Chicago, IL (PRWEB) September 18, 2006
Influenza is a highly contagious viral respiratory infection of the upper respiratory tract. The virus that causes the flu enters the body's airways through mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, or mouth. Once the flu infection invades the body, it can settle into the throat, nose, bronchial tubes, lungs, and middle ear, causing an array of discomforting symptoms that include chest congestion, cough, high fever, chills, aches and pains, headache, sneezing, itchy eyes, and lingering fatigue.
Every year in the United States, up to 20% of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications; and about 36,000 people die from flu. Annual flu costs the US economy over $10 billion in worker absenteeism and lost productivity.
In 1918, over half of the 1.6 billion people in the world were infected with the Spanish Flu. Millions of young, healthy adults fell ill to the disease and died from the suffocation it caused, killing some in as quickly as 24 hours. Experts now estimate that approximately 80 to 100 million people perished worldwide. Not only reducing the global population by one-sixteenth, the 1918 flu pandemic caused brain damage in many of its survivors. The 1918 flu pandemic caused the largest one-year decline in the average lifespan in the United States in modern history, slashing it by a full twelve years.
We are within two weeks of the start of the 2006-2007 flu season, which typically starts October 1st and can last until May 31st. Experts recommend that the single best way to prevent the seasonal influenza is to get a flu vaccination in the fall. This season, the US Food and Drug Administration projects making 100 million doses of flu vaccine available.
Yet, it takes about two weeks after vaccination to develop the antibodies to protect against influenza virus infection. What's more, you may not be among the priority category receiving their flu vaccine early in the flu season  if you are not considered someone who is at high risk for flu-related complications (including being older than age 65; having a chronic heart or lung condition; being someone who needs regular medical care because of a metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicines or by infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV/AIDS]; being pregnant during flu season; and more). In addition, there are certain groups who are excluded from getting the flu vaccine (such as, people who have severe allergy to chicken eggs; those who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously; people who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever; and children less than 6 months old).
For those who do not receive early flu vaccines, or those who cannot receive the vaccine at all, the matter of protecting yourself against the flu is nothing to sneeze at.
In addition, the flu vaccine does not protect against the H5N1 bird flu virus. As of 14 September 2006 (the latest available data as of this writing), the World Health Organization reports that worldwide, 246 cases of H5N1 bird flu infections have occurred in humans, resulting in 144 deaths. Bird flu is presently 58.5% fatal to humans. At this time, there is no commercially available vaccine to protect against the H5N1 bird flu virus.
"Infection Protection: Pandemic," written by Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., and Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP outlines the Top Ten Preventive Strategies for Optimizing Immune Function. These all natural, non toxic approaches aim to enhance your overall immune resistance to a wide variety of infectious diseases, be it seasonal influenza, the common cold, or even bird flu. Some of the specific tips offered in "Infection Protection: Pandemic":
~ Practice good hygiene habits. Specifically, wash your hands frequently and properly. This is the simplest and least expensive way to ward off pathogens of all types from invading the body. Wash your hands ten times each day  double that if you're in an environment where infectious germs abound (for example, if people are sick at home or at the workplace). Use a waterless alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not readily available.
~ Protect your personal space. Be careful of how close you get to others. Viruses  including the flu  can transmit from person-to-person through handshakes and kisses. Human influenza virus transmits from person-to-person within a 3-foot (1-meter) radius of an infected person. A sneeze or cough can propel a virus 10 or more feet (3 or more meters). Cigarette smoke also spreads respiratory viruses, so it's a good idea to avoid coming into contact with a smoke plume. Read "Infection Protection: Pandemic" to find out how to properly ventilate and humidify the space around you to reduce coming into contact with infectious germs.
~ Disinfect common surfaces. The influenza virus is highly contagious, and can remain on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours (even after that amount of time, enough virus particles can remain to potentially sicken people). Read "Infection Protection: Pandemic" to find out how to properly use antiseptic towelettes, EPA-registered disinfectants, and even your shirtsleeve to avoid coming into contact with infectious germs on phones, computers, keyboards, fax machines, copiers, doorknobs, light switches, etc.
~ Strengthen your immune system, reduce viral load, and control inflammation typically associated with infection by incorporating vitamins and other dietary supplements into your daily regimen. Check with your anti-aging physician to create an immune optimizing regimen that is best suited for your specific needs. Be mindful that nutritional supplements typically need days  sometimes weeks  to achieve optimal uptake and circulation in the body. There are more than 70 natural, non-toxic supplement strategies for immune enhancement identified in "Infection Protection: Pandemic." Most are available at your local supermarket or drug store.
~ Stay hydrated. Water is a nutrient essential to life. Water composes more than half our bodies, one-quarter of our bones, and one-third of our brains. Water is present in every cell and tissue of the body and facilities every bodily function, including respiration, digestion, detoxification, cognition and yes  immunity. Know how much water your body needs on a daily basis (and find what is the best type of water for the body, by reading "Infection Protection: Pandemic.")
~ Enjoy a balanced diet, consisting of a variety of foods, to help maintain physical strength and promote optimal immune function. Consume an anti-influenza diet (detailed in "Infection Protection: Pandemic") if you have the flu.
~ Avoid food poisoning. In the kitchen, follow proper food handling procedures (outlined in "Infection Protection: Pandemic").
~ Travel the safe and smart way. Don't infect others if you are sick, and be wary of fellow travelers who have a cough. Practice good hygiene and protect your personal space. Check official federal regulations regarding travel to geographic areas where certain infectious diseases are common.
There are dozens of additional, useful tips included in the Top Ten Preventive Strategies for Optimizing Immune Function outlined in "Infection Protection: Pandemic."
"Infection Protection: Pandemic" was written by Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., and Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP. Dr. Klatz is a long-time scientific pioneer and innovator. As the originator of the the term "anti-aging" and regarded as the movement's first physician and chief champion, Dr. Klatz serves as President of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; http://www.worldhealth.net), the world's leading non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research and clinical pursuits that enhance the quality, and extend the quantity, of the human lifespan. In an Online Extra to the BusinessWeek March 2006 issue, the magazine refers to Dr. Klatz as the "Guru of anti-aging" and is hailed as a "leading light in the anti-aging medical movement." Dr. Klatz is considered a futurist in the field of advanced biotechnology, having overseen a patent portfolio of over 100 scientific patents and with more than 32 medical/health book titles in print. Dr. Goldman, physician, research scientist, and surgeon, serves as Chairman of the A4M, as well as Chairman of the International Medical Commission, which oversees sports medicine programs in over 170 nations.
"Infection Protection: Pandemic" underscores the potential threat that infectious disease can have on how long and how well each of us lives. To write "Infection Protection: Pandemic," Drs. Klatz and Goldman distilled thousands of pages of information, from unbiased expert sources including the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. White House. This book is your single source of the essential personal knowledge you need to survive the many existing, emerging, and re-emerging infectious disease threats that plague our modern world.
"Infection Protection: Pandemic" is available from the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Call (773) 528-4333 or visit the A4M's Online Bookstore at http://www.worldhealth.net.
Members of the working press may request a review copy of "Infection Protection: Pandemic." Media are also invited to schedule an interview with Dr. Ronald Klatz, physician co-author of "Infection Protection: Pandemic." Complete the Contact Form at http://www.a4minfo.net/pandemic.
Source: The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), Chicago, IL
Contact: Catherine Cebula
Phone: (877) 572-0608
Fax: (978) 742-9719