Bird Flu - Archives
Lower Your Cholesterol and Beat the Bird Flu
anti-cholesterol drugs also help defend against bird flu? Britain's
Daily Mail reports:
Low-cost drugs that are used to treat high cholesterol levels could be
used to beat epidemics such as bird flu, scientists say.
Early evidence suggests that statins, which are prescribed to 1.8 million
people in Britain every year, can combat virulent influenza strains such as
In a letter to a national newspaper, three flu experts said that statins
could save millions of lives in a potential human pandemic and urgent
research is needed to explore the idea.
October 5th, 2006
Blood Products - New Flu Cure?
British scientists want more work done on the possibility of using
blood products to help H5N1 victims:
Blood products taken from people who have recovered from bird flu could
be useful for treating other patients in the event of a pandemic, research
An analysis of how such transfusions were used in hospitals during the
Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 has indicated that they reduced the risk of
death and eased symptoms, raising the prospect that a similar approach could
be used against H5N1 influenza.
August 31st, 2006
Sauerkraut, Kimchi and Protective Masks - Looking for a
Bird Flu Cure
sauerkraut cure bird flu?
No, it doesn't, say the experts. But the pickled cabbage dish is still one
of many bird flu "remedies" - from kimchi to alkaline water - being touted
to a nervous public, according to an amusing article from Bloomberg News.
This week, 235 items related to bird flu were for sale at the U.S.,
British and German Web sites of the online auctioneer eBay, from
disinfectant sprays to treatment advice including books.
A Web site in Germany,
has a waiting list for protective masks, Klaus Forsthofer, the head of
distribution for ACE, the company that runs the site, said in an interview.
The British Web site UK Survive advertises a family pack including face
masks, five single-use medical suits and 600 powder-free latex gloves for
£493.50, $917, marked down from £869.
"It is going massively, yes, massively," Nick Powell, the managing director
of UK Survive, said in an interview. The company has sold 20,000 packs of
face masks for £24.99 since January, an increase from about 200 a month last
"Gowns and boots are not something for the general public," said Maria
Cheng, a spokeswoman for World Health Organization.
Masks effective enough to stop the virus are so uncomfortable that they are
difficult to wear for more than an hour, said Gundula Jaeger, a virologist
with the Max von Pettenkofer Institute in Munich.
June 8th, 2006
Oh, and Cover Your Mouth
When You Cough
Time magazine summarizes the US government’s new pandemic report:
What can individuals
and businesses do? Wash your hands. Clean sinks, railings, keyboards and
phones--the virus can survive up to two days on hard surfaces. Reduce
face-to-face meetings. Encourage telecommuting as well as flexible work
hours. Keep 3 ft. of distance from other people ("spatial separation," in
governmentspeak). Oh, and cover your mouth when you cough.
GM Tomatoes – the Latest
Bird Flu Weapon
generically-modified tomatoes hold the key to a bird flu vaccine? Here
in Melbourne a plant scientist thinks so.
A Quick Round-Up of
Breaking Bird Flu News:
* Algerian health
authorities have denied reports that a poultry breeder in Oran has
* A Japanese group
helping North Korean defectors claims that a woman in Pyongyang was
bird flu last month.
expects to have a new
bird flu vaccine in production by the end of the year.
* An Israeli virologist
believes she has found a
new remedy for bird flu, based on elderberries.
The US Food and Drug
Administration has warned nine companies to stop marketing fake bird flu
cures. These include capsules allegedly containing bacteria from dirt and
other immune system "boosters" and claiming to help prevent or treat bird
a report by Reuters:
"FDA is not aware of
any scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety or effectiveness of
these products for treating or preventing avian flu and the agency is
concerned that the use of these products could harm consumers or interfere
with conventional treatments," the agency said in a statement.
"The use of unproven
flu cures and treatments increases the risk of catching and spreading the
flu rather than lessening it because people assume they are protected and
safe and they aren't," said Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, acting FDA
commissioner. "I consider it a public health hazard when people are lured
into using bogus treatments based on deceptive or fraudulent medical
All of the companies
sell via Internet Web sites and the FDA complained about several claims,
including "prevents avian flu," "a natural virus shield," "kills the virus,"
and "treats the avian flu."
Most are promoted as
being "natural" or "safer" treatments that can be used in place of approved
Fight Bird Flu"
Daily Telegraph reports that
sauerkraut could become a “secret weapon” against bird flu. It says
scientists believe it contains bacteria that helps combat the disease.
Sauerkraut sales are apparently already rising in the UK. There have been
Korean kimchi (also spelled kimchee) has been shown as effective against
bird flu. Both sauerkraut and kimchi are made from fermented cabbage.
Kimchi, Now Sauerkraut
sauerkraut that’s being touted as a possible preventative for bird flu.
Korean kimchi (also spelled kimchee), sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage
government, we've got the preventative, and 115,000 tons of it in Wisconsin
alone," said Ryan Downs, owner and general manager of Great Lakes Kraut Co.,
which has sauerkraut factories in Bear Creek and Shiocton, Wis., and in
Shortsville, N.Y. Downs said more extensive scientific research is needed to
prove any curative link to avian flu, but he's more than happy to tout kraut
as a healthful part of any diet. "People are starting to realize kraut is a
pretty doggone good food," Downs said when contacted about the South Korean
study. "We're ready to help keep the world healthy."
Will Kimchi Cure Bird
My Korean wife believes
kimchi – fermented cabbage with garlic and fiery hot spices – will cure
anything. She makes it regularly in large, pungent quantities, to feed our family. It certainly hasn’t stopped my hay fever, and I credit my annual
flu shot for sparing me from the flu in recent years.
But kimchi (also written
as kimchee) is widely viewed as the Korean national dish, and many Koreans
believe it has wondrous properties. During the 2003 SARS outbreak in Asia,
kimchi consumption rose....continue reading
Will Kimchi Cure Bird Flu?
Selenium the Answer?
Tech University researcher Dr. Julian Spallholz has suggested that adding
more selenium to the diets of Asian chickens would hinder the H5N1 virus
from mutating into a more virulent form that could pass between humans.
mutations are thought to emerge from selenium-deficient regions of the
world, such as Africa,
Southeast Asia. Selenium can be added, fairly easily and inexpensively, to
animal feed as a supplement to help prevent the mutation of the bird flu
virus. "A lot of these viral mutations that end up in the human population
come from areas that probably have selenium-deficient soils," Spallholz
said. "This is the natural melting pot for these viral evolutions that take
place. Raising the levels of selenium may reduce the frequency of these