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Thyroid Science 4(8):R1-5, 2009

Iodine: the Forgotten Weapon
Against Influenza Viruses

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David Derry, MD, PhD

332 – 425 Simcoe Street
Victoria BC V8V 4T3

Correspondence: Dr. David Derry

Background. After the 1918 Influenza Pandemic which killed an estimated 30 million people, governments financed research on the Pandemic’s causes. Over 25 years, influenza viruses were isolated and methods for killing them with various agents discovered. Iodine was the most effective agent for killing viruses, especially influenza viruses. Aerosol iodine was found to kill viruses in sprayed mists, and solutions of iodine were equally effective. In 1945, Burnet and Stone found that putting iodine on mice snouts prevented the mice from being infected with live influenza virus in mists. They suggested that impregnating masks with iodine would help stop viral spread. They also recommended that medical personnel have iodine-aerosol-treated rooms for examination and treatment of highly infected patients. Current methods of dealing with influenza infection are isolation, hand washing, antiviral drugs, and vaccinations. All of these methods can be improved by incorporating iodine into them. When impregnated with iodine, masks become much more effective, and hand washing is more effect when done with mild iodine solutions. Isolation techniques coupled with aerosol iodine would make them safer for patients, medical personnel, and all persons working with the public. Public health authorities could organize the distribution of iodine and at the same time educate the public in the effective use of iodine. Oral iodine might also boost body defense mechanisms in the upper oral and respiratory mucus. Conclusion: Iodine incorporated into masks, solutions, aerosols, and oral preparations could help to kill influenza viruses and fight off an H1N1 Pandemic.

Keywords. H1N1 • Influenza virus • iodine • aerosols • immunization • isolations • masks • prevention

Derry, D.: Iodine: the Forgotten Weapon Against Influenza Viruses.
Thyroid Science, 4(9):R1-5, 2009.

Full Text Free in pdf format

© 2009 Thyroid Science