Some interesting thoughts about Bird Flu and immunity! Part 2

July 2006, Warren Matthews

Summary

OK…you will recollect in Part 1 that I talked about media reports which implied that the majority of the victims in the 1918 ‘Spanish Flu Pandemic had good immune systems because they were aged 18 – 34 years.

I firstly must apologize for a typo in the last issue.  I referred to “The year of the Spanish Flu was 1918.  What was going on that year?  Right…the Second World War!”  I’m sorry…of course I meant the First World War!  Thank you to those subscribers who pointed out this error. J

OK…you will recollect in Part 1 that I talked about media reports which implied that the majority of the victims in the 1918 ‘Spanish Flu Pandemic had good immune systems because they were aged 18 – 34 years.  By extension the idea is being promoted that having a strong immune system will not protect you from Bird Flu…thus strengthening the case for a vaccine. 

I commented that this was nonsense and explained how many of the victims back in 1918 were young men in the military whose immune systems were far from strong, due to the fact they had been substantially compromised as a result of exposure to toxic gases as part of their training.

But…you may be thinking…the majority of deaths from Bird Flu recently have been in Vietnam.  Now, we all know that Vietnamese food is good and healthy so it would follow that the immune systems of the Vietnamese people would be good!  Fair comment?  Well, it should be but sadly it is not because of the level of toxins in their food…particularly dioxin.

Think about these facts for a moment.

Experiments with mice have established that the immune system is very sensitive to dioxin type chemicals.  If mice are exposed to these chemicals AND then they are exposed to just the ordinary everyday type flu, most of them will die.  This is because the chemicals suppress the effectiveness of white blood cells that eliminate viruses.  It is reasonable to assume that the same principle will apply to humans. The WHO recommended that a ‘safe’ level for dioxins in food is 2 ppt (parts per trillion) and most people have less than that level in their blood.  HOWEVER, in a study done in Vietnam involving 3,200 people in 2003 they found that 95% of the participants had excessive blood levels of dioxin like substances in their blood with some as high as 413 ppt.

It is possible that these levels may be higher in this area than the rest of Vietnam because the city where the participants lived was on the site of a former air base used for Agent Orange spraying missions during the Vietnam war.  Dioxin is a major active ingredient in Agent Orange and remains in the soil for decades. 

Dioxin is present in much of the Vietnamese food chain with levels of dioxin chemicals in some foods reaching as high as 550 ppt. (Over 19 million litres of Agent Orange was sprayed onto the Vietnamese countryside and villages between 1961 and 1971) In Vietnam where most of the bird flu deaths have been, there is much evidence to suggest that the victim’s immune systems were seriously compromised due to ingestion of toxins.  There also appears to be evidence that suggests similar compromised immune systems amongst victims in other countries. The H5N1 virus is not new.  World Health Organization records show that there have been 21 reported outbreaks of a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus since 1959. Many of the migratory birds that are succumbing to ‘Bird Flu’ are also heavily contaminated with toxins.  This is because their traditional ‘resting’ sites such as the biggest lake in China…Lake Quighai and others are now heavily polluted.

Lake Quighai has for several decades been the dumping ground for all sorts of effluent including radioactive waste.  Large numbers of birds are now found there dead and many of them test positive for H5N1.

Many of the birds that arrive in SE Asia have visited Lake Quighai on their migratory path and many of them die on arrival in SE Asia, because they are ill and thoroughly exhausted. 

What I am trying to convey to you here is that there are multiple reasons why both birds and humans have become ill with this flu…  The most important reason in my view and many others is that at the end of the day the ‘effectiveness’ of a virus is dependant upon the overall health of the immune system whether it is in a bird or a human.

Of course many in the medical community will argue that the opposite is true. They may say that the biggest risk lays with the virus not the state of health/immune system of the recipient, or victim.

This is the view which prevails in modern medicine and it stems from the work carried out by Louis Pasteur 150 years ago in which he espoused the principle of finding a cure for each ‘germ’ by eradicating them.  He was a brilliant man and has been credited with the process of ‘pasteurization’ which destroys ‘germs’ through heat.  His work provided the foundation of the pharmaceutical industry which is based on trying to find a ‘cure’ for disease.

The opposing view by many other renowned scientists and physicians is that:  “Health is about the condition of the body called the ‘terrain,” or the “soil,” and only when it is disrupted and contaminated will pathogens have the opportunity to propagate”.

Before he died Pasteur is reported to have changed his view and agreed with the above when he said that “the germ is nothing, the soil is everything”.   However, ‘modern medicine’ had already taken a ‘hold’ at that stage and big money was involved and today the ‘PR machine’ dismisses his statements as the ramblings of a dying man.

Personally I run with the view that it is the ‘terrain’ that is all important.  In other words if your immune system is strong and you are healthy you are much less susceptible to bugs and viruses.  This is a well proven principle throughout history and is certainly one that I am familiar with personally.  None of my family and none of our staff have problems with bugs or viruses because we all take measures to ensure that our immune systems are strong.  None of us are concerned about bird flu either.

One final note:  If you really want to learn more about the bird flu hype I would strongly recommend that you purchase a book called “FOWL! Bird Flu: It’s Not What You Think”.  The author is Dr Sherri J Tenpenny and it is a very well researched book and raises many interesting questions.  It is also entertaining to read and not too ‘heavy’.

In good health, 

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