Bird Flu Myth of The Medicines

I had, quite some time back, blogged that the avian Flu has no real threat in the sense that it had no scientific reason to become an epidemic.

Goalfinder Part2-Human--bird-flu--viru
Goalfinder Part2-Human–bird-flu–viru (Photo credit: gfinder)

I had stated that the scares of Avian Flu surface only when the Pharma Companies have huge supply of Avian Flu drugs inventory.

I had quoted some background materials for my assertion.

Now I add more details on this subject.

To know how the Companies are misleading people about Vaccines as well please read my blog ‘ Vaccine causes Autism”

s the West threatened?
There is no doubt that wild birds will eventually bring bird flu (A)H5N1 to domestic bird populations in every part of the world. Wild birds (well nourished with robust immune systems) are rarely made ill by the infection themselves, but are only ‘carriers’. The birds most prone to ‘catch’ the illness are those living in unhealthy, overcrowded conditions, such as in factory farming. However, the virus continues to mutate [2] and has now also infected pigs, horses, cats, tigers, leopards, whales, seals and (a very few) humans. In humans, only one ^I+possible^I- case of human to human transmission has been identified to date, between a child, a mother and an aunt in Thailand. All three family members, however, may have been exposed to, say, diseased poultry.

But how likely is it that (A)H5N1 bird flu will ‘marry’ with a human flu virus, creating a strain of flu which harms and spreads easily between humans living in more industrially developed countries who (a) are not massively exposed to flu type (A)H5N1-ridden animals living in overcrowded conditions, and (b) are relatively well-nourished and have reasonable immune systems? John H. Beigel thinks the likelihood is low: “The relatively low frequency of influenza (A)H5N1 illness in humans despite widespread exposure to infected poultry indicates that the species barrier to acquisition of this avian virus is substantial.” [3](This means that human resistance to the (A)H5N1 strain of flu is very high.)

World Health Organisation figures confirm that there is as yet little evidence of a growing human epidemic. In the first three months of 2004 there were 23 confirmed cases resulting in 16 deaths, nothing for four months, four cases resulting in four deaths from July to October 2004 and 64 cases resulting in 21 deaths in the first ten months of 2005, in effect a modest decline. Also, the Thai child-mother-aunt transmission spread no further, suggesting that the human form of (A)H5N1 bird flu is not very infectious.

Flu jabs and drugs
Despite what many people appear to believe, there is no drug on the market which reliably stops people catching flu, let alone a human A(H5N1) flu. As all efforts to date to develop an anti-flu drug against known flu strains appear to have failed, what are the chances of making a drug which will protect against an, as yet, non-existent strain in time to protect people in a fast-moving pandemic? Also, the performance of current flu vaccines (again, against known strains) are nowhere near what the authorities crack them up to be. And virologists estimate that the minimum time to develop a vaccine from a newly isolated human A(H5N1) flu virus would be six months. The UK Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Davidson recently expressed his hope that a vaccine would be available to fight the (probably milder) ^I+second wave^I- of a pandemic. However, to test the effectiveness and safety of a new vaccine takes many years, so it is difficult to know whether a hastily prepared vaccine will do more good than harm. Some analyses of past ‘flu epidemics‘ where vaccines were rushed out suggest that we have reason to be concerned (see ‘Spanish Flu’ below).

Not the scout motto
The UK and US Departments of Health have turned a blind eye to the problem for 40 years, and have done too little too late, so now possess no tested protection against the hypothetical possibility of what they characterise as “a bird flu pandemic like the one that killed 20 million people in 1918”. Given that they could not be seen to stockpile anything which would not make profits for their friends in the pharmaceutical industry, their last straw to clutch is Tamiflu.

Both countries are now stockpiling the ‘anti-flu virus’ drug oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu) for key workers (especially health workers) to use in the case of a human (A)H5N1 flu pandemic. The evidence is conflicting as to whether Tamiflu reduces the risk of catching existing strains of human flu in normal conditions, but it did appear to protect poultry workers from catching a human form of bird flu H7N7 during the 2003 epidemic in the Netherlands. Also, in laboratory tests carried out in 2004, it appeared to be effective against cell cultures of both current human flu A strains and (A)H5N1 bird flu.[4] In other studies, Tamiflu also appeared to reduce both the severity and duration of current human flu attacks if taken within 48 hours of symptoms appearing.[5] Speedy reaction was of the essence. The sooner Tamiflu was taken, the more effective it was.

This is the principal reason for stockpiling a planned 90+ million courses of Tamiflu. Infection with a human form of (A)H5N1 appears to trigger an immune system response so strong that it kills the patient’s body before it beats the disease. If Tamiflu has any effect at all on some future human form of (A)H5N1, it might literally make the difference between life and death.

In the final analysis, neither Government is likely to offer the majority of its citizens any protection against the first (most virulent) wave of a pandemic.

Conspiracy theorists have noticed that Tamiflu sales will make US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld immensely richer. He is the chairman of Gilead, the company which developed Tamiflu, and now receives royalties from every sale of Tamiflu made by manufacturer-under-licence Roche Laboratories Inc. He probably just struck lucky. Although Tamiflu’s equally effective rival, Relenza, [6] is slightly cheaper (£32 rather than £38 a course), it is delivered by an inhaler, presenting problems for people with asthma or other chronic lung diseases.

Post script – Killing two birds …
Neither the US nor the UK Government could let the opportunity to boost their questionable winter flu vaccination campaigns go by. They have now added another (community-spirited) reason why all vulnerable people* should have their jab. Apparently, if someone already has flu and is exposed to bird flu, the two viruses might interact in their body, resulting in the human-killing virus everyone fears. In reality, the US and UK authorities must consider the chance of this happening pretty remote. If not, surely they would already be (a) working to vaccinate their entire populations against flu every two or three months and (b) donating billions of flu vaccine doses to developing countries worldwide.

In the UK, at least, they need not have worried. Although the current flu jabs afford no protection against a human form of (A)H5N1, the heavily promoted possibility of millions of deaths from a human bird flu mutant was sufficient to empty the entire flu jab stock for winter ’95/’96.

* those over 65 or who suffer from illnesses that put them at higher risk of serious illness from flu, such as asthma, diabetes or serious heart and lung conditions.


[1] Infectious Diseases Society of America Web site. Avian Influenza (Bird Flu): Implications for Human Disease
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Information about Avian Influenza (Bird Flue) and Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus.
[2] Hien TT et al. New England Journal of Medicine 2004;351:2363-2365
[3] Beigel JH, New England Journal of Medicine 2005;353(13):1374-85
[4] Oxford J et al. Antiviral Activity of Oseltamivir Carboxylate Against a Human Isolate of the current H5N1 chicken strain. Poster 3839, presented at the InterScience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), Washington DC, USA on 31 October 2004
[5] Aoki,F et al. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 2003;51:123-29
[6] Elliot M. Zanamivir – treatment and prevention of influenza A and B. Retroscreen Abstract 2001
Govorkoa,EA et al. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2001;45(10):2723-32

(12008) Nick Anderson. Green Health Watch




Author: ramanan50

Retired Senior Management Professional. Lectures on Indian Philosophy,Hinduism, Comparative Religions. Researching Philosophy, Religion. Free lance Writer.Blogger

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