The Internet Times Supplement

A Swine Flu Pandemic of Emails

In Life & Style on July 29, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Over the past week or so I have received numerous emails with links to ‘facts’ in relation to Swine Flu, the risks of vaccination, the proposed ‘COMPULSORY’ vaccination order from WHO and so on. Someone please give me a break. Were I to take in all of this hype I would die of stress. I am just not buying it. Yes there is a risk, yes there is a pandemic, but the risk factor is currently very low.

Here is one of the emails I received. I have removed any reference to named individuals and it is certainly not a criticism of the intention behind the sender at all. In fact, I have a lot of respect and admiration for the person who sent it. Nuff said… kudos to you AW.

Here is their (edited) email.
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Please see links below:
Bioterrorism evidence. On the last two pages you can find main defendants.

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Here is my response.
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All I can say is “Good Grief! You have been spending far too much time reading the internet.” The problem is, most people sadly believe that “If it is on the internet it must be true” without checking any basic facts and being logical in their approach to information.

Here is an article I found with a simple search. Lots of figures but no facts or ability to confirm the correctness of the information (no citations). Note the use of the words “may” and could” in many of the articles. Do not get me wrong here, I am not doubting the potential for a pandemic occuring. I believe the media is over-hyping this specific instance. Crying ‘Wolf’ too many times and people get complacent or misled. Even a Wikipedia article re the pandemic contains many inaccuracies.

Influenza is not a straightforward disease, as it is constantly mutating. While media attention has conditioned people to regard “bird flu” as a particular entity,there are many forms of “avian flu.” The H5N1 strain, was first noted in Asian birds in 1997. That first year, 18 people in Hong Kong were diagnosed with the contagion, 6 of whom died. Since 1997, there have been approximately 206 known human cases of bird flu (of which 114 died), but as the CDC points out: “It is possible that the only cases currently being reported are those in the most severely ill people, and that the full range of illness caused by the H5N1 virus has not yet been defined.” Most strains of flu are not deadly to humans, save for members of groups especially at risk to all forms of contagion (e.g. the very young, the very old, and the infirm of all ages). In a typical year, 35,000 die of ‘normal’ flu. The WHO raised their pandemic alert to 6 recently. This number reflects the spread of a virus and not its severity. This is often misquoted in the press as a “danger level”.

For most people, the risk of “Swine Flu” (H151) killing them is minimal, almost to the point of statistical insignificance, similarly the current risk of catching it is low. Put it into perspective with what else is out there and I raise the question “Why worry?” If you are fit and healthy, yes you may get “swine flu” but it is likely to be a few days of feeling like crap and that is it. Had flu before? Sound familiar?

Throughout your day and your life you take risks; can I get to the other side of the road before the tram hits me?, is it safe to talk to that man/woman?, should I have another drink?, can I make it over that puddle? and so on. See this site with regard to risk. All of the articles are of interest (the lottery one is good) but the one I link to covers the media.

I worked in Pakistan for a year. During that time you might say I was at risk. But from what? The biggest risks at the time were; pollution, traffic, and disease. I learned not to touch my face with my hands and how useless anti-bacterial soaps and gels are (an alcohol based gel is far better). Not terrorism. If anything, at the time, I was safer there than in most major European cities. Now? Now it MIGHT be a different matter. I work internationally and there are a couple of places I will definitely not go due to what I perceive as risk factors – Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Yet there are still people who go there, live there, work there, who are foreign nationals who come to no harm. It is important to note that this has NOTHING to do with luck. This is another matter entirely which I will not dwell on here.

A few relevant facts to put things into perspective:

i) Roughly 25,000 children die each day due to poverty.

ii) About 11 million children under the age of 5 die each year from malnutrition and preventable diseases.

iii) 1.75 million deaths from TB annually

iv) 300 million acute illnesses and at least 1 million deaths from malaria each year.

v) In 2005, 17.5 million deaths occured due to cardiovascular disease (CVD). This number is expected to triple in the next three to five years due to obesity. This number excludes those who died due to liver and other weight related organ issues (diabetes, pancreatic cancer…).

… the list is long but just check this sort of thing out to put things into perspective. Oh, and before I forget, in 2008 there were just over 750 road deaths in the Netherlands.

“Swine Flu” (in fact H1N1) stories and ‘information’ are spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). Here is one site that purports to have the ‘facts’ (actually some of it is true) yet cannot even get the name of the virus correct – they refer to Influenza A/H151 which was the virus from 1918 known as “The Spanish Flu”. It makes you wonder how someone so well informed cannot get the information correct when it is so freely available. Most cases of severe and fatal swine flu infections have occurred in people aged 30 to 50. Many of those cases were seen in people who were already ill with disorders like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and obesity. There is an additional ‘confusion’ that pregnant women are at risk – this is statistically insignificant but the press report this as fact.

Rather than dwell on this too much, the stories of pending doom are something I am simply shaking my head at in total disbelief that people are actually taking most of these seriously. Were you to read between the lines, the level of alarmist reporting provides little fact and conflicting information. Two pregnant women die and the risk to all pregnant women becomes high. Where is the logic of going to see the doctor IF you have a contagious virus? This is one of the ridiculous anomalies on reported stories. “You need to get vaccinated with Tamiflu” is another – Tamiflu is a pill. Mass immunization of the healthy does not improve health outcomes, it is welfare for flu vaccine makers.

The ‘vaccines’, “Tamiflu” (Roche) and “Relenza” (GlaxoSmithKlyne), are NOT vaccines but are in fact antibiotics against viruses (antivirals – see WIkipedia article here in relation to REAL risks). This is even stated on their site “TAMIFLU is not a substitute for the flu shot; vaccination is the first line of defense for flu protection.” The best that anyone can hope is to relieve the symptoms for about 12-16 hours. They will NOT stop you getting flu. They WILL mean that you are going to be out of pocket for the cost of some tablets that are being actively marketed. As a number of minor points: Tamiflu was developed by Giliead Science Inc and is distributed by Roche. Despite massive investment in publicising the product it did not really take off during the avian flu scare of 2005. It has a fixed shelf life… of five years or so. Donald Rumsfeld has between $5-25 million in share holdings. Rupert Murdoch has holdings in Roche and GSK, along with diverse investments in other retro viral bio-tech companies. He also sells newspapers and has many news channels. There is an advantage to creating hype around a news item. These are simple comments for you to judge and find out more about yourself. The information is there.

Plantronics even have a set of headphones with the model number H151N!!! Coincidence? Hmmm!

Am I seriously supposed to believe, based upon the information presented in the links, that some, dark, malignant force is wishing me harm? Where is the reasoning and logical thought process behind any of these?

There are no facts, just supposition. Let me begin with the first link and break it down into some basic pieces of information as well as ask questions.

1. Who is “Susan Wolfrey”? Her Facebook page (if this is in fact her, as it says ‘Facebook UK”)links to a couple of rather whimsical films “The Arrivals” and “The Divine Book“. Lovely pan pipes and rather a lot of twaddle relating to religion.It is important to note that I am an atheist (not an agnostic) and find it difficult to understand how anyone can logically believe in a paradise after death, a divine being who is all powerful etc. If this were the case, why do people not just go there now instead of indulging in some rather odd ceremonies, chanting, etc? Just my point of view and I will not decry someone who follows a particular activity. Note I have the same point of view regarding golf. These are not the matters Iwant to raise here.

2. Which police station in Eindhoven?

3. What charge has she made? There would be a police record of this. Where is it? Where is the news coverage that should be all over this due to other coverage on ‘swine flu’ and vaccine etc?

4. When someone raises one ‘threat’ and then diverges from this to another (chemtrails) I start to ask questions which normally relate to “how many cents short of a euro?” type of uncertainty regarding the common sense of what is being said. “There are often chemtrails right overhead. These weren’t there 10 years ago. The evidence on this is overwhelming! Look at the dead bees on the ground. Did you see that 10 years ago?” Errm… as a child I would watch planes fly overhead and, at high altitude, the hot exhaust gases would condense in the air leaving a vapour trail… Nuff said on that one.

5. The rather alarmingly bad DIS-information being spread by birdflu666 is socially irresponsible, poorly qualified and alarmist. There are several “facts” quoted with little or no supporting evidence that is supported by any valid citation.

6. Even one of the Dutch commentators (smartie) looked for information but could not find it…

The Second Link…

1. Dr. Daniel Solis is a member of the Green/Democratic party in the Czech Republic. He is mentioned as having done research (no citation here) on the effects of ‘adjuvants’ in vaccines.

2. The ‘report’ relating to the issues of vaccines. This comes from ISIS (The Institue of Science in Society). I do not doubt some of the research quoted in relation to ‘adjuvants in vaccines’ and much of the content contains ‘truths’. Similarly, I do not doubt their knowledge and experience in these matters. Where I have concerns is that ISIS is refered to as an established scientific research organisation yet I have yet to find any peer review of their research and assumptions. There is no information relating to how and where the report was submitted or any other information relating to this. Science is based upon qualified and peer reviewed (concensus) research. I could equally send a report on the hazards of underarm deodorants. I hope you see my point here.

3. The link misquotes (I cannot find this) by stating “The mass vaccination order has come from the World Health Organization (WHO) [8]. ” Nowhere is there a mention of any mass vaccination order. This is simply not there. Credibility goes out of the window as far as I am concerned.

4. HOWEVER, their basic advice is common sense. “There are obviously safer and more effective ways to combat the pandemic than mass vaccinations: washing hands often, sneezing into a tissue that can be safely disposed of, avoiding unnecessary gatherings, and delay opening schools – all advised by governments – and we would add, eating healthily, exercise, and getting enough vitamin D to boost your natural immunity [10].

5. I question the validity of a book review (The Rainbow and the Worm…) which is reviewed (1st Edition) by someone like “K.G. Denbigh, Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry, Queen Elizabeth College” – minor detail, Queen Elizabeth College closed in 1985. Similarly, all of the reviews refer to a book published some 20+ years ago…. here.

The Third Link

Woah!!!! Someone REALLY needs to take their medication. Someone also needs to include citations against things quoted as “FACT” Some of it may be true but it is difficult to determine or validate this.

The LegitGov Link… so much supposition creating picture of doom and gloom that will have people more seriously depressed were they to take all of this in. There are so many conspiracy sites out there. Unfortunately, the truth and facts are not…

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