The Worst Respiratory Season Ever

This fall is set to be one of the worst respiratory seasons in history.  One of the ways we predict flu season in the US is we look to Australia who precedes us with their winter.  This past flu season was the worst they’ve seen in 5 years.  This makes sense to me as children have returned to school unmasked and are spreading disease into gigantic reservoirs.  Viral reservoirs are large groups of hosts that lack immunity.  Most children of the pandemic lack basic pediatric immunity to rhino, entero, coxsackie, RSV, adeno, paraflu and most definitely this group of kids lacks any knowledge of influenza.  Think about the current pre K 3 and 4 classrooms.  These are the babies of the pandemic.  The world was masked up and influenza all about disappeared.  Unless vaccinated these children have zero immunity to influenza.  Once flu starts with any sort of force, disease will spread like wildfire through these age groups and then they will deposit the flu in their homes across the country.  So what do you do?

Any asthmatic child needs to be vaccinated for influenza this year to prevent death.  I have already seen one asthmatic with flu A that was doing very badly with this year’s strain and it is only September.  Based upon how severe her symptoms were, she looked like she had H1N1 and did test positive for Flu A.  Children without respiratory issues at baseline will likely survive flu; however it is five days of relentless high fevers, utter misery and often causes secondary ear infections and sometimes even pneumonia.  I want folks to have informed consent as to what you are signing up for.  For kiddos that have had true influenza in the past they should have some remaining immunity and thus far the strains appear to be the ones we are familiar with.  Understand that if influenza becomes widespread it could shift/drift like COV has shown us and cause even a bigger mess with a true novel variant.  The only folks that have any native immunity are the ones old enough to have had flu prior to the Covid Pandemic.  Know this:  even us with native immunity may be in trouble.  This is because normally each year we are naturally boosted by others with true flu around us.  We may not get terribly sick ever again because we have natural boosters.  Understand that in the face of the past 3 years of this pandemic, none of us had the exposures to influenza that we needed to naturally boost our immune systems.  Even those of us lucky enough to get an occasional 99F version of the flu may be destined for something much more inflammatory because the usual little gremlins didn’t give us our boosters nor challenge our immunity the way it needs to stay strong. 

I understand that my family is likely going to get the flu this year.  Both my kiddo and I have had multiple strains of true influenza in the past thanks to my urgent care job.  Our bodies will have some memory but not a ton.  

So here’s my current plan:

Elderberry syrup has proven effective against influenza and can shorten the course of disease.  We will be taking this daily as preventative.  We are also taking our winter regimen of vitamin C, D and zinc on the daily.  I have also added olive leaf extract to my daily regimen to scavenge free radicals and a high quality fish oil.  I highly recommend at least cotton masking simply to reduce the viral load that your child ends up.  My child wears a cotton mask to school despite the mandates being lifted.  Yes virion can penetrate this but not nearly as many as if he was unmasked completely.  

Please don’t hesitate to respond with questions.  This is going to be a tough one.  We will get through it together.  Also know the Farm Connection here in San Antonio makes delicious homemade elderberry syrup and does deliver.

6 thoughts on “The Worst Respiratory Season Ever

  1. We don’t typically get a flu vaccine, would you recommend one this year if we are healthy individuals without any underlying health conditions over the age of 10?

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    • The short answer is yes. A lot goes into that decision including have you had true influenza before? Have you all had H1N1 and the B variants as well? Without prior immunity to both major classes I would say yes this would be the year to get one.

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    • For little babies there are Hylands Vit C pellets that can be used as soon as 2mos. Also BioGaia makes a good vit D/probiotic for young infants as well. Be cautious with any elderberry preparation for a child under the age of one as they like to put honey in them to make them taste good. Honey has to wait until after 1 year of age. 6 mos is good general rule for when to introduce just PLAIN elderberry to an infant just like you’d introduce blueberries! Breastfeeding Moms can help boost their immune systems and pass benefits to their littles as well.

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