The Swine Flu Great Debate of 2009

“We re giving the vaccine for something that isn t that severe and we don t know if it s effective. Thats the story.” Dr Jim Wright Ubc

For the past 10 days I had on Facebook that I was writing in my blog information on the Swine flu and its notorious vaccine. This has proven to be quite a delicate topic. Never before has there been such a controversy over a flu vaccination. As a Chinese Medical Practitioner my patients want my take on the the vaccine. My policy has always been provide information to help them make an informed decision. Not guiding in either direction. However I feel the public has been largely duped with misinformation from the public healthcare system and our government.
So what is the best thing? And where can we go for this information. There is plenty of information to go through and no reason for people to make hasty decisions. I will have a list of resources for you at the end of this information segment for you to do your own research. My data is collected from both the United States and Canada as viruses really have no borders

We first need to look at the swine flu itself
We know that H1N1 is a relative of to the Spanish flu of 1918 which caused millions of worldwide deaths, we also know the vaccination is not given to people over the age of 65 years. This should be obvious, these people who had experience with the infection have now natural antibodies to this flu and are protected.
From this information we can see why younger people are being more affected, but the media would like you to believe that H1N1 is killing our young people in unheard of numbers.
As of Oct. 9, 76 infants have died from H1N1 flu in the US. which compares to entire-year totals of between 46 and 88 paediatric flu deaths over the past three years. What we are not told is how many of those kids had underlying problem, how many were vaccinated and how many had never been vaccinated.
On the CBC website, there is a video link for a section on “why are kids more vulnerable to H1N1?” In the segment they interviewed several Physicians who emphasize that just because children contract the illness easier (due to more close contact in schools, etc) that, “THERE IS NOTHING TO SHOW THAT THE H1N1 IN CHILDREN PUTS THEM AT A HIGHER RISK OR THAT THERE SYMPTOMS ARE ANY MORE LIFE THREATENING!” The deaths of the children in Canada due to H1N1 were tragic, but they represent a very minor element compared to the larger picture of the whole world’s experience. Most children who contract this illness will recover within a week, on there own, just fine.
Between April and Oct. 9, the start of the flu season in the northern hemisphere, there have been 5,000 deaths worldwide attributed to swine flu. Seasonal flu kills between 250,000 and 500,000 annually. Just over 30 per cent of Canadians get an annual flu shot.
As of Oct 17, 2009 The H1N1 is said to have caused:
1604 hospitalizations in Canada
83 deaths in Canada
Out of Canada’s approx 35million population you have a chance of dying from the H1N1 Virus is 1 / 421,687 (0.0002%).
Of those 83 cases of H1N1 they didn’t mention the actual cause of death. A very common cause of death would be a secondary bacterial infection.

Those who get the H1N1 flu can expect a range of flu symptoms but the vast majority recover without medical intervention.
According to the Centre for Disease Control in the U.S., 70 per cent of those who have been hospitalized with H1N1 have compromised immunity, a category that includes pregnant women and young children as well as those with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, cerebral palsy, HIV, obesity, asthma or other chronic lung diseases.
In the Southern hemisphere the flu season is considered over. H1N1 is not causing excessive mortality in fact its less virulent, than any strain that circulates throughout the year. The CDC s own website verifies that so far this year the influenza mortality is far below that of 2008.
So why the push for the vaccine? With so much hype, pressure and fear tactics used on the general public, CBS decided to do a 3 month investigation on the swine flu statistics, and its controversial vaccine.
One question they had posed to government officials is what are the numbers of confirmed cases. They learned that the majority of confirmed cases where specimens were then sent to the CDC for testing were not actually H1N1 at all. In fact 83-97 percent of those “confirmed” cases which tested negative for H1N1 also tested negative for an influenza of any kind. Only 20% actually had some form of influenza the other flu like symptoms aches, chills fatigue fever are caused by bacteria or other viruses. Which you would not be protected from in your influenza vaccine.
So why the push for the vaccine . The governments knew this disease was not mutating from the Southern Hemisphere s experience. However they chose not to change their health care plans…Our CBC Online News from 12th of November goes on to say
The huge investments governments made in swine flu pandemic planning might not have been justified, an Ontario health official said Thursday.
“It’s really not causing — and is not going to cause and nowhere has caused — significant levels of illness or death,” said Dr. Richard Schabas, Ontario’s former chief medical officer of health.
“But governments moved ahead regardless. They ramped up their response, spent a huge amount of money on vaccines and other things. I’m not sure the $1.5 billion includes the cost of new ventilators, the cost of Tamiflu stockpiles … the huge investment that’s been put into planning for what has ultimately turned out to be, from a pandemic perspective, a dud.”
The US spent 3 billion on the vaccine and Canada 1.5 billion. The governments and health care systems are trying to make a commitment to make annual influenza shots available to the public, in order to never experience the flu.
Sounds like a good idea on the community level when the virus is introduced, it may spread very quickly causing large percentages of a community to fall ill at once resulting in school closures, health clinic closures, etc. placing possible hardship on communities and families for whom missing work, having kids home from school can cause big financial strain.
Perhaps its not such a bad idea? But keep in mind 80% of flu like symptoms was not the flu at all so there still will be childhood sickness. So if we just give ourselves a shot, in order to prevent a flu how do you ever achieve good health?
If a child every year receives a flu shot which is temporary immunity at best, you prevent that population from having experience with influenza and you set up a situation of becoming vaccine dependant, becoming incredibly vulnerable to a true future pandemic.

The National Vaccine Information Centre (US) is an organization that has been around for 30 years. They are all about vaccine safety, they validate and document vaccination information. 14 years ago they advocated for a less toxic pertussis vaccine to give to your child. Not to eliminate it but to make the vaccine safer. No vaccine is without its side effect and some are greater than others. They are pushing for a government study on children who receive vaccinations who are now more chronically ill. The majority of kids will get through childhood illness, mumps chicken diabetes, adhd, allergies. By using vaccines to control childhood disease we are eliminating the acute conditions and increasing the chronic diseases and infections. According to the NVIC the last time the United States had the massive swine flu campaign more people died from the vaccine then those that had the disease or were left with chronic or devastating results.
Dr Jim Wright of UBC Says “If we don’t do a trial, then next year in September and October everyone will be wondering again if they should take the vaccine. My criticism of this vaccine is the same as my criticism of other flu vaccines.”
“There are no (randomized) trials done so we don’t know if it worked or not and every year we hear that it doesn’t look like it worked,” he says.
Dr Mercolas website is a wealth of information to help you develop a healthy scepticism and ask questions about vaccine safety for you and your family.
“Everyone wants safety. No one wants to get hurt by a drug or a vaccine, or have their child adversely affected . But few want to do what’s necessary to ensure such safety exists. Those who insist on it are branded as quacks and lunatics.”
It’s an interesting dilemma… But it explains why many health care professionals stay mum on the subject, for fear of hurting their professional status.”
Others, for whatever reason, are convinced vaccines offer the best protection against viruses, completely ignoring how your body and immune system actually works; how real immunity is achieved; and how your lifestyle affects your risk for complications.
France, for example, has only been able to convince 0.1 percent of their population to get the vaccine only 50,000 Frenchmen had lined up for the shot since the beginning of their campaign, out of a population of 65 million. And only 10 percent of health care workers have received the vaccine.
Its time for the public to look closer at the risks and benefits of vaccinating your child for mild viruses vs contracting the illness. Prevention is the best medicine and doesn t have to come from a vaccine.
Healthline Bc reccomends the following:

Influenza is caused by viruses, and is generally spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Here are six simple, common sense precautions that can help safeguard everyone’s health:
1) Stay home when you’re sick or have influenza symptoms. Get plenty of rest and check with a health care provider as needed.
2) Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.

3) Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away immediately. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
 4) Wash your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from getting sick.
5) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. You can become ill by touching a surface contaminated with germs and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
6) Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritious foods, and avoid smoking, which may increase the risk of serious consequences if you do contract the flu.
If you have a fever or cough illness, regardless of where you have travelled, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. See a health care provider if your symptoms become worse but call ahead of time to let them know you have fever or cough illness.
You can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, 24 hours a day/seven days a week to speak to a nurse if you have more questions or if feeling ill.
There are many other natural remedies one may try to help prevent the onset of illness and strengthen the immune system

In my practice I have a lot of success with incorporating essential oils to benefit health and alleviate symptoms if they should arise. Tea tree ,Eucalyptus ,rosemary, black spruce, are all wonderful anti virals. I always have some on to protect myself anytime I go into large crowds or when dealing with patients. These are natural substances so your body recognizes it without any toxic side effects.
A tea tree or eucalyptus application on the chest can help to break up cough,
A few drops of eucalyptus or oregano oil or Rosemary can be used in a steam inhalation to eliminate bacterial infections.
May chang is very effective at reducing fevers.
Herbal teas with Red clover, nettles, mint, fennel, calendula, Echinacea and ginger. T
Ginger (1 oz. grated or ½ oz. dried), ¼ oz. lemon, 3 c. apple juice/cider and boil for 5 min.

 Vitamin D has been well documented to increase the production of over 200 anti microbial peptides that fight infection.
Eliminate sugar from your diet as that will impair your immune response 1tsp of sugar decreases the immune response by 50% for 5-8 hours.
A supplement with zinc, Vitamin C and B complex
A wonderful product is with St Francis Farms called children s deep immune it has astragalus and codonopis which in Chinese Med are great qi tonics. There is also one for adults.

Please educate yourself to protect the well being of yourself and your family. I am happy to suppy you with some websites that the media will not publicize.
Next week more information on prevention and health during the holiday season.

Yours in health,
Lisa Greene
R.Ac Traditional Chinese Medicine