Aspirin Misuse May Have Made 1918 Flu Pandemic Worse
The linked article above provides an in my opinion highly interesting historical note. It would be interesting to know how widespread the practice of giving high doses of aspirin for the flu was, during this epidemic.
The article notes the possible aspirin toxicity in flu deaths, and I've read that the doses of aspirin given were EXTREMELY high. The article also mentions that the drug industry of the time was touting aspirin for flu, and that doctors were desperate - so again, I wonder how widespread that kind of treatment was
Besides aspirin TOXICITY though, there's something else I think should be considered, and that's the use of fever suppressants (like aspirin) with viral illnesses altogether.
Viruses thrive in conditions of low body temperature, and are killed by fever, which is the body's first and natural response to them. Giving aspirin would have suppressed the flu related fever, and inadvertently given the virus the upper hand. I've seen the problem of suppressing fever in viral illnesses described very clearly in a German medical textbook from the 1920's. I think it's worth knowing for anyone, to know what they had to say.
The book described the course of childhood illnesses like chickenpox and measles that, in the best case, express visually dramatically, but otherwise harmlessly through the skin. This is what it looks like when the body fights off the infection in the optimal and natural way.
If it's NOT able to accomplish this - and the book cited fever suppression as a key reason - then the next place the body can try to fight off the infection and push out the "debris" of protein breakdown is the lungs. But measles or chicken pox expressing via the lungs is also a step more dangerous.
The next step beyond this, if the body's still unable to fight it off, is for the infection to manifest in the central nervous system, where it truly does become dangerous, with all the harmful effects we fear
Why does this matter ? Because when most Americans get even the LOWEST of fevers, they reach immediately for a fever suppressor. We use Tylenol for almost any kind of pain we experience - including, no doubt, the pain associated with flu. For doctors as well, it is absolutely routine to give Tylenol for any fever over 101.5 Fahrenheit, and I'm sure many suggest it for lower ones
My point is that very probably, a large portion of the complications we fear from viral illnesses, are caused by the way we treat them. As this article indicates, this kind of treatment of fever has been going on for over a hundred years. And if we count the "casualties" of infections for which we vaccinate, we should acknowledge that we may have done a lot of that TO OURSELVES
Although very high fevers can in fact cause harm, fever can almost always be treated by conservative, traditional and holistic means. Doctors and nurses used to know this, and do it. It's a shame that they basically DON'T do it anymore - and may not even know how.
I first wrote the above in response to a post by a leading pro-vaccine activist, that gave a dramatic portrayal of the carnage of the 1918 epidemic as reason to make vaccines more and more mandatory
As graphically as this portrayed the consequences of the epidemic, and as vehemently as it demanded the solution he sees, it had little to say about possible causes of that event - the perfect storm of
- a new virus people hadn't experienced before, and thus had no immunity to
- long term stress, catastrophic violence, economic hardship, poor nutrition and disrupted personal and public sanitation, endured by hundreds of millions of people during the wartime years
- large numbers of people in motion worldwide, offering optimal conditions for for an infection to spread
- social, economic and political thinking and policies on the part of the supposed leadership of society, that made such a war inevitable
It's right to reflect on the great epidemic of 1918, but not to use it as a prop to promote vaccines as the one and universal remedy for infectious illnesses - nor to make them mandatory. Medicine makes BIG mistakes, and has had to reverse itself regularly in the course of history. Less drama please, more humility, and more OPENNESS to the "minority report" science - which could actually save us from still greater mistakes !
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The idea of "Medicare for all" is tempting, and we may well end up doing it. But it also contains a FATAL flaw
The fatal flaw is that government has, by nature, no expertise in the realm of medicine - and can never possibly have any
This means that if government participates in this medical realm of life it will inevitably either a) be incompetent or b) need to take advice from some group of experts
If it takes advice from medical experts, there will ALWAYS be a risk that the experts are sectarian. What does this mean ? It means that there are many, many approaches to medicine and healing - ones that do not necessarily agree with each other
This is no small thing at all, because each approach may have millions of people who want that kind of care, who want no part of another kind of care - or may just want to pick and choose, mix and match in their own way
If the government were to supports and include ALL these different approaches - take advice from them all, and pay for all the different kinds of service they offer, the government medical system would be IMPOSSIBLY complex, inefficient and unmanageable
If the government were to choose ONE medical approach for advice purposes, and to pay for services it offers, this would by nature exclude all other approaches and practitioners from this (all encompassing) system - and with them, all the millions of people who WANT those services
This is actually the present situation, with the conventional allopathic, natural science based school in the advice giving/payment receiving position
Despite the many valuable contributions of this approach to our health as Americans, this would become profoundly unjust and dangerous under a single payer system ; as it would also become a single OPTION system for anyone who becomes seriously or chronically sick : choose the kind of medical care offered, or receive NO CARE AT ALL, except at your own complete expense
Also profoundly in danger in a government system with a single medical approach in the advising role, would be the right of the public to ANY CHOICE AT ALL in regards to medical care. Governments also have the power to forbid certain things - in this case, products and practices deemed unacceptable by the advising medical authorities
History has already tried this way of thinking and acting in the realm of RELIGION - and after centuries to experience, rejected it. This was the case when Catholicism had the ear of kings, and the authority kings gave them over public policies. The same repeated itself exactly when PROTESTANT religious sects gained the upper hand in different countries. The non-dominant religion - and the millions of people practicing it - were persecuted, at that time in bloody fashion, and for VERY long periods of time. This was only relieved when a separation of state and church was established - again by a long and bloody process
We may in fact adopt "Medicare for all" - but BEFORE we do, we should be completely clear that it will also inevitably include TYRANNY
Jeff Smith RN, born 1950. A registered nurse since 1984 - but holistic in my outlook to health since probably around 1968. Living Waters Wellness considers not just the health of the physical body, but our soul and spirit, our social forms, our environment - and as a matter of fact, our whole earth. It's a new website, and a work in progress - but by all means, have a look around !