Tamiflu does not kill but prevents H1N1 from further proliferation till the virus limits
itself in about 1-2 weeks (its natural cycle). H1N1, like other Influenza A viruses, only
infects the upper respiratory tract and proliferates (only) there. The only portals of
entry are the nostrils and mouth/ throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's
almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions.
Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to
prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections,
some very simple steps - not fully highlighted in most official communications - can be
practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face
(unless you want to eat or bathe).
3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt).
H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate
and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way,
gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on
an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative
4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt
water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to
clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils
with cotton buds dipped in warm salt w
ater is very effective in bringing down viral
5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other
citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also
has Zinc to boost absorption.
6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same
effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses
from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.
7. All these are simple ways to
prevent, within means of most households, and
certainly much less painful than to wait in long queues outside public hospitals.