Ways to Keep Yourself From Getting Sick from Avian or any type of Flu

No one likes to be lying in bed unable to move while being sick with the flu or cold. Being sick can ruin a weekend of activities, reduce a paycheck, and be a cause for one of the most miserable moments in your life. Although many people fear sickness of any kind, there is little that some of them do to prevent it. There are many things you can do in order to keep yourself from getting sick regardless of seasonal circumstances.

1. Hand Washing – Washing your hands on a regular basis can help reduce the chances of catching a variety of sicknesses. As we handle many items throughout the day, you never know what ailments are being carried by those who are seemingly well. You don’t have to show signs of being sick if you are a carrier of a virus.

2. Antibacterial Lotions – If you are unable to wash your hands, having a small bottle of antibacterial lotion within reach can help you from getting sick. The small-sized bottles you can get can put one in your purse, coat pocket, car door, or anywhere else that you frequent that doesn’t have access to a sink.

3. Eating Healthy – By subjected yourself with a healthy diet of foods, you can stave off sickness. Although you may eat throughout the day, are you sure that you are getting the nutrients your body needs in order to remain healthy? Another method to employ in the kitchen is keeping your cooking surfaces clean by using disinfectant wipes or cleaners. We recommend these premium microalgae supplements as the most powerful broad spectrum nutritional boost.

4. Vitamins – Consuming vitamin supplements can keep your body regulated. If you are unsure what vitamins and minerals are present in your food, vitamins could be a great addition to your diet.

5. Air Purifiers – If someone in the home is sick, having a purifier in the bedroom with them can help keep others in the home from getting sick as well. A purifier could also help in the recovery of the one who is sick by providing a cleaner oxygen level within the room. Ionizers work great at removing organisms in the air as well are unwanted smells and particulates.

6. Laundry – Regularly washing your clothing can help in limiting the chances of getting sick. Wearing clothes repeatedly, regardless of how the smell or look, could house a variety of bacteria trying to work their way into your system.

While you may be able to take a few days off from work, being sick shouldn’t be cause for celebration. Promoting healthy habits can keep you from experiencing the miserable feelings from being sick, and it could give you the energy you need to last throughout your day at work. Take care of your body, and it will take care of you.

Pro-Vaccine Shills Continue To Insult Us As Even More People Share Stories Of Crippling Side Effects From The H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine

One thing that we have learned since we started this website is that those who are totally sold out to the current medical establishment can be extremely insulting and abusive.  In most cases, rather than respond to our articles with science they choose to respond to us with insults.  For example, Meg, who describes herself as a “Grad Student and Anti-Idiocy Advocate” recently left a comment on our site in which she was very clear how she feels about us: “You obviously do not know how to differentiate between scholarly articles and crap you read on the Internet. You are an imbecile.”  Another commenter named Bill was much more succinct: “I see crazy people.”  Quite a few commenters on this site have also accused us of fearmongering.  For instance, an anonymous commenter who only is only identified as “Research” posted this: “Can you stop the fear-mongering? It’s good to question the government but spreading this bull is just causing good people to believe this stupidity.”  Ouch.  But as the pro-vaccine crowd continues to insult us, the reality is that even more readers have come forward with stories about how their lives have been dramatically impacted by the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

The following are just a few of those stories….


A member of my extended family is in hospital at the moment, paralyzed and fighting Guillain Barre. An ordinary person, with an ordinary life. Probably wouldn’t have dreamed in a million years this would happen; probably would have taken the shot anyway. But the point is that sometimes the ‘collateral damage’ is YOU.


Well my wife and I along with my two children decided to get the vaccine about one month ago in November. My wife and kids are doing fine with no side affects so far, however I had muscle pain in my left shoulder blade and it felt like I had the creepy crawly’s on my back. Then my right eye had twitching for two weeks. I thought maybe it was just stress and that it would go away. It got worse the third week and turns out that I have a slight case of Bell’s Palsy on the right side of my face. I have trouble closing my right eye and cannot raise the right side of my mouth. My taste buds are gone on the right side as well. I’m going to have a CT scan on Monday to make sure everything is fine. I feel great other than the Paralysis, so my advise to all is to not get the H1N1 until there’s more research done on side affects. If anything else is wrong I will post another reply.


I got the h1n1 Shot on Weds, on Christmas morning I was ill.
They is something terribly wrong with this picture.
I got it so I wouldn’t get sick, and now I have the flu.
Never again, will I let anyone inject me with anything.
And to think I paid someone to do this!!!
God help us all.

Mother Of 8 Year Old Girl Filled With Regret Now That Her Daughter Is Experiencing Uncontrollable Body Movements After Getting The H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine

Mother Of 8 Year Old Girl Filled With Regret Now That Her Daughter Is Experiencing Uncontrollable Body Movements After Getting The H1N1 Swine Flu VaccineIt seems like every day we receive heartbreaking stories like the one that you are about to read.  Thousands upon thousands of lives are being shattered by the H1N1 swine flu vaccine and yet the mainstream media will not report on all of these horrifying side effects that people are experiencing.  The story posted below comes from a reader named Sheryl.  She thought that she was being a good mother by having her 8 year old daughter with asthma get the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.  Unfortunately her young daughter quickly developed uncontrollable body movements which have not stopped.  The doctors have not been able to help her daughter so far, and so she has to watch her daughter suffer tremendously every day without any assurance that she will ever recover.  Please pray for Sheryl, and please share this story with as many people as possible.  The only way that we are going to be able to save lives is by sharing these stories with as many people as we can.  The following is Sheryl’s story….

My 8 year old daughter received the H1N1 vaccine on 11/30/09. It was a tough decision to make, however, she has Asthma so my husband and I decided to have her vaccinated. Unfortunately, I wish I could take it back. She started having severe uncontrollable body movements that night while she was sleeping and it has not stopped. Today is 12/31/09 and it still continues. She has been seen by a Neurologist who does not know what is going on. We took her to the ER and they did blood work and checked her urine (which all came back normal). She is scheduled for an EEG and MRI. All we can do is hope and pray that this will go away and not progress. In the meantime, we regret our decision and are very, very sad and scared. To watch our baby go through this is awful. I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

Dawn Developed Asthma And Has Had A Severe Cough For A Month Since Getting The H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine – What Should She Do?

Dawn Developed Asthma And Has Had A Severe Cough For A Month Since Getting The H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine - What Should She DoA lot of people who have developed very severe side effects after receiving the H1N1 swine flu vaccine do not know what to do.  Today we wanted to share the story recently posted by a reader named Dawn.  She received the H1N1 swine flu vaccine about a month ago, and since then she has developed asthma (she never had it before) and she has had a severe cough.  The following is Dawn’s story in her own words: “I received H1N1 vaccination on Dec 3, and I have had a severe cough, and asthma ever since. I have no prior problems with breathing difficulties. I basically am pretty freaked out by this. I am praying it goes away soon. I just want to be able to breath normally again. To be able to laugh without going into ma coughing fit and to be able to exercise again.”

So what should Dawn do?

We readily admit that we are not experts in asthma.

We do advise that Dawn should go see a doctor and a natural health expert as quickly as possible.

But what else should she do?

What is your opinion?

A 68 Year Old Woman Tells Us How She Has Stayed Perfectly Healthy Without Ever Taking Pharmaceutical Drugs Or Vaccines

Most Americans have been brainwashed into believing that the only way that they can fight sicknesses and diseases is by taking vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs, or by going to see the doctor.  But the truth is that there are many, many people out there who live perfectly healthy lives without ever taking pharmaceutical drugs or vaccines.  In fact, there are many who insist that the natural way of doing things is better by far.  One of those people is one of our readers named Lily.  Lily is a 68 year old woman who is living a vibrant and healthy life without the aid of pharmaceutical drugs or vaccines.  We think that you will really enjoy her story….


I am 68 and I have been using herbs and vit&min (always liquid) since the age of 30, I never had sides effects and plus the problems literally vanished to never come back. Why use drugs that are so unnatural and foreign to the body when Mother nature has all the answers for us? D’oh!

We were 8 kids on a farm in Canada never saw a doctor, no hospital and born at home. My mother knew all the herbs and treated us accordingly, and we are all very healthy. We all were fed with whole raw milk and the meat was all grass fed we grew all vegetables without chemical fertilizer or pesticides. Bref, the life style was what most people today desire for themselves. Oh, almost forgot NO TV.

Mom baked the bread (unbleached flour), cooked 3 wholesome meals a day. To this day I wonder how she did it live to the age of 85. Basically drugs do not cure anything, they just alleviate symtoms and create other problems. I say stay away from legal and illegal drugs as much as you can. And just remember that lots of doctors are nothing more than legalized drug pushers.

The WHO Wants The Entire Population Of Haiti To Get A Whole Bunch Of Vaccines As Soon As Possible

Over one million people in Haiti have been made homeless by the recent earthquake that hit the island two weeks ago, but so far many of them find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to getting food.  In fact, U.N. security forces recently fired pepper spray into the air in an effort to disperse the thousands of men, women and children jostling for food outside the wrecked presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.  But while they may not be able to get the food and water that they need, if the WHO has their way, the people of Haiti will soon be vaccinated for a whole array of diseases.  According to a new report by the World Health Organization, the plan is to vaccinate all them for tetanus, measles, diphtheria, polio and pertussis as quickly as possible.  In addition, the report also mentions the H1N1 swine flu as a potential threat in Haiti, so presumably the WHO plans to get most of the Haitian population to take that vaccine as well.

The document is entitled “Earthquake: Haiti – Public health risk assessment and interventions” and it is dated January 2010.  It outlines a comprehensive plan to improve health conditions in Haiti, but unfortunately it also contains recommendations that the people of Haiti receive a full battery of vaccinations as quickly as possible.

So why is that such a bad thing?

Well, the truth is that vaccines contain a whole stew of things that are very bad for humans.  Most vaccines contain mercury, which is the second most toxic substance on earth.  They also contain things like formaldehyde, aluminum, polysorbate 80, animal tissues and all kinds of other nasty chemicals and organic materials.

If you want to read more about why we are so concerned about these vaccines (and the H1N1 vaccine in particular) we encourage you to read this article….

Isn’t The H1N1 Vaccine Supposed To Be Safe? Then Why Are So Many Who Take It Becoming Seriously Ill?

For months on end, world health authorities and the U.S. government have been assuring us that the H1N1 swine flu vaccine is very, very safe.  Even though large numbers of people have now reported very serious reactions to the H1N1 vaccine, they are still assuring us that the H1N1 swine flu vaccine is very, very safe.  So what in the world is going on here?  Of course if it ever does come out in the mainstream media that the vaccine is not safe the big pharmaceutical companies don’t have anything to worry about because the U.S. Congress has given them blanket immunity.  Today we wanted to share three more stories from our readers about what the H1N1 swine flu vaccine has done.  Of course the pro-vaccine forces will continue to insist that these stories represent “one in a (insert ridiculously large number)” and that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any risks.  But would you want to go through what any of these readers have had to go through?  The truth is that a ton of people are being hurt by this vaccine, and yet very few people will even take their complaints seriously.

But we take their complaints very seriously.  The following are testimonies about the effects of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine posted by readers of this website….



My husband has been diagnosed with ADEM possibly a varient AHLE from the H1N1 vaccine he received on 11/23/2009. Currently in ICU waiting on confirmation of brain biopsy. A healthy 45 year old man went from working 7 days a week to ICU and feed tube. Be fully aware of serious side effects from vaccines. We have been in the hospital since 12/26/09.


I am a nurse in Australia, and had the swine flu injection. I felt unwell almost immediately. 10 days post injection following severe pain in my back and ribs i started getting twitching in my left eye and side of face. I then ended up paralysed completely on that side of my face with strange neurological sypmtoms all over my body. I had the injection in September. It is now Feb and i am off for another MRI this weekend. Although the paralysis has gone, i still have a lot of neurological pain and other symtoms. I understand that this is a somewhat rare reaction, however if your in that small percentage that suffers, its miserable. I do not feel that i was adequately informed of the risks.


My disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I do not have asthma. I believe that children should have medical vaccinations so that the diseases that killed can stay in submission. I have a fair level of trust for medical professionals. I do not take flu shots because I want my body to be able to fight the flu so that it can be prepared for the strains to come. I am greiving. So, with that in mind… My Mother and Sister took the H1N1 shot after waiting patiently for it. They both suffer from asthma. I did not want them to take the shot but did not campaign them not to. My Mother is fine, my Sister died within 36 hours. She had gone to bed and was found 45 minutes later on her bedroom floor, breathing treatment still running in the bathroom. She had obviously had trouble breathing and when her breathing treatment machine did not work, she tried to get help but collapsed (Orthostatic hypotension? Guillain-Barré syndrome?). Please think before throwing around numbers like 100.. to 1. Because your audience is vast and someone who loves the 1 could be reading this. My Sister was probably the 1. I BELIEVE THAT IF SHE WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN THE SHOT THAT SHE WOULD NOT HAVE DIED THAT DAY, AND THAT SHE WOULD NOT HAVE CONTRACTED H1N1 EITHER. I know of no one who has died from H1N1 (and I am greatful). I know of an 18 month old that had H1N1 and is fine. I know of 2 loved ones who took the shot and one died. IF the risks are so small why aren’t the disclaimers on a large poster in every doctors office? Withheld information is tantamount to lying. Picture this, your doctor or nurse or pharmacist is poised over you, syringe in hand filled with H1N1. They look you in the eye and honestly say to you “If I give you this shot, you are risking death. You could be dead in days.” Would you take it? Would you pause? Would you think, I won’t be the one? My Daughter called me from her pediatricians office the month after my Sister died. The Dr wanted to give my Grandson the H1N1 shot, what should she do? I said no, keep him away from crowds until the flu season is over. My Grandson is fine, with no shot. So, those that throw around those numbers that prove that the risks of taking the vaccine is small compared to not taking it, who say I took it I am fine which one of your loved ones do you want to nominate to be the 1? It’s such a small number, such a small risk, who’s it gonna be? It’s easy to be so righteous when you don’t know and love the 1 in so many that will die. My Sister was not sick before taking the shot, she got a kudos from her Dr for her GREATLY improved health, but she died after the shot. I greatly wish that all that read this (and all that don’t) will not get the flu, will not lose a loved one from the flu. I wish that no one else suffers at all. But pick your 1 and give me my 1 back. Oh yeah..at my Sisters funeral an EMT came to me and told me that people with the health history of my Sister are being told not to take the shot, due to the risks of the side effects. But not by the Doctors or those that benefit from the perks of using the pharmaceutical companies products, but by those who have no direct contact with those companies.

H1N1 Vaccine Dangers

That was some raging H1N1 swine flu pandemic that we just went through, eh?  No?  You mean that the whole “swine flu” thing ended up being a total non-event?  Well, isn’t that nice.  But unfortunately, a whole lot of people are still suffering very serious health effects from the crisis, but not from the swine flu.  No, the people that have been left with some of the most serious physical conditions from this whole thing have been those who actually took the H1N1 vaccine.  You see, the mainstream media simply refused to tell the honest truth about H1N1 vaccine dangers.  So millions of Americans ran out and got themselves shot up with a toxic stew full of all kinds of horrible things.  For those wondering why we are so against the H1N1 vaccine, please read our previous article entitled “In Case You Were Wondering Why We Don’t Want To Take Your Swine Flu Vaccines”.  On this site we try very hard to tell the truth.  We do believe that there is a very real danger of a bird flu pandemic breaking out in the future, but we also try to warn our readers about the very real dangers that these modern vaccines present to us.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media will not dare tell the truth about vaccines.  So it is left up to sites like ours to speak the truth.

The following are 10 accounts from readers of this website about what happened when they or someone that they love took the H1N1 vaccine….


Got the h1n1 vaccine Feb 8, 2010. Ended up in hospital with facial paralysis, tremors, nerve pain, muscle twitches, and dysphagia. 4 months later the problems have not resolved. Getting the shot was the worst decision I ever made. Be ye warned.


constant headaches and facial pain after swine flu mist, after 6 months of off again on again symptoms,(headache was always present from 3to4/10 to 10/10) numerous visits to family practice and trips to ER, took 14 year old daughter to Mayo Clinic, discovered she had antibodies attacking nerve endings as a result of swine flu mist, started ivig therapy which also resulted in complications. Mayo clinic had seen 5 kids in past 30 days with same symptoms. flushing the antibodies is the only solution, delay of treatment can cause lifetime consequences.


i took the h1n1 shot May 6 2010 and the next the day i got very very very sick i got this crazy headache and running nose. My head is spinning like crazy and for some reason i can’t think and move if i walk i feel like i’m falling. Something is very wrong and i bet my brothers ae feeling dizzy too. But i am only 15 years old and i not ready to die….. something is very wrong!!!! Please don’t take this shot its not worth it.


Hello, two weeks after I received the Swine Flu Shot, I started having muscle spasms, My head fel werid, and I was crying all of the time. I went to the doctor he said it was just anxiety. I never had anxiety untill I received this shot. DO NOT GET IT!! ahh this is ruining my life!


i let my 17 year old son take the h1n1 vaccine. he has been healthy his whole life except common colds that you get and stitches. 4 days after recieving the vaccine he was hospitalized with a bleeding disorder. he had a platlette count of 2. we are still going thru treatments to try and help him. they believe he is chronic and will have this the rest of his life. we have been through bone marrow tests, steroids, 1 to 2 times a week blood draws, ivig transfusion bags, now they want to try a medicine on him that one of the side effects is death. what the hell is wrong with this world.this kid is restricted from all activities that could cause any bleeding. we are going to deal with this for the rest of our lives. they want to remove his spleen and see if that helps. what is our lives a guessing game. one question that could be asked to the president that approved this drug and are making them free from consequences is IF YOU KNOW THESE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS, WOULD YOU GIVE THIS MEDICINE TO YOUR CHILD? IF YOUR CHILD BECAME ILL FOR THE REST OF HIS OR HER LIFE WOULD YOU NOT WANT THEM HELD RESPONSIBLE.as us usual americans go on in life suffering from side effects from medicines the government approved, i would like to know how the hell you sleep at night??????????


Hello: Just wanted to say that we have a friend down the road that was in remission from non-hodgkins lymphoma, and now is in an ICU unit for the past 7 weeks, with guillain barre syndrome after talking that H1N1 shot.
Because this syndrome is an auto-immune disorder it stands to reason now that his cancer could possibly return because of taking this H1N1 shot! Certainly makes a person shy away from any of these vaccinations for sure.


My 13 yo niece received the H1N1 – mom thought it was the thing to do since she has mild asthma. Within 24 hours she started having neurologic symptoms which have been progressively more severe. That was back in Nov. Since then she has undergone EEGs, CT scans, PET scans, 2 spinal taps, an angiogram, and they have concluded it is a reaction to the vaccination. We’re hoping the treatment they are offering (IVIG) is of help to her. She was a straight A student before. Within days of the vaccination, she couldn’t figure out how to hold a pencil. Her life has been turned completely upside down. Never again…


I received the H1N1 vacine on 9 Dec 2009. Today is 16 Feb 2010 and I am still experiencing upper and lower arm (moderate) muscle pain. This pain started on the day of the injection (upper arm only) and continues two+ months later. I also received the TB Tine test in the same arm on this day so I don’t know which or if a combination has caused this problem. I’ve seen a Doctor who sent me for an ultrasound and prescribed Motrin and warm compresses, still the same level of pain after two weeks. I submitted a complaint to the CDS and am waiting on a response. The current level of pain has caused me to avoid using my left arm from lifting more than 20 pounds – pain increases with amount of weight lifted. Since this has been onging for more than two months, I’m now concerned with the long term effects. I’ve tried exercise as well but no improvement. I’m currently at a loss and looking for a solution!


I am a nurse in Australia, and had the swine flu injection. I felt unwell almost immediately. 10 days post injection following severe pain in my back and ribs i started getting twitching in my left eye and side of face. I then ended up paralysed completely on that side of my face with strange neurological sypmtoms all over my body. I had the injection in September. It is now Feb and i am off for another MRI this weekend. Although the paralysis has gone, i still have a lot of neurological pain and other symtoms. I understand that this is a somewhat rare reaction, however if your in that small percentage that suffers, its miserable. I do not feel that i was adequately informed of the risks.


My husband has been diagnosed with ADEM possibly a varient AHLE from the H1N1 vaccine he received on 11/23/2009. Currently in ICU waiting on confirmation of brain biopsy. A healthy 45 year old man went from working 7 days a week to ICU and feed tube. Be fully aware of serious side effects from vaccines. We have been in the hospital since 12/26/09.

7 Facts about Influenza

Although influenza, or the flu, is a common illness, the facts surrounding it are sometimes not completely known. The best thing to do is educate yourself with information that allows you to better understand the illness, its causes, and how to protect yourself from it. Take some time to look over the following, which are 7 facts about influenza.

1. What exactly is influenza?

Although influenza is often confused with the common cold, the flu is usually much more serious. It is a highly-contagious illness that infects the upper and/or lower respiratory tracts of millions of people each year. The flu is a viral illness, which means antibiotics cannot cure it. In certain cases and individuals, the flu can lead to serious complications. The highest number of flu cases are reported in the winter and early spring months.

2. What are the symptoms of influenza?

People infected with influenza often suffer from a fever and chills. Some other common symptoms of the flu include sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, body aches and pains, fatigue, and headaches. Depending on the severity of the case, the flu can make it difficult and sometimes impossible to go on with daily life.

3. How can influenza be spread?

Influenza can easily be spread from an infected individual to others. It is spread through respiratory secretions, such as sneezes and/or coughs. These secretions are made up of tiny droplets that contain the flu virus. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, people nearby can inhale these droplets or touch items that have been covered with them. If they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching these items, the droplets can be transferred and cause infection. Influenza can also be spread by sharing eating utensils with an infected person. After exposure, it usually takes between one and four days for flu symptoms to begin.

4. Are some people more likely than others to get influenza?

Some people are definitely more likely than others to get influenza. People that work closely with others on a daily basis are much more prone to the flu virus. This includes employees of hospitals, daycare centers, nursing facilities, schools, and busy offices. It should also be known that very young people, elderly people, and those with compromised immune systems are much more likely to get influenza and suffer complications.

5. What should I do if I have influenza?

If you happen to come down with the flu, be sure to get plenty of rest. You should also drink as many fluids as possible, as they will help to flush the virus out of your body. There are certain anti-viral medications that can be taken to lessen the severity and length of the flu, but they are not by any means a guaranteed cure. Time, rest, and fluids are the best remedies for the flu.

You also can take vitamin C, vitamin D and oil of oregano, which have been proven to be the very best ways to prevent and treat yourself when you are sick. Try to avoid strenuous activity when you have the flu and do not return to work until your symptoms have let up.

6. What are some complications of influenza?

Certain people are more likely than others to suffer serious complications of the flu. Infants, elderly people, pregnant women, and people with certain diseases and illnesses often have compromised immune systems, making them susceptible to more severe influenza infections. Some complications of the flu include pneumonia, sinus or ear infections, dehydration, and even death.

7. Is there more than one type of influenza virus?

There are many types and strains of influenza, and they change from year to year. Experts divide the influenza virus into three main categories. Type A is usually responsible for the major, serious flu outbreaks each year. Type B typically causes less severe flu symptoms than Type A and therefore is not as serious. Type C causes a different type of infection, which is not similar to the more-common Type A infection. Again, the best way to protect yourself is to give your body the natural vitamins it needs.

Don’t underestimate the natural route.

According to Global Healing Center, Oregano oil is widely known as a potent germ-killer, anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Not only is it highly respected within the natural health community, it is also being being widely studied within the scientific community because it is such an effective germ killer.  Research shows that the oil supercedes many commonly-used pain killers, such as aspirin and even morphine. Oregano oil also has extremely high levels of free-radical-fighting antioxidants, and possesses powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

Now that you know some of the important facts about influenza, you will be able to protect yourself and those close to you. With the proper awareness and prevention, the flu will hopefully affect less people each and every year.

The 3 Worst Epidemics In History

1. The Black Death, Reaching a crescendo of horror between 1348 and 1350, this plague remains the worst disease outbreak known to us in human history. It killed 75-100 million people…in other words, something like a fifth of the people then living in the world, including half the population of Europe. A disaster on that scale is hard for us to even get our heads around. But it happened.

Why “black”? At the time it was known predominantly as “the Great Plague or “the Great Pestilence,” but the name “Black Death” or “Black Plague” was given by later historians, not to indicate the appearance of necrosis experienced by sufferers (though in some cases people’s extremities did indeed turn black), but simply to emphasize the awful and seemingly apocalyptic nature of the pandemic.

The disease behind it all was the Yersinia pestis bacterium, the bubonic plague, spread by fleas parasitic to rats. The microbe was discovered in 1894 by a Pasteur Institute scientist studying an outbreak in Hong Kong. Thanks to the germ theory of disease and the later discovery of antibiotic therapy, bubonic plague is now thoroughly treatable. But the Black Death was only one of many catastrophic outbreaks of this disease, including the Plague of Justinian in 541 AD and the Third Pandemic that killed more than 12 million people starting in 1855, mostly in China and India.

2. Smallpox Comes to America

It’s hard to quantify the number of lives claimed by disease in the Americas after Europeans began colonizing, as we don’t have records, but consider this: the pre-Columbian population of North America was estimated to have been up to 18 million people. By 1900 the U.S. Census estimated there were 237,000 Indians in the United States. You do the math.

The ethnic cleansing of Native Americans through military means (which was substantial, when you look at the maps of a continent once teeming with native communities and now home to a tiny archipelago of reservations), probably played a much smaller part the ravages of plagues that decimated that population.

Smallpox was only the most prominent disease unknown to Indians and their immune systems, but there were many more: typhus, measles, influenza, bubonic plague, cholera, malaria, tuberculosis, mumps, yellow fever, and whooping cough. To take the example of one relatively well-documented tribe, over half the Wyandot (Huron) people were killed in one smallpox outbreak.

3. The 1918 Flu Pandemic

The so-called “Spanish flu” was the worst outbreak of infectious disease in the modern era, killing between 50 million and 130 million people all over the world. It became known as “Spanish” because Spain, as a neutral country in World War I, was not censoring the news at the time as Germany, England and others were doing. Indeed, with the peculiar mixture of widespread mobility and close quarters that war encourages, it and the plague exacerbated each other and made Europe a slaughterhouse.

The truly extraordinary thing about 1918-1919 was the speed with which the plague spread. It caused the kind of damage in a year that the Black Plague took a century (or that AIDS has taken a quarter-century) to wreak. It had a 10-20% mortality rate, unlike the usual 1% that most strains of influenza have. Like the recent swine flu epidemic, it was also disproportionately deadly to young adults, whereas the elderly are usually most vulnerable to disease.

Let us hope we never see its like again, but also let us prepare, in case something even worse should strike in our lifetimes.

What You Need To Know About Mono

Mononucleosis, better known as mono or the “kissing disease,” is a common virus. One out of every 2,000 people will get mono each year. Symptoms can be uncomfortable and may even be deadly under certain circumstances. The following information will help you to recognize, avoid, and treat mononucleosis.

Who Can Get Mono

Mono can develop at any age, though it is particularly common in younger people. The most incidences of the infection occur in patients between the ages of 15 and 24. Older adults often develop immunity to the infection, but can pass it on to others. Young children can also get mono, though symptoms can be difficult to detect.

What Causes Mono

Mono is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a common virus that lives in the salivary glands. Most people will come into contact with the virus before age 40. In most cases, the virus causes no problems. In others, it causes mononucleosis. Because the virus lives in the saliva, it can be spread through kissing; sharing toothbrushes; sharing gum; and sharing utensils, dishes, or glasses. The virus can also be spread through mucus or tears.

Common Mono Symptoms

The symptoms for mono do not always appear right away. It may take four to six weeks for symptoms to show themselves. Mono symptoms typically begin with an overall feeling of being tired and sick. A slight sore throat, which usually worsens over time, is common. Other typical symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, stiffness, and loss of appetite. Less common symptoms may include a rash or hives. Severe pain in your upper abdomen can occur as well, because mono sometimes causes swelling of the spleen. If you are experiencing severe pain in this area, you should seek emergency attention. If the spleen swells too much, it can burst and cause a life-threatening situation.

Diagnosing Mono

If you have one or more common mono symptoms, you may have the infection. A doctor will be able to help you with the diagnosis by examining you and ordering a monospot test or an EBV antibody test. Both tests can be performed with a small amount of blood. These tests can usually detect the presence of mono, though a false negative can sometimes occur early on in the infection. If your doctor is unsure about the diagnosis, she may run additional tests to rule out cytomegalovirus (CMV) and other infections.

Treating Mono

Mononucleosis will usually go away on its own within a few weeks or a couple of months. However, it is important that it is diagnosed so that it is not spread. Treatment is also important. A patient with mono should get lots of rest to combat the fatigue. Tylenol or another fever reducer can be used to keep fevers down and help with general body aches. Gargling with salt water will soothe and heal a sore throat. Your doctor may also prescribe a steroid to help with swollen glands, throat, or tonsils. The same treatment may also be used to lessen the length of the illness. The most important thing is that you take it easy. Do not participate in any vigorous activity–it will make you feel worse and could cause damage to your swollen spleen.

Additional Concerns

If you have a weakened immune system, discuss additional approaches with your doctor. Mono is rarely fatal, but can cause death in people with weakened immune systems. If your sore throat worsens after 10 days of treatment, contact your doctor. You may have a bacterial infection in your throat. Other complications could include anemia and nervous disorders such as seizures