Nevertheless, he parsimoniously used latent asymptomatic infectors and an unidentified "season stimulus" to fully or partially explain seven epidemiological conundrums .
1. Why is influenza both seasonal and ubiquitous and where is the virus between epidemics?
2. Why are the epidemics so explosive?
3. Why do epidemics end so abruptly?
4. What explains the frequent coincidental timing of epidemics in countries of similar latitudes?
5. Why is the serial interval obscure?
6. Why is the secondary attack rate so low?
7. Why did epidemics in previous ages spread so rapidly, despite the lack of modern transport?
An eighth conundrum – one not addressed by Hope-Simpson – is the surprising percentage of seronegative volunteers who either escape infection or develop only minor illness after being experimentally inoculated with a novel influenza virus.
The percentage of subjects sickened by iatrogenic aerosol inoculation of influenza virus is less than 50% , although such experiments depend on the dose of virus used. Only three of eight subjects without pre-existing antibodies developed illness after aerosol inhalation of A2/Bethesda/10/63 . Intranasal administration of various wild viruses to sero-negative volunteers only resulted in constitutional symptoms 60% of the time; inoculation with Fort Dix Swine virus (H1N1) – a virus thought to be similar to the 1918 virus – in six sero-negative volunteers failed to produce any serious illness, with one volunteer suffering moderate illness, three mild, one very mild, and one no illness at all . Similar studies by Beare et al on other H1N1 viruses found 46 of 55 directly inoculated volunteers failed to develop constitutional symptoms . If influenza is highly infectious, why doesn't direct inoculation of a novel virus cause universal illness in seronegative volunteers?
A ninth conundrum evident only recently is that epidemiological studies question vaccine effectiveness, contrary to randomized controlled trials, which show vaccines to be effective. For example, influenza mortality and hospitalization rates for older Americans significantly increased in the 80's and 90's, during the same time that influenza vaccination rates for elderly Americans dramatically increased [7, 8]. Even when aging of the population is accounted for, death rates of the most immunized age group did not decline . Rizzo et al studying Italian elderly, concluded, "We found no evidence of reduction in influenza-related mortality in the last 15 years, despite the concomitant increase of influenza vaccination coverage from ~10% to ~60%" . Given that influenza vaccinations increase adaptive immunity, why don't epidemiological studies show increasing vaccination rates are translating into decreasing illness?
"It is worth noting that one animal study indicated vitamin D, when added to the diet of rats, prevented influenza but a subsequent paper reported it did not [83, 84].
Young et al also reported that a Japanese researcher, Midzuno, was able to reproduce influenza in rats simply by maintaining them on diets deficient in vitamin D, apparently part of Japan's World War II biological weapons research. (The American CIA confiscated Midzuno's papers after the war.) As vitamin D does not upregulate AMPs in murine mammals, it is unclear what these studies mean.
If researchers can identify an influenza susceptible species in which vitamin D increases expression of AMPs, it would be useful to know if vitamin D deficiency promotes the pathology of influenza."
CDC's Division of Select Agents and Toxins (DSAT) is responsible for regulating select agents
and toxins (referred to as "select agents"), which are biological materials that have the potential
to pose a severe threat to public health and safety. Government agencies, research organizations,
and legal entities that use, possess, or transfer select agents must register with DSAT and Comply
with select agent regulations. (We refer collectively to these organizations as
Entities may authorize access to select agents only to individuals approved by the Secretary
based on a security risk assessment by the Attorney General (referred to as "approved
individuals"). Also, entities must develop and implement written security plans designed to
safeguard select agents. Entities use the CDC Request To Transfer Select Agents and Toxins
form (Form 2) to initiate select agent transfers, obtain DSAT approval, and document receipt of
The objective of our review was to determine whether only approved individuals accessed select [redacted]
"Egyptian medicine: a mixture of magic and science
The medical text from ancient Egypt known as the Ebers Papyrus, which was finalized
around 1550 BC, contains a passage (Eb. 854 a) indicating that at that time physicians were
subdivided into three groups.
The swnw were physicians, whose work would be the closest
to the modern definition of a medical doctor
at times swnw specialized in various fields,
treating only eyes, the head, teeth, or the stomach, which surprised Greeks such as
Herodotus as noted in his Histories, 2.84.3
The wab were medical priests in the sense that
they were physicians and, at the same time, were priests of Sekhmet, a goddess who was
credited with unleashing disasters such as cataclysms and epidemics. Finally, the third
group was composed of nerep and sa who served the god Serket, handling poisons.
Inscriptions show that physicians were allowed to belong to more than one of these groups
The characterization of the doctors, which include a clear use of theological references
within medicine, reflects the fact that ancient Egyptian medicine understood health within
a philosophical context that encompassed both theology and science. Thus, diseases and
remedies were understood in a framework of gods, principles and spirits battling one
another. One such principle at work is represented by the whdw, also transliterated as
which were credited with making people sick, people dying, bodies decomposing hence the translation of whdw as degenerative principles. In the view of the Egyptians,
such principles required appropriate care – such as defense – in case they were present.
Such views in ancient Egyptian medicine ought to receive careful consideration. In fact,
outright dismissal of such principles as the fruits of superstition shortchanges the
achievements of Egyptian medicine. Outright dismissal of the whdw fails to capture the
intuition that some individuals are more prone to getting sick. This phenomenon, which
today is a common-place and is attributed to mutations, malformations and/or weaker
favoring the formation and/or development of diseases, would have been
observed – at least phenomenologically – by Egyptian doctors as well." - Trevisanato / Int J Hist Philos Med (201 Trevisanato / Int J Hist Philos Med (201 / Int J Hist Philos Med (2012) 2:1-9