Strengthen Immune System | Natural Health Blog

Date: 04/26/2009    Written by: Jon Barron

Swine Flu – No Pandemic Yet

Swine Flu Pandemic


Okay, you probably have to be living in a cave not to have heard about swine flu over the last few days. Here at the Foundation, we've received over 300 requests for information in just the last 48 hours (an additional 30 in the time it took me to write this blog entry). And I've been informed by the people at Baseline Nutritionals that sales of Super ViraGon and Immunify have gone through the roof over the last few days. So I've decided to get a blog entry on swine flu posted that covers the basics and then, if necessary, deal with it in more detail in the May 11th newsletter.

First, let me make clear that although the swine flu that is making the headlines does indeed contain bird flu DNA (actually it contains DNA from bird flu, human flu, and two different strains of swine flu), it is not bird flu -- which is both good and bad. The good news is that its mortality rate is a fraction of that seen with bird flu, which has a mortality rate of over 90%. At its worst, in Mexico, the swine flu seems to be holding at about 6% (81 deaths out of 1300 cases). That's outrageously high for a flu and could be devastating in a worldwide pandemic, but it's a million miles from the scenario that's possible with bird flu. But 6% is the outside marker. In the United States, we have seen less than 100 cases of swine flu so far, with no deaths and, for the most part, only mild symptoms. Given that scenario, this strain of swine flu is no different than regular flu in terms of mortality rates.

Is it a pandemic?

The word that's being tossed around with gay abandon in the news, and that seems to be causing so much concern among everyone writing into the Foundation, is PANDEMIC. So let's get to it; are we in a swine flu pandemic?

And the answer is definitely not, at least not at the moment! Yes, because it is a brand new strain of flu that appears to be easily transmitted between people, it certainly has the potential to become a pandemic, but it is not one yet. But, more importantly, pandemic doesn't mean what most people seem to think it means. A pandemic does not necessarily mean black-plague carts being hauled through the streets piled high with dead bodies. Nor does it mean flesh eating zombies wandering the streets feeding on the living. All a pandemic means is that a new infectious disease is spreading throughout the world. That's it. Symptoms associated with a given pandemic can be mild or deadly severe, but that has nothing to do with the word pandemic. It's quite possible to have a pandemic that kills very few people. So where does the swine flu fall on the symptom scale? It would appear that it falls somewhere between Mexico and the US! And that's what we're all waiting to see with baited breath. An epidemic/pandemic based on the numbers we've seen so far in the US, would certainly produce a substantial number of deaths, but no more than during any flu season (about 36,000 Americans die on average each year from the flu).

One of the problems with swine flu is that since it's been so long since we've seen a major swine flu outbreak in the world, virtually no one alive today has any resistance -- thus one of the major concerns that it could spread rapidly throughout the world and kill large numbers of people. On the other hand, because this particular variation contains DNA from several different strains of flu, including human flu that people have already been exposed to, there are some indications that large numbers of people may have SOME built in resistance, which would keep the symptoms far milder as the body fights the flu. That, potentially, could dramatically lower the mortality rates throughout the world if it should actually become a pandemic.

Another thing working in our favor is that the flu season is officially over. Aha, you might ask. Why should that matter? It matters because it makes it much easier for health officials to identify and isolate cases of swine flu since any flus that people get now are very likely to be swine flu. This is a huge advantage in helping to control the spread of the flu and preventing it from becoming a pandemic. If this outbreak had happened 60 days ago, it would have been far worse.

What to do?

That's the big question, isn't it -- what everyone writing in wants to know? What should I do?

  • First. Don't panic. There is no pandemic...yet. And, at least outside of Mexico, symptoms appear to be mild. Four years ago, when everyone was in an uproar about avian flu, I advised everyone not to panic, that a massive bird flu outbreak was not imminent. And I'm telling you now, that although the risk of a pandemic is certainly greater than with avian flu, your personal danger is much less -- and there are things you can do to make your risk of dying virtually non-existent.
  • Should you wear a surgical mask? If you want, but it probably isn't going to help much. Surprisingly, flu primarily transfers through direct contact with the virus. Shaking hands or kissing on the cheek are major points of transmission. But that's not the scary part. Viruses can survive for up to 3 days on many surfaces -- doorknobs for example -- making everything you touch a potential infector. Washing hands regularly during the day with regular soap and water can dramatically reduce your chances of infection.
  • If you come down with the flu, stay home and take care of yourself. Don't go to work; don't go to school; don't spread the flu to all of your friends and co-workers. And if you come down with the flu don't rush to the hospital. Only go to the hospital if you feel that you are starting to have problems breathing or any other symptoms are becoming severe. If everyone rushes to the hospital, it will overwhelm your local health care system's ability to minister to the truly sick.
  • Speaking of which, can your hospital actually do anything to help? And the answer is yes! Although the swine flu is totally resistant to one class of anti-flu drugs known as adamantanes, it is still sensitive -- barely -- to Tamiflu and Relenza. In this case, barely seems to be enough to prevent people from dying.

And now the big question, the one everyone writing in wants to know the answer to: is there anything you can do at home to protect yourself from the swine flu and speed recovery if you get it? And the answer is a resounding yes. But first, let me cover an important point. Many people on the net are advocating taking immune enhancing supplements in great abundance for protection against the swine flu. This may not be such a great idea. Here is where the avian DNA in the swine flu becomes important. So far, the vast majority of those who have died from swine flu in Mexico are not the very old, the very young, and those with compromised immune systems (the typical victims of the flu). The people who have died have been young adults with strong immune systems. That means that like with avian flu, this strain of swine flu seems to have the ability to turn a person's immune system against itself so that it eats up the victim's lungs in what is known as a cytokine storm.

Does that mean that using immune builders is a mistake? No! But it does mean that using immune builders without using pathogen destroyers to take down the viral load very well might be. So with that in mind.

  • Keep a supply of AHCC, olive leaf extract capsules, and grapefruit seed extract on hand. Use them whenever you travel or enter an environment such as a large office as a prophylactic measure.
  • Keep a supply of a garlic based antipathogen formula and an immune building formula on hand -- or something like them. At the first sign of feeling unwell -- that scratch in the throat, a slightly feverish feeling, a dull body ache, an unexplained headache, etc. -- slam down a full bottle of Super ViraGon and a half bottle of Immunify. Stopping the flu in the incubation phase is much, much, much easier than getting rid of it once it has established itself. If you hit it hard during incubation, you should be almost 100% effective in stopping it cold. If you allow it to incubate and fully manifest, it will take you several days to beat it back. It's true that you can significantly cut the time of your sickness, but it will still be several days, and you will need to keep taking the formulas for four to five days after you feel better to make sure you clear the virus from your body and it doesn't reassert itself.If you prefer something else to Super ViraGon or Immunify, go for it. Other options include Sambucol and a good blood cleansing formula. Blood cleansing formulations are very unfriendly to viruses and bacteria.

Bottom line: we are not at panic time. There are things you can do. And if the situation changes, I will keep you up-to-date on anything that might affect your health.

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    Submitted by Angela on
    April 27, 2009 - 7:44am

    How about Kimchi?
    I have heard it could be good to eat Kimchi to prevent bird flu -
    But... I have also heard Kimchi can contribue to the cytokine storm due to the fact that the virus is immune to 2 cytokines that the body produces TNF-a and IL-6 - - and that Kimchi Increases production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6 - Pubmed PMID15630182 -
    These are clearing refering to the 2005 bird flu virus H5N1. What about the present virus H1N1?
    Please advise. Thank you!

    Submitted by beth on
    April 30, 2009 - 1:42am

    This has been fascinating! Thank you so much for your web-site and information~though I must admit, as a newer person to alternative health (I hate that, I think mainstream medicine is alternative as herbs and food have been here since creation!) I am a bit overwhelmed with where to begin!
    I want something on hand for our family to use should we need to but am concerned about interactions, etc. Even too much of a good thing can be potentially dangerous. Can you share some thoughts?
    Also, I was reading on W.H.O.'s web-site that the ""official"" death toll in Mexico is now at 7. JUST 7!! from the swine flu and ot much higher world-wide. Not to say that prevention or preparation isn't key, it is but still....
    Also, my boys (8,5 and 17mo) have not had teh regular flu virus and their immune systems are young and since they don't get sick often, could something like this be potentially a greater risk for them?
    Sorry to ramble, many things are flying through my head and I want to make sure I don't panic either and if we order any supplements they are right for us and our kis.

    Submitted by Bob on
    April 29, 2009 - 9:05am

    This is something I found that the media has not mentioned. It appears that there was a case of Novel H1N1 flu (Swine Flu) in California as early as March 30.
    Here is the link:
    The patient was 9 and Female in California and the collection date was March 30, 2009. I'm not a health care professional so I am not sure exactly what everything on this report means but the date to me is significant. If you can't see the link go to forward slash nuccore forward slash FJ966955.
    Can anyone tell us why we didn't hear about this case in the media reports? What does this report mean? Any comments would be helpful.

    Submitted by Cheryl on
    April 29, 2009 - 4:31am

    I am hoping that Mr. Barron can clarify an issue that is of potential great concern relating to his identification of Sambucol as an alternative pathogen destroyer choice for swine flu. The results of a 2001 Israeli study found that, in addition to its antiviral properties, Sambucol activates the healthy immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production.
    If this study is correct, then could the use of Sambucol for swine flu be dangerous because it would further incite a deadly cytokine storm?

    Submitted by chris on
    May 1, 2009 - 9:16am

    does anyone here know if they willl find a treatment for swine flu is yes please write somethign back on this site.

    Submitted by chris on
    May 1, 2009 - 9:23am

    I heard on the radio the people should not get vaccinated on this swine flu because of the probality that the government does not know what they are dealing with and they are saying that they have the vaccine but really it is not they are just testing us so dont get this susposily vaccine it is a fake.

    Submitted by Cynthia on
    August 4, 2009 - 8:50am

    I am a big believer in the pathogen-fighting abilities of Super ViraGon. My question, for Jon and all of you out there: How the heck do I get my 2 and 6 year old to take it? They're rejecting even small amounts in orange juice. How will I ever get large quantities into them should they contract Swine Flu or other serious virus? Of course, I'd also really like to be able to give it to them at the first onset of any cold or fever.
    Thanks much!

    Submitted by Frederik Ackermann on
    April 30, 2009 - 8:10am

    Dr. Joseph Mecola just released a new article on his website, and at least a couple of his sentences seem to be very 'inspired' by Jon's:
    Jon wirtes:But, more importantly, pandemic doesn't mean what most people seem to think it means. A pandemic does not necessarily mean black-plague carts being hauled through the streets piled high with dead bodies. Nor does it mean flesh eating zombies wandering the streets feeding on the living. All a pandemic means is that a new infectious disease is spreading throughout the world.
    Mercola Writes: However, a pandemic does not necessarily mean what you think it does, it is NOT black-plague carts being hauled through the streets piled high with dead bodies. Nor does it mean flesh eating zombies wandering the streets feeding on the living. All a pandemic means is that a new infectious disease is spreading throughout the world.

    Submitted by jen boda on
    April 29, 2009 - 9:47am

    I think that not stressing out about swine flu is number one. Second, two things that I would recommend are the herb astragalus--which is a long term, tonic immune booster (like echinachea only more gentle and creating a super immune system long term) and digestive bitters which improve digestion, helping your immune system function.
    BODA weight loss BLOG

    Submitted by Joel Berry on
    April 29, 2009 - 8:54am

    No mention of the most anti-bacterial, viral inhibiting essential oil from Nature, Oil of Oregano? Should I flush my OOO down the toilet?

    Submitted by Johan on
    April 29, 2009 - 6:50pm

    ""Virus Mania is a social disease of our highly developed society. To cure it will require conquering fear, fear being the most deadly contagious virus, most efficiently transmitted by the media. Errare humanum est sed diabolicum preservare… (to err is human, but to preserve an error is diabolic).""
    -Etienne de Harven, MD. From the foreword of the book Virus Mania

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    April 29, 2009 - 4:50am

    I tried to make that clear in the blog itself when I said, ""Does that mean that using immune builders is a mistake? No! But it does mean that using immune builders without using pathogen destroyers to take down the viral load very well might be.""
    That's why, for example I recommended AHCC (an immune builder), but in concert with olive leaf extract and grapefruit seed extract (pathogen destroyers). Or using Immunify (an immune builder) in concert with Super ViraGon (a pathogen destroyer).
    Hope that helps.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    April 29, 2009 - 9:43am

    It may not be mentioned specifically in this blog entry, but oil of oregano is a key ingredient in Super ViraGon and is mentioned as an antipathogen in several of the links in the blog - such as

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    April 29, 2009 - 9:56am

    Of course, Immunify, the formula recommended in the blog, contains both Echinacea and astragalus, along with pau d'arco, summa, and cordyceps.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    April 30, 2009 - 7:14am

    Five bottles of Super ViraGon per person is a good reserve. That allows for a bottle a day for the first two days to hit it hard. Then three bottles at ten droppers a day for long enough to make sure the bug has cleared the system.
    As for Sambucol, as Jon stated above, building the immune system is a good thing -- as long as you are simultaneously taking down the viral load. That prevents the cytokine storm.
    Incidentally, everyone at Baseline Nutritionals, the people who sell Super ViraGon, who works in customer support is a long time user of all Jon's products. They know them intimately and can provide one on one support.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    April 30, 2009 - 8:57am

    As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In truth, I like like Dr. Mercola and appreciate much of his work -- even if in this case, he seems to be a bit overly ""inspired"" by my blog and newsletter.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    April 30, 2009 - 9:02am

    We don't specifically recommend any of Jon's formulas for children. These are not Flintstone Vitamins. They are very serious formulas designed to produce serious results. That said, there are many parents who have, with their pediatrician's approval and guidance, given their children both Immunify and Super ViraGon (not to mention a number of Jon's other formulas) with great results.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    June 22, 2009 - 2:35pm

    Sambucol asked and answered above. See Cheryl, April 29, 2009 10:31 AM.
    As for vitamin D, the official safe warning is that large doses (1400-2000 IU/day) may cause hypercalcemia, a decrease in renal function, and nephrocalcinosis. Monthly blood tests to monitor serum calcium and parathyroid hormone levels should be done to protect against vitamin D3 toxicity. Underlying kidney disease precludes high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation. Although some research indicates that dosages up to 10,000 IU/day are safe, healthy people should stay below 2000 IU/day. Anything above 2000 IU a day, should probably be under a physician's supervision -- just to be safe.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    May 4, 2009 - 7:25am

    The formula you refer to as ""Master Tonic"" was actually created by Dr. John Christopher. He called it his Plague Formula. Dr. Richard Schulze also produces a version of it, and he's the one who first called it Master Tonic. It's a very strong and was used as the starting point for the creation of Super ViraGon as mentioned above. If you had clicked on the links associated with the formula, you would have seen that Super ViraGon starts with the ingredients in the Plague formula (as you listed them but in slightly different ratios) and then adds several extremely powerful anti-pathogens (olive leaf extract, oil of wild mountain oregano, grapefruit seed extract, and liquid zinc) not included in the other versions. The addition of those ingredients ramps up the potency of the formula by a factor of several times. In cases where compromise is not an option, it's the one you want to use.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    May 6, 2009 - 2:21am

    It's called swine flu because it appears to have first come from pigs. It contains DNA common to a flu variant found in pigs. Thus the name ""swine"" flu -- swine, of course, being another name for pig.

    Submitted by Kathy on
    May 4, 2009 - 6:15am

    I was wondering if the ""Master Tonic"" would help in not getting the flu. I decided to make some for myself recently. Boy is it potent. In case you never heard of it before the ingredients are:
    1 part fresh chopped garlic
    1 part fresh chopped Onion
    1 part fresh grated Ginger Root
    1 part fresh grated Horseradish Root
    1 part fresh chopped Cayenne Peppers
    Apple Cider Vinegar
    It's a natural antibiotic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitical.
    Anyway, I was just wondering if you thought this might be helpful in avoiding the swine flu or any flu or cold that might be going around.
    There is a video at YouTube that shows how it is made --

    Submitted by KYLE HUNT on
    April 30, 2009 - 2:53am

    jon,i ordered 15 bottles of that enough to have for now.i have a family of being a seven year old.also ordered sambucol which i have read increases the cytokine storm with these types of flu,should this be something safe to take.i love the fact we can ask questions i will be your customer for life.

    Submitted by Leah on
    April 27, 2009 - 4:40am

    I have been looking for an immune booster to take daily as well as something that is safe for someone who is planning or is pregnant. I have found some but they either say they are not safe for pregnant women or they do not mention it at all. My question is....Is super viragon and immunity safe for pregnant women? Can it be taken daily to build our immune system or is that unsafe? If it is not safe for pregnant women what products can you recommend that are?

    Submitted by lora on
    May 2, 2009 - 8:31am

    A flu is a flu is a flu by any other name it is still a flu....Swine or H1N1! Isn't this virus currently mutating and either becoming more deadly or less? Wouldn't it be better to get this flu now rather than in the fall when it is potentially the more deadlier form? Wouldn't we build up some immunity now then waiting until the strain has intensified? Thanks for Lesson of MD's..very informative and appreciate any insight you have to my questions.

    Submitted by lyn on
    May 4, 2009 - 5:55pm

    But what exactly does the word swine flu mean? why use the word swine

    Submitted by Lynda on
    May 11, 2009 - 7:11am

    Hello Jon,
    I live in Canada, Québec to be precise. My 13 year old son had a big weekend practicing with his orchestra all day Saturday and Sunday. When we went to my in-laws for mothers day last evening(Sunday)he fell asleep before supper. When I woke him up he complained of a stomach ache and had a runny nose. He states that he had a runny nose all day Sunday and he thought that his tummy ache was from sniffling all day( he tends to have seasonal allergies at this time of the year but they had not started yet). I do know he had quite a bit of candy so I didn't worry too much. This AM he woke up with a sore throat, and he was feverish, I gave him some echinachea and sent him back to bed. He has swollen lymph nodes on the right side of his neck near his ear,still complains of a sore throatand has slept most of the day. I gave him zinc, echinachea, vit C lozenges. I am very worried!!!!
    Also I am a teacher should I be worried that I might transmit A/H1N1? Do you think that this is what my son has? I have told him to wash his hands consistently,we have not been in contact with anyone that has been to Mexico. Please answer my query. I am a very worried mom. Also my son was asthmatic as a baby.

    Submitted by Mark Nelson on
    April 29, 2009 - 3:34am

    Concerning the Swine Flu. It appears to me, from what little I know from the news media, that the flu is entering this country from Mexico. When fruits, plants and vegetables are bought across the border from Mexico,they are inspected for insects and diseases that we don't want in this country.Why are we not inspecting humans coming across the border to see if they have the flu are not. If so, then keep them in Mexico until they are no longer contagious and curve the outbreak from even getting in the country. We do it with fruits and vegetables!

    Submitted by Mitch on
    June 22, 2009 - 2:20pm

    Hi Jon,
    I am little bit at a loss here because I keep reading different things on different websites and i am getting pretty confused as to what is good and what is not. I read that the H1N1 can turn your own immune system against you by creating a cytokine storm. I also read that sambucol (elderberry extract) is NOT the thing to take and that it could actually enable the resultant cytokine storm. In the beginning of your article you say: If you prefer something else to Super ViraGon or Immunify, go for it. Other options include Sambucol....Could you please help me understand. And would you happen to know how much D3 is safe to take for an adult over 50?
    Thank you very much

    Submitted by p.jacobs on
    May 11, 2009 - 1:26am

    I have used homeopathic influenza as a OTC vaccine for a number of years. It was recommended in a health magazine a few years ago. I start this vaccine process in September (1 dose once a week for 4 weeks) followed by 1 dose one month later. This works until around February when you take another dose. When the H1N1 flu came around, Itook another dose. I also use grapefruit seed extract tablets (125 mg each) and New Chapter's Immunity elderberry tablets. I have olive leaf extract, but only use that when absolutely necessary as I find it harsh on the stomach. Another avenue I use is neem. Often, I will include fresh ginger root with the preparations I take because I have heard ginger works synergistically, along with piperine.
    I have heard about the cytocine storm, so I am looking for ways to keep the immune system healthy but not overactivated. My question is with regards to the shitake, reishi and maitake mushrooms that are a part of my regular natural vitamin. I also eat fresh shitake mushrooms on a regular basis. Would these mushrooms contribute to the over-production of cytokines in the body?

    Submitted by Pam on
    April 30, 2009 - 11:53am

    I was vaccinated in 1976 for a strain of swine flu that was spreading then. I remember tv and radio ads encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.


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