Monday, August 24, 2009

N95 and H1N1

Please realize that this is not an official advice,
especially the one about face masks or N95.
Most N95 respiratory are designed to filter 95% particulates of 0.3,
while the size of H1N1 virus is about 0.1. 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 till the virus limits itself in about 1-2 weeks
(its natural cycle).H1N1, like other Influenza A viruses, only infects
the upper respiratory tract 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 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 H1N1infection, in order to
prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptomsand development of
secondary infections, some very simple steps - not fully highlighted
in most official communications - can be practices(instead of focusing
on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications) .
2. "Hands-off-the- face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any
part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).
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
onan infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and
powerful preventative method.
4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day
with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or
SutraNeti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing
the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds
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(Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with
VitaminC tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
6. Drink as much of warm liquids 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.All these are simple ways
to prevent, within means of most households,and certainly much less
painful than to wait in long queues outside public hospitals

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