Debugging The Flu: How to Bite Back and Stay Healthy This Flu Season

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- Have you ever opted to get a flu shot and then come down with a cough, headache, chills and fever anyway? Did you blame it on the flu vaccine, believing that it didn't work? According to medical experts, you were probably mistaken. The truth is, there's more to protecting yourself from flu symptoms than simply getting vaccinated.

"In general, every year 100 percent of people have an influenza-like respiratory illness, said William Atkinson, MD, MPH, of the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Around 15 persons of these illnesses are due to influenza virus. Therefore, around 85 percent of these illnesses are NOT due to influenza. The flu shot will only prevent infection with the influenza virus, and has no effect on infections from other viruses."

Staying healthy during the typical October-March flu season means defending yourself against influenza, as well as fighting the other viruses that are more often the cause of your flu-like symptoms. But while medical experts agree that the flu shot is the most effective tool we have to prevent influenza, science has offered no clear solution for the treatment of the range of other flu-like illnesses.

To help Americans understand the significant role they can play in staying healthy during the flu season, noted author Dr. Carolyn Dean (Natural Prescriptions for Common Ailments) and Oscillococcinum have partnered to create "Ten Tips to Stay Healthy this Flu Season." These guidelines reveal some of the most important actions people can take to improve their odds of avoiding the flu. Consumers can visit to print their own copy of the tips.

For millions of flu sufferers around the world, the answer to flu symptoms is Oscillococcinum, also referred to as Oscillo. In clinical studies, Oscillococcinum significantly reduced the duration and intensity of flu symptoms. The latest double-blind, placebo-controlled study, published in a British scientific journal, found that 63 percent of patients with flu symptoms treated with Oscillococcinum showed "clear improvement" within 48 hours of treatment.(1) This research confirmed the results of three earlier clinical studies.(2)

"I tell my patients to take Oscillo as soon as they feel the first sign of flu," said Robert Schiller, MD, department chairman of family medicine at Beth Israel and an assistant professor of family medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "In addition to making them feel better fast, Oscillo works without causing side effects or interacting with other medications."

Unlike other natural remedies, homeopathic medicines like Oscillococcinum are regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration as drugs, and are manufactured according to the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the U.S. and the drug Good Manufacturing Practices. For more than 65 years, people have trusted Oscillococcinum to help speed recovery from the symptoms of flu, including fever, chills, body aches and pains, without the side effects and contraindications of other flu medications. Oscillococcinum is recommended by physicians around the world and is currently available in 43 countries.

Oscillococcinum is made by Boiron, the world leader in homeopathy, with operations in 61 countries. Founded in 1932, Boiron's mission is to give physicians and healthcare professionals the opportunity to learn about homeopathic medicines and to use them in daily practice. Boiron's web site is

(1) Papp R, Schuback G, Beck E, et al. Oscillococcinum(R) in patients

with influenza-like syndromes: a placebo-controlled double-blind

evaluation. British Homeopathic Journal 1998: 87; 69-76.

(2) Ferley JP, Zmirou D, D'Adhemar D, Balducci F. A controlled evaluation

of a homeopathic preparation in the treatment of influenza-like

syndromes. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1989: 27;


Multi-centric study involving 300 patients, under the direction of

Prof. P. Casanova and Prof. R. Gerard, University of Marseille,

France, 1985.

Multi-centric study involving 100 patients, under the direction of

Prof. P. Casanova, Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Technique,

University of Marseille, France, 1983.