With all the talk these days about H1N1 and the flu i wanted to share a great email recently received about practising prevention – the old fashioned way:
Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist),
having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions
like Hinduja Hospital, Bombay Hospital, Saifee Hospital, Tata Memorial, etc.
Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic
at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad (W).
The following message given by him; I feel it makes a lot of sense and is
important for all to know.
The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global
epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible not coming into contact with
H1N1 in spite of all precautions.. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a
problem as proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1
infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and
development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully
highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of
focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official
2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any
part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe).
3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t
trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the
throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple
gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the
same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one..
Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative
4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with
warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at using a Neti pot, but
*blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton
swabs dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral
5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C.
*If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also
has Zinc to boost absorption.
6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can.
*Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse
direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the
stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.