Betting on a Stable Virus

Mainstream medicine recommends avoiding both intentional and unintentional exposure to the H1N1 virus. I hope that they are right and perhaps they are, but the degree of certainty in their pronouncements indicates to me that they may be recommending beyond what begs for an application of probability theory.

In the early 60’s at MIT, I attended a lecture by a mathematician, well versed in that subject. During World War II, two questions had been posed to him and his staff:

  • Should large troop carriers, such as the Queen Mary, be sent across the North Atlantic with or without escort?
  • If this new atomic device were set off would the entire world be engulfed in a chain reaction?

By integrating probability densities they concluded that the Queen Mary would be better off running unencumbered by a slower escort and that the chain reaction would not extend beyond a bomb’s fissile material. Here are their calculations, 25 milliseconds into the grading process. Admirals and Generals, who may have asked for the analysis in the first place, took over from there and the rest is history.

Was this same type of analysis ever requested and carried out on the following question? For a particular future date what death toll may we expect from the emergence on that date of a mutated or cross-bred, H1N1 virus with a lethality more inline with its viral kin of the 1910’s, 50’s and 60’s?

English: Illustration of antigenic shift

Antigenic Shift

All three pandemic influenza with the same attack signature of the current pandemic turned deadly by the following cooler season. Mainstream medicine must believe that either this virus won’t or enough vaccines will have been administered by then for it to matter very little. In the latter case should people without access to vaccination (e.g. third world countries) or who choose against perceived vaccination side-effects rule out intentional exposure? Are such countries overly restricting the spread? Are we?

It is claimed that H1N1’s domination of other viruses would limit interaction and hence cross breeding with those the likes of which have brought us a quite lethal Avian Flu. Were the other influenza propelled by slower viruses? Would so many billions of swine-avian interactions be needed to in time breed a virus embodying the worst of each: a mega-killer?

I admit that I am no physician and probably won’t be taking the plunge into this virus (exposure) or its fragments (vaccine). If I do contract H1N1 naked (so to speak), I will be treating myself with something that destroys both bacteria and virus; because most victims of influenza succumb to bacteria that gain easy entry through pulmonary breeches guarded only by a virally decimated immune system; and because the transition point from the viral and bacterial assault is blurred. This would also be a backup for those who plan to intentionally expose themselves to the virus.

English: Leptospermum laevigatum (Coastal Tea ...

Tea Tree

In her book Aromatherapy:  A to Z, Patricia Davis, recommends Tea Tree and/or Ravensara essential oils as that anti-biotic, anti-viral something. Note: neither take these internally nor allow their contact with eyes! At and beyond the first signs of flu inhale from simmering water (couple of drops with possible repetition) or bathe in water (6 drops added to a full tub). Finally (surprisingly) have a conventional antibiotic on hand in case the bacterial struggle becomes too intense.

Clearly countries lacking access to vaccination should not let more affluent countries dictate their strategy. For their special need, they should consider replacing the H1N1 party with an H1N1 ward, but only if identification of a resident flu doesn’t prove more costly than the many vaccines themselves. Admission to the ward would be available to those who have no special, here potentially dangerous, vulnerabilities (including those of childhood or brought in with ambiguous flu symptoms); and who agree to nurse the ill until they themselves become so, and then staying at least until they are no longer vectors for this disease. Remember every person who acquires immunity to H1N1 by whatever means becomes (especially through proper hygiene) a buffer against the spread of the disease at whatever its degree of survivability.

By this, the current viral assault’s rapidity may prove to be somewhat of a blessing, but perhaps not that of penicillin after the Spanish Influenza of 1918. In that pandemic, millions had acquired a viral immunity only to succumb within hours to pneumonia. Penicillin might have allowed the pool of various flu immunities to grow into buffers that would spare millions their lives in the influenza of the 50’s and 60’s.

George Stuebing, Victim of 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Still rapidity does effectively blur the distinction between voluntary and involuntary exposure; and I suppose that all the precautions against spread are earnest rehearsals whether or not a mega-killer actually rears its head.

Out of Atlanta on October 13, 2009, Associated Press reported these grossly misleading statistics:

Health officials released the surprising results at a news conference on Tuesday, noting that 46 percent of 1,400 hospitalized adults did not have a chronic underlying condition.

They have said before that the majority of swine flu patients who develop severe illness have some sort of preexisting condition, but the new data suggest the majority may be slimmer than was previously thought.”

Notice that if only one in ten Americans have a chronic underlying condition then, for such personal circumstance, a 54% affliction rather than 10% is hardly  different from what had at least been meant in the original claim. Too often relative stats are replaced with  absolute stats which are deceptive when comparing.

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