Anyone Remember the flu?

Covid has sent it into hiding
Could we ever get rid of the flu virus?

One case of flu reported in South Africa …WHAT?

I was recently interviewed by a journalist, who was writing for the Washington Post about the past year’s absence of flu in South Africa, helped possibly by the Coronavirus.

She interviewed the National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD) and found that they would have normally recorded about 1000 cases of flu between April and August, however this year they have recorded ONLY ONE. I have always believed in three things about our lack of a flu season the past year, and the minimal amount of deaths against what was expected by the Department of Health and Sciences. – I am referring specifically to our experience at Sunset Pharmacy, Cape Town – South Africa.

  1. We administered more than four times the vaccinations than we gave in 2019
  2. Many more people supplemented. The public purchased many products related to building their immune system. These included multivitamins, vitamin C, extra zinc and various other immune boosters.
  3. Social distancing, sanitising and wearing masks by almost everyone.

The fact that some or most of the reasons given above have vastly reduced the flu season, which kills about 12000 people in the country each year, is a clear indication that following that  regimen could reduce the incidence of disease in the future. I certainly believe that flu injections taken by everyone, locally and globally could certainly reduce the incidence of disease by strengthening our immune systems.

 I don’t recall one customer walking into the pharmacy saying “I think I have flu symptoms, do you have something I can take?” Of course they may have not wanted to say anything as they may have imagined they could have had Covid-19.

The journalist also interviewed the Head of Medical Virology at Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg National Health Laboratory Service in Cape Town.  He indicated that there could be a positive side effect to Covid-19, that is, the flu strains that do exist could not find someone to infect for the past number of months in South Africa, and that the implementation of personal protective  measures have been pretty effective against flu transmissions.  Such an outcome wouldn’t be confirmed until exhaustive studies had been done.

“If it works out like this, it would be a very beautiful positive side effect of Covid, one of the few good things to come of it.”

 Alan Wirzbicki, writes in the Boston Globe about “Taking Flu shots seriously”. He is suggesting that taking flu shots should be made compulsory as it has been shown that a safe vaccine can protect individuals and ‘slow the bug’s spread in communities’.

Apparently Massachusetts has become the first state to take the step. They have ordered that all students under 30 years old must have a flu shot. This does not of course mean that it will be accepted. Other states are also reported to be looking at new flu requirements.

When our President first announced the lockdown on the 22nd March, there was a huge surge in retail sales for vitamins and immune booster products that soon caused rapid shortages of products and a scramble for flu injections. There is no doubt in my mind that the fear created by this ‘invisible virus’ was pretty scary and the focus on older people caused many families to forbid their parents to move out of home.  Many children insisted that their parents stayed home and many delivered food and whatever else was needed, on a daily basis.

An early statement put out was the fact that grandchildren could pass on the virus to their grandparents resulting in their children and grandchildren not seeing each other for weeks or months on end.

My thoughts are that the lockdown helped as well as on-going sanitising, social distancing and the wearing of masks. 

It certainly shows that a good immune system is most important and anything that improves your body’s ability to prevent disease and/or fight it, is of utmost importance. Vaccinate, exercise, good nutrition, vitamin supplementation and emotional balance should make you ‘stronger’to fend off the ‘enemy’.

- Biolife Nutrition

Keep Safe!

by Ellis Henen.