Remember the story of Chicken Little? A little chick was walking across the barnyard when something hit him on the head. He jumped to the conclusion that the sky must be falling, and rushed out to warn everyone else. The geese and several other animals are panicked by the fact of the falling sky. Finally, one of the animals convinces the others to look at the sky, then go back and see what really hit Chicken Little. When they found what it was, everyone had a big laugh at the silly little chick.
Two morals were apparent in the story. First, you shouldn’t spread rumors of disaster with no evidence. Secondly, don’t believe rumors without evidence. It seems that we’ve forgotten both of these morals.
We’ve just recently gone through a scare about swine flu. Initially, it was announced that over 1500 cases had been detected in Mexico and several hundred had died. Final totals indicate that probably only about 500 were actually sick, and about 50 may have died of swine flu. Since that time cases have been diagnosed in various other countries.
Swine flu is a serious form of flu, but it is rarely diagnosed as such, unless there is a major outbreak and many die. Most years, it is not identified, although cases probably occur every year. Because it was not tested for earlier, no one knows how many cases we had during the past winter, that were not identified. Nearly all the cases in the United States had already recovered before they were identified. There was no pandemic.
Even when Swine Flu killed a number of people several years ago, the fatalities were all among those with other health problems which had weakened them to the point they were unable to overcome the virus. We are being told that it is necessary to spend billions developing a vaccine in case the virus happens to resurface next winter in a more virulent form.
We had a similar series of events regarding Bird Flu a couple years ago, with the same claims. There were even less people infected and died, yet the same claims were made. Nothing further has come of that looming Pandemic. Millions of dollars were lost by growers over possibly infected tomatoes during the summer of 2008 on a similar panic claim. Simply demanding that all produce be washed before cutting and serving would have eliminated any possible spread of the infection, but that would have not cost nearly as much.
Gardasil is heavily promoted as preventing cervical cancer, and it’s manufacturer, Merck, recommends vaccinating every girl with it by age nine. They are pushing for regulations requiring vaccination for ever girl before they can attend school. In reality the vaccine does not prevent cervical cancer. It does kill four strains of Human Papiloma Virus. Women who have had HPV are more likely to develop cervical cancer than are those who have not.
Human Papiloma Virus is a sexually transmitted disease, having eighteen known variations. Gardasil works to prevent four of those strains, or less than one in four. Unfortunately, other causes of cervical cancer cause at least as many cases, reducing it’s potential benefits to about one in eight or less.
According to reports filed with the FDA, thirty four girls between the ages of 12 and 21 have died of complications resulting from the vaccinations in the United States. Another 1100 have gone into comas. More girls have died and more have had worse reactions than were affected in the total Bird Flu epidemic that was going to be so bad, yet far less people received shots than were exposed to the Bird Flu. More girls died than died of the infected tomatoes, and more were seriously sickened. Despite this, huge expenses were incurred to prevent these problems, while attempts to require the shots continue.
This is in spite of the fact that Cervical cancer deaths have dropped by over 75% in recent years, and that safe sex practices are more effective at preventing every form of HPV than Gardasil is on the four it works on. In addition, Gardasil has had no studies to determine the probable protection period. It is hoped that the protection will be for up to five years, meaning that girls receiving the shot at nine will need another at 14 and another at 19.
Chicken Little is making a lot of money, and hurting a lot of people with his sky is falling approach to health and safety. We need to check out his claims before panicking.