As you can see from the diagram above, these picornaviruses can affect more than we generally think of as colds and flu. Although we may have polio beaten, there are a lot more of these 'bugs' that we may still have to deal with.
The common cold - the rhinovirus affects only the nose, throat, sinuses, ears and lungs. Other enteroviruses, "tummy wogs" can affect all the other areas seen above as well including the gut, brain, heart, liver, muscles, skin and eyes.
There are some particularly nasty wogs going around this winter including one in Victoria at the moment that is causing prolonged muscle pain and weakness and is not easy to get over.
So what can we do to avoid them?
If we do get a wog, we can respond to the signals that our body sends out to assist it to cope until the immune system gets the upper hand. However not allowing the bug to get a hold in the first place is a better idea. Paralytic polio occurred because our immune system was depressed at the time and not able to deal with it quickly as other people did. Only 5% of the population had a recognisable dose of polio. The other 95% were able to throw it off. How can we make sure this happens?
Well - you may have heard that zinc is supposed to help with a cold - you know, zinc lozenges in the shops etc. As we have just seen with the polio virus, any of the viruses must plug into a receptor site on the body cell to gain entry and replicate causing us to have a cold or flu. Recent research has shown that zinc has a function at the cellular level whereby membranes that are fully "zinc charged" emit an ionic repulsion like reverse magnetism, at receptor sites, which does not allow the virus to engage at the site. This was observed by a Dr Isaac Asimov PhD through an electron microscope. Increasing zinc intake takes 3 weeks for saturation so it is too late once the virus has attached. We need to maintain a daily zinc saturation level to avoid colds and flu now.
References for polio & viral information include
Marcia Falconer MSc PhD Sydney Polio Conference 2002
Yin-Murphy M Medmicro chapt 53 Picornaviruses
Jubelt B Motor Disorders chapt 34 Polio & PPS; USA 1999
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