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Influenza

Story at-a-glance

  • While influenza can indeed be deadly in rare cases, these deaths are typically the result of secondary infections, not the flu virus itself

  • Research has highlighted the link between influenza and severe sepsis (blood poisoning). Symptoms of sepsis can mimic the flu, and are often overlooked. Without prompt treatment, the condition can be deadly

  • Use of intravenous vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine has been shown to reduce sepsis mortality nearly fivefold, from 40 to 8.5 percent

  • Optimizing your vitamin D level is far more potent a preventive strategy than getting a seasonal flu vaccine. People with significant vitamin D levels may reduce their risk of respiratory infections such as influenza by 50 percent

  • People with higher vitamin D levels may also benefit from additional vitamin D, reducing their risk of flu by 10 percent, which equals the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine, including this year's vaccine

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2017-2018 flu season appears particularly virulent. Influenza activity increased significantly in December, with influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominating, and in a December 27 notice, the agency noted that “In the past, A(H3N2) virus-predominant influenza seasons have been associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in persons aged 65 years and older and young children …”1

While influenza can indeed be deadly in rare cases, what most health experts fail to tell you is that these deaths are typically the result of secondary infections, not the flu virus itself. Importantly, research has highlighted the link between influenza and severe sepsis — a progressive disease process initiated by an aggressive, dysfunctional immune response to an infection in the bloodstream (which is why it's sometimes referred to as blood poisoning).

Symptoms of sepsis are often overlooked, even by health professionals, and without prompt treatment, the condition can be deadly. Unfortunately, conventional treatments often fail, and most hospitals have yet to embrace the use of intravenous (IV) vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine,2 which has been shown to reduce sepsis mortality from 40 to a mere 8.5 percent.3,4

How Influenza May Cause Lethal Sepsis

According to researchers, “Severe sepsis is traditionally associated with bacterial diseases … However, viruses are becoming a growing cause of severe sepsis worldwide.” As noted in the video above, some sepsis symptoms also resemble influenza, which can lead to tragedy. The video offers guidelines on how to tell the difference between the two.

Sepsis, without doubt, requires immediate medical attention, whereas most people will successfully recover from the flu with a few days to a week of bedrest and fluids. Just how influenza can lead to sepsis is a somewhat complex affair, described as follows:5

“Regardless of the etiologic agent, the inflammatory response is highly interconnected with infection. In the initial response to an infection, severe sepsis is characterized by a pro-inflammatory state, while a progression to an anti-inflammatory state develops and favors secondary infections …

In the predominant pro-inflammatory state, Th1 cells activated by microorganisms increase transcription of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interferon-γ (INF-γ), and interleukin-2 (IL-2).