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25 October 2009

Swine Flu Mania

While taking in a leisurely Sunday morning and listening to NPR, I was informed that President Obama has declared the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu "a national emergency". Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the commissioner of the FDA, joined the host and warned people not to turn to the Internet to seek miracle cures or other strange devices currently being sold to ward off or cure flu. See, people are so desperate for the vaccine, and there's not enough to go around, they are looking for anything to save them. Dr. Hamburg cautioned "the best way to prevent yourself against disease is vaccination". She didn't even say H1N1, just disease, but I'm assuming she meant H1N1. Otherwise that would be a ridiculous statement, right? Even more thought provoking was the next guest, Tom Skinner, head of the CDC. He came on to speak to the urban legend-ish reports that some parents are having Swine Flu parties! You may have heard of chicken pox parties, where parents bring their healthy children in contact with other children who have the chicken pox so the healthy kids get the illness, get over it and then are forever immune to getting it again. Well, Mr. Skinner said he believes there may well be Swine Flu parties going on as well. He said the CDC is now monitoring social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to investigate whether or not these flu parties are actually taking place. He cautioned against this strategy saying something to the effect of there are so many other viruses out there that mimic the flu, this is just not a good idea. That made me wonder: how many cases of supposed H1N1 are really just that and not other illnesses? Hospitals have long stopped testing for the specific virus and just assume that anyone with flu like symptoms has H1N1. What if these cases are not actually H1N1 and some other virus? Will the H1N1 vaccine or the regular flu vaccine for 2009 offer protection? Of course not. Skinner also said, if indeed the Swine Flu parties were just that, there is "no reason to unnecessarily expose yourself or your child to the virus". Well, what would you call the "live attenuated nasal spray vaccine"* if not exposing yourself unnecessarily to the virus? Of course, attenuated means weakened but seems like a similar notion to the flu parties, no? I hope the FDA doesn't come after me for proposing Yogurt and St. John's Wort as preventatives! I don't suppose they will because after all I'm not selling anything, but if my site goes down mysteriously, you'll know what happened!

*If you happened to click on that link and actually read the notice regarding the nasal spray vaccine: Part 1 right hand column reads, "The 2009 H1N1 LAIV does not contain thimerosal or other preservatives". Yet the seasonal flu vaccine does according to the CDC's own literature "Thimerosal in Seasonal Influenza Vaccine". Yet, some companies now make thimerosal free vaccines! Quoting from a white paper on vaccines as far back as 1999 by health writer and film-maker Gary Null:

"The Threat of Thimerosal. On July 9, 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement urging removal of the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal from vaccines. The reason behind this strong recommendation is a growing concern about the risk of exposing the developing brains of infants to mercury. While the precaution is certainly welcomed, we should ask why such a dangerous, known neurotoxin was allowed into vaccines in the first place. Mercury exposure has been associated with nerve cell degeneration, adverse behavioral effects and impaired brain development. It has also been linked to degenerative chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. The developing fetal nervous system is the most sensitive to its toxic effects, and prenatal exposure to high doses of mercury has been shown to cause mental retardation and cerebral palsy. . . .Can we be surprised that a growing number of children are manifesting cognitive disturbances such as autism and attention deficit disorder?"

Trusting plants and cows is so much simpler than the federal government and vaccine manufacturers.

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