March 21, 2018 by: Ethan Huff
(Natural News) Researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City have come up with a new tracking system that they claim will be able to predict the geographic spread of seasonal influenza before it starts to run its course.
Published in the journal PNAS, a paper outlining the new technology says that it possesses the capability to predict where the flu will travel up to six weeks ahead of time, giving population groups in its path a heads up so they can prepare.
Preparedness is how infectious disease experts are touting the program, which they claim will help to reduce both infection and mortality rates. But they’re also hoping it will act as a type of canary in a coal mine to scare more people into getting flu shots – even though it’s been shown that flu shots don’t even work.
By boosting interest in flu shots, health officials at both the state and national level hope to stockpile more vaccines and anti-viral drugs in advance of a flu outbreak – which means more profits for drug and vaccine companies.
“For the public, the flu forecast may promote greater vaccination, the exercise of care around people sneezing and coughing, and a better awareness of personal health,” reads a report in Science Daily about the true purpose of this forecasting tool.
“For health officials, it could inform decisions on how to stockpile and distribute vaccines and antiviral drugs, and in the case of a virulent outbreak, whether other measures, like closing schools, are necessary.”
Scientists hope to expand forecasting tool to sell more drugs and vaccines for other diseases, too
While the technology isn’t technically new, its latest iteration is said to be far more accurate than previous versions. This includes an increase in forecasting with regards to the onset of 35 percent, as well as a 31 percent increase in peak timing, and a 13 percent increase in intensity.
Their hope is to begin using the tool in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) starting later this year. The Mailman School research team has already worked with the CDC, it turns out, having won the 2014 flu forecast challenge put on by the agency.
The biggest beneficiary of the program won’t be the public, however. Big Pharma is the real winner here, as flu “forecasts” basically use the cover of “science” to compel more people to get flu shots and take antiviral medications because it’s the “scientific” thing to do.
And according to reports, it won’t stop with the flu. Researchers want to expand the program in the future to include all sorts of other diseases that scientists will claim to be able to predict the spread of in advance, resulting in increased drug and vaccine sales for those very conditions.
“The system could also be adapted for use with other respiratory viruses, and with some modification, for infectious diseases more broadly,” admitted lead author Sen Pei, a postdoctoral scientist studying Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School.
The Columbia-CDC partnership plans to eventually bring in a third ally: The Department of Defense (DOD). DOD weather prediction data, claim experts, can be combined with CDC data on laboratory-verified cases of influenza, which together can be incorporated with Census data put together an “improved” forecast model.
“Influenza, like many infectious diseases, is spread from person-to-person and as people move from place to place,” says Jeffrey Shaman, the study’s lead author, who teaches Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School.
“By assimilating information on commuting patterns, we’ve taken a big step forward and improved our ability to accurately forecast where the flu might crop up next.”
Read Vaccines.news for more coverage of vaccine science.
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Ten herbs that will annihilate cold and flu viruses naturally
Common colds are the main reason why children and adults miss school an work. Adults get an average of 2-3 colds per year and children often have more. Colds are commonly shared in the winter and the spring but are possible to get any time of year.(1)
Four out of ten adults use alternative remedies to fight illness
For centuries, people have used natural remedies for fight colds and the trend continues. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that nearly 4 out of 10 adults have used some form of alternative remedies to fight illnesses. (2)
Ten herbs that will help fight cold and flu viruses naturally
If you feel a cold coming on, consider the benefits of herbal medicine. The following herbs have been shown to be effective at battling the common cold.
- Echinacea: Echinacea is known for its ability to enhance the immune system. It stimulates white blood cells, increases production of interferon and increases immune cells ability to destroy invading microbes. Six studies show that echinacea significantly reduces the risk of respiratory infection. A separate six studies show that echinacea shortens the duration of colds and flus.(3)
- Astragalus: Astragalus is a tonic and adaptogen. Studies show that it boosts immune system and fights viruses, bacteria, and inflammation.(3)
- Elderberry: Elderberry can inhibit the enzyme that the flu virus uses to penetrate cell membranes. In one study, elderberry juice mixed with raspberry extract, glucose, citric acid and honey inhibited both type A and type B influenza virus.(3)
- Garlic: Garlic boosts immune function and kills a broad range of microbes. Studies show that garlic is active against cold and flu viruses. Garlic also functions as an expectorate to help remove mucus from the body.(3)
- Licorice root: Licorice root contains glycyrrhizin, which has been shown in studies to inactivate and inhibit a wide range of viruses. It also contains a polysaccharide ingredient that increases the bodies production of interferon and activates while blood cells. (3)
- St. John’s wort: St. John’s wort can inhibit influenze A and parainfluenza viruses.
- Lomatium: Lomatium has been used by Native Americans for bacteria and viral infections. Studies show that it is potent against viruses and bacteria.(3)
- Stinging Nettle: Studies show that this herb inhibits influenza A virus and is also packed with nutrients. Nettle contains high amounts of carotenoids and flavonoids that help ease allergies. (3)
- Lemon Balm: Test tube studies show that lemon balm or Melissa oil has antiviral effects against parainfluenza and other bacterial infections. (3)
- Peppermint: Peppermint oil helps relax the airways and open congested sinuses and nasal passages. One study shows that inhaling peppermint relieves respiratory discomfort.(3)
Instead of purchasing over the counter medicines that often leave you feeling groggy and run down, consider herbs that will help boost your immune system, shorten your time of sickness and allow you to return back to your daily routine.