We have all recently been inundated by the media with fear of this latest killer virus. Egypt has ordered the slaughter of 300,000 pigs despite one case in that country, people have been told to halt all travel to Mexico, wear surgical masks in public, stay away from crowded areas and to get their flu shots! Haven't we heard this before? Remember SARS, the bird flu, and last year's seasonal flu. Remember the shortages of flu vaccines and anti-viral medications (Tamiflu) after all the hysteria?
This is NOT the First Swine Flu Panic
This this isn’t the first time the public has been warned about swine flu. The last time was in 1976. It resulted in the massive swine flu vaccine campaign. Do you happen to recall the result of this massive campaign? Within a few months, claims totaling $1.3 billion had been filed by victims who had suffered paralysis from the vaccine. The vaccine was also blamed for 25 deaths. However, several hundred people developed crippling Guillain-Barré Syndrome after they were injected with the swine flu vaccine. Even healthy 20-year-olds ended up as paraplegics. And the swine flu pandemic itself? It never materialized.
So what is the swine flu?
Regular swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease, caused by a type-A influenza virus that affects pigs. The current strain, A(H1N1), is a new variation of an H1N1 virus -- which causes seasonal flu outbreaks in humans -- that also contains genetic material of bird and pig versions of the flu.
Are the symptoms of swine flu different than the regular flu?
As far as we currently know, the symptoms are the same including fever, sore throat, body aches, cough and headache.
So is the Swine Flu Getting More or Less Dangerous?
On Sunday, April 26, The Independent reported that more than 1,000 people had contracted the swine flu virus in Mexico, but by the afternoon that same day, Mexican President Calderon declared that more than two-thirds of the 1,300 thought to have contracted the disease had been given a clean bill of health and sent home. Additionally, the number of actual confirmed cases appears to be far lower than reported in many media outlets. Interestingly Mexico is the ONLY country in the world where someone has actually died from this disease. Mexico has reported 159 fatalities in flu-like cases in recent days, seven of which have been confirmed as swine flu. Another 19 patients have been confirmed as having swine flu but surviving. However, some insiders at WHO believe these numbers are seriously inflated and could be as low as single digits.
By contrast, the United States has had 91 confirmed cases, five hospitalizations and no deaths from US Citizens. On April 29th CNN reported the first swine fatality in the US, however this was actually a child from Mexico that died in Texas. According to the World Health Organization's Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response site; as of April 27, there are:
91 laboratory confirmed cases in U.S. -- 0 deaths (reported by CDC as of April 30)
26 confirmed cases in Mexico -- 7 deaths
6 confirmed cases in Canada -- 0 deaths
1 confirmed case in Spain -- 0 deaths
Additionally, nearly all suspected new cases have been reported as mild.
How deadly is the seasonal flu?
If you go to the CDC website’s main flu page you will find they claim the flu is responsible for 36,000 deaths per year. However, if you go to CDC’s more comprehensive National Vital Statistics Report you will find that only 257 people died of the flu in 2001 and 753 in 2002. A search of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a cooperative program of the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) collecting information about adverse events that occur after the administration of U.S.-licensed vaccines, reveals 395 deaths between 1990 and August of this year following administration of the flu vaccine. Forty-four of those deaths were in children 4 years old and younger.
VAERS is a passive surveillance system and depends on voluntary reporting of serious health problems following vaccination, even though safety provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 mandate that health care providers report vaccine adverse events. There have been estimates that fewer than 10 percent, even as low as 1 to 4%, of adverse events which occur after prescription drug or vaccine use are ever reported to government adverse event reporting systems. According to the CDC 2004 National Vital Statistics Report, there were 18 deaths from the flu in children age 0-4 years. If those studies are indeed correct then the actual number of deaths in children age 0-4 years following flu vaccine administration could be as high as 25 per year and 223 vaccine associated deaths per year in all age groups.
Should we all get flu shots just in case?
If the info above wasn't enough reason to avoid the flu vaccine, influenza virus strains mutate, necessitating a new vaccine each year. Every year, the World Health Organization predicts which strains of the virus are most likely to be circulating the following year so vaccine manufacturers can produce vaccines for administration that fall. In the 1994-1995 flu season, the CDC reported that 43% of isolated influenza samples for the predominant virus were not similar to that in the vaccine. Likewise, for another virus 87% of samples were not similar to that in the vaccine. For yet another, 76% of isolated samples were not similar to that in the vaccine. During the 1992-1993 flu season 84% of the isolated influenza samples for the predominant virus were not similar to that in the vaccine. Hugh Fudenberg MD, an immunogeneticist, has also found that a person that has 5 consecutive flu shots, is 10 times more likely to get Alzheimer's.
With all this information showing minimal effectiveness and definite risks, why does the CDC recommend we all get our flu shots? According to Glen Nowak, Ph.D., associate director for Communications of the CDC’s National Immunization Program, the best “recipe” for a successful influenza season is for “medical experts and public health authorities to publicly (e.g., via media) state concern and alarm (and predict dire outcomes)–and urge influenza vaccination.” This should produce “significant media interest and attention” and “framing of the flu season in terms that motivate behavior (e.g., as ‘very severe,’ ‘more severe than last or past years,’ ‘deadly’).” Prime example of the type of fear-mongering, use of the media and manipulation of the general public that is occurring with the Swine Flu scare.
What if there's a pandemic like in 1918?
In 1918, the flu pandemic killed between 25-40 million people! Improvements in running water, refrigeration, nutrition and hygiene since then have kept many contagious diseases from being as deadly. In 1979, Walter Rhodes wrote about some interesting statistics regarding the pandemic. Medical doctors in 1918 in Davenport, IA treated 93,590 patients with the flu in which there were 6,116 deaths, about 1 in 15. At the same time, chiropractors in the Palmer College of Chiropractic adjusted 1,635 people with the flu and had only one fatality! Outside of Davenport, Iowa chiropractors adjusted 4,735 flu cases with only 6 deaths (1 out of 866 cases). A 1919 report from Palmer college reported that in medical care: 1 of 17 died. Osteopathic care: 1of 36 died. Chiropractic care: 1 out of 886!
While chiropractic certainly is not a treatment for the flu or any other condition or symptom, adjustments help the body function at its best. Chiropractic focuses on clearing the body of subluxations (nerve interference) that can compromise the body’s ability to easily heal itself. While the nervous system controls everything in the body, more and more research is showing the nervous systems' profound effect on the immune system. Medical research has also shown higher CD4 and thiol levels (immune markers) in patients that undergo regular chiropractic adjustments versus those that do not.
What else should I do to avoid the flu?
While the medical model focuses on avoiding exposure, prevention through vaccination and treatment through antiviral meds, the most effective approach is improving your immune system. Here are some tips to keep your immune system working optimally.
- Get chiropractic adjustments.
- Get at least a half hour of daily exercise, its essential for a strong immune system.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially raw.
- Limit sugar and processed foods.
- Get some sun! Vitamin D deficiency can lower your immune system.
- Stay hydrated! A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Don’t let the fear and hysteria get to you. Negative thoughts and fear will make you sick.
Your health is a choice and only you can take responsibility for it! Make the decision to live a healthy, vibrant life today!