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Is it the Ebola, Flu, a Cold, the H1N1, the Norwalk Virus or SARS?

Hand Washing, Not Touching Your Face,
Staying Home If Ill Among Ways To Keep H1N1 Flu At Bay

Every Ontario resident has the opportunity to receive a 
free flu shot this year before the start of the winter flu season.

Call 1-855-358-6968 to find out where to get flu
shots in your Ontario Canada community?

Warning... 24 Hour Flu is Prevalent in Eastern Ontario
(Click Here to see the symptoms)

A few preventive measures on not getting H1N1

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).
 *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/
    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

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 page onto your entire e-list.  You never know  who might pay attention to it - and STAY ALIVE because of it.


Swine Flu - Some Links
Key Facts about Swine Influenza (Swine Flu)

Symptoms include fever of more than 37.8 C (100 degrees F),
body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion
and, in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.

Questions and Answers About the Flu
from Mt Sinai Hospital Toronto

H1N1 Worldwide Stats

Avian Flu Update - Some Links
Government of Canada Pandemic Influenza
Warning As Bird Flu Crossover Danger Escalates 

H5N1 Avian Bird Flu Virus Facts

The Flu, You and What to Do

Symptoms Ebola H1N1 Flu? Cold? SARS
Not Everyone Has Reacted In The Same Way
Onset Starts rapidly  Starts gradually .
Fever and cough Yes yes slight High fever 
(>38° Celsius - 100.4 F)
Headache Severe common sometimes Yes
Aches and Pains Muscle Pain common Stuffed up or runny nose with sneezing  Possible
Tiredness Weakness common Feeling tired  Possible
Chills     rare ?
Cough     yes Dry Cough
Stuffy Nose     yes ?
Runny Nose   common    
Sneezing   sometimes yes ?
Sore Throat Yes common yes Yes
Shortness of Breath      no Possible
Muscular Stiffness   . . Possible
Loss of Appetite   common Normal appetite  Possible
Malaise   . Possible
Confusion   . . Possible
Diarrhea Yes .sometimes . Possible
Vomiting Yes sometimes    
Nausea   sometimes    
Rash Yes . . Possible

If you need to talk to a health professional  
call Telehealth Ontario 1 866-797-0000

Influenza General Information
Will face masks protect you from the flu?

So you think you have either the flu or a cold.  
Now what should you do?

Oh, my aching head!

The World Health Organization calls Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, 
or SARS, a new communicable disease that is a global health threat.

Taking Care of People with Acute Respiratory Illness at Home

It is important for family to remain healthy while providing care to those ill with “colds,”
influenza-like-illnesses and any other acute respiratory illness. Care providers should follow
these simple steps:

Frequently wash your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
       You should always clean your hands before and after caring for an ill family member,
       and after touching possibly contaminated objects or surfaces (eg. used tissues).

Keep surfaces clean around those who are ill. There is no need to sterilize your
       home or articles that the ill family member has used (eating and drinking utensils,
      frequently touched surfaces). A regular household cleaner is sufficient.

Dispose of soiled tissues into the green bin or garbage. Don’t leave soiled tissues
       lying around the home to contaminate other surfaces or be picked up by toddlers
       in the home.

Don’t share any objects that may touch the mouth or nose of the ill person — this
      includes, for instance, drinking glasses, eating utensils, toothbrushes, face cloths
      and towels.

If possible, have the ill person stay in a different room than other people. When in
      the same room, the sick person should stay 6 feet away from others as much as
      possible. If the ill person can wear a mask when other people are less than 6 feet
      away, this will also help to prevent spread.

Get enough rest. Caregivers must also get enough sleep and have their bodies
        rested and refreshed each day.

Follow Canada’s Food and Nutrition guide. Getting the necessary vitamins and the
      right balance of nutrients helps immune systems perform at peak levels.

Health Canada Public Information
(for General Information about SARS)
1- 800- 454-8302 

Ontario Health InfoLine
(for General Inquiries about SARS)
1- 888- 668-4636 


The virus that is causing SARS is similar to that of the common cold except that it is a version that has mutated into a more dangerous form.

Scientists have confirmed the genomes of two different strains of the virus thought to be responsible for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

SARS kills one in five of those admitted to a hospital.

If you have the symptoms similar to those of SARS or come in contact with someone who has these symptoms, you should isolate yourself from society for at least 10 days.

How Contagious Is SARS? 

Based on currently available evidence, close contact with an infected person is needed for the infective agent to spread from one person to another. Contact with aerosolized (exhaled) droplets and bodily secretions from an infected person appears to be important… the amount of the infective agent needed to cause an infection has not yet been determined. 

The SARS virus can survive up to 24 hours on any surface and up to four days in human waste. It can also survive freezing temperatures and treatment with a detergent commonly used to sterilize contaminated areas

Toughing It Out - Hoteliers in China coped with SARS by taking swift action

First of all the best way to protect yourself against colds and the flu is to wear gloves in public places during the flu and cold season.

Second, if you have touched surfaces that people who are infected by colds or the flu - wash your hands immediately. If you cannot do this conveniently; do not touch any area of your body like your nose or mouth that allows bacteria or viruses to enter your body.

Washing Hands with soap and water

Turn on taps and wet hands with tepid running water of 43 degrees C or
       110 degrees Fahrenheit 

Apply soap 

Rub hands together, by palm to palm, by interlaced fingers, by back of
      each hand with palm of other hand, by each thumb clasped in the
      opposite hand and by each wrist clasped in the opposite hand. Each part
      of your hand should be washed for a minimum of 20 seconds - you
      should be able to sing Happy Birthday twice before you finish washing

Rinse hands thoroughly under tepid running water

Dry hands thoroughly with paper towel

Turn off taps with paper towels ensuring you clean contact with 
      the soiled handles and then discard the paper towel

When should you wash?

Although it's impossible to keep your bare hands germ-free, 
there are times when it's critical to wash your hands. 

Always wash:

Before eating 
After using the bathroom 
After changing diapers — wash your child's hands too 
Before and after handling raw meat, poultry or fish 
After touching animals 
After handling money 
After blowing your nose 
After coughing or sneezing on your hands 
Before and after treating wounds or cuts 
Before and after touching a sick or injured person 
After handling garbage

Wash Your Hands with Alcoholic Based Hand Sanitizer

Perhaps this is better or more convenient to do in many instants because
there are lots of times when washing with soap and water is near impossible.
I usually keep a little bottle of alcoholic based hand sanitizer in my car and
clean both my hands and my face around my mouth and nose every time I
get back into my car.

Or carry a little bottle in your purse and when you get a chance, just put
a few drops on your hands and rub your hands together to clean your hands.

After going to the grocery store and handling the shopping carts 
After school, during school hours and when changing classrooms
After being in any public meeting place 
Before and after eating at a restaurant or lunchroom

When flying in an airplane

After touching animals 
After handling money 
After blowing your nose 
After coughing or sneezing on your hands
Before and after treating wounds or cuts 
Before and after touching or being in contact with a sick or injured person 
After handling garbage

Did you know that: Only 40 per cent of Canadian health-care workers properly wash their hands.  Next time you are in the emergency ward or at a doctor's office take note of what is happening... and ask the doctor or supervisor in charge what is their hand washing policy.  See Ottawa Targets Hospital Superbugs

How long does cold viruses live on surfaces? ( presently this is the most asked question)

According to Dr. Rui Xiong who is a viral research specialist in Canada

The so-called common cold usually can be caused by more than 200 kinds of viruses ( may generally called as flu viruses since they all produce flu-like symptoms) and the commonest one is Rhinovirus (around 50%), interestingly, they are often transmitted through direct contact rather than through airway; for example, through handkerchief
( survivable for 1hr ), palm ( for 70hrs ) or public solid surfaces ( for 72hrs ).

Once an individual is infected with the virus, whether he or she will have the symptoms of common cold including its severity is very often depend on each individual's immunity. Funny enough, sometimes it is a bit difficult to discriminate the terms of common cold and flu. 

Common cold is more colloquial while flu is more academic, however, in my impression, the former could refer to the "flu" caused by rhinovirus-like while the flu that medical doctors refer to may often be caused by influenza a,b,c types which might be endemic or pandemic and life-threatening. That is why it has such a clinical significance. In contrast, common cold usually is sporadic and even self-limited/need mainly supportive therapy.  Mines could not be totally right. I found a good website for you to refer to.  CDC - Influenza (Flu). Also. WHO's website is also good one to look at."

Microbes can live on household surfaces for hundreds of years. The good news, however, is that most don't. Some well-known viruses, like HIV, live only a few seconds.

Microbes, of course, are everywhere. Each square centimeter of skin alone harbors about 100,000 bacteria. And a single sneeze can spray droplets infested with bacteria and viruses as far as 3 feet. The microbial life span depends on many factors, says Philip Tierno, director of microbiology and diagnostic immunology at the New York University School of Medicine. Because viruses must invade cells of a living host to reproduce, their life spans outside are generally shorter than that of bacteria, which reproduce on their own. Although viruses can survive outside a host on household surfaces, their ability to duplicate themselves is compromised—shortening the virus's life span.

Humidity also makes a difference; no bacteria or virus can live on dry surfaces with a humidity of less than 10 percent. Any sort of nutrients—food particles, skin cells, blood, mucus—helps microbes thrive, which is why your kitchen sponge and dish cloths are a excellent breeding ground. I have heard that if you take your kitchen sponge and subject it to your microwave on high for two minutes - 90 percent of the bacteria are killed.

Third, if you spray the surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen with a mild solution of bleach (about a 2-5% solution with water) where there might be viruses;  it likely will kill any virus and bacteria that might be on that surface.

Fourth, if you feel that a cold is coming on (runny nose and out of sorts feeling) immediately take about 1000 mg of Vitamin C + Echinacea and drink lots of water  - it works. 

Dealing with Colds: (A few more great hints and info)

Just say no to drugs. When it comes to colds, any medicine is worse than none at all. Cold symptoms are caused by your own defenses, not the virus's. They're things your immune system does to cripple the intruders. Drugs that suppress your symptoms only stop your natural defenses. 

If you must use drugs, use single-symptom, generic drugs -- so says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cold symptoms tend to appear in sequence, not all at once. So multi-symptom formulas often give you too much or not enough medicine for any given symptom. Avoid time-release capsules for the same reason. And the generic part? Cheaper. Everything you can get in a fancy bottle comes in a generic form too. It's the same medicine. Ask your pharmacist. 

Gargle with warm salt water if you have a sore throat. This hastens the healing process. In the meantime, suck hard candies. (But beware: A sore throat can be a symptom of an illness worse than a cold.) 

Gargle with a warm salt water even if you don't have a sore throat. I helps prevent germs and viruses that have been stuck to your tongue and mouth overnight to be killed.  Follow this with an antiseptic mouth wash.  For people who have a reduced immune system, both these things work in preventing either a cold or virus. 

Drink 8 ounces of hot liquid every two hours. Cold liquids can contribute to congestion. 

Drink Lots of Hot Liquids

Increase the humidity around you. Viruses thrive in cool, dry environments. That's why your immune system floods your nose with warm, wet gush. 

Use a cool cloth to control the discomfort of fever. (And remember that very high fevers can be dangerous.) 

Inhale warm vapors to ease nasal congestion. You can just hold your face over a bowl of hot water and breathe. 

Elevate your head at night to keep your head clear. 

Cough and cough and cough. Especially if it produces phlegm. 

Avoid contact with cold germs. After all, the best offense is a good defense. During cold season, frequently disinfect doorknobs and common objects around your house with a disinfectant spray. (a 2-5 % solution of bleach and water will do the trick in a spray bottle) 

Wash your hands frequently. You can easily catch a cold if you have viruses on your hands and then touch your nose or eyes. Don't use cloth hankies; use paper tissues instead and dispose of them immediately after use.

Your own body causes cold symptoms. Once you've been infected with a cold virus, your capillaries swell to bring more blood to your nose, because blood is what gets the troops of the immune system to the battlefield. That's congestion. White blood cells come rushing to the site and try to engulf-and-digest or, as we humans put it, "eat" the viruses. That's inflammation. Your temperature rises because viruses can't thrive where it's too hot. That's fever. Your nose cells release histamines, which create mucus that traps the viruses before they can attach to your cells. That's your runny nose. 

Is it Cold or Flu?

If your chest is congested,  put a heating pad on your chest and relax.

Quarantined for SARS

Here is what health officials say to do if you have 
been quarantined to your home: 

Ensure that you remain at home for 10 days after your last exposure. This means that you should not leave your house, nor should anyone visit you at home. If you need groceries, have a friend bring them to your door.

During this 10-day period, wear a mask when you are in the same room with another member of your household. You should change your mask twice each day. The type of mask to purchase is an N95 mask. It is designed to prevent respiratory exposure to TB and other high-risk biological agents. 

Sleep in separate rooms if possible. 

Do not share personal items, such as towels, drinking cups or cutlery. 

Wash your hands frequently, especially after sneezing or coughing. 

Everyone in the household should measure their temperature with their own thermometer twice a day over the 10-day period. 

If anyone in the household develops fever (over 38 C), respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing) or headache, or is feeling unwell, call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600. 

People who share a household with someone in quarantine may go to work or school, but must wear a mask at home. Should anyone in the household show signs of becoming ill, the entire household must be quarantined. 

Here are a few links that might help...We offer no editorial comment nor take responsibility for the accuracy of the information given.

Cold and Flu Compendium - Natural Remedies for Colds

Homemade Chicken Soup & Matzo Balls

Flu Alert  ~ Find out if the flu has evaded your city in Eastern and Southern Ontario.

Cold and Flu Remedies ~ Winter is a time for turning inward, toward home, family, and self. If we listen, we are aware of a directive to slow down and refocus. That makes the next few months an ideal time to explore ways to prevent and treat illness, especially the colds and flu that plague our winter days...

Conquering the Cold/Flu Syndrome~  How Both Viruses and Bacteria Create Colds and Flues, and How to Conquer Them

Sneezing Kid!

Treating Common Cold and Flu with Common Sense ~ "You don’t catch a cold, you make it," Dr. Bernard Jensen strongly pronounced during one of the Iridology classes I attended. "This time he went too far" I was pondering. Then, as a novice to the holistic approach of healing, his statement seemed not only revolutionary to me, but just plain wrong. My heart beat was raising. "How can he possibly believe in this???!!!" I continued my chain of thoughts. "A flu ...

With flu season coming, don't forget…exercise?

FAQ's about Influenza from Britain's Health Protection Agency

Now, How About the Norwalk Virus?

Symptoms of the virus are "pretty intense,"  the virus is not known to be fatal. After symptoms abate in 24 to 48 hours, people usually remain infectious for up to 72 hours.

Wash your hands. And if you're sick, stay home!

You may not have heard of Norwalk virus, but your child has probably had it or will have it. It is not a flu virus, but when people speak of the “tummy flu,” they are often referring to a Norwalk virus infection.

Now it is becoming known as the "Cruise Ship" virus because it was the cause of many of the passengers and crews coming down with this virus during the end of 2002. 

It was recently confirmed that Norwalk can be spread through air, not just through a fecal-oral route, as previously thought

What is it?
Norwalk virus was first identified as the cause of an outbreak of gastroenteritis among children at a school in Norwalk, Ohio – and among their teachers and their families.

Norwalk virus is a significant cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in schools, day-cares, summer camps, hospitals, restaurants, and cruise ships.

It is also a significant cause of gastroenteritis in the absence of an outbreak.

In addition, Norwalk virus is a significant cause of food poisoning.

Who gets it?
Anyone can get Norwalk virus, from the nursery to the nursing home, but those at highest risk are children under 4.

Outbreaks often occur in settings where there is close contact between many children. The virus is found in stool and on hands and surfaces that have had contact with stool.

Norwalk food poisoning has most often been associated with contaminated ice, water, raw shellfish, salads, sandwiches, and cookies.

The virus is destroyed by cooking, but not by freezing

What are the symptoms?
Diarrhea and vomiting are the hallmark symptoms of Norwalk virus infection. These may be accompanied by fever, headache, muscle aches, abdominal cramps, and generally feeling crummy.

Is it contagious?
Norwalk virus is quite contagious, and may be spread via the fecal-oral route, through direct contact, through infected fomites, or through contaminated food or water.

How long does it last?
Symptoms usually begin 12 hours to 4 days after having been exposed. The illness may last for as little as a day, or as long as 2 weeks.

How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis is usually based on history and physical examination. Stool tests are available that can detect the virus.

How is it treated?
Usually, the only treatment is to prevent or treat dehydration.

Antibiotics usually make the situation worse.

How can it be prevented?
Wash hands before preparing or serving foods. Have someone else prepare the food if you have cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, or have sores on your hands.

Children, and those who care for them, should wash their hands for at least 15 seconds thoroughly before eating and after toileting.


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