It’s Flu Season

By Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Influenza is the name of a virus and the infection it causes.

Although for most people the infection is mild, it can be severe and even deadly in those with compromised immune systems, including infants, the elderly, and people with diseases such as cancer and AIDS.

Huge influenza epidemics in the past have led to careful monitoring of new strains of flu by the World Health Organizations and other national and international groups. In the 2009, a new virus known as the H1N1 (“swine flu”) caused international alarm, as healthcare systems attempted to prepare for an epidemic without knowing how to control the virus or how it would run its course. Antivirals were used to help susceptible populations, which were younger than is typical. In its first season, the virus was less severe and caused less mortality than is typical for most influenza outbreaks. Worldwide health organizations continue to keep careful watch, but fortunately, society is much better prepared for a serious flu outbreak than in previous years, due to more supportive medical care available and better ability to more easily coordinate a response to a flu outbreak.


Symptoms of influenza include fever, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms include headache, chills, dry cough, sore throat, pain when moving the eyes, sneezing, and runny nose. The onset of symptoms is often rapid and intense.

Some nutritional and herbal recommendations for maintaining healthy immune function are also applicable for treating influenza.

Try vitamin C
Take at least 100 mg per day to reduce your flu risk.
Try echinacea
Take 3 to 5 ml of liquid formulas or 300 mg of powdered root supplements three times a day to help clear symptoms faster.
Try black elderberry
Taking 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of this herb a day may speed recovery; use 2 tablespoons (30 ml) for children.

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