Tips to Help You Avoid Cold and Flu All Year

While most people associate cold and flu with winter, warmer weather does nothing to cut your risk – you can catch a cold at any time, year round. Despite the extensive warnings about the H1N1 virus in the fall, the majority of Americans saw this past cold and flu season as about the same or only slightly worse than the previous year, according to an online survey conducted by Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., makers of Zicam Cold Remedy.  
The survey also revealed that many Americans heeded the warnings about H1N1 – in fact, 95 percent of respondents said they took proactive steps to avoid cold and flu this winter. And those who took proactive steps to defend themselves against the flu shouldn’t stop now. Preparation and early treatment are the best defenses against the common cold, no matter the season. For example, zinc products, such as Zicam Cold Remedy, can reduce the duration of your cold if taken within the first 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.
In addition to basic precautions, like getting enough rest, taking a daily multivitamin, drinking fluids and washing hands, Zicam Cold Remedy offers additional tips to help you stay healthy all year:
1.    Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and clean frequently touched surfaces, such as keyboards and door knobs.
2.    Eat a balanced diet, and avoid sugar. Do treat yourself to dark chocolate, as it contains antioxidants and mood-boosters.
3.    Exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes a day. Regular exercise strengthens the immune system.
4.    Avoid stress. Setting a hectic schedule can cause immune-weakening stress and fatigue and interfere with your ability to get enough rest.
5.    Relax. Recharge your batteries at least once a day, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes.
For more information, visit www.zicam.com.

Preparation is Key to Cold and Flu Prevention Year Round

<b>Preparation is Key to Cold and Flu Prevention Year Round</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – While most people associate cold and flu with winter, warmer weather does nothing to cut your risk -; you can catch a cold at any time, year round. Despite the extensive warnings about the H1N1 virus in the fall, the majority of Americans saw this past cold and flu season as about the same or only slightly worse than the previous year, according to an online survey conducted by Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., makers of Zicam Cold Remedy.

The survey also revealed that many Americans heeded the warnings about H1N1 -; in fact, 95 percent of respondents said they took proactive steps to avoid cold and flu this winter. And those who took proactive steps to defend themselves against the flu shouldn’t stop now.

“It’s important to remember that preparation and early treatment are the best defenses against the common cold, which can strike year round,” noted Dr. Tim Tucker, Pharm.D., FAPhA, and immediate past president of the American Pharmacists Association.

Dr. Tucker recommends acting as soon as cold and flu symptoms become apparent. “Zinc products, such as Zicam Cold Remedy, can reduce the duration of your cold if taken within the first 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms,” said Dr. Tucker.

In addition to basic precautions, like getting enough rest, taking a daily multivitamin, drinking fluids and washing hands, Zicam Cold Remedy offers additional tips to help you stay healthy all year:

1. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and clean frequently touched surfaces, such as keyboards and door knobs.

2. Eat a balanced diet, and avoid sugar. Do treat yourself to dark chocolate, as it contains antioxidants and mood-boosters.

3. Exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes a day. Regular exercise strengthens the immune system.

4. Avoid stress. Setting a hectic schedule can cause immune-weakening stress and fatigue and interfere with your ability to get enough rest.

5. Relax. Recharge your batteries at least once a day, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes.

For more information, visit www.zicam.com.

Are You Using Cold and Flu Medicine Correctly?

<b>Are You Using Cold and Flu Medicine Correctly?</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It seems pretty simple -; you cough, you take some cough medicine. But even over-the counter drugs can cause serious side effects, so it’s important to select your medication carefully and read all labels thoroughly. Here are some tips to keep in mind when seeking relief for cold and flu symptoms:

* Make sure not to exceed the recommended dosage. The FDA advisory panel recommended a significant reduction in dosing for acetaminophen, the most popular over-the-counter drug for pain relief and fever reduction. This is because even small overdoses of acetaminophen can lead to liver damage. Acetaminophen can be found in Tylenol products, as well as many multi-symptom cold and flu medicines, such as DayQuil, NyQuil and Theraflu.

* Do not take drugs longer than recommended. The drug found in most medicated over-the-counter nasal sprays, oxymetazoline, should not be used for more than three days. Longer use could

lead to rebound effect, which causes more congestion. This drug is found in brands such as Afrin, Vicks Sinex and Zicam.

* Never use over-the-counter pediatric cough and cold drugs in kids younger than four. Drug manufacturers voluntarily changed the label of pediatric cough and cold medicines after consulting with the FDA, which had been reviewing the safety of these drugs in children.

* Consider use of the growing number of natural or non-medicated alternatives with clinically proven effectiveness.

– Studies have shown that capsaicin nasal sprays safely and effectively relieve nasal congestion, sinus pressure and headache. One brand, Sinus Buster Nasal Spray (www.BusterBrands.com), has been clinically shown to break up congestion and start providing sinus relief in under one minute. The study also confirmed Sinus Buster’s safety; no rebound effect or loss of smell was associated with its use.

– Honey may offer a safe and effective way to relieve coughs -; a study revealed that children taking honey before bed slept better than children taking cough medicine.

– Black elderberry extract has been clinically shown to shorten the duration of the flu if taken when symptoms first appear. In one clinical study, Sambucol, a brand of elderberry extract, reduced flu duration by four days.

– Neti-pots effectively rinse the nasal passage with a salt-water solution that helps flush out the allergens, irritants and excess mucus that can lead to sinus problems and pain.

Family Doctors Offer Tips to Stay Healthy This Flu Season

<b>Family Doctors Offer Tips to Stay Healthy This Flu Season</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Those still putting off their H1N1 and seasonal flu shots might want to rethink their ignore-the-flu-and-it-won’t-happen strategy. Family physicians report seeing a 78 percent increase in the number of patients suffering flu symptoms. And the flu is easily transferable — touch the wrong door knob or breathe the wrong air, and you might end up in bed with a fever, nausea and chills.

Family doctors are rising to the occasion. According to a survey of 462 doctors conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), 92 percent of doctors have educated their patients about H1N1 flu prevention, while another 84 percent have reviewed their patients’ medical records to identify and inform the most at-risk.

“As community-based physicians caring for the entire family, family doctors are on the front line in combating the H1N1 pandemic,” said Lori Heim, MD, AAFP president. “Physicians are staying up to date on the current clinical recommendations, working with their patients to promote behaviors that will limit the spread of the virus and are also adapting how they operate their practices this flu season.”

The AAFP offers the following tips on preventing and treating H1N1 and seasonal flu:

* Get your flu shots. Vaccination offers the best protection against H1N1 and seasonal flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the H1N1 vaccine is especially important for six-month to 24-year-olds, child care providers, pregnant women, medical personnel and those with compromised immune systems.

* Stay healthy. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Choose foods rich in vitamin C, like citrus, strawberries, broccoli and cauliflower, and vitamin D, which can be found in fish, fortified milk and some cereals. To keep your immune system functioning at its best, exercise and get enough sleep.

* Know when to seek medical attention. Not everyone with flu-like symptoms needs medical attention -; but some patients may require medical care or anti-viral drugs to beat the infection.

Seek immediate medical attention if children display fast or troubled breathing, bluish skin, an inability to drink fluids, irritability to the point where they cannot be held, a fever with a rash, or symptoms that ease only to become more severe, or if they do not wake up or interact when prompted.

Adults experiencing difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, or severe or persistent vomiting should see a doctor at once.

For more information, visit www.FamilyDoctor.org/H1N1.

Worried About Cold & Flu? Boost Your Immunity

<b>Worried About Cold & Flu? Boost Your Immunity</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s a common story -; a child comes home from school with a headache and fever. Within a week or two, every person in the house has caught the flu.

Swine flu may be in the news, but seasonal flu shouldn’t be ignored — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 200,000 people are hospitalized with flu each year, with 36,000 dying from flu-related causes.

The CDC predicts that 2009 will see an early-starting flu season. The combined threat of H1N1, or swine flu, and seasonal flu may cause more hospital stays and deaths than normal, making it especially important to protect your family from flu.

Because children face a higher risk of developing flu-related complications, the CDC recommends that all children aged 6 months to 19 years receive seasonal flu vaccinations. Seniors, pregnant women and those caring for children too young to be vaccinated should also get flu shots.

But for the most part, avoiding the flu isn’t much different from avoiding any other illness -; you need a strong immune system during all seasons. Boosting the immune system can help children and adults avoid catching the flu, as well as lessen the severity and duration of symptoms if they do fall ill.

Strengthening one’s immune system isn’t rocket science. Healthy food, adequate sleep and regular exercise all help the immune system function at top capacity. Dietary supplements, such as high-quality probiotic microorganisms (“good” bacteria), may also help boost immune function.

One study published in the journal “Pediatrics” found that probiotic supplements caused a significant reduction in fever, cough and runny nose in children. A separate study, conducted in Sweden, revealed that patients taking probiotics were less likely to develop respiratory infections, like the common cold.

Foods like yogurt do contain probiotics, but supplements contain higher concentrations. Vidazorb chewable probiotic supplements (www.vidazorb.com) are delicious, don’t require refrigeration, are shelf-stable for up to two years and are easy to take, even on a queasy stomach.

How to Protect Against Seasonal Flu

<b>How to Protect Against Seasonal Flu</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Americans today are more concerned than ever about catching the flu. While the threat of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as “swine flu,” has driven heightened awareness of the flu season, protection against the traditional influenza virus is also of paramount importance.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between five and 20 percent of the United States population contracts the seasonal flu each year. Flu infections lead to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and about 36,000 deaths from flu-related causes each year. The best way to prevent the seasonal flu is with flu vaccinations, which are widely available this year.

Retail health centers such as Take Care Clinics are offering flu vaccinations at hundreds of locations across the United States for $24.99 for patients two years old and above. Take Care Clinics are professional, walk-in health centers, staffed by board-certified nurse practitioners and physicians assistants, located at select Walgreens drugstores across the United States. Seasonal flu shots, along with a variety of other vaccinations and medical services, are available seven days a week with extended evening and weekend hours. To find a Take Care Clinic visit TakeCareHealth.com or call 1-800-Take-Care (1-800-825-3227).

Seasonal flu vaccinations are also available at most Walgreens pharmacies throughout the U.S. To check locations and availability at Walgreens drugstores, visit www.walgreens.com/flu.

“Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the flu and help keep people healthy during flu season,” said Sandra Festa Ryan, RN, MSN, CPNP, FAANP and Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at Take Care Health Systems. “It is extremely important that children and adults get vaccinated to receive protection against this common, but dangerous, public health threat.”

Beyond vaccination, all Americans should take a few simple precautions to prevent catching and spreading the seasonal flu.

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of tissues in the trash after use.

* Frequently wash hands with soap and water, especially after coughing of sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.

* Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth. Viruses and infections can spread this way.

* If sick with flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine), except to get medical care or for other necessities.

Help Your Family Battle Cold and Flu

<b>Help Your Family Battle Cold and Flu</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Every winter, families must defend their homes against invisible invaders — cold germs and flu viruses. But staying cold-and-flu-free through the winter can prove a losing battle. Sure, you enforce handwashing and elbow-coughing at home, but all you need is for one child to get sick at school — the next thing you know, your entire family’s ill.

So what’s the best way to protect your family from illness this winter? Sometimes cliches do ring true — the best offense is good defense. Boosting your family member’s immune systems will better equip them to evade colds and flu.

PharmaCare, a company that specializes in immune-boosting products, offers the following tips for families hoping to naturally avoid catching colds and flu this winter:

– Wash your hands, and keep your hands away from your face. Washing your hands really is the best defense against cold and flu. Most germs are spread through direct contact or when a sick person touches an object and then a healthy person handles that same object, picking up germs on their hands. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, and don’t touch your face — cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose or mouth. Use a hand sanitizer after wiping a child’s runny nose.

– Give your immune system what it needs. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables — they contain vitamins and antioxidants, which will help your immune system stay strong.

You should also consider taking an immune-boosting supplement. Try Sambucol, an elderberry extract, which contains high concentrations of flavanoids, powerful antioxidants that help support immune function. Sambucol also offers a kids’ version, so you can improve the health of your whole family.

– Stay active. It might be hard to believe, but going out in cold weather may help you avoid illness. If you stay indoors, you will be in closer contact with more people, a situation that allows germs to circulate. Central heating, too, can dry out nasal passages, leaving you more vulnerable to infection.

Try taking the kids skiing or sledding. Even shoveling or building snowmen can provide exercise. Studies show that aerobic activity improves immune function and reduces stress, another factor that can increase your chances of catching colds or flu.

For more information, visit www.sambucolusa.com.

Protect Your Family From Swine Flu

<b>Protect Your Family From Swine Flu</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As you may know, swine flu (H1N1) has barreled back into the Northern Hemisphere. Swine flu is scary because, unlike the seasonal flu, it can be deadly for young, healthy people.

Tamiflu, derived from an essential oil, is the preferred treatment, but it can only be taken after you have a confirmed case of swine flu. Prevention is your family’s best defense.

Many people know the basics of flu prevention. You must wash your hands and cover your coughs. In addition, you can prevent yourself from getting sick by improving your immune system through sufficient sleep and topical use of essential oils.

According to a recent study published in the “Archives of International Medicine,” getting adequate sleep can go a long way toward improving your immune system. The participants who slept less than seven hours were three times more likely to get sick than people who slept eight or more hours.

Much like getting enough sleep, the use of anti-viral oils can mean huge gains for your immune system. For instance, Frankincense and Myrrh makes a Cold and Flu Prevention Rubbing Oil, which helps support strong immune function. The homeopathic formula contains the essential oils of eucalyptus, cinnamon, lemon, rosemary, clove, frankincense and myrrh. Users simply massage the oil into their feet and ankles once or twice daily to boost their immune system.

Essential oils are a great way to boost your immune system and prevent illness. In a study at Wythenshawe Hospital Burns Unit in England, essential oils killed off micro-organisms, and reduced airborne bacteria by 90 percent. Hospital infections were reduced within the nine-month trial.

In a book entitled “Cinnamon and Cassia: The Spices of Life” by P.N. Ravindran, scientific investigation revealed that extracts from cinnamon and cassia strengthen the immune system and exhibit antiviral action against the influenza A virus. In a study published in “BioMed Central Immunology,” eucalyptus essential oils were shown to stimulate immune response both in-vitro and in-vivo.

Eucalyptus is widely used for infectious disease — it improves the activity of white blood cells consuming foreign invaders. The natural occurring complex chemistry in many essential oils such as beta-caryophyllene, 1,8-cineole, eugenol, aldehydes and gamma terpinene, all show anti-viral activity.

For more information about staying healthy this flu season with a topical medicine, visit www.frankincensemyrrh.com.

Flu Season Tips for Small Businesses

<b>Flu Season Tips for Small Businesses</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year in the U.S., on average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu complications, and about 36,000 people die. With the spread of H1N1 (swine flu) virus, it is predicted those numbers will increase.

The best way to battle the flu is with a good defense. For small businesses, that means protecting yourself and your staff from germs with simple and straightforward measures and being prepared when staff can’t make it in, due to illness. Not only will you have a healthier, happier workforce, you can keep your business as productive as possible.

Don’t forget the basics. The first step is to keep your hands clean: Use soap and water or a hand sanitizer before meals, after shaking hands with someone and especially after using public restrooms.

Consider putting anti-bacterial soap or sanitizer in the office kitchen and bathrooms, and wiping down computer keyboards, phones, door knobs, light switches and shared electronics such as printers with rubbing alcohol to reduce germ build-up.

A staff e-mail or notice in the office reminding employees of these basics may be a good idea. The CDC provides information and materials for the workplace at

www.cdc.gov/flu/workplace/.

Get a flu shot. The CDC recommends an annual flu shot as your most important protection from the disease. In most cases, the vaccine can prevent you from getting the flu and at least minimize your symptoms should you contract it.

Consider making flu shots available to your employees. If your business or building doesn’t offer them, make it a yearly office outing for everyone to get flu shots at the same time.

Stay at home, but stay productive. The best way to not get the flu — and to not spread it — is to stay at home at the first sign of illness. Encourage your employees to do the same when they or their family members are feeling under the weather.

Now that staffs are more mobile than ever before, for many, working from the couch is not only possible, but productive as well (depending on how you feel, of course).

Consider remote access software, like LogMeIn (www.LogMeIn.com). It allows you and your employees to access office computers and all of the applications, files and folders on them from any Internet-connected computer. There’s also a version for the iPhone.

For more information about flu prevention and vaccination, check out the CDC Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/FLU/.

The Earlier, the Better: Building Immune Defenses Against H1N1

<b>The Earlier, the Better: Building Immune Defenses Against H1N1</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Recently, scientists discovered that the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu virus is more like the H5N1 avian flu than the historic 1918 pandemic H1N1 Spanish flu strain, and that current mutations of the virus have rendered previous flu vaccines less effective.

In a teleconference with colleagues, Dr. Roger Mazlen, an internist in Rosyln Heights, NY, discussed the current Swine Flu outbreaks. Aside from traditional medical school, Dr. Mazlen received specialized training at the National Institute for Health (NIH) and is the former Clinical Research Director for Immunotec, Ltd. in Canada. He has practiced internal medicine and nutrition for more than 30 years.

Swine flu, or H1N1, was first isolated in a pig in 1930, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus has demonstrated an ability to migrate from domestic pigs to humans. Dr. Mazlen said there are several factors contributing to the current swine flu outbreak, including environmental, cultural and economic issues. “The current recession, loss of retirement funds, compromised nutrition, reduced exercise, obesity and other factors produce immune depression. A depressed immune system cannot fight off the invasion of viral and other pathogens that attempt to find a home to set up infections in our bodies,” he says.

Dr. Mazlen suggests protection strategies for a potentially larger H1N1 outbreak during the 2009 through 2010 flu season. “Frequent hand washing is a start. Also, lots of daily water helps to hydrate the body and assist the immune system,” he said. Vitamin and mineral supplements add fortification, but Dr. Mazlen suggested also adding fish oil because of its clinically-proven immune function support. Fish oil blends are available as gel capsules or in liquid form at health food stores, and several different brands are also available at www.puritan.com.

Dr. Mazlen said that Tamiflu, the currently recommended prescription medication used in flu and Swine flu, is most effective when used within a few hours of the first viral symptoms. But Swine Flu, as reported by the CDC, has an ability to mutate within hours. Tamiflu may be effective for Swine Flu in the morning, and may be ineffective by the end of the day because of viral mutation.

When asked whether the popular herbal remedy Echinacea could be effective, Dr. Mazlen explained that studies have proven the product has minimal effectiveness in stimulating the immune response. He said he prefers a natural immune-stimulating product that he has used with over 500 patients, including his family members. The product was originally developed in Russia but is now made in the U.S. Dr. Mazlen said he has had good results during the past years with patients fighting flu and other infections. The product, Del-Immune V, is available at www.delimmune.com.

Early measures to protect health might be the key to minimizing potentially serious infections this flu season. Dr. Mazlen closed the discussion by expressing his concern over whether it is Swine Flu H1N1 or a mutated form of the Swine Flu. “It is important to have an immune defense strategy this year — the earlier the better,” he said.