Influenza (flu) is a common upper-respiratory infection that is massively contagious. It is caused by different types of viruses that attack the upper respiratory tract: nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Influenza viruses A and B are the main culprits responsible for flu epidemics each year in the United States.
Flu activity hits almost every U.S. region, all year round with peaks in winter from December to February. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “a common approximation is that 5%–20% of people get influenza each season.”
Flu is a common and familiar disease. However, it is potentially dangerous as it can lead to severe complications, sometimes fatal, mainly with older adults, infants, young children, and those with certain health conditions, such as heart disease, chronic respiratory illnesses, or diabetes. In general, people with an already weakened immune system are at risk for severe flu complications.
Other viruses can cause flu-like symptoms; among them, the large family of Coronaviruses (CoV) responsible for mild to severe respiratory illnesses. In 2002-2003, the virus SARS-CoV infected 8,422 people in twenty-nine countries, leading to more than 916 deaths. “Of this total, 5327 cases and 349 deaths are reported from mainland China.” (World Health Organization. Summary table of SARS cases by country, 1 November 2002-7 August 2003. http://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/en/country2003_08_15.pdf.)
The new coronavirus named SARS-Cov-2 (severe accute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) was recognized at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China. It causes the notorious Coronavirus Disease 2019 or CoVid-19. The outbreak of this new respiratory illness presents a severe public health concern worldwide. Highly contagious, it has shown to lead to severe complications, including death. Furthermore, contrary to the well known seasonal flu (incidence, transmission, treatment), not much is known about the new coronavirus. There is no vaccine yet, and people have not developped immunity to it as it is a new virus.
On March 4, 2020, the World Health Organization confirmed 90,870 cases of people infected by the Covid-19, including 80,304 cases in China only. Globally the death toll raised to 3,112 with 2,946 in China. Fourteen deaths have been reported in the U.S. as of March 6, 2020. And the situation is rapidly evolving. For current up-dates of the situation, go to the CDC site:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.You can also find current details on https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200303-sitrep-43-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=2c21c09c_2.
However, let’s not forget that the common flu remains the main cause of deaths due to upper respiratory infections. On February 22, 2020, the CDC estimated that “so far this season there have been at least 32 million flu illnesses, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths from flu.” And this season is considered moderate so far.
How to protect yourself against viruses that cause upper respiratory illnesses?
- Vaccines are essential in preventing certain respiratory diseases. It is the best way to protect yourself against the flu. When a vaccine is available, you can decide to get immunized.
- Strengthen your natural defenses. Your body possesses natural defenses that shield you against all types of viruses and bacteria: your immune system and your antioxidative system. A great way to preserve yourself is to keep these natural defenses strong. A food supplement like Immun’Âge® can help you do so.
In response to the 2009 outbreak of A/H1N1 influenza, Osato Research Institute in Gifu, Japan, launched a clinical study on Immun’Âge® (also named FPP®), a natural food supplement made solely from non-GMO fermented papaya and produced by its parent company Osato Laboratory Inc. The 2012 published research* demonstrated that subjects treated with Immun’Âge® for one month showed an improvement of their natural defenses. These results indicate that the properties of Immun’Âge® can help to reduce the respiratory oxidative stress in the human airways and, by improving mucosal defenses, make respiratory infections less severe and shorter lasting.
Immun’Âge® has proven to have a double action. It is antioxidative and stimulates the immune system. By making your defenses stronger, Immun’Âge® can help you fight viruses more efficiently, and thus protect you against upper-respiratory infections (nose, throat, lungs).
- As a rule of thumb, apply general protective and hygienic measures.
- Thoroughly wash hands with soap regularly.
- Sneeze or cough in your elbow or upper arm, and then wash your hands.
- If you use a tissue, discard it immediately after having sneezed or coughed, and then wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes: they are the boarding gate for viruses and bacteria to enter your body.
- Thoroughly clean your environment regularly, notably all the surfaces that you touch with your hands, as well as your commode, sink, etc.
- Avoid close contact with people who could be contagious.
* Is there a potential application of a fermented nutraceutical in acute respiratory illnesses? An in-vivo placebo-controlled, cross-over clinical study in different age groups of healthy subjects**. J. BiolRegulHomeost Agents 2012 Apr-Jun;285-94. PMID: 22824755 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]