Monday, October 11, 2010

Preventing Viruses

No one likes getting a cold or the flu.  Generally, people are advised to wash their hands diligently and to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth unless hands are clean.  Hand sanitizers have been found to be even more effective than handwashing to remove rhinovirus germs in laboratory conditions.

Dr. Ronald B. Turner and his researchers of the University of Virginia established this fact.  Dr. Turner and his researchers have recently found that hand sanitizers did not statistically reduce actual transmission of cold and flu virus with regular use in real world conditions.  The experiment had 116 volunteers use a sanitizer with enhanced antiviral activity every three hours while they were awake and doing their regular routines.  A second group of 96 volunteers followed their usual routines.  Both groups were tracked for ten weeks.  Specimens testing for flu and rhinovirus were taken once a week and additional specimens were taken if a volunteer complained of flu or cold symptoms.

Sanitizer users developed 12 flu infections and 42 cases of rhinovirus per 100 study participants.  The second group had 15 flu infections and 51 rhinovirus cases per 100 participants.  Hand sanitizers did not offer statistically significant protection.  The researchers concluded that hand transmission of viral germs is less important in catching the flu or a cold than originally thought.

Ayurveda likens a viral germ to a seed and our body is the soil.  A seed can only take root if the soil is a hospitable environment.  Therefore, if the body is weakened by poor sleep, poor digestion, emotional stress or any other body stress, then the viral seed can take root.  A strong, healthy body is not a place for the virus to grow.  We are bombarded by germs everyday, and the best defense is to keep ourselves balanced.

I think it is important to practice good hygiene.  However, it is even more important to maintain the health of your body.  The change of seasons can be hard on the body.  Now we are transitioning to the Fall/Winter season and we shoud try to take extra care of our bodies.  Hoping you stay sniffle free.

Stay healthy &well,

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