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Was the Swine Flu Scare a Drug Company Hoax?

The Swine flu pandemic never materialized, despite all the warnings that it could equal the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, which killed millions of people. To the average American, this is a relief, but governments in Europe and the US spent a lot of money stockpiling what turned out to be useless Swine Flu vaccines and Tamiflu. What happened (or DIDN'T happen)?

In the New York Review of Books, Helen Epstein writes that "After the 2009 'pandemic emergency declaration,' annual Tamiflu sales surged to $2 billion. In Korea, rumors of shortages led HSBC and other powerful banks to compete with hospitals for stocks of the drug. Countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America placed urgent Tamiflu orders from WHO's stockpile, and some governments even took out loans worth tens of millions of dollars from the World Bank's Avian and Human Influenza Facility to purchase it."

First, we need to understand the history of the H1N1 virus, which was first detected in Mexico in 2009, when that country experienced a spike in flu cases. A sample of the virus was sent across the border to the CDC (and also to Canada), where it became know as "Swine Flu" because, like most flu viruses, pigs were the original source of the virus. Although H1N1 flu viruses are usually mild, this one seemed to be especially aggressive, and the World Health Organization (WHO) became concerned. Epstein writes that "Panic spread throughout the world. In Mexico schools and offices were closed, flights were canceled, and the country lost $2.2 billion within a few weeks. In the UK, the government’s swine flu website received 2,600 hits per second and crashed soon after it opened--in New York so many people panicked over any flu-like symptom that hospital emergency rooms were swamped with ten times more patients than normal, worsening care for those who really needed it." Countries across the world ordered that all pigs be slaughtered.

Epstein reports that, "The predicted dire emergency did not occur. In the 2009–2010 'influenza season' about 18,000 people died from the disease worldwide, fewer than in previous years, and the vast majority of victims had serious underlying conditions such as cancer, lung disease, AIDS, or severe obesity, which can impair breathing. Since one influenza strain usually dominates all others during a typical flu season, H1N1 may actually have SAVED lives by displacing more aggressive viruses. "In March 2010, a Council of Europe report concluded that the H1N1 virus was known to be mild well before the WHO issued the pandemic 'declaration' and expressed concern about the influence of powerful pharmaceutical companies over decision-making at the agency."

Does this mean that the Swine Flu "epidemic" was a hoax perpetuated by drug companies? It's too soon to come to that conclusion, but some of the evidence certainly points that way. Wow! Where else are you going find all this important information IN ONE PLACE--and with links so you can know FOR CERTAIN that this is REAL SCIENCE. You can trust to tell you the truth (and we correct ourselves if we're wrong). If you want this kind of reporting to be there the next time you fire up your computer, be sure to subscribe today--and come hear more fascinating truths at our wonderful Dreamland Festival in June!

I am 61 and in 2009 at age 60 I caught H1N1 from my 83 year old mother. What was curious about this is that the CDC kept mentioning the 1918 pandemic and how similar H1N1 was to it and that there would be some immunity. The problem was I am not old enough and neither was my mom to have been exposed to the 1918 flu. Neither of us was alive during that time, she was born 1926 and my birthday was 1949. So really few people are alive today that had immunity. Anyway be both were denied the nasal spray and we both caught this flu. Younger people I worked with got the nasal spray and didn't catch this flu. In earlier years at age 7 I caught the Asian flu and in 1968 the Hong Kong flu and was far sicker than I was with H1N1. Why these guidelines to give some nasal spray to some and denied it to others never made any sense and I email the CDC with my complaint that because of the guidelines we both got sick. But to propose that this was some conspiracy by the drug companies to drum up business is kind of laughable because the whole thing looked like a bumbling mess to me and we are giving the companies too much credit for brains along with the federal government. I watched the H1N1 congressional hearings on C-Span and no one seemed to know what they were doing despite advanced medical and scientific degrees. It was one botched up mess from start to finish!!!

I work in public health so I know about the flu and the H1N1 vaccine. The nasal spray uses a live virus. It is not recommended for those over 50 years of age, or for those under 2 years of age. It is also not recommended for those with compromised immune systems or special health considerations such as asthma. Studies have shown that the nasal mist is most effective in the younger population due to the strong reaction of the immune system.

Here's a fact that most people don't realize: Once you are past 65 years old, your immune system is on the wane, which means your body has a more difficult time reacting to vaccines. In the last year a special high dosage version of flu vaccine (not mist, the shot, which is not a live virus) has been developed for seniors. The true facts are, and not many discuss this, is that for years the medical community has been pushing flu vaccine for those over 65 when the vaccine, for the most part, did not have enough efficacy to protect most older citizens. (There was no 'high dosage' for seniors of H1N1).

Also, the people who had some natural immunity were not people exposed to the pandemic of 1918, but to the swine flu from 1976 and even a flu that was going around in the 1930's. I am 58 years old. I got the regular H1N1 flu shot, not the mist. Many people that I know personally, and whom I work with, came down with H1N1. Since there was rationing at the beginning of the pandemic due to lack of vaccine, the first vaccine that rolled off the production lines went to the priority population who were young children and pregnant women, the most vulnerable. H1N1 was particularly nasty to pregnant women and young children. We had older people coming into our office complaining because they were not at the top of the priority list. In general, this flu was kinder to the older population than it was to young children and even teenagers. That's what had the CDC and WHO worried. The 1918 pandemic mainly attacked and killed the younger population and fairly quickly.

I did not get H1N1. I was exposed to it BEFORE I got the vaccine. I believe I was spared because I did have an extremely bad case of flu back in 1976 (I now feel pretty certain that I had the swine flu).

The way that flu evolves season to season, and the the timing and manufacture of a new flu vaccine yearly to cover the correct strains of flu is very complex and also relies on educated guesses based on circulating strains worldwide.

It may have appeared to have been one "botched up mess", but I guarantee it could have been much worse if the world had not reacted at all because, in the beginning, we were not sure what we were dealing with. Even more puzzling was that this flu became very active in the spring and summer months here in the USA. Most flu spreads in the winter, peaking in January and February.

One other thing to note...H1N1 did something else very unusual for flu. It could be passed on to cats and dogs. Some wild animals in the San Diego even contracted it from handlers and died, and they also suspect that some cases may have passed from animal to animal.

Here is one link regarding animals:

There is much more, which I won't go into. But suffice to say that a few months ago I found out why my grandfather had so few living relations. Most of them died in the 1918 pandemic, and my family sent me copies of some very chilling letters from my great-great grandfather detailing deaths in his community. He died not long after from the pandemic swine flu, as did my great-great grandmother and others in the family.

To add to me earlier post, I worked at a hospital in the medical library 30 years so I was not completely uninformed when my mom and I developed the H1N1 flu. The nasal spray was not recommended for people over 50 but the above post claims the immune system of a 65 year old is not working as well so couldn't handle the nasal spray. I think there is a big difference between age 50 and 65. My biggest gripe was that every one of my co-workers who ranged in age from 30, 36, 40 and 48 were allowed to get the nasal spray and I was not. I was the only one to catch this flu. Now how bad could the reaction have been to the nasal spray if in the end my mom couldn't get the spray and neither could I and the end result was we both got sick. Now not deathly ill but sick nonetheless. This is what I mean by a botched up mess. I even tried to get our hospital to let me take the nasal spray and I would've signed a waiver. No, and then I was out for almost a week with this flu. Just because you are in your 60's does not mean you immune system is not working or that you have some mysterious immunity to whatever is out there either. I watched in horror as people all of the US lined up for the spray. They would go around and pluck the older people out of these lines and could tell by their body language that they were being told they could not have the spray. Tlhis is what I mean by a botched up mess. The government scared us to death and denied some people the help they were offering. Whomever was in those lines should have been allowed to get whatever was being offered until the stuff ran out!!! Oh, and by the way my co-workers were really horrified that I was the only one not allowed to get the spray and I got sick. One of them said to me, I think they are trying to kill off all of the older baby boomers. I knew this was a ridiculous statement but when healthcare providers and the government act like something is a deadly pandemic and you are not allowed to protect yourself by getting what everyone else can get it's a botched up mess. My mom and I eventually received a flu shot, too late I might add but we gotem!!!!

If the hospital, your doctor, or any clinic had given you the mist, they would have been doing it "off label". There is liability attached to giving any drug or vaccine against the recommendations, and also all of the H1N1 vaccine was paid for by the government. CDC expected all providers to stick to the recommendations.

I saw a lot at our clinic when H1N1 came around, including older people who felt they should get the vaccine before pregnant women and little kids. Not kidding. When vaccine was in short supply, I could have gotten a shot right away since I work in public health, but I took my chances, knowing that my getting the shot meant there might possibly be one pregnant woman who might miss out, losing her life and her baby's life. ( Yes, the government prioritized public health and other providers, knowing full-well that if things got ugly, we would have to be able to take care of everyone else) My daughter-in-law was pregnant at the time, and I kept that in mind. Although H1N1 turned out to be less than expected, it sure opened my eyes about people and how they act when fear comes into play. This was an interesting little drill that brought out the best and the worst in people.

The government did not deny help on H1N1. They honestly worked hard, just as all of us in public health did when H1N1 came around. They pushed for vaccine and got it out as quickly as possible. Think about this: A whole new strain appeared that May, and somehow the researchers, vaccine manufacturers, and the government were pushing out vaccine in less than 6 months. I do know how this is done. The government and CDC had already chosen a seasonal strain and begun manufacturing it for late summer, when this oddball flu showed up. They stopped the presses and took action. They may have made some mistakes, but they did not deny help to anyone, they just prioritized as the first few doses became available, AND they did their best to keep the public health and safety in mind when rolling out the vaccine.

The CDC has learned lessons over the last 30 years. When swine flu hit back in the 1970's, they quickly rolled out a vaccine and a lot of people ended up with Guillian Barre, so they stick to protocols now to ensure vaccine safety and efficacy.

I don't want to get into a shouting match with you C. Librarian but I was not trying to push myself in front of any pregnant woman. Just trying to be proactive in my healthcare. Peace, OK?

PS: I was involved with direct patient care and medical research so you are preaching to the choir!!!!!

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