Avian Flu Prevention and Possible Treatment Using Nutritional Supplements

 In Bacterial/Viral Infections, Editorial / Opinion, Environmental Medicine

Mitch Kennedy, ND

The following is a press release from the British Society for Ecological Medicine detailing its proposed protocols for responding to an Avian Flu outbreak. Given the current level of debate on this improbable pandemic, this report may give some peace of mind to those who want to be prepared for the “worst of the worst.”

Why do you think the following hasn’t been front-page news in U.S. newspapers?

“ANH Avian Flu Expert Committee today launched a report on nutritional protocols that could be used to reduce the death and illness associated with a bird flu pandemic.

“Following an invitation by Dr. David Narbarro, UN global coordinator on Avian Influenza, to submit natural prevention and treatment recommendations for a human avian influenza pandemic, the British Society for Ecological Medicine (BSEM) and the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) formed a collaboration to write a detailed, evidence-based report on the subject. The report, entitled ‘The Pivotal Role for Natural Products in Countering an Avian Influenza Pandemic,’ was launched today at the Institute of Physics, Portland Place London WC1, having first been submitted to the World Health Organization on March 27.

“The report focuses on the key nutrients zinc, vitamin C and vitamin A as primary interventions for the prevention and treatment of human H5N1 influenza infection and its complications, and has been authored by four leading scientists and doctors in the fields of nutritional medicine and health.

“Dr. Damien Downing, president of BSEM, stated: ‘Following an extensive review of over 250 peer-reviewed studies, we believe that the protocols developed here can help to buy time and fill the gap between the outbreak of a pandemic and the months or years required for development and manufacture of effective vaccines. What is more, manufacture of these nutrients can be easily scaled up to meet global needs, and is likely to be a highly cost-effective intervention. If governments were to ignore the available evidence, as well as recent research and trials on natural products against the H5N1 virus, this would amount, in our view, to an act of gross professional negligence.’

“It is widely recognized that vaccines will take at least six months to develop if Bird Flu mutates to cause a human pandemic, and that years may be required to produce enough material to vaccinate entire national populations, by which time the most lethal waves of a pandemic will have passed.

“Present international strategies rely heavily on the use of anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) as the primary medical intervention for human avian influenza treatment, along with physical interventions for prevention of infection, such as improved personal hygiene, quarantine and social distancing.

“It is hoped by governments that H5N1 antiviral drug resistance will not emerge rapidly, and that this containment and control strategy will be sufficient until vaccines become widely available. Clearly, this is a high-risk strategy and there is a need for other interventions to counter both the possibility of multiple pandemic viral strains and the risk of viral drug resistance developing early on in a pandemic.

“Dr. Robert Verkerk, lead author of the report and the ANH executive and scientific director, said: ‘We believe that the prevention and self-treatment protocols put forward here can be easily accessed and self-administered by populations everywhere. The hospital treatment protocols may offer particular hope to populations in those developing countries which are not likely to have access to anti-viral drugs or vaccines.’

“Verkerk added: ‘We hope that the WHO will take on board the key recommendations of our report with all possible speed, given the severity and imminence of the threat. It would be tragic if the WHO allowed any national prejudices that may exist with regard to natural interventions to interfere with adoption of these protocols, especially when vaccines will be unavailable in the early months of a pandemic. Many lives across the world may depend on the use of these protocols if a human H5N1 pandemic emerges in the near future.’ ”

The full report is now available for download: See www.alliance-natural-health.org/_docs/ANHwebsiteDoc_232.pdf. For further information, contact Isobel Bradley or Meleni Aldridge, The Alliance for Natural Health The Atrium, Curtis Road Dorking, Surrey RH4 1XA, UK; phone: +44 (0)1252 371 275; Web: www.anhcampaign.org.

Kennedy-HeadshotMitch Kennedy, ND, has a family practice in Avon, Conn., and is the first ND with clinical privileges at the University of Connecticut, a teaching hospital. Before graduation from Southwest College, Kennedy earned an international reputation as a leader in pollution prevention, showing industries around the world how preventing pollution saves money.


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