Bird Flu "Pandemic" Antidote: Wash Hands
Bird Flu scare is overblown. The disease is too fast and
deadly to grow pandemically. Government and pharmaceutical
opportunism a greater threat.
Greater Things News Service
Copyright © 2005
Bird flu is getting a lot of press lately.
Reports from various sources as diverse as the President of the United
States and the head of the World Health Organization, say it is a new
disease that is going to have us all dropping dead at any moment. It has
already been announced as a pandemic. There is a mad scramble to get
stocks of medicines assembled. Plans are being made for bringing the
military into the picture. Something is seriously wrong here and it isn’t
the flu. We have a bureaucratic disease and it promises to be far more
dangerous than any flu epidemic.
Bird flu poses no great threat to humanity. This disease is simply too
lethal to its victims and too fast in killing them to ever pose any
significant threat to mankind. With a 50% or so mortality rate occurring
in about 5 to 7 days after infection this disease cannot live long enough
to spread. It also assures prompt detection. Quick effective
countermeasures can be applied. It may be a problem, but H5N1, as this
virus is known, is not going to be a mass killer.
A pandemic disease of great danger has a unique pattern for its
transmission and lethality. A dangerous pandemic disease will only have a
moderate mortality rate in the order of 1% or 2%. This will allow the
disease to survive and infect. It will spread slowly and incubate for
fairly long periods of time. This provides effective transmission to large
numbers of victims. H5N1 simply doesn’t fit the bill. Even in a fairly
mutated form this disease has little or no prospect of ever being a
serious threat. The high rates of morality for bird flu and its fast
transmission will make great headlines. It will not make a great epidemic.
This bird flu will die out too fast to amount to anything. This is why the
disease after 7 years has only produced a few deaths.
The flu is truly a dangerous disease. In any given year the USA will lose
between 10,000 and 50,000 people to the flu. It will make ill in varied
degrees of seriousness between a million and 5 million persons. A truly
serious flu epidemic could kill millions and make sick large parts of the
population. We definitely need much more effective measures to deal with
the flu in whatever form that arrives each year.
As Americans roll up their sleeves each year for flu shots and our
pharmacies stock up on remedies, the bill for the flu is very high. We
spend billions on this. Shockingly these methods are almost worthless.
Flu vaccines being the most effective technical control for the flu are
hit and miss at best. Often the flu vaccine provided has no effect on the
strain that arrives. Even when it is effective, it only works for about
70% of the people who get it. The mutational behavior of the flu makes
vaccine a questionable strategy at best.
While Tamiflu, Amantadine and other drugs may be effective against the
flu, they require application almost immediately with the onset of the
disease. Their expense makes them limited to groups of the population
least likely to be affected. The prescription process, which requires one
to visit an MD and then the pharmacy, imposes a time restriction that
nearly destroys any effectiveness of these medicines. Americans faced with
a genuine and dangerous flu epidemic are likely to watch helplessly as
they get medicines too late to have any real effect. Even then the
medicine will be only available to the segment of the population least
likely to have a problem.
Hand washing is an old technology that is profoundly effective against the
flu. It works against all epidemic diseases with very high effectiveness.
The level of its effectiveness is dramatic. Hospitals face serious disease
threats daily. Many of these diseases lack any effective treatment and are
profoundly dangerous. The universally effective measure that contains all
of these diseases, is hand washing. It always works. It really doesn’t
matter which disease.
No person needs to be treated for a disease that they do not catch. Hand
washing stops, or severely reduces, the transmission of nearly every
infectious disease. Hand washing stops the transmission of the flu with
near total effectiveness. Effective hand washing is the cheap effective
and a certain end to the flu. This is already known.
Even your politicians know about hand washing. Every candidate for public
office learns to wash their hands repeatedly and often on the campaign
trail or they just don’t make it. Hand shaking is possibly the most
effective disease transmission method known. A politician who does not
wash his hands gets too sick to win office. Rest assured the highest
priority for any Presidential trip is to make sure that the hand washing
is attended to. As soon as President Bush gets away from the cameras, he
washes his hands.
So why are officials in a “panic?” The answer is that they are not in
a panic. They are flying to the disease. They wash their hands! They are
conducting a shake down by terror of the population of the world. The
reasons are many. They all come down to power and money. Big Pharma, is up
to shaking down the taxpayers. Politicians are after power. It all comes
together. Why else would they propose sending soldiers around to solve
this problem? A public campaign to encourage hand washing would solve the
As we have seen, the solutions that are being proposed for mass
governmental management of emergencies do not work. Hurricanes Katrina and
Rita have showed the utter futility of such “emergency management plans.”
The cost of these solutions gets higher and higher while the effectiveness
gets lower and lower. This is a mafia shake down racket with a disease or
a storm as the mob enforcer. The collection agent is the bureaucracy of
Don’t be a part of the latest panic. Learn to wash your hands and
generally be clean. Teach others to do the same. Get your schools and
public officials to back this up. Get the building codes changed so that
bathrooms are friendlier to clean hands. This is really cheap. It doesn’t
take away your freedom. It takes away the power of the government. It
stops the germs as well.
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Page posted by Sterling
D. Allan Oct. 12, 2005
Page last updated October 12, 2005