October 27, 2009
Campaign for Liberty
By Adam Murdock
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?