Dr. Mark Moyad (photo) is Director of Preventive and Alternative Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

His recommendations.

  • Wash up
    • Ethyl alcohol hand gel and plain soap and water should be encouraged.
    • Antimicrobial soaps should be discouraged.
  • Gargling and nasal sprays
    • Gargling with water and using nasal saline spray are also cost effective and supported with clinical evidence.
  • Vitamins
    • Vitamins C and D have the largest benefit-to-risk ratio for patients and may reduce the risk of pneumonia.
  • Other supplements
    • Echinacea, vitamin E, and zinc, have some research support for their use, but also have potential long-term safety issues.
  • High-calorie antioxidant beverages
    • These only encourage weight and waist gain.
  • Honey
    • A teaspoon or 2 of honey has antimicrobial activity and may suppress cough.

The bottom line?

He concludes, “Vaccine compliance as early as possible should be promoted as a selfless act that reduces viral transmission that could cause morbidity and mortality in the most immune vulnerable individuals.”

1/23/10 19:30 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.