The use of face mask and N95 respirators are designed to filter 95% particulates of 0.3u, while the size of H1N1 virus is about 01.u. Hence, dependence on N95 to protect against H1N1 is like protecting against rain with an umbrella made of mosquito net.
Tamiflu does not kill but prevents H1N1 from further proliferation. H1N1, like other Influenza A viruses, only infects the upper respiratory tracts and proliferates (only) there. 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 conract with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not the problem but proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptons and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps – not fully highlighted in most official communications – can be practised (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu).
- Hand washing (well highlighted in all official communications)
- “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe)
- Gargle twice a day with warm salt water. H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat 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. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
- Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. When sinuses become blocked, viruses/bacteria in the nose can become trapped in a pool of mucous with nowhere to go. The germs can grow out of control, causing infection and inflammation. This results in congestion, headache and facial pain and an influx of white blood cells to fight the infection, which thickens and tints the mucus. Other symptoms may include loss of smell or taste, bad breath, fever and fullness in the ears. By cleansing your nostrils with warm salt water, it will bring down the viral population in the frontal sinus.
The Benefits of Nasal Cleansing
- Removes dirt and bacteria filled mucus from within the nose
- Helps drain sinus cavities and clears nasal infections such as hay fever, allergies, sinusitis, sore throats, cold, inflammation of tonsils.
- Beneficial for asthma and bronchitis as it reduces the tendency for mouth breathing
- Draws out excessive heat, therefore beneficial for headaches, migraine, epilepsy, depression and general mental tension
Dr. Dhilip Kumar Ph.D, Dr. Sc.