Why not to panic at every so-called pandemic scare?
Anthrax affects your breathing. Big time. What to do?
I was living in Oakland during the fire that consumed 3,500 Oakland hills homes and later the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. My dad was a cop and I have to say the cops and firemen in Oakland are some of the very best in the business.
Zac Unger is a firefighter in Oakland, Calif.
The following is from Zak.
I once took a fire department class titled "Weapons of Mass Destruction." Only half-jokingly the instructor gave us a cardinal rule for dealing with chemical or biological attacks: " 'Remove badge, mingle with the crowd.'
Whether we feel comfortable with it or not, we've tragically learned that police and firefighters are the first lines of national defense against terrorism. The FBI and CDC can't be everywhere, so they count on us to sort out well-intentioned panic from genuine calamity.
Since 9/11, we've found ourselves holding a giant new bag of responsibilities and hazards. In particular, anthrax—or Amtrak, as people in Oakland perplexingly call it, has become one of our everyday calls like chest pain and car fires.
I have always been a false-alarm specialist, but lately, I've been perfecting my craft. In between runs for house fires and gunshot traumas, my days are peppered with calls from people who think they may have a problem but don't.
Some buildings have alarms that trip twice a day; some people call 911 every time they have heartburn or a headache. Of course, we're firefighters and we're bound to treat every call as legitimate until we arrive on the scene and see otherwise with our own eyes. Now, in addition to the regular dry runs, every a cough, blister, and letter from Florida is enough to justify a lights-and-sirens trip.
The city of Oakland has one round-the-clock hazardous materials team, eight firefighters with special training who have spent the last few weeks spread thinly over the city prodding at every speck of drywall dust and non-dairy creamer. The initial tests for anthrax are decidedly hokey, like something from a Mr. Science Junior Chem Kit.
In their bulky gloves and respirators, the Haz-Mat guys scoop up a little powder on a metal spatula, test the pH, check to see if it dissolves in water, and finally burn it to see if it chars or melts. If it looks like garlic powder and scores a certain way on the tests, our experts call in their experts.
Since we have only one Haz-Mat team, anthrax scares are initially handled by the rest of us. We're not chemists, but we do have the benefit of being professionally calm. If it looks like sugar, and if it's next to a sugar jar, then I'll take a leap and say it's sugar. I don't like these calls at all. I want a problem that I can see and solve.
Fire goes out when you spray water on it, doors open when you kick them. But dust is just dust, and with my level of training, the only thing I can truly monitor is the sniffle in my head and the pimple on my arm. Apart from the obvious worry of becoming infected me, the slow, reasoned process of responding to a possible contamination goes against everything in my quick-fix firefighter's mind.
We've been running on anthrax so often lately that I've had to consciously force myself to take each call seriously. When a run came for a mysterious package at the headquarters of a famous-brand local chemical company, we were laughing and casual as we carried our yellow caution tape down to the mailroom.
In a corner of the room was a package with the distinctive red hatch marks of an overseas letter, no return address, excess postage, and a postmark that said simply "Baghdad." It's amazing how quickly real fear can creep up. I noticed myself breathing through pursed lips as if taking shallow sips of air would be enough to keep the bugs out of my lungs.
Eventually, our beaker-toting, moon-suited hazmat team arrived, opened the package, and announced that somebody in Iraq just really liked a particular brand of bleach made by the company and was hoping for a free sample.
Later that same day, one woman called because she started feeling sick after eating a doughnut that was dusted with "a mysterious white powder." Which of course begs the question of why she ate it in the first place if she was feeling suspicious. Absurd panic or a diabolical plot to destroy America's cops?
These are the sorts of odd questions that this non-epidemic is forcing on us. I've seen six people shot to death this year; half that many have died from anthrax worldwide, and yet from the mansions to the homeless shelters, Oakland is alive with fear. One caller pointed nervously to a pile of baking soda in his tenement. Watching this man, with the dead eyes and needle tracks of a heroin addict, I could see just how deep our national worry has run.
Thus far the targets have all been celebrities, politicians, and the people who handle their mail. And yet I can understand the logic that says: Tom Brokaw, Tom Daschle, now me.
Anthrax calls are the fireman's job boiled down to the most elemental form: Here's something lethal … you go touch it. Our world has changed immeasurably, and calls for anthrax scares are a reflection of the mood swings were all experiencing.
I know that when I look to the sky I can't help but plot a mental trajectory of all the planes I see: Are they headed for the airport or the downtown? Despite—or perhaps because of—our tremendous losses, firefighters have become as important for our symbolism as for our effort. I can't fight anthrax; my lungs and skin are as weak as anybody.
But I can do my best to muster outward calm, smile, pull down the caution tape and say: 'It's safe now. Go back to work.' "
Terrorism is just that, striking terror in the hearts and minds of others (our government factions seem to do that more than on occasion). Fear is its ally. Without fear terror is impotent. You can not handle fear properly if your breathing is compromised.
This article would be of interest to you.
NATURAL ANTIDOTES TO BIOLOGICAL TOXINS
The Garlic Information Center in Britain indicates that deadly ANTHRAX is most susceptible to GARLIC.
Garlic is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that even blocks toxin production by germs. [Journal Nutrition, March 2001]
In one test garlic was found to be a more potent antibiotic than penicillin, ampicillin, doxycycline, streptomycin, and cephalexin, some of the very same antibiotic drugs used in the treatment of anthrax. Garlic was found to be effective against nine strains of E. coli, Staph, and other bugs. [Fitoterapia, Volume 5, 1984] Freshly cut cloves of garlic or garlic powder may be beneficial.
The antibiotic activity of one milligram of allicin, the active ingredient in garlic, equals 15 units of penicillin. [Koch and Lawson, Garlic: The Science and Therapeutic Application, 2nd edition, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore 1996] Garlic capsules that certify their allicin content are preferred and may provide 5-10 milligrams of allicin, which is equivalent to 75-150 units of penicillin.
2. SULFUR-BEARING ANTIOXIDANTS
The anthrax bacterium's toxicity emanates from its ability to kill macrophage cells which are part of the immune system. Studies have shown that SULFUR-BEARING ANTIOXIDANTS (alpha lipoic acid, N-acetyl cysteine, taurine) and VITAMIN C, which elevate levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant within the body, counters the toxicity produced by anthrax. [Molecular Medicine, November 1994; Immunopharmacology, January 2000; Applied Environmental Microbiology, May 1979]
The above sulfur compounds can be obtained from health food stores and taken in doses ranging from 100-500 mg.
3. VITAMIN C
Vitamin C should be the buffered alkaline form (mineral ascorbates) rather than the acidic form (ascorbic acid) and should be combined with bioflavonoids which prolong vitamin C's action in the blood circulation.
The powdered form of vitamin C is recommended to achieve optimal dosing. A tablespoon of vitamin C powder (about 10,000 mg) can be added to juice. A good product is vitamin C.
MELATONIN, a sleep-inducing hormone available at most health food stores, has been shown to help prevent lethal toxins from anthrax exposure. [Cell Biology Toxicology, Volume 16, 2000] It could be taken at bedtime in doses ranging from 5-20 mg. Melatonin boosts glutathione levels during sleep. Of additional interest, one of the methods by which MUSTARD GAS works is its ability to bring about cell death by depleting cell levels of glutathione eMedicine Journal, April 9, 2001] So GLUTATHIONE is also an antidote for mustard gas poisoning.
5. IRON and MEDAL-BINDING CHELATORS
Virtually all bacteria, viruses and fungi depend upon IRON as a growth factor. [Iron & Your Health, T.F. Emery, CRC Press, 1991] Iron-chelating (removing) drugs and antibiotics (Adriamycin, Vancomycin, others) are effective against pathogens.
The plague (Yersinia pestis), botulism, SMALLPOX, AND ANTHRAX could all be potentially treated with non-prescription METAL-BINDING CHELATORS. For example, iron removal retards the growth of the plague.
[Medical Hypotheses, January 1980] The biological activity of the botulinum toxin depends upon iron, and metal chelators may be beneficial. Infection Immunology, October 1989, Toxicon, July, 1997].
Phytic acid (IP6), derived as an extract from RICE BRAN, is the most potent natural iron chelator and has strong antibiotic and antioxidant action. [Free Radical Biology Medicine, Volume 8, 1990; Journal Biological Chemistry, August 25, 1987]
IP6 has been found to have similar iron-chelating properties as desferrioxamine, a drug commonly used to kill germs, tumor cells or to remove undesirable minerals from the body. [Biochemistry Journal, September 15, 1993] IP6 rice bran extract (2000-4000 mg) should be taken in between meals with filtered or bottled water only (no juice). We recommend
The antibacterial, antiseptic action of plant oils has been described in the recent medical literature and may be helpful in fighting biological toxins. [Journal Applied Microbiology, Volume 88, 2000] A potent natural antibiotic, more powerful than many prescription antibiotics, is oil OREGANO. One study showed that oregano completely inhibited the growth of 25 germs such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. [Journal Food Protection, July 2001]
Oregano has been shown to be effective in eradicating intestinal parasites in humans. [Phytotherapy Research, May 2000]
WILD OREGANO, which is quite different than the variety of most kitchen spice racks, has over 50 antibacterial compounds. Just one part wild oregano oil in 4000 dilutions sterilizes contaminated water. [London Times, May 8, 2001]
Oregano powder from whole leaf oregano is available as OregamaxTM capsules (North American Herb & Spice Co.). A spectacular development in natural antibiotic therapy is the manufacture of oregano powder from 100% pure oregano oil, producing one of the most potent antibiotics known. It has recently become available under the trade name Oregacillin (North American Herb & Spice Co.). It costs about $1 per pill, but this is a far cry from the $16 per pill for Vancomycin, known as most potent prescription antibiotic.
7. NERVE GAS ANTITOXINS
Nature also provides nerve gas antitoxins. Nerve gas interrupts the normal transmission of nerve impulses by altering levels of acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that degrades the nerve transmitter acetylcholine. HUPERZINE A, a derivative of CHINESE CLUB MOSS, has been suggested as a pre-treatment against nerve gases. [Annals Pharmacology France, January 2000]
The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research conducted studies which revealed that huperzine A protects against nerve gas poisoning in a superior manner to physostigmine, a long-standing anti-nerve toxin drug. [Defense Technical Information Center Review, Volume 2, December 1996] Huperzine A is available as a food supplement at most health food stores. Suggested dosage is 150 mcg per day. Pretreatment is advised prior to nerve gas exposure.
SUMMARY. The threat of biological warfare is real and concern over the preparedness of the civilian population and medical professionals is growing. There is virtually no practical way that vaccines, antibiotics or other treatment can be delivered to a frightened populace in a timely manner during a crisis.
The current strategy of having an unprotected citizenry travel to physicians' offices or hospitals to receive prophylactic care or treatment is unfeasible. The public must be armed with preventive or therapeutic agents in their vehicles, homes and the workplace. Natural antibiotics and antitoxins are well documented in the medical literature, but overlooked by health authorities.
These antidotes are readily available for the public to acquire and place in an emergency biological response kit.
Last portion of article by Bill Sardi
With the potential of mandatory mass vaccination for smallpox looming on the horizon and the growing vaccine controversies related to autism and other childhood diseases, the story of Omnivaxm, a 30-in-one vaccine that is to be mandatorily given to all babies and children, is not solely fiction. Neither are the fears of unknown, long-term complications.
Here's a quote from the book by the character (Ellen) that was the consumer advocate on the vaccine approval committee(p.160):"...My research has shown that not once has a vaccine -- any vaccine -- been evaluated by a prolonged double-blind study.
The pharmaceutical houses are powerful and fund much of the drug research done at our universities and medical centers. They also have polished, highly effective public relations offices that have, on a number of occasions, set out to convince the general public that we cannot afford to deprive the placebo group of the lifesaving benefits of a vaccine while waiting until a statistically meaningful double-blind study can be completed."
"Has this shortcut in the scientific process hurt us in any concrete, medical way? That I cannot answer with any certainty. What I can say is that as vaccination rates have climbed, there has been an alarming increase in the incidence of a number of so-called immune-mediated diseases and conditions such as asthma, allergies, and juvenile diabetes, as well as others -- autism, ADD and other learning disabilities -- whose classification as immune-mediated remains to be established. Is there a connection?
Do vaccinations in some instances disrupt the normal development of the body's immune system? Until long-term, double-blind studies are performed on vaccines, we may never know."