holistic healthcare to the residents of the greater Los Angeles area, from Santa Clarita to Burbank. Her lifelong dedication to the medical profession, including unique childhood experiences of medical practice, have given her a thorough appreciation for the value of self-directed healing. Now, she is proud to provide a service combining the best elements of modern and traditional medicine. Whether it’s as simple as administering a flu shot, or complex as diagnostic cardiovascular testing, Dr. Cynthia and her team work hard to deliver considerate, friendly, and above all, respectful care.
To enquire about getting your flu shot with Dr. Cynthia, or immune system-boosting IV therapy to prevent or fight off the flu, call (818) 514-9588 for Burbank, or (661) 417-0712 for Valencia. Dr. Cynthia and her team of talented health care professionals look forward to assisting you with your health.