Since the first reported cases of swine flu, or influenza H1N1, were reported in Mexico in the early months of this year the subject has hardly been out of the media. Much of the coverage has been sensationalist and misleading and has led to what many natural health experts are saying is unnecessary public panic over the disease.
In a Special Swine Flu Update published on the highly popular Mercola.com earlier this week Dr. Joseph Mercola brings our attention to a study published in the the British Medical Journal:
'A thorough , comparative analysis of several flu pandemics has been published in the prestigious British Medical Journal, that gives evidence that the H1N1 swine flu is of "the same subtype as seasonal H1N1 that has been circulating since 1977." The author points out the substantial confusion between the high public attention the present H1N1 scare is receiving and the very low level of scientific certainty that H1N1 is more severe than other seasonal influenza.'
Indeed it would seem from the figures (see Mercola.com article) that the swine flu pandemic has resulted in no more deaths than seasonal flu does every year and in both cases most of these deaths are in the elderly and immunocompromised, rather than the public at large. This has raised questions about the motives behind authorities pushing for everyone to get the swine flu vaccine - particularly in the United States.
This is a vaccine that hasn't been properly safety tested and was rushed through the approval process. Dr. Gary Null and other advocates for health freedom have filed an emergency injunction in the District Court for the District of Columbia to reverse the approval granted to the vaccine and prevent its distribution.
Dr. Mercola reports that "The complaint alleges that the US government failed to follow its own rules and applicable legislation in rushing the vaccine approvals in the absence of any of the requisite minimum scientifically sound and appropriate testing for both safety and effectiveness as required by law since 1964."
A surprising victory for health freedom has already been achieved in New York with the Supreme Court issuing a restraining order against the state enforcing a policy which required many public workers to get the swine flu vaccine whether they wanted it or not or face dismissal.
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum also believes that the seriousness of swine flu has been blown out of proportion, agreeing with Dr. Mercola that there is no evidence that the disease is any worse than regular seasonal flu and that in fact the latter actually kills more people each year. On the subject of flu vaccines Dr. Teitelbaum addresses whether individuals suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) or fibromyalgia should get the regular or swine flu vaccine, taking the view that an individual's past history or flu infection and reaction to vaccination should be the major deciding factor. Read more in Dr. Teitelbaum's article: Should I Take the Swine Flu Vaccine???
Natural health experts agree that there are many ways to both reduce one's risk of contracting swine flu and improve immune function without having to get a vaccine which may, or may not, be safe or effective. These tips include simple hygiene measures and dietary changes as well as the use of nutritional and herbal supplements.
However, this week natural health expert Dr. Andrew Weil received a warning letter, issued jointly by the US's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration after stating that the herb astragalus enhances immunity and has antiviral effects - despite scientific research backing up these claims.
Both the US and European regulators continue to step up their efforts to suppress the use of natural medicine and deny the public the freedom of choice when it comes to health care. Read more about the FTC/FDA attack on Dr. Weil and information supporting his astragalus recommendations visit NaturalNews.com.
So before you rush down to your doctor's surgery in a panic after reading scare stories about swine flu in the mainstream media I recommend you at least read the articles by leading natural health experts linked to in this blog; that way you can make a more informed decision and pick up tips on proven natural methods for preventing and treating flu infection.
If you have any views on this subject or experiences both positive or negative with the swine flu or regulaer flu vaccines then, as always, please leave comments below.
About: Matthew Hogg ("Maff")
Diagnosed with M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome aged only 11 years old and subsequently associated illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Despite his own struggles he has constantly sought to educate and support others suffering from such "invisible illnesses" through his website, The Environmental Illness Resource. He fully recovered from MCS using his own approach and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Health.