With a new respiratory virus aimed at kids sweeping across America’s northeast, there’s more need than ever to start thinking about protecting ourselves from winter illness.
And while the new respiratory virus, Enterovirus D68, impacts primarily children with asthma, it in many cases requires hospitalization, raising red flags with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The virus is part of the family of viruses including the common cold, and as kids head back to school, it is spreading – fast – primarily because kids touch everything, and haven’t mastered the fine art of hygiene yet.
“It is important that we follow common sense rules to prevent the spread of this virus, as we do for flu and other contagious illnesses,” said New York state acting Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker in a statement to HealthDay. “Because there is no specific treatment or vaccination against this virus, our best defense is to prevent it by practicing proper hygiene.” (Ref. 1)
And there’s our first cue about staying healthy over the winter months
Wash, and often
Most epidemiologists say frequent hand washing – 20 seconds of vigorous rubbing with plain soap and water (not the antibacterial; it messes with our current antibiotic strains, rendering them ineffective) – is the best defense against colds and other common winter ailments, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which brings with it more than 100 years of experience. (Ref. 2)
Teach kids how to wash their hands, and for adults – especially when meeting new people - consider the new line of defense from the Harvard School of Medicine, which suggests replacing the classic handshake with an updated, modern fist bump, instead. (Ref. 3)
The advice comes after an experiment conducted by researchers at Aberystwyth University in Wales, who wanted to prove that shaking hands might be more elegant, but it exchanges a lot more germs than the fist bump.
As part of their experiment, the researchers put sterile gloves on their right hands. One dipped his gloved hand into a container filled with a E.coli bacteria laced solution, then shook hands with the other’s gloved hand. They then did a high five and a fist bump, testing the undipped glove each time.
Turns out, the shaking hands transmitted 10 times more bacteria than fist bumps, and two times more than high fives, suggesting that comedian Howie Mandell (a judge on “America’s Got Talent”) was absolutely right about skipping the handshake in favor of the fist bump to avoid germs that he fears due to severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Maybe we should all be a little OCD, at least when it comes to the handshake.
Build up your immune system
In addition to eating plenty of onions and garlic, both of which are reported to help ward off illness, do what you can to have a healthy immune system before winter’s chilly winds settle in for the season.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to help strengthen your body so it can better fight off infection.
“Don't underestimate the importance of regular activity, especially in winter,” said Dr. William Bird, medical consultant of the Meteorological Office's Health Forecast Unit, in an interview with the Daily Mail. “Apart from keeping our circulation going, regular moderate exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in our bodies.” (Ref. 3) Natural killer cells (also known as NK cells, K cells, and killer cells) are a type of lymphocyte (a white blood cell) and play a major role in containing viral infections.
Get enough sleep and less stress
A good night’s sleep can boost your immune function, while extra stress can bring it down. While winter can be a busy time, with fewer daylight hours available to tackle all those chores, keeping your cool and taking time to get enough rest can help prevent illness from making your winter days even darker.
“Moods also affect our ability to fight off infections, and if you feel stressed you are more likely to become ill compared to when you're feeling buoyant, happy and relaxed,” said Bird. (Ref. 3)
Supplements add an extra layer of protection
Boost your immune system naturally with ingredients that directly target the cells of the body and elevate your ability to ward off infection.
Our Immu-Stay supplement is specially formulated to add an extra layer of protection during times when your immune system may need an extra boost – such as the winter months when the central heat comes on, circulating stale air, and we’re spending too much time crowded together, whether shopping, traveling or riding the elevator at work.
The blend includes Echinacea, Vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, turmeric, the flavonoid quercetin, bilberry and black cumin extracts and olive leaf extract, each working in harmony to elevate immunity and act like a shield against winter illness.
What our customers are saying: “I have been taking your Immu-Stay for a few months now and have found it fantastic. So far, despite my stress levels and despite it being the middle of winter, I have not had one cold,” said Peggy M. of Australia.