Health Tip #3, 12 September 1996
In the last few weeks, many of you have already experienced and triumphed over this seasonís bout of the common cold. I hate to disappoint you, especially with midterms rapidly approaching, but the Influenza season will be coming up before you know it. Catching the flu means you will start to cough, sneeze, ache, sleep poorly, and, in general, feel pretty lousy.
One thing that you can do beforehand to possibly avoid the flu all together is to get yourself vaccinated. These "mini-doses" of the virus let your body practice fighting it off, so that it will know how to defend itself when the real thing comes. These will be available at the Tang Center by the end of October, for around $7-10. You can call 2-2970 for more information or wait for the flyers. [The Exorcistís Linda Blair is about to show a flu symptom: vomiting.]
By taking regular amounts of Vitamin C now, you can strengthen your immune system and, once the flu hits, this will drastically reduce the effects and duration of the virus on your body. Zinc and copper, taken together, can also boost your immune system, as can beta-carotene (carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli) which is also good for your respiratory system. Other ways to help to prevent the flu are regular exercise, positive and loving relationships with friends (hostility, on the other hand, will hinder your immune system), washing your hands after going to the bathroom, plenty of sleep, and periodically buying a clean new toothbrush.
Once you do get sick, follow the #1 rule: Drink Lots of H2O! Not only should your peeís flow be like Niagara Falls, but it should be the same clear color too and, at least once every hour! This will prevent dehydration, your mucous wonít be as thick, and it will help to "wash out" the pathogenic invaders. Chicken soup (or olive oil as a chicken fat substitute, if you are vegetarian) can provide the salt that you need so you donít get dizzy. Garlic, peppers, spices, and tea can also help clear things up. Be sure to get a lot of rest and donít overexert yourself!
Every so often, some major pandemics hit. From 1918-1919 the Spanish Flu killed about 500,000 Americans, 20 million people worldwide, more than died in all of World War I. These are rare, but pay attention to the news reports, watching for notice of a particularly virulent strain coming this year.
Sources of Information:
The Doctorís Book of Home Remedies, by Sid Kirchheimer, 1993.
Intelligence Enterprises, Health: http://www.opendoor.com/IEHealth/Flu01.html
National Center for Infectious Diseases: http://ftp.cdc.gov/ncidod/ncid.htm
Take Care of Yourself, by Donald M. Vickery & James F. Fries, 1996.