Some of you may recall this line from the 1986 horror movie “The Fly.” However, the spirit of this warning seems to pervade society today. We are being conditioned to fear everything and seek safety and security (and hard cover in the event of severe weather) from someone beside ourselves. When I hear the simultaneous blaring of an alert tone on everyone’s cell phone (I have turned my alerts off), I ask myself “OK, what am I supposed to be terrified about now?”. But nowhere is this alarmist mentality more enforced upon our collective psyches than that revolving around getting your flu vaccination. And nowhere else do we see such a mis representation of the truth and a burying of the facts than in the area of vaccination generally speaking. There is so much to be said here, that I will spare you the long diatribe and limit my discussion here to the flu vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading authority in morbidity and mortality statistics. My belief is, that any time you mix authority and money with statistics, you could end up with something pretty far from the truth. We see this in many sectors, but it seems to be standard operating procedure in healthcare. Misrepresentation of the truth is exactly what has happened relating to flu statistics and data, and surprise, it is all designed to scare (nudge) you into getting the flu vaccine. Social conformity and a lack of curiosity takes care of the rest. And understand, there is a lot of money at stake here. So, please excuse me for being a bit curious.

Consider the following headlines and article excerpts:

80,000 Americans Died From Flu Last Year. Sept. 27, 2018
Influenza was deadlier last season than it has been for at least four decades, killing
80,000 Americans.
So said the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention late Tuesday in an interview with the Associated Press.
80000 Americans Died From Flu Last Year The 2017-2018 flu … › cold-and-flu › news › 20180927 › 80000-americ..

That statement is actually quite alarming, but you have to take a closer look to get to the truth, and even then, the truth can be a bit murky.

2017–2018 influenza season – CDC–Nov 22, 2019
The overall burden of influenza for the 2017-2018 season was an estimated 45 million
influenza illnesses, 21 million influenza-associated medical visits, 810,000 influenza-
related hospitalizations, and 61,000 influenza-associated deaths.
2017–2018 influenza season – CDC › flu › about › burden › 2017-2018

Now we are getting a bit closer to the truth. There is a big difference between death from the flu and influenza associated death. Death from the flu is actually quite low compared to flu associated deaths. It is true that the flu can instigate a secondary pneumonia which becomes the cause of death. And who is susceptible to pneumonia? Anybody that is already weakened, unhealthy and has a suppressed immune system. In any given year, we are all exposed to flu viruses no matter how many times you wash your hands. There is just no escaping it.  So, if we are all exposed, why doesn’t everyone get the flu? Because the immune system of healthy people can effectively deal with exposure without resulting in full-blown illness.

How many people died from flu during the 2017-2018 season?
While flu deaths in children are reported to CDC, flu deaths in adults are not
nationally notifiable. In order to monitor influenza related deaths in all age groups, CDC tracks pneumonia and influenza (P&I)-attributed deaths through the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Mortality Reporting System. This system tracks the proportion of death certificates processed that list pneumonia or influenza as the underlying or contributing cause of death. This system provides an overall indication of whether flu-associated deaths are elevated, but does not provide an exact number of how many people died from flu.

Here we find out that there is no hard and fast way to determine the number of deaths from influenza. Since adult deaths are not nationally notifiable, there is no direct way of knowing how many people actually die from influenza, as pneumonia is lumped in with the data. If you are in poor health, you risk of dying from flu-associated illness goes up proportionately. The true way to avoid becoming a statistic ( quasi-statistic in this case), is to stay in good health and keep your natural resistance high. Sick and run down people get sick…and die sometimes. Healthy people do not.

How many children died from flu during the 2017-2018 season?
As of April 19, 2019, a total of 186 (0.2% of 80,000 or 0.3% of 61,000 deaths)
pediatric deaths had been reported to CDC during the 2017-2018 season. This number exceeds the previously highest number of flu-associated deaths in children reported during a regular flu season (171 during the 2012-2013 season).

Now, we don’t want to see innocent children die from anything, influenza included. These numbers though (if they are to be believed and are accurate) are not a very high incidence of death from influenza. Once again, it is more likely influenza related illness, or influenza complicating preexisting illness, that results in the death of children. Children are actually pretty tough and resilient provided their bodies are given the chance to express that vitality.

So, what is the bottom line here? The best way to not get the flu is simply to stay healthy. Good nutrition, ample rest  a good outlook and plenty of gratitude is often what is necessary. It is certain that some of the people that succumbed to the flu and perhaps died were vaccinated against the flu and even pneumonia. Vaccine effectiveness was said to be anywhere from just 25-40% effective in 2017. A well-functioning immune system and body is 100% effective against illness from influenza and free from the toxicity and  risk of adverse events related to vaccine. My advice is to get yourself healthy and hug someone with the flu and develop natural immunity. I could go on about ingredients in the flu vaccine, vaccine related injuries, federal court settlements surrounding flu vaccination…Maybe next year. Do your own research, think critically and seek the truth.

To find out more about fortifying your body against influenza and other illnesses, speak with me about any questions and concerns that you have. Many patients have told me over the years that since starting care with us, an unexpected benefit is that they, rarely if ever, get sick. I have personally never gotten the flu vaccine and I’m still alive, thank God!
Yours for Better Health,
Dr. Henry Bulitta