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Should you get the Flu Shot?

Dr. Hansen interviewed on 3TV about Natural Flu Remedies and Risk of VaccineThe Flu season is here again. The flu typically begins in November and peaks in February; however, it can peak anywhere from late November through March and last until May. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending the flu vaccine for nearly everyone this year because the vaccine supply is plentiful. Dr. Hansen says “Don’t get the Flu Shot, until you have weighed the risks vs the benefits and considered the natural alternatives you can take instead of the Flu Shot.”

To see what Dr. Hansen Recommends, click here.

How many people get sick or die from the Flu every year?

Each Flu season is unique, but it is estimated that, on average, approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents (15-60 million people) get the flu, and more than 200,000 are hospitalized for Flu-related complications each year. The National Vital Statistics Report lists an average of 1076 deaths due to Inlfuenza annually. For some reason however, the CDC claims that that about 36,000 Americans die on average per year from the complications of Flu. This over reporting of Flu deaths may be intended to scare more Americans into getting the Flu shot each year. The CDC chooses to lump the 1076 Influenza deaths with the 62,000 Pneumonia deaths annually. More than 90% of flu-related deaths are in people aged 65 years or older because they have weaker immune resistance.

What are the Side-effects of the Flu Shot?

Flu shot side effects can include fever, chills, headache or a general sense of malaise, that last one to two days. These symptoms occur in 9-44% of the people who get the Flu shot. That means that this year 13 to 66 million Americans could get flu symptoms from the Flu shot, about the same as the number who will get the flu. For as many as 1000 others who get the Flu shot, serious adverse reactions will occur that could be life threatening.

Most Flu Vaccines Contain Mercury – a Nervous System Poison

Approximately 66% (96 million doses of 146 million) of this year’s influenza vaccines to be distributed in the United States will contain mercury, a known nervous system toxin. Mercury is used as a preservative, known as Thimerosal, eventhough the Public Health Service (PHS) agencies, including the FDA, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and vaccine manufacturers agreed in July 1999 that Thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated from all vaccines as soon as possible. Most problems occur from the Live Attenuated Vaccine in multidose vials that contain mercury (Thimerosal) as the preservative.

To learn more Mercury Toxicity and Symptoms, click here.

Vaccines can cause life-threatening reactions

Life-threatening allergic reactions are very rare but do occur. Signs of serious allergic reaction can include breathing problems, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness. If they do occur, it is within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot. These reactions are more likely to occur among persons with a severe allergy to eggs, because the viruses used in the influenza vaccine are grown in hens’ eggs. People who have had a severe reaction to eggs or to a flu shot in the past should not get a flu shot.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an illness characterized by fever, nerve damage, and muscle weakness. In 1976 the annual vaccination was associated with multiple cases of GBS. Several studies have been done to evaluate if other flu vaccines since 1976 were associated with GBS. Only one of the studies showed an association. That study suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated persons may be at risk of GBS associated with the vaccine. That means that this year approximately 146 persons will develop GBS from the Flu vaccine.

To read Flu Vaccine adverse events reported to the FDA click here.

Can you prevent the Flu naturally?

The best way to prevent the flu is to keep your immune system strong. Remember that only 5-20% of Americans get the Flu, which means that 80-95% of Americans do NOT get the Flu every year. You can help your body do its job by keeping it well hydrated, eating healthy foods, avoiding sugary foods and getting lots of sleep. Avoid white flour and white sugar because as little as 100 grams of sugar can reduce your immune resistance by as much as 50% and last for 5 hours. Eat more immune boosting foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, garlic and onions. Getting less than 7½ hours of sleep weakens your immune system too, so make sure you get plenty of sleep during the winter months.

Last year’s Flu Shot not effective

Last year’s Flu Vaccine did not protect against the viral strains that caused most of the flu cases. Additionally, the CDC reported that only 11% of the 95,000 suspected flu cases reported in the 2007-2008 flu season were actually caused by the flu. The other 89% were caused by the common cold virus.

What does Dr. Hansen Recommend?

Because you can’t always know what you’re fighting, Dr. Hansen recommends PHYTOBIOTICTM to treat the symptoms of the Flu, colds, coughs, and sore throats.* This broad spectrum herbal anti-biotic is exceptionally effective. It contains a standardized extract of Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), which has been found to be effective against multiple strains of Influenza A and B viruses. Elderberry is a neuraminidase inhibitor, like the prescription drug Oseltamivir (Tamiflu). It works by blocking the release and spread of the influenza virus within the body.

PHYTOBIOTICTM also contains Echinacea, which has been shown to possess antiviral activity against several viruses including influenza; Andrographis, which has been shown in a double blind placebo controlled study to significantly reduce symptoms of the common cold and sinusitis, as well as time off work; Ashwaghanda for its immune enhancing properties and Goldenseal, for its potent broad spectrum anti-bacterial activity. This formulation is phenomenal. My patients love it because it works. They keep plenty of PHYTOBIOTICTM on hand for the whole family to take during the winter and when they have to fly on planes.

Clinically shown to work fast!
In a double blind clinical trial on patients infected with the influenza virus, 90% of the group taking Elderberry extract recovered completely from the fever, chills, body aches, and cough twice as fast as the group receiving the placebo (within 3 days rather than 7).

Elderberry disarms viruses by binding to them and preventing them from getting into the body. Flavonoids found in the berries are thought to coat the virus and inhibit the action of an enzyme called neuraminidase that otherwise would break down the cell wall membrane and allow the virus to spread. Elderberry also enhances immunity by increasing the production of special white blood cells that fight viruses and acts as a potent antioxidant.

Sources: J Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40.Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections; J Altern Complement Med. 1995 Winter;1(4):361-9. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama.

Isn’t there something safer than the Flu Shot?

Dr. Hansen recommends an oral homeopathic flu remedy called Influenzinum™ instead of the Flu Shot. This homeopathic medicine is prepared according to the standards of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, containing a dilution of the same three main viral strains as the conventional vaccine. However, the homeopathic preparation dilutes these strains to 1 part per billion. This homeopathic method of preparing the vaccine greatly reduces the risk of side effects. Plus the homeopathic flu remedy is dissolved in the mouth so no mercury containing shots are required.

In 1998 the French Society of Homeopathy conducted a survey of 23 homeopathic doctors concerning their use of Influenzinum for the prevention of the flu (Coulamy, 1998). The survey included use of Influenzinum over a 10 year period (1987-1998) in 453 patients. Results of the survey were remarkable. In approximately 90 percent of the cases no instances of the flu occurred when Influenzinum was used preventively for all ages 2 and older. In the survey, no side effects were noted in 97% of the cases, while 3% experienced mild nasal discharge. Influenzinum has been used throughout the world by millions of people for decades.

What should you do if you get the Flu in spite of these preventive measures?

If you should get the flu, Dr. Hansen recommends taking Oscillococcinum (os-sill-o-cox-see-num) the homeopathic medicine developed in France more than 60 years ago for the treatment of flu symptoms. Oscillococcinum is the number one over-the-counter flu medication in France. It has been used by more than 10 million people worldwide without any side-effects. It helps stop the fever, chills, body aches and pain of the Flu within a few short hours. I have used it with dramatic results in my practice for more than 20 years.

Natural Remedies For Young Children: For children who cannot swallow pills, Dr. Hansen recommends the homeopathic flu remedy known as Oscillococcinum (os-sill-o-cox-see-num) and 3 ml of liquid Elderberry + Echinacea, or Elderberry + Wild Cherry bark, if they have a cough, 4 times daily.

Who does the CDC recommend get the Flu Shot?

Over the last few years the number of companies making the Flu Vaccine and the amount of vaccine produced has steadily increased. This year there are 146 million doses of the Flu Vaccine, enough for approximately half of all Americans. Is this a good thing?

The CDC initially recommended the flu shot only for those with a weakened immune systems that makes them vulnerable to flu complications, such as cancer patients and pregnant women, as well as Seniors over age 65. In 2002, the CDC added babies, toddlers and their household contacts, as well as out-of-home caretakers, and every healthy American over age 50 to the list. (SOURCE: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2002;51:880-882.) This year, because the vaccine production is so plentiful (146 million doses vs 80 million doses in 2002) the CDC is recommending that all healthy children aged 5-18 years old be added to the list above regardless of immune status.

How Effective is the Flu Vaccine?

Each year, the flu vaccine contains three or more virus strains, representing the flu virus strains thought to be most likely to circulate in the United States in the upcoming winter. When the match between the virus strains in the vaccine and the circulating viruses is guessed right, the vaccine prevents illness in 70 to 90% of healthy people under the age of 65. However, among the elderly who need it the most, the vaccine is only about 30-70% effective.

This year’s flu vaccine includes the following strains:

  • A/Brisbane/59/2007(H1N1)-like virus;
  • A/Uruguay/716/2007 (A/Brisbane/10/2007-like strain);
  • B/Florida/4/2006-like virus.

In an unusual occurrence, FDA changed all three strains for this year’s influenza vaccine. Usually, only one or two strains are updated from year to year. However, last year only one of the three viruses included the vaccine matched the the circulating flu virus strains. The vaccine was only about 40-50% effective. “We’re trying to forecast what’s going to be circulating almost a year from now,” said Dr. Nancy Cox, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s influenza division, “but influenza has demonstrated time and time again that it’s impossible to predict with certainty what’s going to be circulating a year from now.”

Dr. Joe Bresee, the CDC’s head of influenza epidemiology, recently reported that the strains included in the vaccine were well matched to those that were causing disease in only 19 of the last 26 years. That’s only a 73% accuracy. Let’s hope the scientists have guessed right this year.

What are the Flu Symptoms?

The Flu generally comes on suddenly, and symptoms include fever, chills, headache, body aches, and cough. Young infants may develop croup. The most frequent complication of the flu is pneumonia. Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and worsening of chronic lung diseases may also occur in the elderly.

Symptoms of the Flu:

  • fever & chills
  • headache
  • body aches / soreness
  • extreme tiredness
  • dry cough

Symptoms of the Common Cold:

  • gradual onset
  • sneezing
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • headache
  • tiredness / malaise

Take charge of you health!

You can prevent the flu naturally by keeping your immune system healthy and strong. Remember that 80-95% of Americans do NOT get the Flu every year. You can boost your immune resistance by keeping well hydrated, eating healthy foods, avoiding sugary foods and getting lots of sleep. Dr. Hansen recommends taking PHYTOBIOTIC every day during the flu season to help minimize your risk. If you are looking for a homeopathic flu remedy for your family that does not contain mercury, Dr. Hansen recommends Influenzinum. And finally, Dr. Hansen recommends keeping Oscillococcinum on hand just in case some unexpected strain of the Flu shows up. Taking these natural precautions will give your family a healthy edge this Flu season. Get prepared and keep healthy this Flu season!

*This structure/function claim has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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