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January 15th, 2005

By Sal Roach

A few months back, we reported the beginning of Flu season #&45; and with it, a shortage in vaccines to help combat the infection. It turns out that those with severe flues are comes a greater risk of suffering from Dehydration.

That#&8217;s why they have water fountains all over the schoolyard, regardless of the cost for Cootie Shots.

Because of the severe loss of fluids from vomiting or loose stool when you have the flu, your body lacks the essential fluids to keep you going. While minor side effects of this can range from a dry throat to extreme lethargy, the effects of dehydration on already existing medical conditions in those with weak immune systems can be devastating.

Recently, Todd Harrison, a patient a Kaiser Hospital in Los Angeles, was brought in to treat a massive amount of dehydration he underwent as a result of a recent bout with the flu. Because he already has diabetes, the dehydration triggered a state of malnutrition, which in turn set forth an infection of Hallux Osteo, a slight deterioration of the bones.

According to Nurse Colleen Donohue, the one who had been treating Mr. Harrison, #&34;His immune system was suppressed because of lack of liquids. His fighter T cells were at a dangerously low level. Coupled with a fever that set forth the dehydration, it set him up for a number of other problems.#&34;

At the hospital ward which was stacked with similar cases, mainly amongst the elderly, she was extremely busy and dashed out the door before I could get to a follow up question. The nurses run the show after the diagnosis is made.

Later, after she had minute to talk, she explained that #&34;With dehydration and malnutrition, there is a higher risk of bronchial infections. Slight wounds can become greater problems, and we may even seem some deterioration of the bones.#&34;

So what does all of this mean? No, we are not telling you that if you catch the flu you#&8217;re going to end up in the hospital with harsh medical disorders, but the need to keep replenishing with liquids and as much solid food as you can muster during these periods is essential. Even if you#&8217;re only eating bananas and chicken soup, any amount will strengthen your immune system and make you steadfast against infection.

Since the Tsunami#&8217;s at the end of last year, The WHO (World health Organization) has predicted that a number equal to the 150,000 casualties caused by the actual disaster could die because of disease and infection. Many of that astronomical number will do so because of dehydration or deficiencies caused by a direct result of dehydration.

More than half of our body weight is water, so if that is not maintained, there is a floodgate of infection that can open and spread throughout your body within days. Make sure that the liquids you are consuming during this extended flu season are low in sugar, as excessive amounts of sugar causes the secession of water weight.

Water weight is the easier to get rid of, which is the reason that when you diet, you initially lose 5#&45;6 pounds, but then find it difficult to lose more. All you have lost is the water weight.

So please, keep refreshed during these months and continue to lend your support to the relief efforts for the tens of thousands that are depending on the world#&8217;s help to deliver them a clean cup of water each day.

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