What caused Swine flu?

May 22, 2009 by  
Filed under featured, Health


The World Health Organization (WHO) has been saying for years that ‘a new pandemic is inevitable’and experts from the European Commission and the FAO have cautioned that one reason for this could be that the rapid move from small holdings to industrial pig production is in fact increasing the risk of development and transmission of disease epidemics. The current outbreak started on a large pig factory farm run by the US Smithfield Corporation, the largest pig producer in the world. Conditions for factory farmed animals, whether pigs, chickens or anything else are rarely ideal and usually involve large amounts of drugs such as antibiotics and growth promoters.

Although the company denies any connection between their pigs and the flu the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that scientists still do not know the extent that infectious compounds produced in factory farms affect human health. Smithfield has already been fined $12.6m and is currently under another federal investigation in the US for toxic environmental damage from pig excrement lakes. Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that is asking concerned consumers to sign a petition asking the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organisation to investigate and develop regulations for these farms to protect global health. If you would like to add your voice to that, then visit www.avaaz.org/en/swine_flu_pandemic

Swine Flu prevention – 6 ways to help yourself

May 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Health


Although Gordon Brown assures us Britain is well prepared to deal with an outbreak of Swine Flu, I am always happier to take proactive action myself and there are some simple measures we can all take. They are not guaranteed to prevent you getting it, but they will certainly help.

The symptoms are of course very similar to any other flu you might experience: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills and fatigue so report to your doctor if you have these. However, what you also need to do is focus on strengthening your own immune response to prevent infection getting a hold and developing.

1 This time of year I usually have stopped taking Echinacea, but it is my first port of call to build up my defences and if you can get Echinacea tincture that is the most effective in my opinion. Boots produce their own and there is an excellent one made by Bioforce from helath stores. Take it daily for three weeks then a week off.

2 Next increase the amount of vitamin C you are taking, at least 1 gram a day in two 500mg doses is the most effective. Have as natural and unprocessed diet as you can, and juicing your fruit and vegetables gets you the maximum vitamins from them.

3 Your body requires oxygen for every cell to function properly because viruses can neither survive nor thrive in it. Therefore, the best defence against microbes, germs, harmful bacteria and viruses, such as the swine influenza virus, is to keep the body oxygenated. Add in eggs to your diet as they are excellent for improving your oxygen absorption. See the healthy bites item on eggs below.

4 Are you breathing deeply enough? Shallow breathing will not bring enough oxygen into so your system, and being out in the fresh air every day is a must. Walking at a moderate pace while breathing in for a count of six, and out for a count of six, is one of the simplest ways to do this. If you find a count of six difficult, reduce it to four, or if it becomes easy increase to six or eight.

5 Limit foods and substances that stress the body such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, too much red meat and processed foods high in saturated and hydrogenated fats. 6 Finally, go back to basic hygiene and wash your hands in hot soapy water frequently and carry hand gel when you are out and use it after contact with others such as a handshake – and contact in public places with stair rails, lift buttons and so on.

It may all seem like a nonsense, but people have died from not taking this seriously. The good habits outlined here will help protect you, and if you maintain them you will have a solid barrier to prevent future infection.