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Canada Virtually Eliminates Flu Deaths While U.S. Has Thousands

July 03, 2010 | 74,308 views
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flu virusOver the last four years, Canada has had a grand total of 16 "flu-associated" fatalities for their pediatric age category -- which includes everybody under the age of 18.

This included all H1N1 and seasonal cases. Three-quarters of these deaths had severe and chronic underlying health conditions.

That's 16 total deaths among a pediatric population of 7.86 million, the majority of whom -- 60 percent or more -- remained unvaccinated.

By comparison, during the same four-year time span, the identical U.S. pediatric group had 553 flu-associated deaths. Compared on a per capita basis, the U.S. exhibits a stunning 3.2 times death rate over Canada.

According to Age of Autism:

"Canada's pediatric group averaging a single flu-associated death per year the last four years strongly questions the sanity of promoting a mercury-laden flu vaccine jab that also brings many other toxic ingredients such as aluminum-compound adjuvants and many other alien substances into cellular contact of fragile developing neurological systems, particularly infants and kids as young as six months."

New research is also adding to evidence that vitamin D may help reduce the spread of viral respiratory tract infections, including influenza.

A new study followed close to 200 adults during fall and winter. Participants had blood samples drawn monthly, and a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test was used to measure vitamin D levels. All participants were asked to report any evidence of an acute respiratory tract infection -- such as nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, fever, chills, fatigue or general malaise.

According to Newswise:

"Of the 18 participants who maintained vitamin D levels of 38 ng/ml or higher during the study period, only three (16.6 percent) developed viral infections. Of the 180 other participants, 81 (45 percent) developed viral infections. Those with the higher vitamin D levels also experienced a marked reduction in the number of days ill."

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

During the last four years, Canada has had only 16 flu-associated deaths in children, while the United States has had 553. If you break that down into children with no underlying medical conditions, Canada averages only 1 flu-associated death in children per year, while the U.S. averages 35.

When you compare this on a per capita basis, U.S. children are more than three times as likely to die from the flu as Canadian children -- despite both countries having similar flu rates.

What does Canada know that the United States doesn’t?

Canada Acknowledges Vitamin D’s Stellar Role in Flu Prevention

Last year, I was pleased to publish the news that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will be investigating the role of vitamin D in protection against the flu. The agency began a study in 2008 on the role of vitamin D in severe seasonal influenza.

Over the course of at least three flu seasons, Canada’s public health agency will analyze the impact vitamin D levels have on flu severity and, if they find a correlation between severe flu cases and vitamin D levels, will then decide whether vitamin D can be used to lessen serious cases of seasonal flu. While the study started out focused on seasonal flu, the agency has adapted the study to the swine flu virus as well.

Most people do not realize that vitamin D, unlike flu shots, is a proven method to keep yourself from catching an infectious disease.

Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, first introduced the hypothesis that influenza is merely a symptom of vitamin D deficiency in the paper Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D, published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection three years ago, followed up with another study published in the Virology Journal in 2008.

The findings were confirmed by another study -- the largest and most nationally representative of its kind to date -- that involved about 19,000 Americans. It found that people with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu.

In conclusion, lead author Dr. Adit Ginde stated:

"The findings of our study support an important role for vitamin D in prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu. Individuals with common lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, may be particularly susceptible to respiratory infections from vitamin D deficiency."

A brand new study also found that vitamin D can reduce both the incidence and the severity of viral respiratory tract infections such as the flu. Among people with vitamin D levels of 38 ng/ml or higher, only 16.6 percent developed viral infections, compared to 45 percent of those with lower vitamin D levels.

There is so much compelling evidence that I believe optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds, and vitamin D deficiency is likely the TRUE culprit behind the seasonality of the flu -- not the flu virus itself.

Unfortunately, U.S. health officials have not been quick to let the population know that optimizing their vitamin D levels could drastically lower their risk of catching the flu.

Canada Also Changed its Flu Vaccination Policy

You may remember back in the spring of 2009, just when the swine flu hysteria was building, that a Canadian study revealed people who had received a regular, seasonal flu shot were twice as likely to catch swine flu.

Then again, you may not have heard this before, as it wasn’t exactly shouted from the rooftops, and the United States pretty much ignored the findings and continued to recommend that vaccinations for both seasonal and H1N1 flu go ahead as previously planned.

In certain Canadian provinces however, the study was compelling enough for them to suspend seasonal flu shots for anyone under 65, and further studies were recommended to find out what was really going on.

Well, several epidemiologic investigations were conducted over the summer of 2009, and the results are now in.

The finding?

Seasonal flu shot DID increase the risk of catching swine flu, but only certain parts of Canada acted proactively to suspend seasonal flu shots in some areas, while the United States continued on full force.

Shockingly the US Public Health Service has COMPLETLEY ignored these findings and the flu shot that will be given in the US this fall will be combined with H1N1, which based on the findings above, will actually INCREASE the risk of flu and its complications.

You can begin to appreciate that the government is partnering with the drug companies to increase their profits rather than performing their mandated role to police them and protect your health.

Are U.S. In-Hospital Flu Treatments to Blame?

Author David Burd also uncovered a concerning difference in the treatment protocol for flu and associated respiratory infections such as syncytial respiratory virus (RSV) among U.S. and Canadian hospitals.

RSV is often found along with the flu in infants, and a popular treatment for this virus in the United States is the drug ribavirin, an antiviral that’s typically used to treat hepatitis C and is known to cause serious side effects including anemia, psychological effects and trouble breathing.

It’s possible that treatment with ribavirin could be accelerating the flu-associated death toll in the United States. As Burd reported, WebMD stated the following about deaths following treatment with Virazole (brand name for ribavirin):

"Deaths during or shortly after treatment with aerosolized Virazole have been reported in 20 cases of patients treated with Virazole (12 of these patients were being treated for RSV infections).

Several cases have been characterized as "possibly related" to Virazole by the treating physician; these were in infants who experienced worsening respiratory status related to bronchospasm while being treated with the drug."

Not only has the safety and effectiveness of ribavirin not been established in children under 18, but Canadian doctors are very unlikely to prescribe this drug for flu or related RSV.

Why?

Because in 2003 many Canadian patients with SARS were treated with ribavirin, only to start displaying symptoms of hemolytic anemia. Many died as a result until Canadian authorities stopped the drug’s use and the death rate from “SARS” began to fall.

U.S. health care practitioners are also fond of using the drug Tamiflu to fight the flu, even though serious side effects include convulsions, delirium or delusions, and 14 deaths in children and teens have been reported as a result of neuropsychiatric problems and brain infections.

Stay Flu-Free by Optimizing Your Vitamin D

The United States has a dismal record when it comes to preventing and treating the flu. Their answer for prevention, the flu shot, has continually come up short in study after study -- way short -- when it comes to having any measurable impact on what matters most, which is reducing illness and mortality from the flu.

Their treatments for the flu, meanwhile, are often dangerous and ineffective.

I think it’s worth reminding you that, typically, influenza is not a deadly disease. Dying as a result of the flu virus is extremely rare. Typically, the condition will improve after two to three days of bed rest, although some symptoms may persist for about a week.

The vast majority of so-called “flu deaths” are in fact due to bacterial pneumonia -- a potential complication of the flu if your immune system is too weak. Other complications can include ear- or sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic health conditions.

For most people the flu shot will not protect against coming down with the flu. And it certainly does not protect you against dying from pneumonia should you get ill. Instead, it does just the opposite and weakens your immune system, which could spell serious trouble, especially if your vitamin D levels are also low.

Flu prevention is actually quite simple, and I strongly believe it begins with optimizing your vitamin D levels, and maintaining those healthy levels year-round.

If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you will not have to worry about getting the flu. Take it from me -- I’ve never received a flu shot, and I haven’t missed a day of work due to illness in over 20 years.


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