Bird flu is striking some people like a bad Hitchcock movie–right between the eyes. The British horror film director made THE BIRDS in 1963 about a little town attacked by rooks from hell. Lucky for us we have actresses Tippi Hedren and Suzanne Pleshette to look at. Otherwise, it would be a ridiculous farce about birds that fly too far out of line. Oddly, the same weird story is happening as we track world events on the trail of dying birds, swans, mice, cats, and we hold our breath hoping that no more people die.
Today Irish health minister Coughlan reported on www.irishexaminer.com that Ireland is prepared for bird flu– the only country so far with such positive reports. This follows confirmation yesterday that a dead swan found in Scotland has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus. Egypt, on a flight path for wild birds, is freaked after a third person died. At www.theglobeandmail.com, Helen Branswell reports that the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization is setting up a study aimed at trying to determine if cats are playing a role in the spread of the H5N1 avian flu virus. They are looking at Indonesia the current hot zone of H5N1 infection, reporting 30 cases, including 23 deaths, since last July. The New York Times, reported a few days ago that the United States is by no means ready for a possible pandemic. Health experts agree that our best hope is to wait until bird flu hits, maybe sometime this summer in Alaska, and then manufacture the right vaccine for the right strain of flu. The virus may have mutated by then.
An executive from Roche, the company that makes Tamiflu, attended one of my Chinatown walking tours, she said, to learn something about Chinese herbs (in one afternoon!) She told me that their drug Tamiflu was just that–a prevention drug, not a cure for flu, especially not bird flu.
To avoid the flu, experts advise to wash hands frequently, avoid crowds of sneezing people, and avoid sick birds. Even if we could interview the average bird in the street, what do you think he/she/it would say? “Don’t eat me!” Here is my advice for bird flu for now. Hopefully, we can avoid anxiety and illness this year, but in case you live in a vulnerable area here are some things to consider:
*Be prepared to stay inside for 2 – 3 months if the virus hits your area.
*Stock up on whole grains, beans, dried fruits, juices, nuts, seeds, health salad oil and vinegar, teas, and other stuff that does not spoil. You can easily sprout sunflower seeds to make fresh salads.
*Get face masks used by construction workers that protect the face from dust and particles. Line the mask with a washable cotton handkerchief sprinkled with tea tree oil, essential oil of lavender, or other antiseptic essential oil. Wash the kerchief daily and use it when you go outside.
*Avoid cabs and other closed areas where germs can collect. A sneeze keeps germs in confined areas for hours.
*Keep your pussy cats and dogs inside. Use safe, non-toxic rodent traps at home and work if necessary.
*Avoid decorating with new feather pillows for now.
*Cook chicken until its is well done, not pink and moist but burned. Or better yet, eat tofu.
*Wash yourself, your kids, and your home with a mixture of tea tree oil, water, and rubbing alcohol.
*Watch Buster Keaton, the Marx brothers, Charlie Chaplin and avoid Hitchcock movies.
Treatments For Flu
If you get flu symptoms–fever, aches, cough, and congestion–treat yourself for flu. It may not be bird flu just ordinary flu, which can last up to two weeks if not treated with herbs. Some good flu remedies include: *Gan Mao Ching capsules, antibiotic Chinese herbs for fever.
*Flu Away tea, available from www.chinasprout.com and www.eastearthtrade.com.
Bird flu turns within a few days into heavy chest congestion when fluid fills the lungs. Homeopathic pulsatilla 30C is always useful for serious chest congestion, difficult breathing, and feeling closed in unable to take a breath. Given these symptoms, you can take a homeopathic remedy as often as every 15 minutes between meals until the symptoms improve.
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