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Outbreak 2009: Deadly H1N1 Virus And The Missing Pieces

Star Anise H1N1 Virus Spice

(As of todate 71 Malaysians have died from the H1N1 virus and we have yet to see the end of the pandemic. But it seems like the cure for this pandemic comes from an unusual source. Image source: Wikipedia)

Compared to the earlier days of the pandemic, the Health Ministry has been providing a good day to day status of infections and deaths on their H1N1. But that is the end of it. Other key information is missing.

The missing information is:-

1. What are the H1N1 hotpots in Malaysia? (The DPM opened his mouth and said that the government might reveal the hotpots but it was a case “no action talk only”)

2. What is the demographic profile of the infected victims? (it is not for any racial discrimination but for an insight of diet and lifestyle)

3. The total people that has been infected as at todate (the Ministry does provide the daily infection number but stopped providing the grand total unless one is keeping the daily number religiously)

Then you have this interesting revelation:-

If you read the stories on H1N1 influenza written by the mainstream media, you might incorrectly think there’s only one anti-viral drug in the world. It’s name is Tamiflu and it’s in short supply.

That’s astonishing to hear because the world is full of anti-viral medicine found in tens of thousands of different plants. Culinary herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary are anti-viral. Berries and sprouts are anti-viral. Garlic, ginger and onions are anti-viral. You can’t walk through a grocery store without walking past a hundred or more anti-viral medicines made by Mother Nature.

Where do you think Tamiflu comes from, by the way?

It’s extracted from the Traditional Chinese Medicine herb called Star Anise. It’s one of hundreds of different anti-viral herbs found in Chinese Medicine, not to even mention anti-viral herbs from South America, North America, Australia, Africa and other regions.

Then if one digs further, we find this:-

Shikimic acid, a primary feedstock used to create the anti-flu drug Tamiflu, is produced by most autotrophic organisms, but star anise is the industrial source. In 2005, there was a temporary shortage of star anise due to its use in making Tamiflu.

Late in that year, a way was found of making shikimic acid artificially. Roche now derives some of the raw material it needs from fermenting E. coli bacteria. The 2009 swine flu outbreak led to another series of shortages as stocks of Tamiflu were built up around the world, sending prices soaring.

When we look further at the source of star anise, we get disturbing news:-

Only star anise grown in the four provinces of China is suitable for manufacture into Tamiflu and 90 per cent of the harvest is already used by Roche.

Well, well, isn’t it interesting to note that the main source of ingredient of the medicine against H1N1 is controlled by one pharmaceutical company and the governments around the world are stock-piling the Tamiflu as the number of H1N1 infections and deaths are increasing?

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