As the temperatures turn cooler, most people spend more time indoors. Being in such closed quarters has some disadvantages: it makes it easier to spread annoying cold and flu viruses, those unwanted guests that show up in the late fall and winter. Unfortunately, there’s no medication, like an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections, which can “cure” a virus. Antibiotics are effective only against bacteria, not infections caused by viruses.
Even getting a yearly flu vaccine is no guarantee you won’t come down with the flu or develop a flu complication. The seasonal influenza vaccine protects against some but not all strains of flu viruses. Most of the respiratory infections people get are caused by viruses, including flu and the common cold. Most people think seasonal influenza is just a minor inconvenience that confines them to bed for a few days but flu can be a serious or even fatal infection.
How serious is flu? According to the World Health organization, 5 to 10% of adults contract seasonal influenza each year. Children have an even higher rate of infection of between 20 and 30%. Death rates annually from seasonal influenza range from a low of 250,000 to a high of 500,000. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself against the flu virus and other serious forms of viral and bacterial infection.
The Best Defense against Viral Infections – Your Immune System
The most important factor that determines whether you’ll succumb to a nasty cold or influenza is the ability of your immune system to fight it off. A strong immune system is your number one defense against viral attack. If you think about it, you’re exposed to bacteria and viruses every day. What keeps you from getting sick each time a virus or bacteria enters your body? A powerful immune system. Of course, it also helps if you take commonsense precautions like washing your hands regularly and staying away from people who are sick. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to avoid viruses, no matter how many precautions you take. That’s why you need the “back-up” support a healthy immune system offers.
When your immune system is healthy and balanced, it can recognize and destroy not only viruses and bacteria but cancer cells. One of your body’s first line of defense against viruses is known as the cell-mediated immune response. This response involves an interplay between two types of “T” cells called CD4 and CD8. CD4 cells, also known as helper cells, recognize a foreign invader like a virus and alert CD8 cells, known as killer cells, as to the location of the invader. By their name, it’s not hard to imagine what the CD8 cells do. These cells bravely surround the virus and destroy it.
For the cell-mediated immune response to be effective there must be enough active CD4 and CD8 cells available. A number of factors can reduce CD4 cells and upset the balance. For example, some drugs block production of CD4 cells as can any form of stress placed on your body. Plus, as we age CD4 cells decline in number. That’s why older people are more likely to develop complications or die from viral infections like influenza.
Make Immune Health a Priority
You can’t always control the world around you. Each day people at work, stores and restaurants cough and sneeze, sending viruses into the air you breathe. You have to depend on your immune system to protect you. How can you keep it healthy? Good nutrition, getting enough sleep at night and finding ways to manage stress is a good start. Supplements to help balance and strengthen your immune system provide another level of defense against cold and flu viruses. If you’re too busy to get sick, make caring for the health of your immune system a top priority.
If you are serious about making your immune system a top priority you must start taking BioPro-Plus™ Supplements.
-Alternative Health Concepts
World Health Organization. “Influenza: Seasonal”