Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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April 18, 2006

CDC Says Bird Flu Not Serious Threat to Humans

In what appears to be a reversal of previous policy, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Julie Gerberding, said that "there is no evidence that it will be the next pandemic," commenting on the avian flu. An article in the Tacoma News Tribune says that the remarks were made during a pandemic flu conference that drew 1,200 people from across the state, mostly health department officials and others involved in emergency planning.


Photo credit: Cameron Gaut

... Gerberding noted that, though the disease has killed “gazillions of birds,” it has killed about 100 people out of about 200 sickened worldwide. The victims were in intense, daily contact with sick flocks, often sharing the same living space. Two people have become infected from person-to-person contact.

She did not say what had changed the thinking of health care officials about bird flu, but said that, at this point, there is “no reason to think it ever will” pass easily between people.

It is becoming increasingly clear that vaccination is not an option for controlling a pandemic that arises out of a mutated virus. There simply is no procedure capable and no time to produce enough vaccines to protect everyone. Six years to produce enough vaccines for just 20 per cent of the world population does not sound like a viable proposition.

So what options do we have left, if we do not want to rely on ineffective and side-effect-laden drugs like Tamiflu or Relenza?

It seems like we must fall back on our natural immunity, which we can support by good and complete nutrition and a healthy way of life. Eating organic food, avoiding or limiting sugar and food additives, steering clear of chemical and other atmospheric pollution as much as possible, adding some important nutrients extra such as vitamin C and selenium, and keeping herbal or other natural anti-viral remedies in the medicine cabinet just in case. Don't forget basic, common-sense hygiene precautions like washing your hands and avoiding close contact with sick birds.

But let me be clear about this - YOU are responsible for your own and your family's health. Do not wait for health authorities to tell you - there obviously is no preventive plan afoot in the ivory towers of national or international "public health", except stocking up on tamiflu and feeding a frenzied race for "the vaccine", as well as killing off millions of chickens.

Here is a copy of the article in the News Tribune detailing the CDC announcement, and two comments - one by Vera Hassner Sharav and a second one by J. P. in the UK.

If you have something to add to the discussion, please do so. There is a comments form at the end of the article....

- - -

Bird flu threat not so grave, CDC chief says

M. ALEXANDER OTTO; The News Tribune
Published: April 15th, 2006 01:00 AM
(Original found in Tacoma News Tribune)

Federal health officials at a meeting Friday in Tacoma downplayed the risk bird flu poses to humans, contrasting earlier warnings from the federal government.

“There is no evidence it will be the next pandemic,” Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said of avian flu. There is “no evidence it is evolving in a direction that is becoming more transmissible to people.”

Gerberding spoke at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center at a pandemic flu conference that drew 1,200 people from across the state, mostly health department officials and others involved in emergency planning.

Other officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and elsewhere joined her. Gov. Chris Gregoire and several upper-level state officials also spoke.

Gerberding’s comments on bird flu contrast earlier statements from the federal government that tended to emphasize worse-case scenarios.

In a November letter to the public, for instance, President Bush encouraged preparing “ourselves, our nation, and our world to fight this potentially devastating outbreak of infectious disease.”

The concern is that the H5N1 strain of bird flu virus will mutate into a form passed easily between people.

visit to encourage state planning

Audience questions Friday about buying surgical masks and stockpiling food showed the concern Bush’s comments and others have raised.

But Gerberding noted that, though the disease has killed “gazillions of birds,” it has killed about 100 people out of about 200 sickened worldwide. The victims were in intense, daily contact with sick flocks, often sharing the same living space. Two people have become infected from person-to-person contact.

She did not say what had changed the thinking of health care officials about bird flu, but said that, at this point, there is “no reason to think it ever will” pass easily between people.

Given those facts, bird flu, like SARS, swine flu and other once widely publicized health threats, might never become a significant human illness.

The visit by Gerberding and the other federal officials was part of a 50-state tour to encourage state and local planning for pandemics, terrorism and other health emergencies.

Such preparedness would be especially important, since local officials would be the first to learn of problems, and a full federal response couldn’t be expected for a few days.

It was announced at the meeting that Washington state has been granted $2 million

• federal money to help with planning.

Several officials said state and local planning in Washington already is among the best in the nation.

“We have an effective state strategy,” Gregoire said, noting the need for constant fine-tuning and updating. “Today we talk about pandemic flu. In 10 years it will be something else” – the important thing is to be ready for whatever comes.

easy precautions to take

Even if bird flu never causes significant problems for people, Gerberding said, the focus on it encourages emergency planning “that will save lives whether there is a pandemic or not.”

She and other federal officials said H5N1 bird flu likely will reach the United States, because bird flu and its many strains occur naturally in migratory birds.

When that happens, “it does not signal the start of a pandemic” or a threat to the food supply, said Richard Raymond, an undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cooking meat to 160 degrees will destroy the virus, he said – in addition to destroying salmonella, “which sickens more people than H5N1 ever will even if there is a pandemic.”

Gerberding cautioned that when H5N1 is detected in the United States, “there will be temptation for the press to make this into something it is not. We will need responsible journalism” to prevent irrational panic.

- - -

Vera Hassner Sharav of the ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP) comments as follows:

The Tacoma Tribune reports that the head of the Center for Disease Control, Dr. Julie Gerberding, has reversed the agency's bird flu policy, which viewed the threat from the worse-case scenario lens.

Dr. Gerberdig told a Tacoma Washington audience of 1,200 : "There is no evidence [the bird flu] will be the next pandemic. no evidence it is evolving in a direction that is becoming more transmissible to people.”

Perhaps this turn around has something to do with the fall-out from public disclosure about the beleaguered Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld's financial interest in Gilead Science, manufacturer of Tamiflu, the flu vaccine. [See: Sec Defense Rumsfeld Tamiflu Holdings ]

There was never any science to back a frenzied government policy promoting mass vaccination against the bird flu -- which was declared to be an imminent pandemic, officials claiming that millions of unvaccinated people would die. Does this turn-around suggest that a major shift has taken place at CDC? 

Does this signal a shift from commercially driven public health policies to policies that are backed by scientific evidence?

- - -

J. P. from the UK has a slightly more pessimistic reading of the event... hers is an answer to my question:

"Bird Flu - it's a pandemic - no, it's not ... I wonder what happened to change the CDC's thinking."

Fear of damage to the economy, and precipitation of a national and possibly global recession. It is widely predicted the BF in birds will reach the US anytime very soon – weeks – if it has not arrived already. 

Economic drivers
In each country where BF has been confirmed in birds, the poultry industry has gone to a state of near collapse, or has in fact collapsed. In itself, the knock on effects to both the local economy, and thereby the international economy are very severe. Chicken is a major source of protein in most of Asia, Africa, India etc – and prices of other meat sources have increased in some cases by as much as 100% and more. This is having knock on effects on every economical aspect - from reduced amounts of disposable income in local economies (= less exports from the US) to reduced tourism etc and populations anger at govt. measures taken for containment and control. It is proving to be very politically destabilising in some countries, especially where the population just does not understand why all their birds are being taken from them and killed with no or very little compensation, and in most of these countries every family has a few chickens.

Now the prevailing consideration in both the US and the EU will be to stop similar economic consequences in their domestic markets. Italy and Germany have seen its poultry industry collapse already as consumers have reacted by avoiding chicken products and eggs. 

If the US govt stops telling people in the US to stockpile 6 weeks supply of food and meds for general preparedness planning (and some states are suggesting 3 months worth) then it is more likely that there is something afoot within the virus that means that they perceive a lower risk from it than previously. ‘Watch what they do, not what they say’ is a good philosophy here. As yet, this advice in US state pandemic preparedness plans is still very much there, as is the advice on the HHS website. There is also increasing govt led activity with infrastructure organisations such as water supply, electricity, food movement and the like in both the EU and the US. This does not suggest that they perceive a lower risk. Increased monies have also been made available for IV bags, drips etc used by hospitals so that supplies can be built up.

Politics and vaccines
Also politics is a key issue – it is now become more publicly known that it would take 6 years to produce enough vaccine to cover 20% of the global population, if you assume a single 15mg dosage (see below) – long after a pandemic virus would have come and gone. There isn’t anything anyone can do about this if a pandemic were to erupt within the next 3-5 years, as new technologies have to be developed and invented using plant based cells for manufacture – this virus is even killing the animal/ human cell cultures, and to quote ‘you cant make cells grow any faster’. There is US political backlash over the issue, including why the US has no vaccine manufacturing capacity of its own. 

The only good news on the vaccines front is that egg based production is completely out = no usage of thimerosal, if it should ever become needed. However so far, the ‘test strains’ are only producing an antibody response in 54% of test subjects, and only if they use a massive 180mg dosage split in two, and delivered six weeks apart. Manufacturing is also very slow and very long. On this basis, if a workable vaccine could be developed post a pandemic eruption, then global annual capacity at present could produce enough vaccine only for key workers in the western world only in the early most lethal stages of a pandemic.

Present Policy
Everything in WHO and CDC plans is now all about buying time for vaccine manufacture to take place – and then in theory they would ‘vaccinate everyone’ as soon as they could (see UK govt policy) – however, this is not only impossible now, it is also impossible for quite some years (if ever) for technical reasons outlined above, and if this virus is going to go pandemic I very much doubt it will be kind enough to wait until industry has worked out how to solve the problems. 

Additionally containment strategies planned are a complete joke for Africa etc as there is NO health infrastructure to even test for the virus in birds, let alone humans, and let alone having any hope in hell of spotting human cases/deaths against a background noise of mortality from diseases like encephalitis, cholera, meningitis, AIDS, malaria etc in order to put containment measures in place. Other places like N Korea/ Burma are a complete black hole also, and because compensation for backyard farmers in all these countries is inadequate or absent, all the populations are doing is hiding outbreaks (e.g Cambodia) and killing birds if they get sick, or just burying them if they all die overnight. 

The virus in the 1997 Hong Kong outbreak had 2,3 and 2,6 sialic acid specificity but not other critical gene changes needed for human to human transmission. Now the other changes thought to be needed are ‘fixed’ in quite a few circulating strains and clades, but these viri still only have 2,3 sialic acid specificity. This means this 2,6 change CAN happen – it has before, and this is thought to be the major bar to a pandemic. Whether this is all that might be needed is another matter again.

In all, I very much doubt that the downplaying now is anything more than socio-economic driven in origin. However, if the key activities of contingency planning for essential service industries stops, if the US stops trying to persuade its entire population to stockpile six weeks of food, and if DARPA withdraws its ‘no ceiling’ budget for research funds to figure out a solution to the vaccine production problems, or if I see some hard science and genetic sequences (these are mostly held in a secret database by WHO except for a few which are released by the independent research scientists directly to Genbank)  etc I will rest easier and stop worrying. In the meantime however, I don’t see any of these things changing – just a shift in the public communications, so that they do not panic the people.

See also:

The Bird Flu Breakdown Part 1: Two Children in Vietnam
The much anticipated bird-flu plague has yet to emerge, despite much hue and cry. This comes as no surprise to those of us who are familiar with the machinations of the WHO (World Health Organization), CDC and NIH, and their pharmaceutical partners. But, for those more trusting of public health authorities who wish to know more about the making of public health policy, I thought I'd review some of the bright and shiny inconsistencies that have come into view on the bird flu.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Tuesday April 18 2006
updated on Sunday November 21 2010

URL of this article:


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Readers' Comments

I cannot say that I am completely surprised by this revelation. I started saying a couple of months ago that the Bird Flu would never become the global killer that big pharma was trying to sell us.

It's a math issue. In order for a disease to be the global killer they want to seel you drugs for, it has to have a long contagious period, and a short incapacitation period, or else, like SARS it will be easily contained after only a few hunfred victims. The math was/is not there for this to be the bogey go buy other useless lifestyle drugs so that big pharma can work on the next big scare.

Posted by: Unsurprised on April 18, 2006 09:28 PM


Bird Flu H5N1

Wellllll, by now you've been thoroughly hammered by the News Media into believing we are fully under attack by the Bird Flu and everyone now knows about the kazillion birds that have either died or have been destroyed throughout Asia & eastern Europe.

A number of my friends, family and associates have asked me if there really is a threat, and if there is, what they should do about it. This is actually a subject I've been following for the last couple of years and I felt it was time I made a formal statement on it.

There is no doubt that the Bird Flu factually does exist, and there is no question that in the past the World has been badly hit by Flu pandemics. The Spanish Flu of 1918 was a result of such a bird flu. Initially it only killed birds, but it mutated and became a virus that could then be spread from human to human and ended up killing over 45 million people in just a few months time. It was very quick, and its victims usually lasted a couple of days at the most. This flu was not selective, in that it attacked all age groups equally. There was no protection from it. Currently, there are three times as many people on the planet, and if a similar pandemic were to hit in the same way, we could expect a minimum of 150 million up to as many as half a billion human deaths throughout the World. To top it off, modern anti-viral drugs and antibiotics have absolutely no effect on this modern bird flu strain whatsoever! None! All attempts to find an effective vaccination for this have proven 100 percent unsuccessful.

Wellllllll, we've had our share of alarming news. A couple of years ago, it was SARS, and a year before that it was the Anthrax scare. Is this just another media hype program to frighten the bejeezus out of all of us and keep us in a constant state of fear? Or is it the newest conspiracy to control world populations by introducing some secret virus and blame it on our feathered friends?
Wellllllll, the truth of it is that it doesn't really matter which of the above is true or if both are false. What matters is that Flus in general are a yearly problem planet wide and it would be great if we had a solution for this once and for all. IF this particular H5N1 strain should develop into the next global pandemic (a fairly good possibility), it would be good to: #1 Know how to protect ourselves from infection and #2 Have an effective method for combating an infection if one should take hold.

The solutions are fairly simple. If this pandemic should hit and start spreading, I'd practice these 8 easy steps: 1. Buy and eat only fresh CERTIFIED ORGANIC PRODUCE. Stay away from all fowl, beef and especially pork (pigs are one of the most common routes for these viruses when mutating into human form). The only meat products eaten during an outbreak should be sea food. 2. Make sure you are getting enough daily EXERCISE. 3. Keep your windows open, even if only a little to allow plenty of FRESH AIR circulating throughout your house. 4. Keep your hands, bodies, and clothes CLEAN. Always use gloves when handling anything suspicious. 5. Avoid UNHEALTHY / SICK PEOPLE and crowds. Stay home! 6. Do some BOWEL CLEANSING and keep them working in tip-top shape. 7. Keep your IMMUNE SYSTEM BUILT UP using my TOTAL NUTRITION and keep it FIRED UP using DMSO, ECHINACEA and my TOTAL TONIC. This would include keeping on hand and using extra GARLIC if you yourself should be stricken. 8. Stay away from NEGATIVE PEOPLE who bring you down and who specialize in putting a little stress into your life.

That's it! Pretty simple really! I want my friends to SURVIVE any plague, common cold, flu or even a global pandemic should one occur. The above is the way to do so.
Yours in health and love, Doc

Posted by: Ian Shillington N.D. on April 20, 2006 03:02 AM


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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