Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pandemic of the Asian Bird Flu?

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Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair; you're doing something, but you're not going anywhere.

Here are some EQ tips:

Q: Could there by a pandemic?
A: My physician says we’re overdue for one.

Q: Should you panic?
A: Panicking doesn’t help anything.

Q: What IS a flu pandemic?
A: A new influenza virus that adapts to humans and since it’s new, we have no immunity built up to it.

There are some things we can count on when there’s something that could effect a lot of people in a bad way. One is that there will be panic. Emotions can overtake thinking clearly, gathering facts, considering the source of rumors, coping intelligently with the risk, and making good decisions.

Another is that opportunists will capitalize on the panic to get you to buy something that will “cure” it which they will “guarantee” will keep you safe. Remember all the hype at the millennium?

Lastly, politicians and activists will capitalize on the situation as well, leveraging fear and hatred to attack opponents, polarize groups, and agitate to influence people to support or vote for them. We need only consider the recent flooding in New Orleans to get a look at this.

As if the flu weren’t enough to worry about.

How does this work? I heard not long ago, via blog, friends, and TV, that flu vaccine would be in short supply, in one case that the government was stockpiling it, and in another case that “they” were hoarding it so only “[one group] could have it or so that [another group] couldn’t have it.

Imagine my surprise when I wandered into a neighborhood clinic on Christmas Eve (with a sick relative) and saw a huge sign on the door: FLU SHOTS AVAILABLE HERE - $25.

Not only was it “in supply,” so much so they were advertising, but it was affordable to most pocket books

This flu thing is an excellent example of how Emotional Intelligence can benefit you: it’s a good time to THINK about a very EMOTIONAL issue. People who want to sell us something, get elected, or get us to support a cause will prey on our emotions any way they can. It's Marketing 101 that you can get someone to buy something by scaring them about what will happen if they don’t buy it, and/or making it scarce. It’s “hype” - - from “hyperbole,” an extravagant exaggeration. We can also get carried away by our own fears, when what is needed is information - - facts, not rumors.

To deal with "the flu" intelligently you need to unemotionally gather information from reliable sources, and then analyze it. Someone’s blog, what your neighbor says, or information garnered from someone who has something to gain are not necessarily reliable. Panicking never helps anything, except people who use your panic against you.

Here’s some information for you to consider, but don’t take my word for it, do your own research. Talk to your doctor. Check out resources. Verify. THINK.


”The Plague” or “Black Death” that swept Europe in the 1300s was bacterial, carried by rodents, and spread to humans via infected fleas. In 5 years it killed 25 million people, 1/3rd of the people in Europe. Why? The conditions of the times made it unstoppable - - poor nutrition, poor sanitation, ignorance, superstition, and rudimentary medicine. The germ theory had not yet been conceptualized and cause-and-effect were not understood, i.e., the Plague would subside in the winter and return again in the spring, but nobody knew why. The reason was that fleas are dormant in the winter.

All 3 types of plague - Bubonic, which effects the lymph glands; Septicemia, which effects the blood; and pneumonic, which infects the lungs – can be treated with antibiotics if caught in time and supplies are ample.

The flu (“influenza”) is viral. There is no known cure for a virus, Vaccinations help because they raise our immunity, but we can only fight it off with our immune system. Therefore, whatever bolsters your immune system can help you fight off a virus, or recover from one. Consider a product such as Arbonne’s Get Well Soon Dietary Supplement, or Arbonne's Defense Builder. Look for products with pure safe ingredients that have the scientific research backing their claims. See resources for evaluation below.

Flu pandemics are rare, but recurring. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 3 in the previous century: “Spanish influenza” in 1918, “Asian influenza” in 1957, and “Hong Kong influenza” in 1968. The 1918 pandemic was by far the worst, killing 40–50 million people worldwide.

Previous pandemics circled the globe in 6-9 months, when global travel was by ship. Today, with air travel, this could probably happen in less than 3 months.

As to pandemic preparedness planning, WHO currently classifies H5N1 as phase 3, i.e., “a virus new to humans is causing infections, but does not spread easily from one person to another.” If H5N1 evolves to a form as contagious as normal influenza, a pandemic could begin.

Influenzas are transmitted the same way as the common cold, a virus - - by coughing, sneezing (airborne droplets), or by contact with an infected person’s saliva.

Therefore take ordinary precautions.

1. Get your immune system up-to-speed. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, manage stress, and use a nutraceutical that nutritionally supports your immune system.

2. If you get sick, take care of yourself. See a doctor, take the medication prescribed until the dose is complete, rest, and stay home so you don’t infect others.

3. Practice common cleanliness, washing your hands after you use the restroom, not drinking from a public water fountain, avoiding people who are sneezing, coughing, or obviously infected, and checking the sanitation in public restrooms and restaurants. (Is there a sneeze shield at the salad bar? Is the server wearing plastic gloves and a hairnet?) One item I noticed on a recent cruise was a packet of papers attached by the door to the restroom so you could use one to open the door handle, assuming that not everyone washes their hands. Good idea whose time has come!

4. Educate those around you. For example, a study that came out last year revealed that the telephone in an average office has more germs per square inch than the office toilet. Use an antiseptic cleaner, starting with your own desk, telephone and keyboard.

5. Practice good emotional intelligence, good EQ hygiene, as it were. Our emotions effect our immune system. Programs such as The EQ Alive! Program can teach you about this. Don’t panic, use your head. Don’t pass on rumors. Verify what you hear with reliable, educated sources like your personal physician. See a doctor if you’re ill.

In other words use your head!


10 Things You Need to Know about Pandemic Influenza from WHO.

National Academy of Science Information on functions and potential benefits of vitamins and minerals, as well as upper safe limits for nutrients.

FDA, Tips for the Savvy Supplement User: Making Informed Decisions And Evaluating Information. How to evaluate medical and nutritional information and resources on the web.

MedWatch, FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

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