The “flu”……What role can we play?

It’s been interesting listening and watching as “experts” try and explain the issues behind what has been a disastrous vaccination results in Australia.
The news each evening has the usual media beat-up where we are all going to die as this dangerous, mutating virus envelopes us all.
But what have we been telling our patients?

For instance, are we aware that there’s an echinacea product shown to be as effective as Tamiflu (check Braun & Cohen…..pharmacists demand evidence)?

Do we explain the importance of hand washing and daily nasal irrigation with isotonic saline that has no preservative?

What immune function supportive combinations do we have in our armoury that we can confidently inform our patients about – not reactively but proactively?

We seem to be unable to play an active role in this viral attack, other than dispensing anti-virals and antibiotics or making a sale of some vitamin C or something similar.

What an opportunity we seem to be passing up!

Sure, we have anti-virals on our shelves – that’s a potential sale. But do we hold the vitamin C, whilst explaining the benefits – that’s engagement – and it adds responsibility, ethics and professionalism into the discussion.

We know more about viral infections than ever before. Our patients actually don’t. Patients assume that a prescribed antibiotic fixes everything – that’s part and parcel of brilliant medical marketing and shareholder returns.

The patient outcome seems almost incidental, even though the World Health Organization announced last year that antibiotic resistance is the biggest threat to mankind. Let’s take some responsibility here.

Antiviral herbs boost the immune system, and work as natural flu remedies. The evidence behind that statement is overwhelming. Our patients want to know more about these gentle remedies.

We are coming to the end of the ‘flu “season”, but viral infections don’t have seasons. Strictly isotonic saline that does not contain a preservative cleans the most common virus entry point – the nasal mucosa. Keeping this barrier moist and efficient seems logical.

Let’s polish up our reading, get engaged with our patients and play our role – it’s a privilege to do that.

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