Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009

Swine Flu Update

Reasons to Rethink Getting the Vaccine

By Sara Matuk
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This article was forwarded to me by a friend and holistic practitioner.  It puts into words what up to now I have not been able to.  People wonder why I'm not running to get the vaccine for my family.  This article by George B. Elvove, M.D., P.C., eloquently explains my mindset on the subject of Swine and other flu vaccines. 

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George B. Elvove, M.D., P.C. Home Health Update

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SWINE FLU UPDATE

The news media and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) continue to whip the public into a frenzy about H1N1 influenza. Unfortunately we have precious little data available to help us make rational decisions about what we should do. Meanwhile on the news we see lines of people, blocks long, queuing up at clinics for many hours to get the H1N1 vaccine. Most of them are turned away when the supply runs out. Why don’t we just calm down and ponder some facts.

  1. The flu season has ended in the southern hemisphere and we know that the cases of H1N1 there have been relatively mild.
  2. Here in Lake County, only hospitalized patients are being tested for the H1N1 virus. There is no readily available test to specifically diagnose H1N1. Therefore people with influenza like symptoms are assumed to have H1N1, not confirmed by laboratory testing. We can test for influenza A and B in the office, but this test doesn’t specifically identify H1N1. Therefore we don’t really know how many cases there are. The number of cases quoted in the media is probably being greatly overestimated. Running sensational news about H1N1 generates more viewers and readers. This news also satisfies the pharmaceutical industry that is among the media’s largest advertisers. Think about all those “Ask Your Doctor About [DRUG NAME]” ads that run during the news programs.
  3. The deaths that are being reported are mostly a result of bacterial pneumonia, not directly a result of influenza. As always, cases of bacterial pneumonia should be treated swiftly and aggressively.
  4. We in the medical community do not have access to the medical histories of the patients who have become very ill or have died after contracting H1N1. Therefore we are currently unable to identify those individuals who are at the highest risk. We are told that pregnant women and young children are more susceptible to complications, but we know that most pregnant women and children who catch the flu recover without incident.
  5. The H1N1 vaccine was rushed into production and released without the usual clinical testing required of most drugs. Presently the vaccine has been in use for only two weeks. Since it is being administered in schools, public health clinics, and drug stores, there is no vaccine adverse event reporting system to which doctors who administer vaccines are required to report. If adverse events occur, it will take longer for us to hear about them.
  6. Because the government has declared a “public health emergency”, the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccines have been granted immunity from product liability lawsuits resulting from this vaccine. Then what pressure do they now face to produce a safe product? We know the sales of the H1N1 vaccine alone are expected to top $1.5 billion, in addition to the $1 billion already booked for the seasonal flu vaccine. These vaccines are part of a wider and rapidly growing $20 billion global vaccine market. When that much money is involved there can be political meddling involved in creating medical mandates for the vaccine.
  7. There are two versions of the H1N1 vaccine. The nasal spray contains live viruses that a person will harbor in their nasal passages for weeks after inoculation. These viruses can be passed on to others they contact. The injectable form of the vaccine comes in multiple dose vials and is preserved with thimerosal, which contains mercury, a known neurotoxin.
  8. Some doctors are recommending Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug to be given within 40 hours of the onset of influenza symptoms to lessen the severity or duration of symptoms. Since 99.9% of flu sufferers make an uneventful recovery anyway, the wisdom of using Tamiflu is questionable. A few years after its approval by the FDA, 25 people under the age of 21 were reported to have died while using Tamiflu. Around 600 reports came in about abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and convulsions in people between the ages of 10 and 19 who were taking this oral neuraminidase inhibitor. (Most of these took place in Japan, where these medicines are much more widely used.) In two separate instances, a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old jumped out of a second-floor window after taking Tamiflu; others fell from windows or balconies or ran into traffic.

I am not opposed to all vaccines. During my lifetime I have witnessed vaccines conquer deadly and debilitating diseases such as smallpox, polio, tetanus, and HIB infant meningitis. Just because some is good, doesn’t mean that a lot is better. I question whether immunizations should be promoted for all illnesses regardless of their severity. We do not have adequate information about the long-term effects of mass immunizing against the less serious diseases such as chicken pox, HPV virus, and influenza.

The natural way that healthy people achieve immunity is by being exposed to viruses or bacteria in their environment. The pathogen enters the nose or the mouth. The body then fights the infection by mounting an antibody response. The antibody response is memorized and upon future exposure to that that pathogen, the antibodies respond quickly to prevent a repeat infection. Injecting viral proteins with a needle into the body for the purpose of creating an antibody response is not nature’s original method of creating immunity. We know that vaccine induced antibodies tend to “wear off”; whereas community acquired infections can create lifelong immunity. I predict that those individuals, who get an annual flu shot, have much poorer immunity to new strains of influenza such as H1N1, than those who opt out of annual vaccination.

At the present time I am planning not to carry influenza vaccines in my office. They will be widely available in our community at local drug stores, schools, and county clinics. Those with chronic health problems or suppressed immunity are more at risk for suffering complications from influenza. For these people immunizing may offer a measure of protection. For healthy people, remember the following immunity boosting advice:

  1. Use the neti pot with warm salt-water solution regularly after all public contacts. The neti pot irrigates the nasal passages and removes some of the bacteria and viruses breathed in during the day. This will reduce the viral load with which your immune system has to cope.
  2. Maintain adequate vitamin D levels. Most of us are deficient in vitamin D during the winter due to the lack of sunlight exposure on our skin.
  3. Eat a diet adequate in protein. Avoid sugar, starchy carbohydrates, and omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils from soybeans, corn, and safflower. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Supplement with a high quality ultra-refined fish oil.
  5. Get adequate sleep. We require more sleep in the winter when the nights are longer.
  6. Get some moderate regular exercise.
  7. Take a probiotic to help maintain a favorable internal microbial balance.
  8. Wash your hands before eating.

What should you do if despite of your excellent health habits, you still feel yourself becoming ill? Here are some suggestions for natural remedies:

  1. Before the discovery of antibiotics, doctors used colloidal silver extensively as an antimicrobial agent. It is still useful, and unlike antibiotics it treats viruses too, without encouraging the growth of resistant microorganisms. Try 1 teaspoon of a 10 ppm solution, three times daily at onset of symptoms.
  2. Echinacea, an herbal remedy.
  3. Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic remedy - take every 4 hours at onset of symptoms.
  4. High doses of vitamin C, starting at 3 grams daily.
  5. Suck on zinc lozenges
  6. Go to bed earlier and get some extra sleep.
  7. You can use your neti pot up to 4 times daily if you feel yourself becoming ill.
  8. Oil of oregano 4 drops, held under the tongue for a few minutes, followed by a glass of water. Repeat several times throughout the day.

For further information about this subject, visit these links:

http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/virusfighters.html a nice list of flu remedies from Virginia Hopkins, the assistant to the late John Lee, M.D.

http://elvovemd.com/december-2004-newsletter.htm#news2 a newsletter article I wrote about strengthening the immune system.

http://swineflu.mercola.com/sites/swineflu/home.aspx an in-depth analysis of swine flu by Dr. Joseph Mercola, a well-known local natural health physician.

 

The opinions expressed in this newsletter are based upon information available at the time of publication. These opinions are designed to stimulate discussion and thought regarding current health topics. They are not designed to substitute for a personal consultation with a physician who is familiar with your unique medical history.

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© 2008-2009 George B. Elvove, M.D., P.C.

 

 

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