Preparing for the Avian Flu

Experts say that the avian flu or bird flu could become a pandemic at some time in the near future, affecting people world-wide. There are precautions that each person should take to protect themselves now before the bird flu becomes a grave issue.

The Center for Disease Control ( CDC) recommends that “travelers (traveling to other countries) should avoid all contact with poultry (e.g., chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, turkeys, and quail) or any wild birds, and avoid settings where H5N1-infected poultry may be present, such as commercial or backyard poultry farms and live poultry markets.”

“As with other infectious illnesses, one of the most important preventive practices is careful and frequent hand washing. Clean your hands often, using soap and water (or waterless, alcohol-based hand gels when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled) to remove potentially infectious materials from your skin and help prevent disease transmission,” the CDC said.

Currently no vaccine is available to protect humans against the H5N1 virus that is being seen in Asia. However, vaccine development efforts are under way. Research studies to test a vaccine to protect humans against H5N1 virus began in April 2005.

If the bird flu arrives in the United States, we should make sure we have enough food and water for one month in case people are told to remain in their homes. It is always a good idea to keep a general emergency kit in your house. This should include latex gloves and a respirator mask. The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the ANSI Certified N95 respirator mask which can be ordered online or found at a medical supply store.

Natural Remedies and Immune Boosters

Ask one of Down to Earth’s knowledgeable staff about natural antiviral products, such as elderberry and olive leaf extract. As always, be sure to keep your immune system in top condition by supplementing with products such as Vitamin C, Echinacea, New Chapter’s Host Defense, and vitamin-mineral supplements. Remember to get the proper amount of sleep and exercise in addition to a vegetarian, whole-food diet, avoiding sugars and processed foods.