UPDATE: THE FIRST NATIONAL BIRD FLU SUMMIT
Sherri Tenpenny, DO
On February 27 and 28, 2006, I attended the “First National Bird Flu Summit” in Washington, DC. This article is intended to be the first of several reporting on what was revealed at the conference.
The National Bird Flu Summit opened with the usual cast of characters in attendance, including spokespersons from the U.N., the WHO, the CDC, the World Organization for Animal Health (OiE), and a parade of MD/PhD researchers. Little new information was presented; however, the consistent, fear-based theme that resonated throughout the seminar sheds light on the things to come.
UN Senior Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza, and special representative to the WHO Director General, Dr. David Nabarro, was the meeting’s second speaker. His presentation confirmed that according to the WHO global influenza preparedness plan, the world is currently considered to be at Phase III of the pandemic alert. Even though no human-to-human spread has occurred, and sporadic cases in humans have been exceedingly rare, he insisted that the world has reason for the utmost concern. According to Nabarro, the time to “intensely prepare” is now because “when we shift to Phase V and Phase VI of the pandemic—sustained transmission throughout the general population—there will be no time for planning, we will have to enforce containment.”
Nabarro repeatedly used confirmatory language regarding the arrival of the pandemic. At one point, he commented that systems need to be put in place so that they can be readily activated when the pandemic starts. Without hesitation, Naborro repeated, “Note that I said when, not if, the pandemic arrives.” That’s a really strong statement coming from an insider from the UN and the WHO. At the risk of sounding overly suspicious, it sounds like the outcome is predetermined.
Calling for the development of public-private partnerships, Nabarro pushed for completion of “enforcement measures,” policies and procedures that would emphasize the use of quarantine. The need for participation by law enforcement during the upcoming outbreak was confirmed by James Hagy, the Sheriff of Frederick County, Maryland. He described the current Phase III period as a “pre-incident planning period dependent on a series of ‘ifs’” and should be looked upon as preparing for an “all hazards event.” Both Nabarro and Nagy called for plans for everything: Plans to protect hospitals, plans for escape routes, and plans to provide medical aid for the chronically ill. Nagy’s comments included, “It happened before, it will happen again.”
Discussed in passing was the need to have the police and the military available to control mass panic; the need for “incredibly efficient mass production” of a polyvalent influenza vaccine; and the duty of governments to continue consulting with risk communication experts to “get people to understand the magnitude of the risk.”
Different speakers addressed the need for even more money—beyond the billions already allocated—to establish extensive surveillance systems to monitor the “arrival” of the virus in Western countries. Several companies were in attendance demonstrating expansive software programs that would link the federal government, various sectors of public health departments and the agricultural sector in ways unimagined by the casual observer. Big Brother certainly has plans for watching and following this virus very closely.
Throughout the two-day affair a stream of scientists and medical professionals from the audience approached the microphone, repeatedly asking the same two questions: Where is the human serological data that demonstrates the need for all this planning? Is there any evidence that the bird flu is becoming a threat to humans? The uniform response was that all of this hype is based on what was happening to birds; whether or not it will occur in humans remains completely unknown.
The research presented at the conference—mostly available through newswires and online medical journals services—confirmed that bird flu concerns for humans is based on epidemiological data and not on serological (blood test) evidence. For example, a researcher from the Department of Public Health Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, Anna Thorson, MD, PhD, presented her research that examined the question, “Is exposure to sick or dead poultry associated with an increase in influenza-like illnesses?”
The conclusion of the study reads, “Our epidemiological data are consistent with transmission of mild, highly pathogenic avian influenza to humans and suggest that transmission could be more common than anticipated, though close contact seems required. Further microbiological studies are needed to validate these findings.”
However, when questioned at the Summit, Dr. Thorson admitted that there were no lab tests performed to confirm the presence of the highly-pathogenic virus. In her study, the definition of an “influenza-like illness” included anyone who had experienced a fever, cough and respiratory illness within three months of the time the data was collected. This is not a minor point, because without laboratory confirmation that these symptoms had been caused by H5N1, the conclusions are suspect. The influenza-like symptoms could have been caused by a multiplicity of other viruses, bacteria or even environmental irritants.
While community-wide disaster planning should no doubt be part of the fabric of all cities—particularly large major metropolitan areas—to avoid repeated Katrina-type fiascoes, sounding the hysteria bell based on a pervasive illness in birds is unjustified.
release of Dr.Tenpenny's new book, "FOWL! Bird flu: It's not what
you think," is now available through Amazon.com. The book will be
released the first week in April. For daily updates on the current
hype, please go to www.BirdFluHype.com
© 2006 Sherri Tenpenny
- All Rights Reserved
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Sherri J. Tenpenny, D.O. is the President and Medical Director of OsteoMed II, a clinic located in the Cleveland area that provides conventional, alternative, and preventive medicine. OsteoMed II's staff of three osteopathic physicians, two acupuncturists and a 10-member support team focuses on four specialized areas: allergy elimination; treating acute and chronic pain problems; all areas of woman's health; and the treatment of vaccine injured children.
Dr. Tenpenny has lectured at Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve Medical School on topics related to alternative health. Nationally, she is a regular guest on many different radio and television talk shows, including "Your Health" aired on the Family Network. She has published articles in magazines, newspapers and internet sites, including, Redflagsdaily.com, Mercola.com and Mothering.com. She has presented at the National Vaccine Information Center's annual meeting and at several international conferences on autism.
Dr. Tenpenny is respected as one of the country's most knowledgeable and outspoken physicians regarding the impact of vaccines on health. As a member of the prestigious National Speaker's Association, Dr. Tenpenny is an outspoken advocate for free choice in healthcare, including the right to refuse vaccination. As an internationally known speaker, she is highly sought after for her ability to present scientifically sound information regarding vaccination hazard and warnings that are rarely portrayed by conventional medicine. Most importantly, she offers hope through her unique treatments offered at OsteoMed II for those who have been vaccine-injured.
Dr. Tenpenny is a graduate of the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. She received her medical training at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. Dr. Tenpenny is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Prior to her career in alternative medicine, Dr. Tenpenny served as Director of the Emergency Department at Blanchard Valley Regional Hospital Center in Findlay, Ohio, from 1987 to 1995. In 1994, she and a partner opened OsteoMed, a medical practice in Findlay limited to the specialty of osteopathic manipulative medicine. In 1996, Dr. Tenpenny moved to Strongsville, Ohio, and founded OsteoMed II, expanding her practice and her vision of combining the best of conventional and alternative medicine.
UN Senior Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza, and special representative to the WHO Director General, Dr. David Nabarro, was the meeting’s second speaker. His presentation confirmed that according to the WHO global influenza preparedness plan...