No quick fix for the virus of the week!

Posted by on 02 July, 2010

Stomach cramps, headache, aches and pains and sore throat. That seems to be about the scope of the virus of the week. It’s a nasty one, for sure and I have the deepest sympathy for anyone struck down by it.

So this week I have had a higher than usual number of people coming in for ‘something to just get rid of it.’ Usually the something my patients have in mind is a script for antibiotics or perhaps a new medication slipped into the market while nobody was looking that can knock viruses on the head. By the way if such a breakthrough happened overnight while I was asleep, I want SHARES in the company and am prepare to pay up!

Viruses are still elusive to cure. Not only do they live inside a cell, making cell hari-kari part of the antiviral strategy, but they change so rapidly that as soon as you’ve nailed one, you have to nail three more. We have vaccines against influenza but not these other foul cold viruses.

Being told you have a virus is not being dismissed by your doctor. And in fact I have LOADS of advice for virus sufferers to nail the malady. Your immune system will sort you out eventually but you can give it a helping hand;

  1. Sleep. An immediate AND long term immune booster. You know how when you have a virus you want to curl up and fall asleep? That’s a pretty loud press release from your body that you need to sleep- listen to it!
  2. Stay home. No-one is indispensible and the more the viral pool at work grows by everyone bringing in and sharing their collective germs, the sicker everyone becomes exponentially.
  3. Chicken soup. In almost every culture chicken soup is used to treat viruses. Scientific studies have now backed up the immune boosting properties of chicken soup- although not HIGH quality studies, they’ll do me.
  4. Exercise. Rule of thumb- symptoms above the neck (headache, sore throat) go for it… below the neck (stomach cramps, cough) give it a rest. Regular exercise is an immune booster.
  5. Zinc and Echinacea…. Studies are OK, far from conclusive. But not much to lose.
This advice is often greeted with glazed eyes, irritation or skepticism. Or more likely ‘Can I just have a script for antibiotics anyway?’

I am a leaf upon the water! ‘You know, I sense your frustration but that would just be doing the wrong thing by you.’

Can someone please just ask for a haemorrhoid check or toenail fungus examination?