Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A flu H1N1 Pandemic: 7 Lessons Learned.

Thanks to reader B- for reminding me about disclaimers.

Discalimer: I’m not a doctor and none of this is medical advice. What you read in this blog should not be considered legal or medical advice in any way.

Still ongoing and the worst is supposed to be expected in 10 days or so, which doesn’t add up with school starting in a couple more weeks. Meaning they should postpone school a bit more.
Anyway, these are a few tips learned so far.

1)Don’t go paranoid, but be a realist.
Survivalists are simply realists that prefer to stay on the side of caution. If you hear A flu reports in your city, start worrying.
Let me rephrase that. Don’t worry: Start thinking. Use your head and take logic yet conservative measures. But you do need to draw a line and make a decision. That way we decided to take serious measures weeks before those same measures were recommended by the government on TV.
This proves we didn’t overreact of do anything silly. We just did it almost 3 weeks before and stayed ahead of the herd.
The braking point for me was noticing the amount of sick people you clearly saw on the streets. Happens every winter but this time the coughing or sneezing was more noticeable, as well as clearly sick people, with fever and red eyes. The coughing is pretty different. This is in no way medical advice but my perception of things. What I mean is of course, winter means sick people and flu, but this time you could see it was different because it wasn’t a cough with loose mucus, it usually was a much drier, sickening cough. Besides, it seemed to be that everyone was sick, not just a handful of people.
Some people you just turned around and thought “Dude! Go see a doctor. That doesn’t sound right”
Also, and maybe easier to see in a more objective manner, was the way kids ins school were falling seriously sick with flu. When we stopped sending our son to school 10 kids or so were already sick, soon only half the class went and finally they had just 5 kids going to school. A couple weeks later we received an email from the school saying a kid and school worker had died.
2) Get your supplies right away. Disposable paper napkins, alcohol gel hand sanitizer (lots of it) as well as small bottles for the pocket or purse. Also remember the respirators. 3M 8210 are N95 and they are the most popular respirator world wide. Learn to wear it well. When you breathe in you should feel it suck against your face.

3M 8511 Particulate Sanding Respirator N95, Valve 10-Pack
The 8210 models are for medium and large faces. The model 8200 is for smaller faces. There are other models too. Find one that fits you well before buying quantity.
The ones with a valve wont prevent a sick person from spreading the virus but having used both I can tell you, the valve does work and makes one heck of a difference.
With mild physical activity the regular respirator quickly makes you notice the lack of fresh air. This can even be dangerous for people with asthma and cardiac conditions. Just another reason to stay healthy at all times.
Do whatever you can to get Tamiflu and antibiotics for treating pneumonia, also ibuprofen and Paracetamol, both for adults and kids. If in bad shape, stick to Paracetamol (Tylenol) to control the fever. Have a couple spare thermometers as well.
ONe thing they keep saying on TV:
About antibiotics: Amoxicilin may or may not work. Clarithromycin seems to be more effective for atypical pneumonia.
Don't take meds without asking a doctor first. I have my kids doc phone number and he's the one that told me what to give him and in which quantities. He's the one that gave me the order for my son’s x-ray and said it was pneumonia, gave me the antibiotic.
I already had it and used his order to rotate, but its important not to use drugs until the doc tells you so. Still, know what each drug does, READ a lot, in case a doctor is not available. ( I found a small clinic where tehre was very few people, in and out and bak to the doc's house with it).
The X ray showed lots of white lines, spòts and strands, something I had seen before in my own x-ray when I had pneumonia.
Get the book "Where there's No Doctor"
3) Don’t forget natural methods to control fever. Getting in the bathtub with warm water and slowly adding cold water until your body temp drops. A wet cloth on the forehead, keeping neck, arms and wrists wet, to control the fever.
4) Shave. The respirator wont seal as well if you have a beard.
5) Use the respirators when in contact with possibly sick people (bus, classroom, waiting rooms and other places were people are packed close to one another)
Draw the line. At least here, when the authorities decide to do something, it’s usually too late. Decide for yourself when it’s time to stop sending the kids to school, use those vacation days or call in sick.
As I mentioned before, at first when I used the respirator people looked at me weird, a few days later they ask where did you get it, because they can’t find any respirators for themselves.
People behave like sheep, Cows would be more fitting. They are slow to react, slow to calm down, and don’t remember things for long. Last week you could see people on the streets with masks and respirators, not many but probably half a dozen. Now that the peak point is getting even closer, people have dropped down the guard.
6) Wash hands a lot. The most common form of catching it seems to be touching infected surfaces and objects and taking that to the face. That’s why its so important to wash hands thoroughly after touching anything: Specially doors, money and all surfaces in public places. For this you’ll need a generous supply of alcohol based hand sanitizer.

Jumbo Size Hand Sanitizer Gel in Pump Bottle. Contains Moisturizers & Vitamin E. 62% Ethyl Alcohol. 67.6 Fl Oz/2 Litres.

Provon Alcohol Gel Purell With Aloe 2 Ounce - Case of 24
7)Bug in. This is also recommended a lot and sure is an effective alternative if viable for you. Stay indoors and avoid contact with people as much as possible. This will logically require for 4 months of supplies, including food but also household products and items you use during normal life. You’ll need a variety of food to keep a healthy diet and keep that immune system top notch.
Have entertainment as well, specially for the kids that really suffer these quarantines.



lynnaea said...

FerFAL - is your son okay? I hope he recovered quickly.

Bones said...

Off topic but I thought you would love to hear this - I was just talking to a guy who is an Air Marshal for the Department of Homeland Security. His duty weapon: a Sig Sauer semi auto in ... you guessed it .357 Sig. I asked him if they use any special ammo for use onboard an aircraft. He just smiled and said "hollow points". Looks like you aren't the only one who likes .357 sig.

Don Williams said...

Hey, Ferfal, after I posed my review of your book at Amazon, someone put it for sale for a mere $2,399.99!

Plus $3.99 for shipping.

Don Williams said...

My wife's grandfather caught the 1918 Spanish flu here in Pennsylvania back around WWI. He almost died.

My wife's mother said that his sisters had told her that he was saved when relatives held him upside down and had him cough strongly to clear his lungs. (He was having trouble breathing. I believe they also hit his back.) They said a lot of phlegm flowed out of his lungs into the wash basin.

This account is re things that happened almost 90 years ago and was passed down across multiple generations , so I don't know if it has medical validity. But might be something to try if someone you know seems to be drowning from fluid in the lungs.

I've heard EMTs use something call a bag mask valve to help keep patients breathing while transporting them to the hospital.

However, my understanding is that you need some training from a doctor in how to use it to avoid making the patient worse (forcing air into their stomach instead of into their lungs can make them vomit.) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bag_valve_mask

FerFAL said...

Lynnaea, he's ok now, thanks for asking.:)
He went through a few ugly days, a lot of fever and it hard very hard to stop.
Agian, he's fine now.

Bones, a lot of people like 357 SIG, the secret serivce also uses 357 SIG. I think they use Gold Dots.
Don, yes dude, I saw that ! Kind of expensive:-P


Anonymous said...

Posting from US.
Two observations. 1.) Reports out that state a large number of US AirForce Academy freshman, who are beginning their initial summer training at the academy(large, gepgraphically diverse population in close proximity to each other 24/7)have been diagnosed with H1N1.
2.) I would like to get some Tamiflu but realistically don't see that happening. As an alternative I am stockpiling Sambucus Black Elder Berry Extract manufactured by Nature's Answer.

Joseph said...

Don Williams (and everyone)....

It's called a bag valve mask. And no, you should not use it on someone without being trained. It is possible to force air into a patient's stomach, causing him/her to vomit and inhale the vomit, resulting in aspiration pneumonia, which is very bad. If you want to use medical devices, get medical training. ( I was a paramedic, once upon a time)

Bones said...

@anonymous - If herbal extracts worked doctors would prescribe them. Your post looks to me like a blatant attempt at selling a particular product. Please go spam somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

De Mercola's site has a number of suggestions. Go to www.mercola.com and type in flu

Remember how hungry and malnourished so many people are in Argentina? Remember how the people were literally slaughtering cows in the street, that had fallen off of a truck?

The people in Argentina are deprived of so much fresh food and may also be Vitamin D deficient.

I have read that it is Vit D deficiency that influences the spread of flu. Therefore, so much of flu is a problem in the winter when people are especially Vitamin D deficient (lack of sun)
Hope that helps.

Maybe someone could list food sources of Vitamin d? To me, cod liver oil comes to mind, there must be many other foods as well.

Bones said...


As a health care professional it's clear to me that you are a layperson who lacks the education and background to objectively evaluate the claims made on that website. Certainly good nutrition is important but the products sold on that website will not make up for nutritional deficiencies borne from extreme poverty. I sincerely doubt that any extremely poor, starving people in Argentina even have internet access much less money to waste on snake oil. It's also inaccurate for you to characterize ALL Argentinians as so starved as to be immunocompromised. While your concern is commendable you aren't helping anyone by recommending products that lack support of research published in respectable medical journals.

Anonymous said...


re: Elder berry extract

Actually I am a US Naval Officer and a cancer survivor. My particular cancer is a highly recurring type and I have had no recurrances in the 7 years since my diagnoses and treatment. My very open minded treating MD has had me on a variety of supplements to enhance my immune system. I'm not doctor but the supplments have worked for me. As I was dicussing Swine flu with him the other day He--the MD--recommended the elder berry prodict I referred to. He even spontaneously grabbed his gym bag and showed me his bottle of the stuff. I simply chose to share this alternative with Ferfal and his following as a sort of payback for all the advice I have taken action on from this site.
Don't be such a wanker.

Anonymous said...

From a physician:


if you can't get the link, go to mercola.com, type in flu, look for Dr John Cannell.

Norcal said...


This website explained so much to me--

Like so many parents, i thought my son's autism was only from the vaccines

After reading and studying this site and others, i think he was---

l. Vitamin D deficient
2. Reacted to the shots (due in part to Vit D deficiency)
3. Autism ensued

This website taught me so much. Now he's on Vit D supplements and doing so much better :)

Anonymous said...

This blog and its readers are awesome. I'm learning so much valuable information here! Thanks, everyone!

A key to avoiding H1N1 is developing good habits. So, lately I've been consciously avoiding touching my face. In a few months, when H1N1 will be more prevalent and perhaps dangerous where I live in N America, those good habits will be set in stone.

Do they work now to lock in good habits.

Bones said...

People, the point is that you need controlled scientific studies that have been subjected to critical review to prove something truly works. Everything else is just opinion. For instance, echinacea has been proven NOT to work yet it is still sold based on "research" that hasn't passed scientific review. Opinions indeed.

All of you have cited either anecdote, a single doctor's advice or websites that appears to be geared toward selling supplements. While you may feel these alternative treatments are beneficial, please recognize that the information cited does not constitute proof due to of lack of scientific review.

I'm not even saying there isn't any truth to any of the claims, merely that they are unproven. The first rule for detecting b*llsh*t online is this: are they selling something?

The real danger here is that someone could take these claims so seriously as to ignore medical advice that IS based on empirical data. Common sense. If that makes me a wanker so be it - I'll be glad to bear the title.

Anonymous said...

For the latest H1N1 Swine Flu news & Information go here:


This flu is NOT mild. It kills healthy as well as those with health issues.

Don said...

I suppose I'm going to sound like the skeptic, but didn't I read some while back about how your family came down ill anyway when your son brought the bug home from school?

That sort of makes hand sanitizer and N95 masks seem a bit irrelevant.

I know there's a contingent of readers here that swear by their herbal remedies. But I am someone that used to regularly suffer bronchitis and occasionally pneumonia, and regular vaccinations have made a world of difference for me.

For Americans, who can expect a vaccine available by the time flu season arrives in earnest, getting a flu shot is likely to be the most valuable prep you can make with regard to H1N1 flu. Actually, getting your children vaccinated is at the top of the list, just in front of yourself.

When I started having my school-age child vaccinated, the number of annual doctor visits plummeted for our family.

Some of your other comments seem right on the money to me. Having Tylenol and Ibuprofen on hand when you are weak and shouldn't be going out--that makes good sense. Having supplies and food on hand so you can make things to eat without having to go out shopping--that makes sense. Expecting to avoid the flu... well sure, I'll try to plan to do that, but there's no question in my mind that the vaccination is the best bet on that front.

FerFAL said...

My son most likely had A H1N1 flu because of the symptoms and because kids in his school had it as well. Very high fever, diarrhea, headache, and later pneumonia. I had pneumonia but I’ve had it before as well, this time wasn’t the worst and I doubt this time it was A flu.
Still, my wife and baby didn’t get sick, so there’s still enough reasons to play it safe.


Anonymous said...


sorry man, lack of a scientific review doesn't make a product not work either. Somehow humanity survived for millions of years without big pharma. I'll bet you have spent almost all of your life in the US or on a US base abroad - it makes people myopic. Much of the world lives quite well without tons of pharmaceuticals. Most people with the longest lifespans (and best health) live OUTSIDE the U.S. The most obese population? The U.S. What an unhealthy culture despite the access to great hospitals, some of the best doctors and tons of pharmaceuticals.

Sounds like YOU are the shill for evil big pharma, but since you're here and reading the site we can give you a pass and say you're a cool guy like most of the folks around here.

Fact is, the military-industrial complex (thanks, Eisenhower!) and big pharma exist to make profit and increase their spheres of influence. They are not here to help you or me. If they can't create a patent and turn a big profit, they bash products and sanction doctors. For instance, our son's pediatrician confided that he gets hounded by a review board if he doesn't push vaccines on babies. He believes in giving kids vaccines and asks us what shots we want to give our son when we bring him, but if we say "no, not today" he accepts that. He knows that some vaccines are potentially dangerous for children and is a very reasonable person. Have we gotten a few vaccines for our son? Yes, but we didn't do any in the first year.

Doctors are also under pressure from reps from big pharma to push certain drugs and write certain prescriptions. They can win prizes and vacations if they pass a certain amount of scripts on their patients.

BTW, several of my docs (yes, anecdotal) have said to take elderberry. If it works for some people, then let them take it.