Dear Brothers, we are
reminded of the close parallel between the animal and human body with regards to the inherent diseases shared by both. We
are all almost constantly reminded of the high risk of planetary influenza by health officials and media. The masters do their
utmost to contain the spread of disease and yet are we being forewarned of a planetary condition likely to appear. JPC.
On Oriental and Occidental
Bodies: The question is also often in the minds of some healers whether there is a difference in the causes of disease and
the effects as experienced in oriental or occidental bodies. To them I would say: Humanity is one and the same all over the
world, and both eastern and western bodies are prone to the same diseases and manifest the same symptoms; all die frequently
from pneumonia and influenza.
It will be obvious that
the problems of worry and irritation (called by the Master Morya "imperil") are many and must be considered. Why are these difficulties of the astral body so "perilous" and so serious? Worry and Irritation are dangerous
because: They lower the vitality of the man to such a point that he becomes susceptible to disease.
The scourge of influenza
has its roots in fear and worry, and once the world settles down to freedom from the present "fearful" condition, we shall
see the disease die out. They are so highly infectious from the *astral point of view* that they lower in a peculiar manner
the astral atmosphere, and thus make it hard for people -in the astral sense - to breathe freely. Because the astral conditions
of fear, worry and irritation are so widespread today that they might be regarded as epidemic, in a planetary sense.
I have cited sufficient
reasons for the effects of Worry and Irritation to demonstrate to you the wideness of the difficulty. It is not much use at
this time to talk of the remedy. One does not say to an influenza patient (when the worst throes of the disease are upon him),
"There is nothing the matter. Pay no attention. Get up and go about your business." It is no use saying to men today, "Do
not fear. Leave off worrying. All will be well." They will not believe you, for one thing - and that is fortunate, for it
is not true.
Things are not well and
humanity and the planetary life are not well. This, the Hierarchy knows, and is working for the amelioration of the conditions.
When the throes of the "planetary influenza" are over (and the patient will not die), then investigation can be made and effort
produced which can prevent a recurrence. At present, all that can be done is to keep the patient quiet and also keep the fever
down. This is the work of the New Group of World Servers and the intelligent men of goodwill. Their name is Legion. EH 71.
Here we have a strong
indication as to the reason why humanity (the fourth kingdom in nature) succumbs with such rapidity and such ease to disease.
The conflicts to which humanity is so constantly summoned, both in group form and as individuals, lead - until understood
and used as a means to triumph and progress - to a condition of constant devitalization.
Where this is present,
resistance to disease fades out and practically all forms of ill health and bodily ills become possible. Diffusion of energy
leads to a constant lessening of this resistance. As a result you have debility, quick and bad reaction to the disease indigenous
in the planet itself, and a rapid taking on of infections and of contagious diseases. It is this energy which lies behind
what we call epidemics, and influenza is one of its main expressions. EH 302.
I would say: Humanity
is one and the same all over the world, and both eastern and western bodies are prone to the same diseases and manifest the
same symptoms; all suffer from tuberculosis, from cancer and the sexual taints; all die frequently from pneumonia and influenza.
Agni Yoga approaches
just in time. Without it, who could say that epidemics of influenza should be cured by psychic energy? AY 492.
27 September 2005.
fears grip Indonesia
of a serious outbreak of bird flu mount in Indonesia, the BBC News website spoke to people in the cities of Jakarta and Medan
to gauge their reaction.
5 October 2005.
flu 'came from birds'
Flu viruses are constantly
The Spanish flu virus
that killed 50 million people in 1918-19 was probably a strain that originated in birds, research has shown. US scientists
have found the 1918 virus shares genetic mutations with the bird flu virus now circulating in Asia.
Writing in Nature, they
say their work underlines the threat the current strain poses to humans worldwide.
A second paper in Science
reveals another US team has successfully recreated the 1918 virus in mice.
We are revealing some
of the secrets that will help us predict and prepare for the next pandemic
The virus is contained
at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under stringent safety conditions.
It is hoped to carry
out experiments to further understand the biological properties that made the virus so virulent.
The virus was recreated
from data produced by painstaking research by a team from the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
Lung tissue samples:
Working on virus samples
from the remains of victims of the 1918 pandemic, the researchers were able to piece together the entire genetic sequence
of the virus.
They found the virus
contained elements that were new to humans of the time - making it highly virulent.
And analysis of the final
three pieces of the virus' genetic code has revealed mutations that have striking similarities to those found in flu viruses
found only in birds, such as the H5N1 strain currently found in south east Asia.
This strain has so far
killed at least 65 people.
Many experts believe
it is only a matter of time before H5N1, or a similar strain, causes many deaths in humans - possibly after combining with
a human flu strain.
Crucially, the mutations
identified by the US researchers were found in genes which control the virus' ability to replicate in host cells.
The researchers say these
mutations may have helped the 1918 virus replicate more efficiently.
At this stage, they say
the H5N1 strain shares only some, and not all, of these mutations.
But these mutations may
be enough to increase the virus' virulence - and give it the potential to cause serious human infection without first combining
with a known human flu strain.
The researchers believe
the two other major flu pandemics of the 20th century - in 1957 and 1968 - were caused by human flu viruses which acquired
two or three key genes from bird flu virus strains.
But they believe the
1918 strain was probably entirely a bird flu virus that adapted to function in humans.
Julie Gerberding, director
of the US Centers for Disease Control, said: "By unmasking the 1918 virus we are revealing some of the secrets that will help
us predict and prepare for the next pandemic."
And Dr Jeffery Taubenberger,
lead researcher of the Nature study, said: "Determining whether pandemic influenza virus strains can emerge via different
pathways will affect the scope and focus of surveillance and prevention efforts."
Professor John Oxford,
an expert in virology at Queen Mary College, London, said the suggestion that the virus had the potential to jump between
humans without first combining with a human virus made it even more of a threat.
"This study gives us
an extra warning that H5N1 needs to be taken even more seriously than it has been up to now," he said.
Dr Terrence Tumpey, of
the US CDC, defended the decision to recreate the 1918 flu virus.
He said: "We felt we
had to recreate the virus and run these experiments to understand the biological properties that made the 1918 virus so exceptionally
"We wanted to identify
the specific genes responsible for its virulence, with the hope of designing antivirals or other interventions that would
work against virulent pandemic or epidemic influenza viruses." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4308872.stm
The Influenza Pandemic
The influenza pandemic
of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million
people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single
year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza
of 1918-1919 was a global disaster.
In the fall of 1918 the
Great War in Europe was winding down and peace was on the horizon. The Americans had joined in the fight, bringing the Allies
closer to victory against the Germans. Deep within the trenches these men lived through some of the most brutal conditions
of life, which it seemed could not be any worse. Then, in pockets across the globe, something erupted that seemed as benign
as the common cold. The influenza of that season, however, was far more than a cold. In the two years that this scourge ravaged
the earth, a fifth of the world's population was infected. The flu was most deadly for people ages 20 to 40. This pattern
of morbidity was unusual for influenza which is usually a killer of the elderly and young children. It infected 28% of all
Americans (Tice). An estimated 675,000 Americans died of influenza during the pandemic, ten times as many as in the world
war. Of the U.S. soldiers who died in Europe, half of them fell to the influenza virus and not to the enemy (Deseret News).
An estimated 43,000 servicemen mobilized for WWI died of influenza (Crosby). 1918 would go down as unforgettable year of suffering
and death and yet of peace. As noted in the Journal of the American Medical Association final edition of 1918:
"The 1918 has gone: a
year momentous as the termination of the most cruel war in the annals of the human race; a year which marked, the end at least
for a time, of man's destruction of man; unfortunately a year in which developed a most fatal infectious disease causing the
death of hundreds of thousands of human beings. Medical science for four and one-half years devoted itself to putting men
on the firing line and keeping them there. Now it must turn with its whole might to combating the greatest enemy of all--infectious
The effect of the influenza
epidemic was so severe that the average life span in the US was depressed by 10 years. The influenza virus had a profound
virulence, with a mortality rate at 2.5% compared to the previous influenza epidemics, which were less than 0.1%. The death
rate for 15 to 34-year-olds of influenza and pneumonia were 20 times higher in 1918 than in previous years (Taubenberger).
People were struck with illness on the street and died rapid deaths. One anectode shared of 1918 was of four women playing
bridge together late into the night. Overnight, three of the women died from influenza (Hoagg). Others told stories of people
on their way to work suddenly developing the flu and dying within hours (Henig). One physician writes that patients with seemingly
ordinary influenza would rapidly "develop the most viscous type of pneumonia that has ever been seen" and later when cyanosis
appeared in the patients, "it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate," (Grist, 1979). Another physician recalls
that the influenza patients "died struggling to clear their airways of a blood-tinged froth that sometimes gushed from their
nose and mouth," (Starr, 1976). The physicians of the time were helpless against this powerful agent of influenza. In 1918
children would skip rope to the rhyme (Crawford):
I had a little bird,
Its name was Enza.
I opened the window,
The influenza pandemic
circled the globe. Most of humanity felt the effects of this strain of the influenza virus. It spread following the path of
its human carriers, along trade routes and shipping lines. Outbreaks swept through North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Brazil
and the South Pacific (Taubenberger). In India the mortality rate was extremely high at around 50 deaths from influenza per
1,000 people (Brown). The Great War, with its mass movements of men in armies
and aboard ships, probably aided in its rapid diffusion and attack. The origins of the deadly flu disease were unknown but
widely speculated upon. Some of the allies thought of the epidemic as a biological warfare tool of the Germans. Many thought
it was a result of the trench warfare, the use of mustard gases and the generated "smoke and fumes" of the war. A national
campaign began using the ready rhetoric of war to fight the new enemy of microscopic proportions. A study attempted to reason
why the disease had been so devastating in certain localized regions, looking at the climate, the weather and the racial composition
of cities. They found humidity to be linked with more severe epidemics as it "fosters the dissemination of the bacteria,"
(Committee on Atmosphere and Man, 1923). Meanwhile the new sciences of the infectious agents and immunology were racing to
come up with a vaccine or therapy to stop the epidemics.
The origins of this influenza
variant is not precisely known. It is thought to have originated in China in a rare genetic shift of the influenza virus.
The recombination of its surface proteins created a virus novel to almost everyone and a loss of herd immunity. Recently the
virus has been reconstructed from the tissue of a dead soldier and is now being genetically characterized. The name of Spanish
Flu came from the early affliction and large mortalities in Spain (BMJ,10/19/1918) where it allegedly killed 8 million in
May (BMJ, 7/13/1918). However, a first wave of influenza appeared early in the spring of 1918 in Kansas and in military camps
throughout the US. Few noticed the epidemic in the midst of the war. Wilson had just given his 14 point address. There was
virtually no response or acknowledgment to the epidemics in March and April in the military camps. It was unfortunate that
no steps were taken to prepare for the usual recrudescence of the virulent influenza strain in the winter. The lack of action
was later criticized when the epidemic could not be ignored in the winter of 1918 (BMJ, 1918). These first epidemics at training
camps were a sign of what was coming in greater magnitude in the fall and winter of 1918 to the entire world.
The war brought the virus
back into the US for the second wave of the epidemic. It first arrived in Boston in September of 1918 through the port busy
with war shipments of machinery and supplies. The war also enabled the virus to spread and diffuse. Men across the nation
were mobilizing to join the military and the cause. As they came together, they brought the virus with them and to those they
contacted. The virus killed almost 200,00 in October of 1918 alone. In November 11 of 1918 the end of the war enabled a resurgence.
As people celebrated Armistice Day with parades and large partiess, a complete disaster from the public health standpoint,
a rebirth of the epidemic occurred in some cities. The flu that winter was beyond imagination as millions were infected and
thousands died. Just as the war had effected the course of influenza, influenza affected the war. Entire fleets were ill with
the disease and men on the front were too sick to fight. The flu was devastating to both sides, killing more men than their
own weapons could.
With the military patients
coming home from the war with battle wounds and mustard gas burns, hospital facilities and staff were taxed to the limit.
This created a shortage of physicians, especially in the civilian sector as many had been lost for service with the military.
Since the medical practitioners were away with the troops, only the medical students were left to care for the sick. Third
and forth year classes were closed and the students assigned jobs as interns or nurses (Starr,1976). One article noted that
"depletion has been carried to such an extent that the practitioners are brought very near the breaking point," (BMJ, 11/2/1918).
The shortage was further confounded by the added loss of physicians to the epidemic. In the U.S., the Red Cross had to recruit
more volunteers to contribute to the new cause at home of fighting the influenza epidemic. To respond with the fullest utilization
of nurses, volunteers and medical supplies, the Red Cross created a National Committee on Influenza. It was involved in both
military and civilian sectors to mobilize all forces to fight Spanish influenza (Crosby, 1989). In some areas of the US, the
nursing shortage was so acute that the Red Cross had to ask local businesses to allow workers to have the day off if they
volunteer in the hospitals at night (Deseret News). Emergency hospitals were created to take in the patients from the US and
those arriving sick from overseas.
The pandemic affected
everyone. With one-quarter of the US and one-fifth of the world infected with the influenza, it was impossible to escape from
the illness. Even President Woodrow Wilson suffered from the flu in early 1919 while negotiating the crucial treaty of Versailles
to end the World War (Tice). Those who were lucky enough to avoid infection had to deal with the public health ordinances
to restrain the spread of the disease. The public health departments distributed gauze masks to be worn in public. Stores
could not hold sales, funerals were limited to 15 minutes. Some towns required a signed certificate to enter and railroads
would not accept passengers without them. Those who ignored the flu ordinances had to pay steep fines enforced by extra officers
(Deseret News). Bodies pilled up as the massive deaths of the epidemic ensued. Besides the lack of health care workers and
medical supplies, there was a shortage of coffins, morticians and gravediggers (Knox). The conditions in 1918 were not so
far removed from the Black Death in the era of the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages.
In 1918-19 this
deadly influenza pandemic erupted during the final stages of World War I. Nations were already attempting to deal with the
effects and costs of the war. Propaganda campaigns and war restrictions and rations had been implemented by governments. Nationalism
pervaded as people accepted government authority. This allowed the public health departments to easily step in and implement
their restrictive measures. The war also gave science greater importance as governments relied on scientists, now armed with
the new germ theory and the development of antiseptic surgery, to design vaccines and reduce mortalities of disease and battle
wounds. Their new technologies could preserve the men on the front and ultimately save the world. These conditions created
by World War I, together with the current social attitudes and ideas, led to the relatively calm response of the public and
application of scientific ideas. People allowed for strict measures and loss of freedom during the war as they submitted to
the needs of the nation ahead of their personal needs. They had accepted the limitations placed with rationing and drafting.
The responses of the public health officials reflected the new allegiance to science and the wartime society. The medical
and scientific communities had developed new theories and applied them to prevention, diagnostics and treatment of the influenza
Jeremy Condick. firstname.lastname@example.org