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Avian Bird Flu Preparation

By Jan Dunlop

What you need to know to survive an avian bird flu pandemic

Avian Bird Flu has the potential to cause a major pandemic around the world, estimates are that up to 150 million people would die. The Spanish flu of 1918 killed 50 million. Most scientists now say that the question is not if but when this will occur. If Avian Bird Flu mutates so that it can be transmitted from human to human, it will probably spread rapidly. This will trigger a massive rush to secure flu vaccines, protective masks and other essential supplies.

Now is the time to act. If you get prepared ahead of time you can avoid most of the panic that will occur. Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure you are prepared:

Stock up on Flu Antiviral Drugs

According to the Center for Disease Control CDC, there are four different influenza antiviral drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of influenza: Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), Zanamivir (Relenza), Amantadine and Rimantadine. All four have activity against influenza A viruses. However, sometimes influenza strains can become resistant to these drugs, and therefore the drugs may not always be effective. For example, analyses of some of the 2004 H5N1 viruses isolated from poultry and humans in Asia have shown that the viruses are resistant to two of the medications (Amantadine and Rimantadine).

Purchase N95 Masks

Masks serve two purposes. First, they reduce the risk of infection from an infected person and two, they also stop the spread of infection from someone who is infected.

N95 masks are used to protect against highly transmissible respiratory infections. "N stands for NIOSH - The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the USA, and "95 reflects the filter efficiency of the mask. So "N95 indicates the mask is 95% efficient at filtering out particles of a size of approximately 0.3 microns and above. A N100 mask has a 99.7% efficiency of filtering out these small particles. Other paper or surgical masks are not suitable.

Get your Emergency Supplies in Order

Planning ahead of time will allow you to reduce your risk of exposure to the bird flu and to take better measures at protecting yourself and your family.

* Always have at least $100.00 of ready cash on hand.

* Ensure you have an alternative source of heat in case power is disrupted. Small portable propane heaters are a good option. Make sure you include a supply of fuel as well. Keep extra blankets and warm clothing available.

* Store enough bottled water for five days. If you need to disinfect use bleach, a few drops followed by aeration or boiling for at least five minutes.

* Stock up on basic food items. You should have at least a month's supply.

* Make sure you have plenty of tissues, toilet paper, diapers, bleach and paper towels on hand.

* Make sure you have enough over the counter flu medications to last a few weeks of illness.

* Fill any gas cans you have and keep your vehicles as full as possible.

* Make sure you have a first aid kit and it is up to date.

* If you take any prescription medicines, make sure you have a good supply.

* A hand-cranked radio is a good idea.

* Gas bbq's or camp stoves with full propane tanks are always useful as well as lanterns.

* Make sure you have plenty of batteries.

Build up your Immune System

Even if you do get flu antiviral such as Tamiflu, there is no guarantee that this will be effective against the strain of bird flu that finally crosses over to humans. So your only real defense is to minimize your risk of exposure and to maximize your natural resistance by building your immune system. You can do this in a number of ways:

* Get healthy - eat health food and get plenty of exercise.

* There are a number of herbs which have known anti-viral qualities. The these include: Echinacea, Olive Leaves, Garlic, Astragalus, Licoric, Shiitake Mushrooms, Cat's Claw, Ginger, Onion, St. John's Wort, Lemon Balm and Green Tea. You can either buy this from Jenny Lee Naturals "A-V Tincture" or you can make your own. All you need to do is buy the bulk herbs and soak them in a strong vodka for several weeks (longer, is better), then strain out the liquid. If you can't get all twelve herbs, make do with what you can get.

Personal Finances

Last of all but very important - make sure you can sustain yourself and your family during and after a pandemic.

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