ANH Avian Flu Expert Committee today launched a report on nutritional protocols that could be used to reduce the reduce death and illness associated with a bird flu pandemic.
PRESS LAUNCH Date and time: 25 April 2006, 10:00 h Venue: Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT Alliance for Natural Health and British Society for Ecological Medicine
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Nutritional protocols to counter lack of vaccines and antiviral drugs in a Bird Flu pandemic
Following an invitation by Dr David Narbarro, UN global co-ordinator on Avian Influenza, to submit natural prevention and treatment recommendations for a human avian influenza pandemic, the British Society for Ecological Medicine (BSEM) and the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) formed a collaboration to write a detailed, evidence-based report on the subject. The report, entitled ‘The Pivotal Role for Natural Products in Countering an Avian Influenza Pandemic' was launched today at the Institute of Physics, Portland Place London WC1, having first been submitted to the World Health Organisation on March 27th 2006.
The report focuses on the key nutrients zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin A as primary interventions for the prevention and treatment of human H5N1 influenza infection and its complications, and has been authored by four leading scientists and doctors in the fields of nutritional medicine and health.
Dr. Damien Downing, president of BSEM, stated: “following an extensive review of over 250 peer reviewed studies, we believe that the protocols developed here can help to buy time and fill the gap between the outbreak of a pandemic and the months or years required for development and manufacture of effective vaccines. What is more, manufacture of these nutrients can be easily scaled up to meet global needs, and is likely to be a highly cost effective intervention. If governments were to ignore the available evidence, as well as recent research and trials on natural products against the H5N1 virus, this would amount, in our view, to an act of gross professional negligence.”
It is widely recognised that vaccines will take at least 6 months to develop if Bird Flu mutates to cause a human pandemic, and that years may be required to produce enough material to vaccinate entire national populations, by which time the most lethal waves of a pandemic will have passed.
Present international strategies rely heavily on the use of anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) as the primary medical intervention for human avian influenza treatment, along with physical interventions for prevention of infection, such as improved personal hygiene, quarantine and social distancing.
It is hoped by governments that H5N1 antiviral drug resistance will not emerge rapidly, and that this containment and control strategy will be sufficient until vaccines become widely available. Clearly, this is a high risk strategy and there is a need for other interventions to counter both the possibility of multiple pandemic viral strains, and the risk of viral drug resistance developing early on in a pandemic.
Dr Robert Verkerk, lead author of the report and the ANH Executive and Scientific Director said: “we believe that the prevention and self-treatment protocols put forward here can be easily accessed and self-administered by populations everywhere. The hospital treatment protocols may offer particular hope to populations in those developing countries which are not likely to have access to anti-viral drugs or vaccines.”
Verkerk added: “We hope that the WHO will take on board the key recommendations of our report with all possible speed, given the severity and imminence of the threat. It would be tragic if the WHO allowed any national prejudices that may exist with regard to natural interventions to interfere with adoption of these protocols, especially when vaccines will be unavailable in the early months of a pandemic. Many lives across the world may depend on the use of these protocols if a human H5N1 pandemic emerges in the near future.”
Isobel Bradley or Meleni Aldridge The Alliance for Natural Health The Atrium, Curtis Road Dorking, SurreyRH4 1XA, UK Tel: +44 (0)1252 371 275 Mob: +44 (0)7771 750230 Email: [email protected] Web:www.anhcampaign.org
The Alliance for Natural Health is a key UK-based, international campaign organisation, comprised of doctors, scientists, practitioners, lawyers, innovative companies and consumers, dedicated to protecting and promoting natural healthcare worldwide through the use of good science and good law. See www.anhcampaign.org
The British Society for Ecological Medicine is the professional body for medical doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals in the areas of allergy, environmental and nutritional medicine. See www.ecomed.org.uk
The World Health Organization is coordinating the international response to a likely and imminent influenza pandemic caused by human adapted forms of the deadly H5N1 virus that has already killed many millions of birds around the world. This international response is being coordinated by Dr David Nabarro, Senior UN System Co-ordinator for Avian and Human Influenza.
In the event of infection by H5N1, the sooner the recommended therapeutic dose levels are taken, the better. A subsequent reduction in bowel tolerance indicates that the virus is being overcome, and is generally accompanied by clinical improvement. This simple, practical dose-finding procedure must be well understood as it is of paramount importance for achieving the maximum therapeutic effect as quickly as possible.
The BSEM and ANH advise the following three protocols:
Protocol 1 - Prophylaxis; this should ideally be initiated at least one month before exposure to the H5N1 virus. In the event of a pandemic, it is anticipated that the majority of the population in most countries will have around this amount of notice as a minimum prior to being at extreme risk of infection.
Protocol 2 -Self-treatment; this should be initiated at the first sign or symptom of a possible viral infection.
Protocol 3 -Medical treatment; this protocol is reserved for serious or rapidly deteriorating cases, requiring intravenous therapy.
The detailed protocols can be found in the full report (pp. 55-61).