The government keeps pushing its useless vaccines for the annual influenza virus, but the virus still makes its rounds, year after year.
Faced with that grim reality, some researchers are looking at other ways to slow the spread of the annual flu. In one recent investigation spanning 12 countries, researchers wanted to see whether school closures could curb outbreaks and delay peak transmission of the flu.
This line of thinking has some merit.
Indeed, as I’ve said before, the closed, close quarters of crowded public schools are the best (or worst, depending upon your point of view) incubators for viruses, including the annual influenza outbreak.
But over Christmas break, with schools out, that method of transmission is not available. And viruses simply revert to adult-to-adult transmission. As I’ll explain in a moment, the government can’t protect you from the flu. But I’ll tell you about some tried-and-true strategies to help you fend it off yourself.
Delay tactics fail to make a difference
For the recent study, researchers used medical claims data and an age-specific population model to determine flu virus transmission. They concluded that the annual school closures do delay the peak of the annual flu outbreak in countries where people observe the holidays.
However, the delayed start didn’t equate to fewer people getting sick. It just means that when the influenza epidemic really gets going, it starts with a bang.
You probably notice this pattern in your own life. Toward the end of December, schools close, but many people travel in crowded conveyances and facilities to spend time with extended families and friends — all around the country and world. That human behavior allows viruses to spread during and after travel.
I know this year many people in the U.S. fell sick during the holidays with an intestinal flu. It’s another reason to think about staying “home for the holidays.”
In related news, the region of Essex-Windsor in the U.K. reports experiencing fewer cases of flu this year.
Fewer flu vaccines and fewer cases of the flu
On January 22, the local government health agency in Essex-Windsor reported that there were only 3 confirmed cases of influenza in the region. By this time last year, there were 55 confirmed cases — an astounding 94 percent drop!
Government health officials immediately credited the drop to an effective influenza vaccine. And they cite this drop in flu cases as another reason for more people to get the vaccine.
But here’s the problem…only 40 percent of the population got the flu vaccine. So — the government health officials are sorely mistaken.
If the majority of people in this region don’t get a flu vaccine…and almost nobody got the flu anyway…you can’t credit the vaccine with the benefit.
Furthermore, this observation does not support the theory that flu vaccines effectively prevent the flu. In fact, it shows just the opposite. Flu vaccines do not work…or at the very least they are completely irrelevant to the spread of the virus. But it is certainly not an argument in favor of the flu shot!
Of course, big pharma can’t leave well enough alone because there is money to be made pushing the usually useless flu vaccine. Not to mention the careers of all the public health bureaucrats pushing these needles onto, and into, the public.
So, the lame stream media simply reports the public health bureaucrats’ agenda without logic or analysis.
I can’t think of a better (or worse, depending upon your point of view) example of “fake news.”
Unfortunately, readers in the U.K. will accept this garbled thinking as a reason to run out and get the flu shot. Although the facts and some elementary logic lead to the opposite conclusion.
- Skip the flu shot,
- Practice good hygiene
- Keep your immune system healthy. In addition to all the natural steps I have reported in past winters, new research shows getting sun directly on your skin also boosts your immune system, independent from its effect on vitamin D.
While the sun’s UV rays only activate vitamin D from April through October in most places, the sun’s blue light is available year-round and appears to kick your immune system into high gear.
So — in addition to practicing good hygiene and smart supplementation — aim to spend some time in the sun this winter.
- “School closures during the 2009 influenza pandemic: national and local experiences,” BMC Infectious Diseases 2014; 14:207