|H spike is blue; n spike is red
Seasonal Influenza (flu) taken from
CDC website here
Catherine J. Frompovich
Did you ever wonder what’s going on with all those viruses and the numbers attached to them? Since everyone at the U.S. CDC/FDA seems to be gearing up for a new pandemic virus out of China, the H7N9, perhaps we ought to become acquainted with the numerous strains of viruses.
First, what do the letters in a virus ‘name’ represent, i.e., the “H” and the “N”? Both represent glycoproteins HA and NA, which are hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, spike-like protrusions on the flu virus surface, which are responsible for attachment and ‘invasion’.
There is quite a roster of glycoproteins: 16 HAs and 9 NAs that can or may have the same hosts. However, we have to keep in mind that influenza viruses also have type classifications, viz., A, B, and C. Type C is the mildest; B, which primarily infects humans, can be a real ‘sickie’ but it will never produce type A, which is the pandemic strain.
Now to a listing of glycoproteins, which may be helpful in understanding virus ‘speak’.
H4, H5, H6, H8, H10 through H16 all have the same host: birds
N3, N4, N5, N6, and N9 all have the same host: birds
N 7 and N8 have the same hosts: horses and birds
H3 hosts: birds, humans, pigs, horses
H7 hosts: birds, horses, humans
H9 hosts: birds, humans
Notation should be made that influenza A has 144 subtypes that can ‘cross contaminate each other’. Subtypes H5, H7, and H9 can infect humans. Cats, minks, seals, and whales also can be infected with influenza A viruses. Influenza B has no subtype viruses but, apparently, it has been found in seals.
Furthermore, viruses can mutate and cause new strains. Reassortment, as that is called, results in mutated viruses which can reside in, or be hosted by, multiple hosts—both human and animal.
Much is underway at the U.S. CDC/FDA in preparation for an anticipated new pandemic strain. Seed viruses have been obtained from China and given to pharmaceutical makers to produce a new pandemic flu vaccine. Since there’s been no apparent human experience with H7N9 that would establish some sort of immunity experience, what can a person do in view of a possible ‘fall offensive’ regarding a probable newly-declared pandemic?
The best course of action, which seems prudent, would be to start reinforcing your immune system now by building up enough reserves of natural vitamin D from outdoor exercise in the sunshine. However, be careful about using sunscreen with toxic chemicals in them. Eat plenty of fresh, locally-grown, non-genetically modified fruits and vegetables—plenty of fresh vegetable and fruit salads, in particular. Be careful with the oil. Remember, canola oil is genetically modified. Organically grown olive oil, with freshly squeezed lemon and several dashes of dried dill weed, freshly ground Himalayan Pink Salt, plus some Cayenne pepper make a totally satisfying and refreshing salad dressing that complements any summer salad.
Fresh corn-on-the-cob needs to be rethought, I think, since about 90 percent of the USA corn crop is genetically modified, i.e., bt-corn, which may reproduce bt in the human intestinal tract. Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology has a great presentation about that very issue. See IRT’s website about bt-corn here.
Warm weather prompts ice cream breaks more often than not. Instead, indulge in luscious, ice cold watermelon. Your kidneys and waistline will thank you, plus you will not be adding extra weight from all the fats and sugars—plus chemicals—in ice cream, gelato, sherbet, popsicles, and shakes.
Now, when the living is easy—summertime—prepare your immune system to withstand whatever viruses may come your way during the 2013-2014 flu season. When a body doesn’t have healthful nutrition, it becomes a target for colds and flu. Influenza was defeated not by vaccines, but by plenty healthful nutrition, proper sanitation, and refrigeration of food. Let’s not forget that the first flu vaccine was given in 1956, long after the infamous 1918 flu statistics that officials like to trot out every flu season. What generally is not known is that most 1918 deaths were from pneumonia, not the actual influenza virus. Let’s hope H7N9 is a dud just like the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, which didn’t pan out. It’s four years later, though, and who knows what’s been afoot!
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Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies.
Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008).