Yale Flu Prevention Director Reveals 3 New Tips to Avoid Killer Flu Virus H3N2
A disease prevention director from Yale University has 3 new tips for avoiding infection from the killer flu virus H3N2. Flu prevention is more important now than ever say health officials as Dr. Oz invites guest speaker David Katz, M.D., director and cofounder of the Yale Prevention Research Center to discuss the dangers of catching the flu this winter season. Dr. Oz presents to viewers Dr. Katz’s recommended tips to fend off seasonal sickness this winter so that you can avoid both the cold and flu viruses.
“Dr. Katz, why is it so important to prevent getting the flu this season, why is it such a big deal this year?” asks Dr. Oz.
“It’s a big deal every year,” says Dr. Katz. “But this year in particular we already have seven cases of a new strain—H3N2. It’s a strain where the human flu and swine flu are mingling, and those mutations can lead to a form of the virus that our immune system simply doesn’t defend us reliably against—and that’s a big concern…that’s where pandemic strains come from and so a heightened concern is definitely warranted this year,” says Dr. Katz.
On a map of the United States Dr. Oz points out states in the Midwest and Northeastern U.S where the H3N2 strain of flu virus has recently been detected thus far. The states include Maine, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Dr. Oz states that this is a virus that our bodies do not recognize, and Dr. Katz concurs about the significance of this.
“And that’s really a big danger. We rely on our immune system to defend us against the flu, and the more unfamiliar the virus, the bigger the danger,” says Dr. Katz.
Aside from the common knowledge that the best way to prevent catching the flu is by avoiding crowds, being aware of what surfaces you touch, and constant hand washing, Dr. Oz tells us that there are three new tips for flu prevention.
Flu tip #1: Supercharge your flu shot
Dr. Oz says that research has shown that there are measures you can take that will “supercharge” your flu shot.
“The first way to help prevent catching the flu this year is to supercharge your flu shot. This one a game changer says,” Dr. Oz.
Dr. Katz explains that what Dr. Oz is referring to is the idea that if you exercise your deltoid muscle where the flu shot is given, the day before the flu shot is given, that you will increase blood flow in the muscle. Dr. Katz tells us that research has shown that this stimulates an inflammatory response that will get antibodies there from the immune system to respond to the vaccine more effectively. Dr. Katz recommends that you exercise your deltoid muscle in your arm by lifting a large bottle of laundry detergent above your head repeatedly until you begin to feel a burn in the muscle.
Flu tip #2: North American Ginseng
“There have been studies that have shown that you can prevent getting the cold and the flu,” says Dr. Katz, “and ginseng gets it done. If you take about 200 milligrams of North American ginseng daily—from generally December to March—you can cut down the occurrence of upper respiratory infections. And of course, that is what flu is,” says Dr. Katz.
Flu tip #3: Double your Vitamin D
“I usually recommend 1000 units [of vitamin D] a day,” says Dr. Oz.
“As do I, and that is what I usually take,” says Dr. Katz. “But of course flu season is the winter and the other thing that happens during the winter is that there is less sunlight. And of course we make vitamin D with sun exposure. So, the very time you need vitamin D to boost your immune system—you’ve got less. So as an insurance policy I generally recommend 2000 IU a day for my patients.”
Dr. Katz tells us that when he checks his patients vitamin D levels that they are typically low during the winter.
In summary, Yale Prevention Research Director Dr. David Katz recommends that to avoid the H3N2 flu virus as well as other strains of cold and flu viruses, that we should supercharge our flus shot, take ginseng and double our dose of Vitamin D during the winter months for a safer and healthier holiday season.
Image source of swine flu: Wikipedia