Arm yourself against MERS virus 

It's one of the biggest health scares to make headlines in years -- one my own patients have been asking me about despite the fact that there hasn't been a single case here in California.

It's Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS virus, a highly contagious and devastating viral infection.

While there have been only three confirmed cases in the United States, there's always a chance it can spread and spread fast (we've already had our first transmission here within the States) -- so today, I'm going to tell you how to help protect yourself and your loved ones.

But first, let me tell you a little about MERS virus itself.

It originated in camels, but at some point made the jump to humans, with devastating consequences. So far, nearly a third of the victims have died.

Because it's a virus, you have to come into contact with someone carrying it in order to get infected, and this is where it gets scary: It takes about five days to show symptoms, which means seemingly healthy people could carry and spread MERS virus without knowing it.

Once the symptoms appear, they come on strong and include high fever, intense cough and shortness of breath.

Since it's a virus, the best approach is to give your own immune system the power to fight it off before it has a chance to make you sick.

The foundation of a good immune system is a quality multivitamin. Make sure it contains both vitamins A and C, which stimulate the production of the antibodies needed to resist viral infections. Also make sure it includes the minerals selenium and zinc, which support the white blood cells that form your first line of defense against infection.

Certain herbal remedies, including Echinacea and astragalus, will also enhance your immune function so you're better able to fight of viruses.

Other natural immune-boosters include elderberry, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and lomatium dissectum, an herbal remedy so effective at stopping the reproduction of viruses that Native Americans used it against Spanish flu.

All of these are good preventive options -- but the best preventive step of all is a little common sense. Be careful when traveling and when around people who've traveled recently, always wash your hands and don't rub your eyes.

People think viruses enter through the mouth or nose, and they often do, but the eyes are another often overlooked major point of entry.

For people with severe infections I utilize high doses of intravenous natural compounds such as vitamin C, hydrogen peroxide, and colloidal silver to blast these viruses.