You have likely noticed… the flu season seems to go year-round now. Fall used to be the seasonal onset here in Canada and the Northern Hemisphere, but that’s changed. Flu is no longer just seasonal.
Depending on the year, even after the fall vaccine blitz, there are outbreaks of flu. In January 2013 in Calgary there was a much higher number of hospital admissions and doctors’ office visits than previous years.
Hospitals were canceling elective surgeries, putting beds in hallways, and sending people to out-of-town hospitals to keep up with the demand for acute care. However, some folks claim they had the worst flu ever after a vaccination and swear they will never get a flu vaccine again.
The Flu Vaccine Strains
The possibility exists that the flu circulating is not one of the strains in the flu vaccine. There are only three strains chosen each year, and they are selected based on a statistical analysis of what is happening in the Southern Hemisphere.
“Each year, the seasonal influenza vaccine contains three influenza viruses — one influenza A (H3N2) virus, one seasonal influenza A (H1N1) virus, and one influenza B virus. The influenza viruses in the seasonal flu vaccine are selected each year based on surveillance-based forecasts about what viruses are most likely to cause illness in the coming season. Therefore, each year’s seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses expected to cause disease during the upcoming influenza season.”
Where does that leave you if you did get the flu vaccine, but you later learn that this season’s strain wasn’t contained in the vaccine? Unfortunately, there’s a possibility that you could get the virus if exposed and susceptible (i.e. stressed, run down, worn out, overworked, etc). So offering the flu vaccine now as prevention? I’m not convinced. If the vaccine did not cover the circulating strain, how would using the vaccine prevent flu at a later date?
A Wicked Combo – Norovirus
According to the news in January 2013, Norovirus was identified as filling the hospitals, as well. Norovirus is a bug that has symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and watery diarrhea. Other symptoms may include cramping, low-grade fever, muscle aches, headaches, and coughing. Norwalk is the name you will hear more often in the news. Another virus that affects the young especially is Rotovirus.
You often hear of these kinds of outbreaks in nursing homes and daycares where the virus is easily spread by person-to-person contact (the remedies mentioned in last week’s newsletter on traveller’s diarrhea apply to Norovirus). With the little ones and the elderly in your family, you will want to be sure to keep up the fluids to prevent dehydration.
So What to Do?
- If you are vaccinated for this year’s flu and have the flu or Norovirus anyway?
- If you are vaccine-free and have the flu or Norovirus?
- If you aren’t sick and would like to prevent the flu or Norovirus?
You can turn to homeopathy.
Here are the top remedies that will help in an unexpected outbreak. (If you live in the USA, Wales or anywhere else in the world, this will be just as relevant.)
Remember homeopathic remedies are all about the symptom picture and, if the remedy picture matches the person’s symptoms, you will help the person heal whether it’s the flu or Norovirus circulating in your part of the world.
Arsenicum album (Metallum album)
This is one of the must-have remedies in your home kit. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you will find many uses for this one remedy. (As long as the symptom picture of the illness fits the Arsenicum picture.)
Diarrhea and vomiting with chilliness, weakness, and feeling better with warm drinks and warm covers will cover the Norovirus symptoms quite effectively. Restlessness with fear of being alone and dying, as irrational as it might seem when you are well, are symptoms that may be a part of an illness like Norovirus or flu.
With the flu symptoms, there will likely be burning pains that are better with heat, such as hot water bottles and blankets. Babies will feel better after being wrapped up. Both the diarrhea and flu symptoms can be worse after midnight and upon waking in the morning…weird but true!
Phosphorous can look similar to Arsenicum, but be a CSI detective and look for the differences between the two in your sick one. If they want warm/hot drinks, more likely Arsenicum. Cravings for ice-cream, milkshakes (milk products seem counter-intuitive but the cravings are reliable), icy-cold drinks, cold smoothies, or popsicles will lean more toward Phosphorous. Sometimes you will find that the icy cold water, when it warms up in the stomach, gets vomited right back up again.
Both Arsenicum and Phosphorous need company but for different reasons. Those needing Arsenicum have a fear of dying with a fear of being alone yet aversion to company whereas Phosphorous needs the love and companionship.
If you are unsure which remedy you need, the good news is that if Phosphorous does not help i.e. the symptoms or overall energy do not improve, you can consider Arsenicum. No harm done. Your other option, as always, is to contact your homeopath.
One of the significant benefits for those who have taken The Vaccine Free: Now What? 12-week course, there is access to a private Face Book forum where we help each other in acute illnesses.
“It is incredibly helpful to reach out for advice when your children are sick. I very much appreciate the time that Donna puts into the forum and the generous advice that she gives. For me, this advice and actually practicing home treatment has helped me the most in trying to learn about homeopathy. I am hopeful that one day I will have enough experience to try to help others in the forum.” – SC
Extreme tiredness to the point of hardly being able to hold your head up will be a clue. They will feel slow, heavy, and exhausted – like they are ‘moving through jello.’ Their face could be red or flushed and will look as if they can barely keep their eyes open. The diarrhea or flu can leave the person trembling or shaking with icy-cold chills going up and down their back, even though they might feel hot and ‘sticky.’ The Gelsemium flu can have a horrible, throbbing headache at the base of the neck (occiput). Your sick one will want to sit upright and not move at all. The diarrhea can be painless and involuntary.
All three of these remedies will address both the flu and Norovirus. Here’s hoping you will be flu and Norovirus-free this season, but keep these remedies on hand JIC (just in case).
Please remember, deaths do happen with influenza. Work with your family physician and conventional medical doctors if you suspect that the flu or Norovirus symptoms are life-threatening. As I share with course participants – blood, brain, bones and breathing…you are headed to the hospital where conventional medicine excels in heroic life-saving treatment.
Renewal Homeopathy and Wellness in Calgary will help you and your family return to health with a line up of homeopathic remedies and natural products. Phone 403-202-8507 or visit their website: www.renewal.clinic.
If you do get sick, please rest. Healing takes time.
Yours in health and healing,