Flu — Statistics, Vaccinations, and Prevention
I found a post on Facebook by a friend in which he admitted his
fear of a future Spanish Flu like epidemic here in America,
especially because so many people have become anti-vaccination. I’m
pretty sure that he thinks I’m one of them, though, actually, I
believe that especially with vaccinations, everything in
moderation. I know that mercury is not good for the human body
and I’m a bit leery of the 20+ vaccinations in a newborn with a rudimentary
and nascent immune system (especially with mercury).
Let’s face it, medical science purports to be scientific with
peer reviewed studies which are supposed to be the “gold standard”
of studies: I’m talking double blind studies.
I say purports because the actual practice of medicine is not
like the “study” of medicine.
When more than two drugs are prescribed/mixed at any one time,
all those double blind studies go out the window. Nobody knows what
will happen in the person taking three or more drugs at once just as
nobody knows what will happen when a newborn gets hit with up to 30
vaccinations in such a short span of time. There are no studies.
I’ve been told that we do know what will happen when a baby isn’t
vaccinated: it will die.
I would like to believe there is a happy medium here, but the
“controversy” over vaccines is as polarized as our current political
system in the US.
Besides, in just a few shakes you’ll read that when the H1N1
first hit us, babies were actually safe.
So, with temperatures rising over the coming bird flu
epidemic, I thought I’d look into epidemics, vaccinations, and
vaccinations against epidemics.
With a rise in any given population, we see changes in the
behaviors of that population, especially when that population is
bulging up against limits. Studies abound using rats and mice in
“limitation studies,” and in cases extreme overpopulation, the
changes these critters undergo are not pretty; their society breaks
down and cannibalism becomes “what’s for dinner.”
Another situation a burgeoning population encounters is mass
extinction due to contagion. Though theories abound concerning the
relatively rapid extermination of the dinosaur involving asteroids
and meteorites, they don’t satisfy all scholars because rodents, and
other early mammals, along with smaller reptiles, like frogs and toads,
should have met their demise along with those dinosaurs. One of my
favorite theories is that because of a change in climate (yes,
climates do change on their own but that in itself is not proof that
human’s have nothing to do with our recent climate change) these gigantic
creatures were able (or forced) to migrate and meet up with other
dinosaurs who could have been carriers for diseases for which the new guests
had never built immunity; and thus
they quickly dropped dead.
When a population starts getting out of hand, the possibility of
mass extinction through contagion increases dramatically.
The world’s populations are starting to reach limits. There are
those who say science and technology will come to the rescue and
extend those limits. There are those who say mass extinction by
disease, drought, and famine (not to mention wars caused by those
same issues) will keep populations in check. Personally, I’m one of those who
hopes we can come up with saner and more humanitarian methods of
coping and somehow come together to attain Zero Population Growth.
But for now, our focus is the flu (which, my friend fears will
wipe us all out because of people refusing to be vaccinated ─ like
First, let us define epidemic. An epidemic occurs when new cases
of a specific illness or disease, during a specific time, exceed
substantially what is expected based on previous experience.
In other words, the cold and flu season is just a cold and flu
season until someone declares it to be an epidemic because the
number of cases (of cold or flu) are much, much greater than we
would normally see during your normal cold and flu
Surely you can see problems with this definition, though one huge
problem is when anyone with letters behind his/her name (MD, PhD,
DDS) suddenly decides to call out “epidemic,” the news media jumps
all over it.
At times like these, it is the media we have to fear more than the
Our news media love to scare the population. This is how they
make their money and increase viewership. In 2011 we heard “flu
epidemic” in the news and in 2012 we heard it again.
From the end of September to the end of December, in 2012 there
were 22,048 flu cases reported, while the year previous for that
time reported only 849 cases, but in both years, the media flaunted
the word “epidemic.” [http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/]
Transmission of a flu bug occurs more readily between individuals
in areas of denser populations. People living and working in the
cities have a greater chance of coming into contact with a flu bug
than those living and working in rural areas. However, here’s
something you might not know: children who have the flu actually
exhale more flu viruses and exhale them for longer periods than
adults. As Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine
at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, put
it, this makes children the “great distributors of influenza virus.”
Now let’s take a look at the famous Spanish Flu that spread world
wide during the first world war.
It is also called the 1918 Flu Pandemic, and pandemic for
a good reason as it affected 500 million people around the globe
killing somewhere between 50 – 100 million, or 3-5% of the earth’s
population. Most flu epidemics kill the young, the elderly, and the
already ill, but this one killed mainly young adults with strong
immune systems. It seems, the bug created what doctors today would
call a “cytokine storm,” which is basically an over-reaction by the
immune system. This is what killed the patients, not the actual flu
bug. The flu bug just set the whole process in motion.
Interestingly enough, this is also the first time we ran
up against the
H1N1 virus; the second time being 2009, our Swine Flu Pandemic that
killed between 294,500 and 579,000 people, mostly in Southeast Asia
In America, the 1918 Spanish Flu affected 28% of our population
of 104,514,000, or 29,263,920 people. It killed approximately 2%
(the number of estimated deaths is between 500,000 and 675,000).
Since it took young, healthy adults, it ended up killing more
soldiers than we'd lost in combat during WWI.
The next time we see this bug, in 2009, it kills only 3,642
people in all of North America, but this time instead of dying from
an overcharged immune system, what killed most people with the bug
acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS),
or simply put, pneumonia.
Knowing all this, let’s get back to our original discussion: what
would happen if a Spanish Flu like pandemic struck today with people
not getting vaccinated.
First we have to take a look at our population.
Right now we have an estimated 315,000,000 people living in
America. If 28% got hit with that same kind of Spanish Flu bug, that
would mean (using the same percentages from 1918) 88,200,000 people
would get sick. If 2% died, that would amount to 1,764,000 deaths.
This is what we could expect if history were to repeat itself and no
one got vaccinated.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
CDC’s own site we get the figure, 60%. I took a look at the math involved and was
truly impressed because I didn’t understand a thing on that entire
page. But I do have a friend who is a master mathematician and I
sent him to look at it. He wrote back to me that he too was
impressed, but also pointed out that it was their initial assumption
upon which all that math was based. And so where did they get the
initial assumption? It was a guess. An educated guess.
You see, to truly find out how effective anything is, people have
to be sampled and their data compiled. This would consist of a huge
cohort study, the type where individuals are asked questions and all
their answers are added up, down, and sideways. Using a mathematical
model (rather than a cohort study) means first establishing an
initial assumption (in this case, an educated guess) and then
performing a variety of statistical analyses from that assumption.
So what we’ve got here is the CDC claiming that they have a 60%
success rate with their flu vaccine, or a 40% failure rate.
Yet the flu itself was only caught by 28% in the first place.
This is where our discussion of rural v urban populations, kids
exhaling the virus longer than adults, and population growth comes
And we can’t forget that there are, simply, some people who are
just immune to certain bugs.
Let’s use the CDC’s numbers and vaccinate just the 88,200,000
people (28% of our current population) who would have caught the virus
in the first place; that way, only 40% of them
would now get sick (the 40% for whom the vaccine does not work), or 35,280,000; and if 2% of those died, that
number would be: 705,600 deaths.
What we see here, mathematically, with only those who
the flu being vaccinated, we’re still going to bury more than died
from the original Spanish Flu.
To make this subject even more interesting:
There are those who feel the CDC’s numbers are rigged.
A report reviewing evidence of protection against flu
over 45 years found that flu vaccines “lack consistent
evidence of protection” in the elderly.
Experts are concerned that previous studies were
poorly done with two major failings resulting in inaccurate
Warn Evidence for Flu Vaccine Is ‘Biased’]
And since, obviously, not everyone catches the flu, can the rest
of us take preventive steps beyond an injection to keep flu
free when the season hits?
Ten reasons you should think twice before
getting a flu vaccine and at the end of that article
is another article showing how
Natural alternatives to
the flu shot prove just as effective.
It really comes down to a personal decision, though your author
(and my friends and family) have not had a bout with the flu since
Del-Immune V. There are many ways of boosting immunity thru
nutrition. A good vitamin D-3 has shown to help prevent the flu.
Maintaining your anti-oxidants can help, along with mushroom
extracts (beta glucan). And if a Spanish Flu type bug should hit again that kills
only those with healthy immune systems (keep in mind that the
“cytokine storm” referred to earlier can only happen after
the bug has taken hold; until that time) its your initial defense
that keeps the bug from getting to that point.
If the patient's
immune system should start to kill the patient, we have a host of immunomodulators (they “modulate,” or bring down, the immune
response) such as Aloe Vera, PCM-4, Moducare™ Sterinol™, and from
China, Tripterygium Wilfordii hook. [http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/immune/immune2.htm#Immunomodulators]
Again, it’s a personal choice. And again, though I am not a
vaccination denier, I’m still pretty sure that we need to study the
effects of multiple vaccinations on newborns, and that we have to
remove those preservatives from vaccines that we know for certain
are harmful. They've removed mercury from vaccinations for our pets.
Perhaps it's time to do the same for human vaccinations.
Let’s face it: the medical industry is working harder at taking
away your right to sue for damages than they are working trying to
preventing those damages. But that’s another story.
To find out just how much the industry is doing to take away your
rights to fight back in court should you be injured, I truly suggest
you check out the documentary,
Further Reading (Viewing)
Nation ─ A documentary, free
Dr Ghislaine Lanctôt, The