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How to beat swine flu without the vaccine

(20 Posts)
Alina77 Thu 29-Oct-09 17:13:18

Hi Girls, after all the talk about not being able to get a safe form of swine flu vaccine (I won't have Pandremix either!), I decided to stay positive despite having to travel into London on public transport for the next 8 weeks until I go on maternity leave!

Is there anyone else determined "not to catch it" despite all odds and wants to share her strategies?

There should be plenty of ways to boost your immune system, fight the bugs with hygiene measures and last but not least a positive mental attitude to keep the stress levels in check (I personally think panicking about swine flu itself must be lowering your body's defences!)

Any ideas welcome!

BertieBotts Thu 29-Oct-09 17:24:26

Well firstly we have all had swine flu in this house and have been fine - if you do get it just rest rest rest and don't panic.

Echinacea boosts your immune system, but I don't think you can take it while pregnant. Vitamin C also helps the immune system though and is safe - even if you just make sure you're eating plenty of fruit and veg.

JuliaGulia Thu 29-Oct-09 19:04:54

Hi Alina77 - I like your positive thinking!

I am in a very similar position to you - 8 weeks left commuting into London before mat leave begins and I'm still undecided on the vaccine.

So - I've told many people in the office of my decision not to have the jab for the time being so everyone is careful around me with cold/coughs etc. I also use alcohol gel ALL the time - when I arrive in at work, everytime I go past the machine pretty much. I also carry my own around in my bag for use of public transport - just in case. When people sneeze near me I've handed them a tissue and said it's for my benefit - not there's (this makes them feel nice and guilty and hopefully more considerate in the future!) My Baby on Board badge tends to explain my usually forward approach.

I've started drinking alot of orange juice and upping my intake of fresh fruit veg.

Also before we see family and friends we make sure that none of them have got any potential symptoms - just in case. It sounds harsh but we've cancelled on some people just because we could do without the worry.

Good luck!

whensmydayoff Thu 29-Oct-09 19:49:28

Im with all 3 of you on this. Wouldn't touch vaccine. Would be scared to take relenza too but not sure.

I was very careful at first, hand gel over load and diving to the ground at a near by sneeze! Then it just seemed to fade from the papers and tv a bit and I relaxed.

I now have had a horrible cold and sinus pain for 2 weeks which I can't shift and seems to be getting worse, which isn't like me and it's reminded me of how low our immune systems are - worried again.

Im having a halloween party for my 2 yr old on saturday so loads of snotty faces coming - and bringing their kids, ha! Dreading it now, if I get any worse I will be spending last 10 weeks of this PG in bed!

Im interested to read your ideas juliaGulia. I have wanted to be like you but scared of people thinking I was OTT but your right to be strong with them. Everyone is so casual about it but then they are not PG.

My Mil has booked tickets for a busy xmas panto and also a seperate xmas party for my 2 yr old DS in Dec and now I feel I want to tell her he can't go to either with the baby due a few weeks later - does that sound mad?
It's really worrying me.

Alot of people have commented on swimming pools being the worst place. I was a bit confused, surely with all the chemicals in the pool it's pretty sterile or am I being thick?

bertiebotts were you PG with confirmed swine flu? Did you take relenza?

Anyway, im going on a bit - been bothering me today because I feel so ill. This is supposed to be positive thinking so I suppose my point is, all of your tactics will help as I was fine until I stopped all the extra precautions so keep them up. x

BertieBotts Thu 29-Oct-09 20:10:03

Sorry, my post wasn't very clear - I actually didn't get it very badly. I was not pg but DS had just turned 1 (he was ill on his birthday ) - DS and DP both got chest infections leading from it which they both had antibiotics for, DP hadn't taken any time off work so I think it was stress with him and you can't make a small child rest. I didn't have any complications at all and didn't take anything for it. Though we weren't sure whether I had had it the GP thought DP and DS definitely had.

Hope that makes sense!

Qally Thu 29-Oct-09 20:10:46

Swimming pools are pits of disease. My mother has an immune system blood cancer and she isn't able to use public pools, ever. If you want to avoid germs this winter, pools are a good place to start.

tostaky Thu 29-Oct-09 21:56:47

i make my own orange + lemon juice + tsp of honey every morning - that way i get vitamin C + honey has antibacterial property so it'seven better.
I dont use the gel but i wash my hands as soon as i get home or get in the office.
Thats pretty much it.
Im going to the pool, I commute everyday in london and my DS is at nursery (and im 18 weeks PG). i try not to worry too much wink and i wont have the flu jab either.

BiscuitStuffer Fri 30-Oct-09 09:04:00

Turmeric and manuka honey have antiviral properties. I have been told by a few people including someone qualified in african medicine, if you feel something coming on, mix a teaspoon of turmeric with a teaspoon of manuka honey (UMF 10+ is ok) with juice of half a lemon and grated fresh ginger the length of your little finger. drink it like a shot and repeat every 2-4 hours for the first day and it should knock it on the head. Add water to the mix if you need to.

Josie22 Fri 30-Oct-09 09:57:00

Good positive thread Alina77!

I am not going to have Pandemrix either. Am 21+2 and mildly astmatic. I also have to travel on tubes everyday and practically flinch whenever anyone near me coughs blush! I wish people would cover there mouths/noses more when coughing/sneezing and open the windows on tubes so that they don't get so stuffy.

I have upped my fruit and veg and am averaging about 6/7 portions a day. Take a Zita West multivitamin too which has huge quantities of vits etc in. Also, constant handwashing especially when I get to work/home and try and avoid touching door handles etc. Also try and avoiding touching face at all with unwashed hands.

Have been thinking about taking Manuka honey too so might write down biscuitstuffer's recipe. Sounds like a nice drink if you're feeling ill anyway.

Whenmydayoff - I sympathsize with you. I caught a cold that turned into sinus infection and ended up having 2 days in bed as could barely see straight. My docor told me to try pouring luke warm salty water (with a pinch of bicarb) into my nose to wash my sinuses out. I couldn't cope with the idea so can't vouch for it personally but she said it works.

fiziwizzle Fri 30-Oct-09 10:10:20

Great thread. I don't have any inspiring ideas to add as so far my strategy has been to hide my head firmly in the sand. But clearly eating well and trying not to worry have to be good things

blushes Fri 30-Oct-09 10:48:58

I probably will have the vaccine (I'm 27 weeks), but in the mean time am staying on my guard.

I keep my alcohol gel to hand and use it whenever I've been on public transport etc.

I also wear a light neck scarf and wrap that over my mouth and nose if someone is sneezing or coughing near me on the bus. My midwife gave me this tip as an alternative to wearing a mask- something I'd feel a bit daft doing!

And when swine flu broke out in my office, I worked from home for a few days (luckily I have an understanding employer).

whensmydayoff Tue 03-Nov-09 13:46:13

Great tips tostaky and BiscuitStuffer. Have written down and stuck on fridge.

That's a worry Qally. I didn't know that. I swim on Tuesdays, do aqaunatal on wednesday then take DS to swimming lessons on Thursdays - no wonder ive been so ill, I spend all my time in public pools!
I hope your mum is ok. x

Winetimeisfinetime Tue 03-Nov-09 13:59:59

I seen quite a bit of info on the net saying that vitamin D is helpful in preventing Swine Flu - there's something here but lots of other places mention it too.

I'm not sure if it is safe to take as a supplement whilst pregnant though.

Josie22 Tue 03-Nov-09 16:32:12

Winetime - am taking 1000iu of Vitamin D in my zita west supps which is 500% RDA so must be safe. Have just googled vitamin d3 and pregnancy and got some very positive results as apparently it can also help prevent pre eclampsia, reduce risk of premature birth and increase health of newborn baby...amongst lots of other positive things. Worth a google if you are interested as also lots came up about the RDA being set far too low.

beaufies Tue 03-Nov-09 17:45:16

Hi Ladies

Loving this post. I don't have much to add yet as I've only just found out I'm pregnant so it wasn't an issue for me before but I definately won't be having the vaccine. Too new and relatively untested.

I will be thoroughly researching this though as I am a holistic therapist and there are always other things you can do. Biscuitstuffers recipe seems like a good starting point as does making sure you are optimally nourished. If that means taking stacks of supplements, as I do, so be it.

I've also heard that gargling with salt water or Listerine and wiping out nostrils with it is also good for killing off the virus before it takes hold.

I have contacted my homeopath today too.

I'll be back when I have more info...

Messing Tue 03-Nov-09 18:02:32

I would def agree about having a positive attitude and not getting too stressed... easier said than done with media scaremongering, I know.

I take a probiotic (yakult or danone) every morning, fairly easy way to boost the immune system a little. I also have hot lemon with manuka honey. Didn't know about turmeric, may try that too.

Technoprisoners Wed 04-Nov-09 07:11:10


Get as much of it as you can. Even more important in winter - on a cold, sunny winter's day, wrap up warm and get out in it for as long as you can - expose your face to the sun (no SPFs on your face, either).

The best advice I can give you.

beaufies Sat 07-Nov-09 12:28:00

Take lots of vitamin C - you would need to take high strength supplements to get enough. It is safe for pregnancy but inhospitable for viruses. Also try this soup recommended by Patrick Holford...

"Chop up two large red onions. These are high in quercitin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that stops you sniffling and snuffling.
Press three garlic cloves – one per serving.
Sauté in a little coconut oil, but don’t burn.
Chop up six carrots and three sweet potatoes or a butternut squash. These are loaded with beta-carotene.
Add to the onions and garlic and pour in enough boiling water to just cover.
Add in loads of fresh, chopped ginger – literally a whole small bulb.
Add in a teaspoon of turmeric. Both ginger and turmeric are powerful infection fighters.
Add in a quarter teaspoon of cayenne, depending on your taste for spicy foods.
Bring to the boil and simmer.
Once the carrots and sweet potato are soft (15 mins max) add in a chopped up red pepper, high in vitamin C, and half a cup of coconut milk. Shake the can well so it’s creamy.
You’re aiming for a thick soup. Now puree, ideally with a hand held blender, and serve, perhaps with a couple of oatcakes or a slice of pumpernickel bread"

It actually sounds quite nice

whomovedmychocolatecookie Sat 07-Nov-09 12:36:37

OP - you should have a look at the national flu survey, it suggests that travelling on public transport does not actually increase your risk of contracting flu at all. Being in contact with children does but not going on a bus or train.

Probably because actually we are more conscious of the germ potential on trains etc. but will happily cuddle or kiss urchins without considering what little petri dishes they are

Furthermore, exercise is known to help your immune system and ensure that if you do succumb to a respiratory infection, you will have more lung capacity so hopefully will see it off without suffering too much.

Good luck all of you with your pregnancies.

BrigitBigKnickers Sat 07-Nov-09 13:28:01

I would second the vit C thing.
DD1 and DH had swine flu in the summer.

We all took high doses (adults 1000mg and the DDs 500mg per day) of vit c for a week. DD2 and I didn't catch it (and I was the one tending to the sick) and DD and DH got over it within 4 days.

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