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flu pandemic in early 1900s - - Page 3

post #41 of 176
One other factor that links war and disease: grief. A large number of people world wide had lost relatives in the war directly or indirectly (due to malnutrition, increased poverty, overcrowding, etc.) After years of stress and worry and fear many people were probably incredibly vulnerable to disease.

I've just been listening to 1776 by David McCullough. Near the beginning of the book he describes the disease problems in the patriot army camp near Boston. The problems were due to overcrowding, filthy conditions, contaminated water supplies and so on. What I found interesting is that the women who came to the camp to nurse the men took some of the diseases back home to their towns and villages where more people died. The living conditions at home were not bad enough to cause illness, but if illness was imported it could spread and kill other people. However, he doesn't mention any cases of a disease spreading except from direct carriage. That is, there don't seem to be stories of a woman bringing something home, people catching it and then carrying to the next town, and then people from that town carrying to another town. So at some point, the reasonably good living conditions of the people in the countryside seemed to stop further carriage.

Disease does exist and it can kill a lot of people, but the conditions have to be right. If our civilization collapsed and we were, uh, pooping in the streets, we would definitely see the return of some currently rare illnesses, with or without vaxes.

Deborah
post #42 of 176
Quote:
There was seven times more disease among the vaccinated soldiers than among the unvaccinated civilians...
I don't know if this quote is true or not but it's exactly what you'd expect if the virus originated and evolved in the trenches. The soldiers and the civilians were in two different places - that added variable makes all the difference. [e.g. During the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami there were one thousand times more drownings in vaccinated Indonesians than there were in unvaccinated Americans. This is exactly what you'd expect if the tsunami occurred near Indonesia but it doesn't prove that vaccines caused or even increased the level of drowning.]

To determine if vaccination of soldiers participated in producing the viral strain we'd need to look at the infection rate of non-vaccinated soldiers vs. vaccinated soldiers. If that cohort doesn't exist then no further conclusions can be extrapolated. Vaccines may or may not have contributed to the emergence of this particular flu strain. Since the strain originated in the trenches, soldiers would have been afflicted at a higher rate than civilians independent of vaccination status. This quote doesn't provide any clarification as to the role of vaccination.

Now if somebody is saying that it was the actual typhoid vaccine that caused the deaths (in the absence of flu infection) well that's bordering on the absurd. Those ideas are old and have been obviously discredited by the fact that the actual 1918 flu strain has recently been recovered from people who died during the pandemic. The only way you could dismiss that would be to assume that all those people killed by typhoid vaccine were coincidentally sick with flu at the time the vaccine killed them.
post #43 of 176
[QUOTE=insider]I don't know if this quote is true or not but it's exactly what you'd expect if the virus originated and evolved in the trenches. The soldiers and the civilians were in two different places - that added variable makes all the difference. [e.g. During the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami there were one thousand times more drownings in vaccinated Indonesians than there were in unvaccinated Americans. This is exactly what you'd expect if the tsunami occurred near Indonesia but it doesn't prove that vaccines caused or even increased the level of drowning.]QUOTE]

Insider,

I agree with your idea as far as what is more comparable, but I do not agree with the tsunami analogy because flu is contagious and carried while tsunami's are not. That is the entire point. If all were exposed because the flu supposedly spread all over the world (not all exposed to tsunami) then the vaccinated soldiers to unvaccinated civilians is comparable to a degree but certainly many other variables could be influential. We are going to have to agree to disagree on the Spanish Flu. It's always interesting to me how they find exactly what they are looking for (in this instance the supposed strain of flu from 1918) at the exact same time they are touting the coming of another deadly flu.

Also, when a virus has to do some extraordinary, never been done before mutation to become the Spanish Flu, I am going to be sceptical. I'm also curious what they are going to do with the "bird flu" this fall and winter. That should be interesting.
post #44 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scattershoot
To state as fact, the poppers argument was disposed of 20 years ago (implying "get a new argument") does not end the fact that many still find the link between inhaling nitrates and lung illness (PCP) very probable. This is perhaps the first time some reading this info have heard of this possibility and if they are interested they can do their own research. AZT in not a drug without severe and often deadly side effects neither are protease inhibitors.
Again, still waiting for the explanation on how infants with AIDS were doing poppers.
post #45 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qestia
I just think it's naive to think that we may not experience a major epidemic again someday, and that it will not be able to be affected by anything modern medicine does for good or bad. I mean, myxomytosis in Australia. That killed upwards of 90% of the rabbit population, and no one was vaccinating rabbits or giving them aspirin. Of course the 10% that remained are myxomytosis-resistant and now they are overpopulated again... but that doesn't mean another rabbit scourge couldn't wipe out just as many sometime in the future.

It would be nice to blame --all-- of our health woes on one source, that would make it easier to deal with, wouldn't it? But Big Pharma, Allopathy, etc. is actually not the sole threat to mankind's future. Mother Nature may take it into her hands to knock us down a notch or two as well.

(And yes, I do happen to be re-reading "earth abides" which is a great novel about this very possibility.)
I will have to look into that book. I am a firm believer that epidemics serve their purpose. It is a bit of a cleansing for the earth, however cruel that may sound. I mean, we are overpopulating and abusing our planet. I would like to think that Mother Nature can get her revenge is she feels the time is right. And each epidemic has helped narrow the population, and give immunity for future generations.

So, sure there will be future epidemics. I don't think it's my place to freak everyone out and scare them into getting a shot for something that will likely give them the disease they are trying to avoid as well as all the other nasties that go along with it. I trust the earth to keep me safe if I treat it well, keep my kids healthy, and do my best. Kind of like a religious belief.

The problem is that people think that they can outsmart nature, and play "god" and work around things. I think that our history has shown us that we don't always come out on top with that viewpoint. Give a little respect. Microbiology is fascinating stuff. It is amazing how astoundingly powerful one little virus can be.
post #46 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama
Again, still waiting for the explanation on how infants with AIDS were doing poppers.
A little sarcastic, but I'll go ahead and respond.

1. I never said infants with so-called AIDS were doing poppers, nor did I say everyone with so-called AIDS did poppers. I gave one example of an AIDS scenario (that was actually a friend of mine).

2. Now we have to define AIDS which is interesting because the definition of AIDS actually changes based on where you live, and has changed over the years. Here in America its a certain T-cell count below 200 and HIV positive test or one of AIDS defining illnesses such as PCP, KS, Wasting Syndrome, etc. In Africa the definition is includes diseases and symptoms that have killed for eons and are not typical of western AIDS patients (no poppers-no rash of PCP or KS).

3. The AIDS test is an antibody test and the AIDS virus (whatever it is) is not even found in many AIDS patients.

4. The AIDS test can give a false positive for at least 70 conditions, because the body is constantly creating antibodies to fight invaders such as recent vaccinations. The AIDS test does not test for HIV. Again, it is an antibody test.

I could go on but my point is if a child is diagnosed with "AIDS" it is a various dubious diagnosis. Children could have formed antibodies for all sorts of reasons, which could give a positive. Many researchers argue that t4 cell counts don't really show anything since a low count could simply be the result of the body fighting off anything including very powerful medications. Children can come into this world with a compromised immune system for any number of reasons. Every child told he/she has AIDS has to be looked at on an individual basis.

How many healthy, or even somewhat-healthy, children and adults came up positive, starting taking immune-compromising drugs and wasted away?
post #47 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gitti
...and political because it never affected the people of Spain. But at the time we had our beef with Spain and therefore named the deadly flu after that country.

Here are a couple of interesting links since I can't find the one where I had read the above -

http://www.*********/vaccines/spanish_flu.html




http://link2thefuture.blogspot.com/2...e_archive.html
That is amazing. I know my grandma talked about it hitting when her mom was young, yet not hardly anyone died comparitvely. They were all poor mountain folk who didn't get any vaxes.
post #48 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
Now if somebody is saying that it was the actual typhoid vaccine that caused the deaths (in the absence of flu infection) well that's bordering on the absurd. Those ideas are old and have been obviously discredited by the fact that the actual 1918 flu strain has recently been recovered from people who died during the pandemic. The only way you could dismiss that would be to assume that all those people killed by typhoid vaccine were coincidentally sick with flu at the time the vaccine killed them.
What about if they were already infected with the virus and the vaccine pushed them over the edge causing death? You aren't supposed to be vaccinated if you are sick, I am assuming a vax back a century ago wasn't the safest option. I can see it pushing a lot of otherwise healthy people to death.
post #49 of 176
Staph infection and influenza

In the last three influenza pandemics (1918, 1957–58, and 1968), added infection with S. aureus was an important cause of increased morbidity and mortality.
post #50 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scattershoot
A little sarcastic, but I'll go ahead and respond.

1. I never said infants with so-called AIDS were doing poppers, nor did I say everyone with so-called AIDS did poppers. I gave one example of an AIDS scenario (that was actually a friend of mine).

2. Now we have to define AIDS which is interesting because the definition of AIDS actually changes based on where you live, and has changed over the years. Here in America its a certain T-cell count below 200 and HIV positive test or one of AIDS defining illnesses such as PCP, KS, Wasting Syndrome, etc. In Africa the definition is includes diseases and symptoms that have killed for eons and are not typical of western AIDS patients (no poppers-no rash of PCP or KS).

3. The AIDS test is an antibody test and the AIDS virus (whatever it is) is not even found in many AIDS patients.

4. The AIDS test can give a false positive for at least 70 conditions, because the body is constantly creating antibodies to fight invaders such as recent vaccinations. The AIDS test does not test for HIV. Again, it is an antibody test.

I could go on but my point is if a child is diagnosed with "AIDS" it is a various dubious diagnosis. Children could have formed antibodies for all sorts of reasons, which could give a positive. Many researchers argue that t4 cell counts don't really show anything since a low count could simply be the result of the body fighting off anything including very powerful medications. Children can come into this world with a compromised immune system for any number of reasons. Every child told he/she has AIDS has to be looked at on an individual basis.

How many healthy, or even somewhat-healthy, children and adults came up positive, starting taking immune-compromising drugs and wasted away?
Yes, the definition of AIDS is different in different countries. No big surprise, since the defining characteristic of AIDS is opportunistic infection, which one would expect to vary from country to country. PCP existed in this country, for example, for decades before it became a defining illness of HIV/AIDS.

One would also expect the infection to present differently given the different subtypes of HIV present. Guess what? They do!

AIDS is a syndrome (says so right there in the name, you know). Syndromes by definition are collections of symptoms, not discrete diseases. If HIV is so benign, then why doesn't it show up in the majority of the non-immunocompromised population? Why do the epidemiologic patterns of HIV/AIDS so closely parallel other sexually-transmitted infection, and hepatitis B, for that matter? Why does HIV kill T4 cells in vitro if it doesn't do so in vivo?
post #51 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scattershoot
If all were exposed because the flu supposedly spread all over the world (not all exposed to tsunami) then the vaccinated soldiers to unvaccinated civilians is comparable to a degree but certainly many other variables could be influential.
No, it's not comparable - but it's an interesting exercise so let's do it: The flu was blamed for 20 million civilian deaths (that's one of the low estimates). Since the death rate was 2.5% that means those deaths stemmed from 800 million flu infections. Now for the original quote to be correct (it claimed that seven times more soldiers than civilians got the disease), that would mean 5.6 billion soldiers got the flu - that's more people than were even on the planet at the time.

So the numbers are not comparable. But I'm not saying the quote is wrong (I don't know if it is or isn't), just that you can't look at numbers the way you're suggesting.

Instead of looking at the absolute numbers, the original quote can only be correct if it's referring to relative numbers. That means disregarding people who didn't get the flu and looking only at the people who did get the flu to calculate what percentage of them died. My analogy is exactly correct: it considers only people who got hit by a big wave of water and what percentage of them drowned. But if you prefer I'll try a couple more:

There was seven times more disease among vaccinated Germans than among unvaccinated Eskimos.

There was seven times more death from exploding bombs among vaccinated infantrymen than among unvaccinated mothers.

These comparisons don't need to be absolute comparisons to be wrong. They're wrong because they compare two variables at the same time. The fact is that if soldiers were more likely to get disease and/or die from it, the reasons may be independent of their vaccination status. Sometimes whether or not you get hit by a bomb depends on where you stand.

The soldiers in WWI were standing in a high density, stagnant herd in unsanitary conditions. They were not well nourished and their dead from all causes were quickly replaced with new members which only served to maintain the conditions. They were standing in the right place for disease. It should not be surprising that disease was proportionally higher there.
post #52 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnw826
What about if they were already infected with the virus and the vaccine pushed them over the edge causing death?
Sure I could see that happening now and then, but 50 million times?
post #53 of 176
Just adding some anecdotal stuff: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...her#post828653

A little story about my grandfather and that deadly 1918 influenza. He ended up being part of the US Expeditionary Force to Siberia during the Russian Revolution.

Quote:
I do know that he said that their ships doctor had everyone who got it drinking a glass of orange juice made by crushing the whole orange into a paste (peel included) and one raw egg every few hours. And, apparently, they had only one death. And, after the outbreak hit, two oranges a day (on top of regular rations) were issued to everyone who hadn't yet gotten it and they were commanded to eat everything, including the chewing the seeds.
post #54 of 176
Just adding a random thought. What about the possiblity that is was not the flu but rather another desease that was misdiagnosed? The doctors described the desease as
Quote:
One physician writes that patients with seemingly ordinary influenza would rapidly "develop the most viscous type of pneumonia that has ever been seen" and later when cyanosis appeared in the patients, "it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate," (Grist, 1979). Another physician recalls that the influenza patients "died struggling to clear their airways of a blood-tinged froth that sometimes gushed from their nose and mouth,"
Sounds more like ebola to me
Quote:
The onset of illness is abrupt and is characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.
With soldiers returning from the wars from all corners of the earth what is the possiblity that they were the ones who spread this?
post #55 of 176
From my personal experience, I find I am far more susceptible to illnesses when under stress. I've always made an assumption that the soldiers were probably under more stress (less sleep, less fresh food, less clean air, more noise, etc.) than non-combatants. I'm sure that plenty of civilians in certain areas were under a huge amount of stress and suffering from some forms of malnutrition, but, I suspect that military life was generally harder on a body. Offering a shrug here.
post #56 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongIsland
I heard it was from 500,000 to 675,000.
I don't think anyone really knows the real number.

Besides, we're talking about overall living and sanitary conditions from 100 years ago, not to mention the crappy hospital conditions compared to today.
That sort of mortality rate would never happen in the U.S. today. However, the Spanish Flu is an effective scaremongering/marketing tool for pharma and the CDC.

Good point! It also peaked during WWI, during which millions of people were being shipped out and into foreign countries, mingling, moving around and coming home. Who knows what they picked up and carried home to others who were not resistant to the bacteria and viruses? It was also a time of peak immigration, for which we checked for various diseases, but not all!

There was also some vaccination at the time, which could have masked other diseases or introduced others.

JMHO.
post #57 of 176
Influenza is a bit different from a lot of other viruses. For one thing, it mutates like crazy, so immunity aquired during one season may not offer much protection against another season's strain. This is why flu keeps coming back year after year. Immunity to a previously encountered strain may offer at least some protection though, which is why only ten or twenty percent of populations develop clinical infections, and only a fraction of a percent of those die. (Typically around 36,000 every year in the U.S.).

Pandemic flu is another thing altogether. By definition, a pandemic affects many more people (say thirty-five percent or more), and case fatality rates are much higher as well (the CFR in 1918 is usually estimated at around 2.5%, say ten times higher that your average seasonal flu). The reason is that a pandemic is caused by a virus nobody has had before, and hence which nobody has any pre-existing immunity to. Do the math using the attack rate (percent of population infected) and CFR (percentage of infected who died) from 1918, but using population numbers from today. Then consider that the CFR for H5N1 currently stands at over 50%. Be glad that the attack rate is still effectively zero, and keep hoping that doesn't change anytime soon.

During the early stages of a flu infection, the body's first line of defense includes some pretty heavy-handed measures. There's a lot of inflammation, and a lot of cell death. And it isn't the virus doing those things, it's mostly the immune system itself. Until it can come up with a better way to handle the situation, it just targets infected cells for destruction. Inflammation is the result of cytokines, which are used by the body as chemical messengers. Most of what are described as "symptoms" are actually the result of this aspect of the innate immune response rather than anything the virus is doing. Once the system comes up with an antibody for the virus, the innate response damps down, and the more sophisticated adaptive response takes over. That can take time. If it takes too much time, accumulation of fluid and the detritus from cell death can clog things up so badly, and the inflammation can cause so much airway obstruction, that the victim becomes unable to breathe. That's before we even start talking about secondary bacterial infections.

There is another risk. This is hypercytokinemia, or "cytokine storm". This is a disregulation of cytokine production caused by a positive feedback loop. Among the things cytokines do is signal the body to produce more cytokines. These signal the body to produce even more cytokines, etc, and at some point, the process just spins out of control. The details are not well understood, but this is thought to have caused many of the deaths in 1918. It nicely accounts for the odd "W" shaped age distribution curve, which contrasts with the "U" shaped curve typical of seasonal epidemics. In short, a robust immune system may be as much of a liability as an asset against a pandemic influenza.

One of the very few things modern medicine can do for a flu patient, that the 1918 doctor couldn't, is to nuke the innate immune response with steroids. This would leave the patient with essentially no natural defenses, which helps to explain why even those who don't immediately agree that this is a real bad idea at least tend to agree that it's probably a pretty bad idea. Antivirals might work until the virus evolves resistance (which has been observed to happen rather quickly), but only if administered early enough in the course of the illness, and only if there's an adequate supply (there isn't; not if we're talking about a pandemic). Vaccination will be a non-issue as well for at least many months into a pandemic. Development of a vax would take a minimum of six months, and even then, the limits of worldwide manufacturing capacity insure that very few people would even be faced with the choice before they faced the virus. Ventilators? Forget it. Most of the ones in existence are already in use NOW.

I wouldn't worry too much about the damage doctors might inflict on patients during a pandemic. Think of LA county general on a Saturday night in July during a period of flareup in gang warfare, with a city-wide shortage of psych meds due to a truck strike and a gasoline shortage, and multiply that by about a thousand. Most victims won't get anywhere near a doctor.
post #58 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by dymanic
I wouldn't worry too much about the damage doctors might inflict on patients during a pandemic. Think of LA county general on a Saturday night in July during a period of flareup in gang warfare, with a city-wide shortage of psych meds due to a truck strike and a gasoline shortage, and multiply that by about a thousand. Most victims won't get anywhere near a doctor.
post #59 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
Sure I could see that happening now and then, but 50 million times?
Compromised immune systems are at the root of most disease related deaths as I have seen in my work in the hospital and from studies I have read. I am sure that it wasn't 100% of the 50 million, but I would wager a good portion of them.
post #60 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddess3_2005
Just adding a random thought. What about the possiblity that is was not the flu but rather another desease that was misdiagnosed? The doctors described the desease as Sounds more like ebola to me With soldiers returning from the wars from all corners of the earth what is the possiblity that they were the ones who spread this?

That is interesting. It reminds me of the mystery over the true nature of the black plague. Many researchers now believe that it was anthrax and plague. I am sure that many people were misdiagnosed with the amount of death there was.
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