This column last commented on the outbreak early September. A newspaper reported on 20 Sept 2009 that swine flu deaths in South Africa have reached 47, including 4 in AIDS patients. Now, three weeks later this number has doubled to 91.
But at least, with the blossoming of spring and warmer weather in the Southern hemisphere, the epidemic seems to be over for the present. An update is now available on pros and cons of Tamiflu
The latest stats analysis shows that over 40% of deaths were in the W Cape; 59% were women; of whom 25 were pregnant, and 16 either obese or with HIV. This is no surprise since obesity, pregnancy, AIDs and old age are states of immunodeficiency/increased immune tolerance; while hundred-fold lower androgen:estrogen dominance makes younger women much more immunoreactive than men.
We desperately need to nourish, protect especially our future- our young and our fertile women- and our wisdom- our aging seniors. Margaret Attwood and Deborah Cadbury graphically paint the bleak immediate future we survivors born before the nuclear bomb face for humankind with the Feminization of Nature, The River The Source of AIDS– no more fertile children, no more parents to nuture them.
One hears anecdotal experience from USA ( from Georgia – a high spot of the USA outbreak ; and from Philadelphia) of the total abolition of influenza occurrence in those taking modest dose of vitamin D ~ 2000-5000iu/day- at a retail cost of perhaps R0.60 (= USA $0.05)/day- which also gives amazing protection, resistance against all infections and all other major diseases- truly the vitamin of the past decade.
Yet the Lancet H1N1 Resource Centre now trumpets the virtues of both high-dose oseltamivir Tamiflu; and the need for the H1N1 vaccine in which the USA has invested $billions. This despite the fact that there is no significant trial efficacy and safety data yet in this swine flu outbreak on Tamiflu or the new (swine flu) vaccine ; and despite the Guillaine-Barre disaster with previous flu vaccines. This column has previously commented on the danger of media hype spreading fear and panic to boost the interests of marketeers.
The comprehensive current Wikipedia review has much describing Tamiflu limitations, its serious adverse effects. Remarkably, this review does not mention meaningful efficacy rates- which benefit in controlled trials apparently amounts to shortening in the mostly mild clinical course by perhaps half a day. Yet Roche states blandly: “According to the CDC 99.6% of all seasonal H1N1 flu strains tested are resistant to Tamiflu”. Thus it is of no value against the far worse seasonal flu.. .
Remarkably, 7 months after the swine flu epidemic broke out, no major trial has been published of Tamiflu’s efficacy in either preventing or treating swine flu.
This is despite the fact that USA ‘authorities’ predicted mass deaths from swine flu- which mercifully have not materialized. Despite the wildfire spread of the swine flu, well over 99% of cases have been mild; and Dr Russell Blaylock calculates from official USA pronouncements that the infection and hospitalization rate has been remarkably low there- at worse 0.027% and 0.0045% respectively… with very few deaths below 24 or above 65yrs. The same pattern has been seen around the world. Wildfire spread of a mild flu, with the few deaths mainly among the frailest. Blaylock’s comments on the ‘mandatory’ but untested notorious vaccine are scathing.
A glance at Pubmed reveals some 21 500 studies of vitamin D’s benefits in the entire spectrum of human disease, including infections, cancer and other degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis; and even cognitive function in aging men and women for at least 20 years . A new Baltimore study shows that even in the average population vitamin D range, older women with the lowest vitamin D levels ie below 38nmol/L have 2.5fold higher mortality than those with the highest -ie above 67nmol/L .
But no drug company (and therefore government) promotes natural vitamin D3 – precisely because it is so cheap – and safe. They hide behind the usual smokescreen to protect their patent synthetics mega-industry- that enough RCTs must first be done on proven natural nutrients to prove their safety and efficacy before they may be marketed as treatments! The brazen hypocricy of ‘authorities’ -the FDA and governments, the tool of Big Business – remains legendary fact- while poisons like pesticides, aspartamate, and monosodium glutamate are crammed into all foodstuffs, and cigarettes may still be manufactured and sold – despite uproar about their proven toxicity; and uproar about mandatory flu and HPV vaccines.
FISH OIL: Apart from sunshine, (fish ie) marine oil (ultimately manufactured only by algae) is the best natural source of vitamin D; but it’s price mushrooms because of insatiable demand and over-harvesting, including by the ruthless biofuel industry; and man-made ocean warming and pollution threatening to destroy all marine life within a human generation. But until science succeeds in synthesizing EPA and DHA, marine oil remains the only source of these scarce human biologicals indispensible for all life especially brain and membrane function, and even infection control .
Even in “sunny” South Africa, preventable infectious and degenerative disease (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer) is rampant due to ongoing failed government for centuries , worsening after 15 years of ruthlessly greedy catchup ‘democracy’ – disaster capitalism for the ruthless, rampant politicians’ corruption and promiscuity: illiteracy, poverty, pollution, stress, violence, murder, rape, maternal and infantile mortality, AIDs and tuberculosis rates in Southern Africa have risen to almost the worst in the world under the direct and unbroken malign rule of the ANC mandarins Mbeki, Manuel, the Zumas and their Hitler hero Mugabe.
As always, this is not to say that proven infections can be totally eradicated by supplements, should not be simultaneously treated with proven antimicrobials.
Yet the best two micronutrients against all-cause mortality and morbidity and for vital higher cognitive function- adequate doses of fish oil imported @ ~<R0.20/800mg omega3/day and vitamin D @ ~ <R0.02/5000iu/day – are ignored by most authorities if not most health practitioners – who being human, are more concerned about self-enrichment than the welfare of people. As usual, Only Disease Pays.
see update 20 Oct 2009 rising-cases-of-tamiflu-resistant-swine-flu-where-is-the-evidence-that-tamiflu-does-more-good-than-harm/