Is the Swine Flu Really a National Emergency?

October 30th, 2009

Swine Flu National EmergencyAs you most likely already know, on October 24th, President Obama declared the swine flu a national emergency. Despite how frightening this sounds, the reasoning behind the declaration is not what most people are likely to think.

Swine flu has been a hot topic since last spring and was predicted to spread during this year’s flu season. Although the prediction is holding true and it seems that more people than normal are sick right now, the swine flu is still not the deadly pandemic that the media warned us about over the summer, and this is not what President Obama’s emergency declaration was meant to suggest.

The Reason Behind the Declaration

According to the official statement released by the White House, the intention behind the declaration of swine flu as a national emergency is to lessen restrictions on health care facilities and government run health insurance programs. This is expected to minimize the possibility of health care facilities being overwhelmed and sick people being denied treatment as a result.

In this news release from the Associated Press, Dr. Peter Hotez, a microbiology professor and chairman at George Washington University, is quoted as saying “I think the term emergency declaration sounds more dramatic than it really is. … It’s largely an administrative move that’s more preemptive …” Despite this, the thought of a national emergency is probably causing a lot of people to panic even though the swine flu isn’t any more dangerous now than it was prior to the President’s announcement.

CBS News Tells a Much Different Story

CBS News conducted a three month investigation on swine flu and concluded that the majority of people who’ve been diagnosed without being tested probably never had the swine flu and may not have even had the flu at all. Based on this, the prevalence of the swine flu is likely to have been overstated. In fact, CBS asked 50 states for their statistics on lab confirmed cases of swine flu, and to the surprise of many, the vast majority of test results were negative, even for the seasonal flu.

Back in July, the CDC stopped counting individual cases of swine flu and hastily advised that all states stop testing. According to the CDC, since the swine flu was already recognized as a pandemic, this would save resources. However, the CDC has since advised that people who were diagnosed without being tested should be vaccinated due to the uncertainty. Apparently, the CDC is more concerned about conserving resources than the welfare of the people who’ve developed natural immunity to the swine flu and will be risking their health with a potentially dangerous vaccination that they have no need for. Fortunately, it seems that some doctors’ offices have been continuing to test despite the CDC’s recommendation.

According to this old 60 Minutes episode, the 1976 swine flu outbreak was surrounded by quite a bit of misleading propaganda. Perhaps we’re facing more of the same.

The Best Defense Against Swine Flu is Still Being Neglected

Despite the safety concerns regarding the swine flu vaccine and the fact that many health care professionals are refusing to take it themselves, it’s still being perceived as the best defense.

What most people already know but are apparently unwilling to embrace is that they have a much lower risk of catching any type of flu if they’re healthy and have a strong immune system. By today’s standards, it doesn’t take much for the average person to assume that they’re healthier than they really are, and some people would rather accept the risks associated with vaccination than make an effort to get more sleep, reduce their stress, and eat healthier food. Ironically, these are things that we should all be doing anyway to promote optimal health and live better lives.

I’m probably tempting fate by saying this, but many of the people around me have already been sick this fall and I haven’t even had so much as a sniffle. I didn’t catch any of the common illnesses being passed around last year either and can’t remember the last time that I did. This is despite my history with chronic fatigue syndrome which is closely associated with immune deficiency. I certainly don’t think that I’m invincible to the swine flu or any other illness, but I know that the odds are strongly in my favor. I’d much rather error on the side of trusting my immune system and healthy lifestyle habits than expose myself to the unnatural and potentially dangerous ingredients of a vaccination.

Where do You Stand?

Now that the swine flu has been declared as a national emergency, it will undoubtedly have more people thinking about vaccination. In addition, it seems that a lot of children are catching the swine flu, at least where I live, and I’m sure this is a significant concern for many parents. Before you choose to have yourself or your family vaccinated, learn about the risks and weigh them against the benefits so that you can make an informed decision. You can start by visiting the National Vaccine Information Center, which is an excellent resource. In addition, Dr. Mercola has written extensively about this topic and has an entire section of his website dedicated to swine flu articles.

If you’d like to learn more about strengthening your immune system with healthy lifestyle habits, sign up for my free course, 7 Simple Steps to a Leaner, Happier, and Healthier You.

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