When observing the swine flu outbreak happening today, it's helpful to have some historical context. Viral pandemics are not unusual, and talking about one isn't "alarmist." Pandemics are a regular feature of life on earth, and they occur with surprising regularity throughout world history.
If you read the stories on H1N1 influenza written by the mainstream media, you might incorrectly think there's only one anti-viral drug in the world. It's name is Tamiflu and it's in short supply.
That's astonishing to hear because the world is full of anti-viral medicine found in tens of thousands of different plants. Culinary herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary are anti-viral. Berries and sprouts are anti-viral. Garlic, ginger and onions are anti-viral. You can't walk through a grocery store without walking past a hundred or more anti-viral medicines made by Mother Nature.
And yet how many does the mainstream media mention? Zero.
Girls and women who receive the Gardasil vaccine to prevent cervical cancer may be at increased risk of a rare but serious disorder of the nervous system in the first few weeks after getting their shots, researchers report.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare nervous system disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system. This immune system malfunction is usually triggered by an infection, such as with flu virus, or other illness. Occasionally, surgery or vaccinations will trigger the syndrome.
As public health authorities around the world began to sound the alarm about the swine flu I was busy convincing myself I didn't have, so too did the crowd I'd been rubbing shoulders with in California, issuing forth a flurry of emails with links to evidence that pointed to industrial pork production practices as the likely cause of the outbreak. Tom Philpott of Grist cites the Mexican newspaper La Marcha, which in an April 15th article names a likely suspect in the hog farms run by Granjas Carroll, a subsidiary of Smithfield, the largest pork processor in the world and the subject of the 2006 Rolling Stone article Boss Hog (which points to Smithfield, among other things, as one of the worst polluters on the globe.)
Researchers worry that the rise in medical radiation exposure may translate into significantly more cancer cases. Studies conducted on the survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki found that radiation levels equivalent to those from a mere two to three CT scans were enough to significantly increase a survivor's cancer risk.
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