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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stop the Swine Whine

‘A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.’ – Ted Turner to Audubon Magazine, 1996

The H1N1 “swine” flu is an extraordinarily deadly virus.

You need to get the vaccine or you could suffer the consequences.

So-and-so has died in your neighborhood. Do you want to be next?

The above statements are typical of the lines that have been fed to the people of the world from the controlled media. In fact, the drum beat has been so deafening that you would think that people were dropping like flies. Sure there have been some deaths related to the flu but most have affected individuals with risk factors such as pre-existing lung conditions or people who are immunocompromised. Most healthy individuals that I have personally seen and in general have experienced nothing more than run of the mill flu symptoms.

Unfortunately, a lot of the hysteria has arisen out of disinformation or lack of information. I am going to address some of the disinformation by posing a few questions. First, do people die from the virus itself? And, if so, why do some individuals succumb to the virus and not others? The answers to the above questions are not commonly known but are pretty well established in the medical community. The facts are that the flu virus is seldom the sole cause of death, even among compromised individuals. In fact, many of the fatal cases arise from individuals that acquire bacterial superinfections. These bacterial infections arise after the lining of the lung is damaged by the virus which leaves the lung susceptible. The reason for this is that the lining of the lungs are critical for the removal of infectious elements and debris acquired during inhalation or from the upper respiratory tract. When these normal mechanisms breakdown or are already impaired, as is the case in pre-existing lung conditions, fatal bacterial infections can arise. It is these infections that are frequently the culprits in the flu. A result of this knowledge is that, I, as a physician am particularly cognizant of examining patients with presumed flu for signs and symptoms of pneumonia and in particular bacterial pneumonia.

What facts about the 1918 flu made some infectious disease experts worried about the swine flu this time around? The timeline of the 1918 flu was really composed of two flu seasons. The particularly virulent form of the flu was preceded by a mild flu much earlier in the season. It is believed that the milder form of the flu was able to acquire virulence factors by “mutating” into a more virulent form that affected younger, healthier patients. It was the second more virulent form that was the cause of the millions of deaths. Or was it? The media and public health officials like to blame all the deaths on the flu. As usual, there are some “confounding” variables, which in the case of the flu are other variables that may have affected the outcomes of flu victims. The first variable was sanitation. The cities of the early twentieth century were not known for their high sanitation standards. Nor was the importance of methods for preventing transmission of the virus such as hand washing and limited close contact understood. The second variable was an understanding about the virus itself and how it spreads, which as you might expect was rather limited at that time. Finally, treatment for flu patients at the time consisted entirely of supportive care. The advent of antivirals and antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial complications of the flu had yet to be invented. These factors greatly contributed to the mortality of the disease.

What about this year’s swine flu? This year’s flu also started earlier in the year, somewhat like the 1918 virus and has been relatively mild. The fear was that this virus would also acquire the factors that would make it more virulent. It is this question that has generated all the hysteria and government intervention.

This leads me to the next question: Did we really need all the hysteria over a highly speculative event with little probability of happening?

The answer might have been “maybe,” if we really were experiencing an exact copy of the 1918 flu. Yet, I am unaware that the current mild swine flu has undergone any type of comparable virulent transformation as many were predicting. In addition, a couple of the original vaccine trials published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine examining the efficacy of the H1N1 vaccine demonstrated that up to 40 % of people already had antibodies to the flu and therefore were possibly already immune. (1) (2) As this data is now several months old, the percentage is likely much higher now. It may be that the majority of people already have antibodies to the swine flu. Another study recently published in Euroscience by Purdue scientists predicts that the peak number of cases of swine flu will happen this week through Oct. 24. They also predict that the vaccine is not likely to have much effect on the total number of people that will acquire the swine flu because it has arrived too late. (3)

So with this information in hand what has been the response of government health officials? Have they halted a massive multi-billion dollar vaccination campaign that would vaccinate a group of people that may be already immune to a mild swine flu? Quite the contrary; they have intensified their efforts. They are calling medical professionals unethical if they don’t get vaccines and even in some cases forcing vaccinations upon nurses and doctors as in New York. In addition, there has much talk about suspending constitutional freedoms and forcing vaccinations upon the general population.

What is scariest about the whole situation is that governments are seizing this opportunity to create emergency power bills that include pandemics such as with flu, thus mimicking the unconstitutional powers that have already been usurped by our Presidents. Recently, Pennsylvania has proposed such legislation. (4)

House bill 492 proposes emergency powers to “compel a person to submit to a physical examination or testing, or both, as necessary to diagnose or treat the person.” This is to be done “without resort to judicial or quasi-judicial authority.” This legislation will also require that “any physician or other health care provider to perform the medical examination or testing, or both” under penalty of law. In addition, “the public health authority may, for such period as the state of public health emergency exists, compel a person to be vaccinated or treated, or both, for an infectious disease.” In other words, the rights of the patient and physician can be removed solely because a government public health authority believes a health emergency is imminent. This dictatorial power is to be accomplished without any judicial review.

What about the big pharmaceutical companies? I was recently reading about the pharmaceutical company, Baxter, who is projecting earnings of $30 – 40 million this quarter alone from swine flu vaccinations. Indeed, “Baxter International Inc., best known for its drug pumps and products for blood disorders and kidney disease, said it sees a lucrative new revenue source in vaccines and a multiyear opportunity in H1N1 swine flu vaccines.” (5) It appears that big pharma is seizing upon the hysteria around this flu to potentially establish a new flu vaccine for years to come. This is despite the fact that a majority of the people may be already immune to the current H1N1 virus and the potential for pandemic swine flu in the years to come is likely minimal.

What about harm from the vaccine? Public health officials and the media like to portray the vaccine as virtually harmless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although most immediate side-effects are minimal, it is well established that people can experience severe allergic reactions and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a severe neurological condition characterized by ascending paralysis. These conditions can lead to death and frequently do if unrecognized. In addition, there may be long-term side-effects related to adjuvants and mercury in vaccines that yet to have been fully characterized due to a lack of randomized studies for vaccinations. To add insult to injury, this vaccination has been rushed through the usual safety evaluation for vaccines in order that the government might “save” us from the deadly swine flu. So why take the risk if the benefits at this point are ill-defined. Indeed, physicians are mandated by law to tell their patients about all risks, benefits, and alternatives to any proposed treatment. Surely, any self-respecting physician should uphold his/her Hippocratic Oath by sharing the information with their patients.

Finally, it is not my right to tell you whether or not you should get flu vaccines, much less force you. Under the constitution, nobody else should have that right either. Unfortunately, it may be soon that our constitutional rights are only as good as the next flu season.

Ukraine Swine Flu 1.25 Million (1,255,558) affected, 239 Deaths, 65,615 Hospitalised


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