Prince Philip's Flu Is on the March
by Laurence Hecht
The author is editor-in-chief of 21st Century Science & Technology magazine. PDF version of this article
June 27—The world is now in the midst of a pandemic condition, of which the H1N1 swine flu is presently the leading marker. With a few notable exceptions, the nations of the world are vastly underprepared to deal with a crisis which could hit with deadly force as early as this autumn, perhaps sooner.
Do not kid yourself. There is intent here. The repeatedly stated desire of Britain's Prince Philip, to be reincarnated as a deadly virus is more than the ravings of a nasty misanthrope. It has been, and remains, the policy of the Anglo-Dutch financial empire, now committed to a reduction of world populaton from the present 6.7 billion, to under 2 billion persons, as repeatedly stated in the post-war period by such leading spokesmen as Lord Bertrand Russell, Julian Huxley, and World Wildlife Fund founders Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and the still-living Prince Philip.
Whether or not the virus was willfully engineered for that purpose, or the policy is to be implemented by sabotage of efforts to mobilize a proper bio-defense, as by President Obama's Hitlerian health-care advisors, the result will be the same.
We provide here a battlefield report of the progress of the swine flu and the mobilization against it, as matters stand today. In the accompanying articles, the astounding state of unpreparedness of the United States under the Obama Administration, and the longer-term trend toward a pandemic resurgence are reprised.
The most dramatic development of the past week was the shutdown of the Philippines House of Representatives, following the death from swine flu of a 49-year-old staff member. The woman fell extremely ill on June 18, and died the next day. The Speaker of the House ordered the suspension of office work for three days to allow sanitation of the buildings in the complex.
A World Health Organization medical officer warned that the flu is continuing to spread in Asia, and that the Philippines may become the first country in the region to see a pandemic. Meanwhile, the Malaysian Health Ministry has suspended leave for 100,000 medical officers and staff, in view of the H1N1 emergency.
In the U.S.A., the Centers for Disease Control acknowledged on June 25 that 1 million Americans had so far been infected by the new flu virus. More worrisome, from an epidemiological standpoint, was the statement by CDC researcher Lyn Finelli that there is still no sign of a decline in the rate of transmission. A seasonal flu would have long since receded in the Northern Hemisphere. The continuing spread is a sign of an abnormal situation that has been worrying specialists since the beginning of June. The expectation among a growing number of experts is that the number of flu infections will explode during the Autumn flu season.
In the Southern Hemisphere, where Winter has begun, 11 flu deaths were registered in Argentina over a 48-hour period, bringing the total deaths from H1N1 to 21. In Chile, death number 8—a 22-year-old dental student—was announced on June 25.
New Warnings from France
Meanwhile, at a conference in Paris today, the director of France's National Institute for Health Surveillance noted the similarities of this pandemic to the 1918 flu, which killed between 50 and 100 million worldwide. From information available to him, French specialist, Prof. Claude Desenclos said that the influenza deaths are tending to appear in the 20- to 30-year age group rather than primarily in the elderly, who are the usual victims of a seasonal flu. The virus causes bronchial irritation, creating the conditions for severe bacterial pneumonia and death through suffocation. In 1918, no antibiotics existed to fight such a bacterial infection, but today, the flu's deadliness is unexplained. Desenclos also noted that the WHO is not sharing the important information that is needed about severe cases.
In France, which is preparing for universal vaccination, there remains fear that the vaccine will arrive too late. It takes four months to produce it, and another two months to test it. Some experts spoke of scenarios from 40,000 to 120,000 dead by Winter.
Sane warnings are also being heard from China. A June 23 editorial in the China Daily, notes that the flu pandemic threat is not over, and expresses special concern for rural areas. Readers are warned not to let down their guard. "The real trouble is not that we cannot deal with its current symptoms, but that several countries are losing track of its chains of transmission," the government daily warns, noting that in a pandemic things could become much more difficult to control.
Sweden is preparing to vaccinate its population twice. Lacking its own vaccine production capabilities, Sweden has ordered two batches of 9 million doses each from United Kingdom producer GlaxoSmithKline. The hope is to protect the population in the early stages and at a later stage of evolution of the flu virus.
While every effort should be made to step up flu vaccine production, the ugly reality is, that even a worldwide gear-up for mass vaccination may not be enough to halt this pandemic, should changes in the viral genome cause it to turn more deadly. Under generalized pandemic conditions, vaccinations, which must be prepared months in advance, may prove ineffective against a rapidly mutating and reassorting virus. They are an essential part of the defense arsenal, but not a sure bet against a fast-changing flu virus.
Disease is now becoming the most evident symptom of the long-term physical economic decay. Under present collapse conditions, the rate of generation of new diseases is beginning to outstrip the capacity of the physical economy to deal with them. The reduced conditions of nutrition and general immune levels of the world population have produced a breeding ground for influenza, and all manner of other pandemic diseases. Add to that, the fact, that, at best, 20% of the world's population could be protected by presently existing vacccine manufacturing facilities, and you see that the present virus might better become popularly known as the Greenspan flu. (Not all pigs, but certain ones in particular, should be given credit for their actions.)
In Great Britain, attempts to minimize or ignore the seriousness of the flu danger were called up short today, as the London Times, newspaper of record, was forced to acknowledge that parts of Britain now have so many cases of swine flu that it cannot be contained.
Not surprisingly, Britain has been playing the leading role in the world in stalling and obstructing efforts to fight the flu. A month ago, at the annual conference of the WHO, Britain had demanded that it not declare a Level 6 alert, stalling mobilization against the pandemic. Next, the British government was caught seriously under-reporting the number of H1N1 cases, and faced serious criticism from France and the WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. British Health Secretary Andy Burnham had also been under fire from the Scottish Health Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Facing a spreading pandemic in Glasgow, Sturgeon said Scotland would break from the containment-only policy and pursue active measures to halt the spread of the flu.
Today's admission by the Times might evoke, for some, images of Edgar Allan Poe's classic treatment of the black plague. Not even blue blood will halt the contagion of which the current rapid and unseasonal spread of the H1N1 virus is a harbinger. Can anyone say that the flu virus shall not come to visit His Royal Virus Prince Philip before he himself is reincarnated?