Thursday, October 06, 2005

You say "pandemic," I say "fear mongering"

It’s flu season again! Every year, right after back-to-school season, the government, media and pharma marketers kick the flu season into high gear.

Since the small and unfortunate SARS “outbreak” that killed a few hundred people in North America two years ago, fear of a global flu pandemic has grown to well, pandemic proportions. But since SARS did not make a comeback last year, seems the dread Avian flu is the preferred poster child about which to panic – compared in most cases to the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.

The stats to be found about deaths caused by the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic vary widely. Most researchers and writers claim that between 20 and 50 million people died…some say 20 percent of the world population succumbed to that flu, which, given the population of 1.8 billion at the time, would mean that as many as 360 million people contracted the Spanish flu.

So, today, we have almost four times the population that we had in 1918: there are close to 6.5 billion people on Earth…and, since 2003 we’ve had under 100 deaths from Avian Flu, all of which have occurred among people who live in close proximity to their fowl…so, I’m at a loss to understand how the American government can compare the Avian Flu to the Spanish Flu without cracking a sly smile and high-fiving their pharma friends (stock prices will soar if this flu pandemic ever really flies).

So, what about that Spanish flu of 1918? What do we know about it and why it spread around the world with such apparent ease? War was certainly a factor and American soldiers have been fingered as one of the main targets for both spreading and dieing from the flu. (Hmm…maybe there is reason to make the comparison after all, given how many American soldiers are taking roots all over the world today…)

If you pick up any newspaper, turn on any TV news in the next weeks and months, you’ll hear lots of breathless hyperbole about the imminent, unstoppable and deadly flu pandemic that is on the verge of ravaging the Earth. You’ll be told to get your regular flu vaccine, and your avian flu shot, and your anti-terrorist immunizations, and then you’ll willingly ask for antidepressants, and anti-panic pills, and high blood pressure medication because the world is such a scary place to live these days. I want my Mommy!

Here are a few thoughts from people whose ideas you won’t see covered by the mainstream media:

Vaccine, Not Virus Responsible for Spanish Flu
Who knows if this story from the Irish Examiner, May 2003, has any teeth. I don’t. But what strikes me are two lines of text:
This disaster occurred when viruses were unknown to medical science. It took a British science team to identify the first virus in man in 1933.
Throws just a little light on why it’s so hard to get a good sense of how many people died of the Spanish flu, no? Maybe throws into question not only how many people died, but exactly what they died from …odds are we’ll never know, given the medical data of the time was not able to tell us, and that revisionist history is rampant in cases of disease-caused deaths. But there are a few theories out in the world. Among them…

Murder by Injection by Eustace Mullins (page 138)
"Medical historians have finally come to the reluctant conclusion that the great flu "epidemic" of 1918 was solely attributable to the widespread use of vaccines. It was the first war in which vaccination was compulsory for all servicemen. The Boston Herald reported that forty-seven soldiers had been killed by vaccination in one month. As a result, the military hospitals were filled, not with wounded combat casualties, but with casualties of the vaccine. The epidemic was called "the Spanish Influenza," a deliberately misleading appellation, which was intended to conceal its origin. This flu epidemic claimed twenty million victims; those who survived it were the ones who had refused the vaccine."

Vaccination Mythology
Reprint of part of a letter sent by John P Heptonstall (Director of Morley Acupuncture Clinic and Complementary Therapy Centre) to the British Medical Journal, January 24, 2000.

"The 1918 'Spanish Flu' started in American military Camp Funston, Fort Riley, USA amongst troops making ready for W.W.I - taking on board vaccinations, recruit training and all. It eventually killed about 40,000,000 people worldwide. That flu strain only appeared briefly once again, according to the US Atlanta CDC. This was in 1976 and again it struck at the US army camp Fort Dix, USA, amongst recently vaccinated troops (and no one else EVER); Fort Dix is known to have been a vaccine trial centre. Was the world's greatest 'influenza' scourge another well-hidden vaccine disaster?"
And finally, a paragraph from The Survival Factor in Neoplastic and Viral Diseases by Dr. William Koch. This book is out of print. Published in 1958. I suspect the data he cites here could be verified, but sadly, that is not on my list of things to do today.

"In 1918, the US Army forced the vaccination of 3,285,376 natives in the Philippines when no epidemic was brewing, only the sporadic cases of the usual mild nature. Of the vaccinated persons, 47,369 came down with small-pox, and of these 16,477 died. In 1919 the experiment was doubled. 7,670,252 natives were vaccinated. Of these 65,180 victims came down with small-pox, and 44,408 died. In the first experiment, one-third died, and in the second, two-thirds of the infected ones died."

One more finally - check out the wiki encyclopedia's entry on the Spanish Flu. There are many sources of info cited - none of which/whom could be labelled as anti-medico freaks, so they should be considered reasonably credible. Read between the lines, not just what's said explicitly.
If you decide to skip the annual flu vaccine this year, and want to keep healthy, the best advice I’ve seen so far is to stay away from the target population that seems to be the virus’ mechanism for reaching out and touching someone: toddlers and elementary school-age kids.

And if you have kids that you can’t give away just yet – I recommend isolation of the whole family. You can’t be careful enough…in case you haven’t heard, there’s a killer flu on the horizon…


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