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Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Prevent Swine Flu by Gargling and Taking Vitamin"

Verdict :

Possible time of origin : October, 2009

Circulation platforms : Whatsapp, Email

Circulation geography : Global

Original Message Version Under Analysis:
Prevent Swine Flu - Good Advice
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 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 to avoid 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 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 on an 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 Sutra Neti (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 population. *
5. * Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). * 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.
I suggest you pass this on to your entire e-list. You never know 20 who might pay attention to it - and STAY ALIVE because of it...
 Analysis by Merofact Awareness Team: 
After reading the message above received via Whatsapp, something just didn't feel right. I must agree that the advises are quite harmless and may even be helpful in some cases as long as following those doesn't make you feel protected against rampant Swine Flu in India. When tried to dig about the origin of the message, we found the message had first surfaced as early as late 2009 and it once again garnered lot of spread recently. 
The next search string in the Google was "Vinay Goyal Riddhivinayak Malad". To our utter surprise, in the news section we found a news report by The Times of India mentioning Dr. Vinay Goyal from Riddhivinayak Hospital, Malad for all wrong reasons. A news report from March 27, 2010 appeared in The Times of India says thyroid specialist Dr. Vinay Goyal from Riddhivinayak Hospital, Malad got arrested on assault and molestation charges with two other doctors from the same hospital. 
Advises 1-4 are very generic methods of hygiene, so we can hardly say whether it does any good or not to protect you from Swine Flu. All we can say is, following just that won't be enough of a protection against Swine Flu. Advise number 5 is rather easy to catch as misleading. We cannot find any scientific report associating use of Zinc for better absorption of Vitamin C in human or any animal body. Zinc and Vitamin C are often available as individual supplements, though they can be found together in multivitamin capsules as well. It is better to ask your doctor before you assume which is best for your body. Zinc supplements sometimes cause stomach upset, which can be kept under check by taking them along with food. Digestive discomfort may increase when Zinc supplements are taken at the same time as Vitamin C. If this occurs, zinc and vitamin C should be consumed at different times. While vitamin C are known to enhance the absorption of iron supplements, Zinc absorption can be inhibited by both calcium and iron. Advise number 6 is so generic that almost every people unknowingly follow that just by drinking warm tea, coffee, milk or other beverages few times a day. 
Swine Flu is caused by novel Influenza A virus of subtype H1N1. Before causing the pandemic in 2009, H1N1 subtype have caused havoc in 1918, when it was called Spanish Flu. Arguably that was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. Hopefully history won't repeat itself this time. Influenza A viruses are classified, based on the viral surface proteins Hemagglutinin (denoted H) and Neuraminidase (denoted N). So far 16 H subtypes (or serotypes) and 9 N subtypes of influenza A virus have been identified, making 144 possible HN combinations. The binding of almost all influenza viruses to their target cells in the host respiratory tract are mediated by Hemagglutinin. So whatever influenza virus particle is stuck somewhere in the throat, likely will find it very difficult to reach the site of infection in the respiratory tract. You do gargle or eat/drink food eventually whatever present on throat surface will go down the intestinal tract. But remember some influenza virus may replicate in the intestinal tract, which explains reports of gastro-intestinal problems in some infected people.
Simple hygienic measures other than the medications (like Oseltamivir; brand name Tamiflu) can serve you in a good way. Most effective option could be to get a shot of WHO pre-qualified vaccine products available in market. Examples of such vaccines are Vaxigrip, NASOVAC-S, INFLUVAC, Fluzone, Fluvirin, Flucelvax, FluLaval, FLUARIX, and AgrippalAnyway, you can simply try a mask while out at the public places and pick up a habit of washing hands and face with soap after you were in public places. This should help (though won't give 100% protection) you avoid many infections including Swine Flu and other influenza which are carried on aerosol or droplet or fomites

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for your 'Good Advice'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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