Flu vaccines: consider additional measures — medical expert

Global health authorities have cautioned that current flu vaccines may not prevent a severe new strain of influenza, highlighting the need to consider additional ways to protect against the effects of flu this winter.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health warning to doctors during the northern hemisphere winter about the severity of the 2015 flu season. It said the current flu vaccination protects against three or four strains but is not a match for the dangerous H3N2 strain which has mutated and has contributed to more deaths and hospitalisations of children and the elderly. (See here: http://www.health24.com/Medical/Flu/Preventing-flu/Flu-vaccine-missing-its-mark-20150112)

Nearly 30 children died in one of the worst flu outbreaks in the US over their winter. In SA, a new modified vaccine is now available to match two of three new strains, including H3N2. However flu can still be contracted if other strains are not covered by the vaccine (See: http://www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Winter-Wellness/South-Africans-warned-of-severe-flu-strains-20150420).

SA doctor and homeopath, Dr Erika Coertzen, suggests, in addition to flu vaccines, supporting the immune system naturally by following a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, regular exercise and taking natural or homeopathic medicines to limit the severity of flu symptoms.

“A reputable medicine such as Oscillococcinum, the most popular homeopathic product for flu symptoms in France, has shown to help alleviate flu symptoms such as body aches, pains, chills and fever without drowsiness or the worry of negative interaction with other medication.

“Oscillococcinum works with the body to help rebalance and heal, and is suitable for all ages. Oscillococcinum’s efficacy in reducing the severity and duration of flu-like symptoms is well-known.  A majority of patients who take Oscillococcinum at the onset of flu-like symptoms show improvement or resolution of symptoms after reduced time” she said.

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