First of all we need to remember the most widely known pandemics/epidemics of various viruses from 2000 onwards:
Year/number of deaths/publication source:
- SARS: 2002/2003/813/World Health Organization=WHO,
- Swine flu: 2009-2010/ 18,000/WHO,
- Worldwide influenza: 290,000-650,000 deaths a year/Istituto Superiore della Sanita 2019,
- Influenza in Italy: deaths in 2013/14: 7,027, 2014/2015: 20,259, 2015/2016:15,801, 2016/17: 24,981/ Rosano, Ricciardi et al. 2019,
- Ebola: 2014-2016/3,461 /WHO)
If it were true that coronavirus is transmitted through droplets from sneezes, coughs etc. or through coming into contact with infected surfaces, and
- if it were true that the measures adopted to reduce infection should prove effective:
How do we explain that on 26/04/2020 13,325 deaths had been recorded in Lombardy, 3,386 in Emilia Romagna and 228 deaths in Sicily?
This difference cannot derive from a greater exposure to infection in the north, considering that in Catania the Festival of Saint Agatha took place from 3-5 February with more than a million visitors (they were already talking about banning it). Obviously there was no social distancing.
Taking these and other epidemiological data into account regarding the coronavirus epidemic, one can only reach the two following conclusions:
- The people of Catania are champions of hygiene?
- CORONAVIRUS IS TRANSMITED EXCLUSIVELY BY AIR (AEROSOL)
- Transmission takes place almost exclusively in insufficiently ventilated environments, only in extreme cases in the open air.
- The gravity of the infection (from asymptomatic to a fatal outcome) depends on the viral load and individual conditions like coexisting diseases etc.
(N.B. The gravity of the disease does not depend primarily on damage caused by the virus to the organism, but on the damage caused to the organism by the immune system).
This simple theory explains everything, and allows us to act efficiently, saving countless human lives (N.B. Each theory is valid until one of its predictions is incorrect, then the theory must be revised or withdrawn).
That the flu virus is transmitted either by air (droplets from sneezes, coughs etc.) or through contact with infected surfaces, has always been one of the fundamentals of virology, an affirmation which goes back to the origins of the science of infections. This elementary concept has never been questioned, but was thereafter considered a hard, fixed fact (doctrine).
Just as the theory of the continental bridges was considered to be the doctrine of geology. And when the scientist Wegener, as a result of simple observations, presented his theory of Continental Drift in Frankfurt (Germ.) on 6 January 1912, he was ridiculed by the scientists present. Only more than 50 years later, in 1967/68, did Science admit its error and promote his theory: errare humanum est, perseverare…..
This new perspective regarding the mode of transmission leads to the following observations:
- Transmission occurs almost exclusively in enclosed environments, where there is the necessary virus concentration for infection. This is almost impossible in open spaces.
- The basic condition for infection is the poor quality of the air due to insufficient ventilation (trains, buses, underground, offices, care homes etc.) The air quality in closed spaces (with a rising concentration of CO2 the risk of infection increases) is steadily deteriorating due to the search for energy efficiency in buildings ( Sicilian saying: “The best doctor is a poor carpenter, because he makes window fixtures with draughts”
- Masks and gloves are, except for the sick and those who treat them, useless and even dangerous. The mask reduces the ventilation of the lungs. Moreover the contaminated, impure exhaled air is recycled with the inhalation. Excessive hand hygiene and gloves only create an ideal environment for resistant germs, the first removes the protective layer from the hands and the second create a greenhouse effect for resistant germs.
4) Normal interpersonal contact (kisses, hugs, handshakes, Eskimos rub noses by way of greeting) remains as always elementary for creating immunological defense in the group (if the human race had applied the laws currently laid down by most governments, it would have long been an extinct species).
To deal with the corona virus epidemic and other future epidemics we need to intervene radically on the environment of mankind, now often comparable to a caged animal in intensive livestock farming.
This contribution is not based on the ever increasing latest medical evidence but is based on the foundations of medicine, which must affirm its past, but at the same time continually put it to the test.
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