Viruses By Patrick Quanten, MD.
Let's start with a medically well-known fact: viruses aren't themselves
alive. They are smaller and simpler than bacteria and by themselves they
are inert and harmless. So, the immediate question then has to be: How can
you "catch" a virus if it isn't a living thing?
The answer is: You can't.
Experimenters have incubated viruses for the common cold, placed them
directly on the mucous lining of the nose, and found that their subjects
came down with colds only 12% of the time. These odds could not be
increased by exposing the subjects to cold drafts, putting their feet in
ice water to give them chills, or anything else that was purely physical.
Swine flu (viral infection) arose as a normal, non-lethal flu in the spring
of 1918, but somehow, over the following months, it mutated into something
more severe. In an attempt to devise a vaccine, medical authorities
conducted experiments on volunteers at a military prison on Deer Island in
Boston Harbour. The prisoners were promised pardon if they survived a
battery of tests. These tests were rigorous to say the least. First, the
subjects were injected with infected lung tissue taken from the dead and
then sprayed in the eyes, nose and mouth with infectious aerosols. If they
still failed to succumb, they had their throats swabbed with discharges
taken from the sick and dying. If all else failed, they were required to
sit open-mouthed while a gravely ill victim was sat up slightly and made to
cough into their faces. The doctors chose sixty-two of the volunteers for
the tests. None contracted the flu, not one. The only person who did grow
ill was the ward doctor, who swiftly died.
One of the mysteries of viral epidemics is how it can erupt suddenly all
over, in places separated by oceans, mountain ranges and other earthly
impediments. Although a virus is not alive in itself, it also loses its
potential of hijacking the genetic material of a living host cell within a
few hours of being outside the host body. The commonly heard answer that it
travels in "carriers" (people who have no symptoms but carry and distribute
the virus) cannot be proven and after decades of using it as "the"
explanation remains nothing more than a shaky and desperate theory. It is
made even more unlikely in the light of the fact that you cannot catch a
viral infection, as proven above, so even if it did travel that way, how
would it "jump" from the carrier to the victim? Furthermore, how does a
virus manage to lie low for several months, in the case of HIV or variant
CJD we are to believe it can be up to 20 years, before erupting so
explosively at more or less the same time all over? What's the trigger and
why instantaneously in all those different places?
Some of these viral epidemics have been known to be more devastating to
people in their prime rather than infants and the elderly, who are more
likely to have a more vulnerable immune system. Strange, to say the least.
From time to time certain strains of virus return. A disagreeable Russian
virus known as H1N1 caused severe outbreaks over wide areas in 1933, then
again in the 1950s and again in the 1970s. Where it went in the meantime
each time is uncertain. Could it have survived, lying "dormant", in humans
or animals for all that time? This raises the same old two questions: Why
did it not cause any symptoms wherever it was hiding? and If it was hiding
somewhere, how did it spread so quickly when it did, as you can't catch it
- not from a human, not from an animal?
What do we know about Viruses?
We have already mentioned that they are very small, and they weren't
detected until 1943 with the invention of the electron microscope. Many,
including HIV, have ten or fewer genes, whereas the simplest bacteria
require several thousand. To create a living thing you need properly
organised DNA of a substantial quantity, which the virus hasn't got.
We define "a living organism" as something that performs three tasks in
succession: taking in stuff (eating, breathing), metabolising stuff
(digesting, absorbing), and excreting waste. A fourth necessary task is
reproduction. A virus doesn't do any of these. No virus does. Within the
viral capsule there are no other structures that are required for a
metabolic process. There is no activity at all inside the viral capsule.
Not only doesn't it look structurally as if its alive, it also isn't alive
in physiological terms.
So what is it then? As we all know, viruses can have devastating effects on
the health of plants, animals - great and small, including bacteria - and
humans. How does it produce these effects, if it is not alive, can't be
caught and doesn't reproduce?
Known scientific facts about viruses and the way they function are obtained
from chemical analysis and looking at still pictures from electron
microscopes. The story is pieced together, not actually observed! This
means that what you are told happens, is actually a theory at best, and a
fantasy story at worst. What has actually, in simple terms, been discovered?
* Viruses contain either RNA or DNA, a small amount and mostly one or the
other, but there are exceptions. Bits of genetic material of whatever kind,
really; but only bits.
* Viruses are marked species and organ specific, and on the whole, viruses
infecting plants, insects, rickettsiae, bacteria and other animals are
distinct from their human counterparts, but this is now thought not to be
entirely the case. They are specific, but then again they are not.
* Viruses may be naked with the genome only protected by a protein capsid,
or they may have a lipid envelop surrounding the capsid. Bits of genetic
material in a thin simple bag, and sometimes put in a fatty bubble.
* Viruses are seen to be "encapsulated" by the body cells that have
specific receptors for the virus. Once inside the cell, it seems that the
virus capsule is removed and the exposed bit of DNA or RNA is "read" and
the host cell seems to duplicate it. These bits of genetic materials are
encapsulated once again, and with the host cell bursting with complete
viruses it will explode and the viruses are spilled into the cellular
surroundings. So, we see a lot of genetic bits within the cell; these bits
are then encapsulated and eventually the cell burst open to release the now
bagged up genetic material into the cellular environment.
* Viruses in the intercellular environment are engulfed by cells from the
immune system (macrophages and lymphocytes), which collect them and destroy
them. These bags that contain bits of genetic material are collected into
cells from the immune system.
* Viruses are very difficult to demonstrate (they are extremely small) and
the diagnosis of viral infection is mostly made on clinical symptoms alone
and the assumption that it fits into a known disease pattern for which
there is no causative factor known. Virtually every time a diagnosis of
viral infection is pronounced no proof is offered for this diagnosis.
* Materials for virus isolation must be obtained as early as possible
during illness. It is at the very early stages of the illness that the
highest titres are found and the most likely it is one can produce a
positive test result. There are more viruses present right at the beginning
of the illness than at any other stage of the disease process. If the
viruses were multiplying you would expect the number to rise as the disease
* Identification of viruses is done in laboratories by measuring the level
of antibodies against specific viruses, not by measuring or demonstrating
the virus itself. Measuring a higher protection level is diagnosed as the
Summarising this scientific knowledge, we can say that viral infections are
not diagnosed by finding the specific virus, but by guessing a virus is the
cause of the symptoms. In practical terms, this happens when the doctor
doesn't really know what the cause is.
As regards the story of the viral infection is concerned, we now know that
as soon as the symptoms start the number of viruses will very quickly be
dramatically reduced. There is no evidence of rapid number proliferation
once the disease manifests itself.
Before we move on to explain the real virus story, it is worthwhile to
remind ourselves of what we now know:
* A virus is not alive.
* You cannot catch a virus.
* A virus disintegrates very quickly outside the host.
* A virus consists of small bits of genetic material, variable from virus
to virus, surrounded by a thin coating, either protein (water-soluble) or fat.
* Viral materials are seen in large numbers inside the host cell.
* A full host cell breaks open and the viruses are spilled into the
* In the environment the viruses are bagged up by the cells of the immune
system (See "The Inflammation Process", available on
The Virus Story
If viruses are not living things they cannot multiplicate and they don't
need a specific environment to "survive". They cannot appear from nowhere
and they can't spread and infect other cells.
When a cell becomes diseased and the function of the cell begins to falter,
it may start to come apart at the seams. Bits of its essential structure,
the DNA and RNA, may become detached as it is falling apart. The cell will
try and clean up these bits by preparing them for the rubbish bin. The
small pieces of genetic material, which are now floating around in the
intracellular fluid, will be isolated by means of encapsulating them. As
the cellular disintegration continues more and more of these bits are seen
inside the cell and more and more small "bags" of useless genetic material
will appear. Once the cell is totally dysfunctional and filled with rubbish
the cellular wall itself bursts and the contents will be spilled into the
cellular environment. Here, the cleanup continues by packaging these small
bags up even further into what has been called the lymphocytes and
macrophages of the immune system. These large vesicles now drift away into
the lymphatic fluid and the blood stream, from where they will be filtered
out at appropriate draining stations, like the spleen and the lymph nodes.
This process continues until the whole lot has been cleared.
This explains why the numbers of "viruses" is the highest at the very
beginning of the disease and continues to decline steadily throughout the
disease process, even without treatment. This also accounts for the
thousand and thousand of different "viruses" that have been identified and
for the "mutation" of viruses. Viral behaviour is essentially totally
unpredictable because the cells and the way they disintegrate is never the
same, not because this is an animal that changes its behaviour so quickly
and intelligently that nothing can keep up with it. It also does away with
the idea that the "virus" can lay dormant for an indefinite period of time
and become activated without any triggers or reasons having been identified.
How do we then explain "viral epidemics"? Why is it then that we get a cold
the day after someone in the office starts to cough and sneeze a lot?
The medical profession knows that viruses have incubation periods. These
are said to vary from virus to virus from a few days to several years. A
cold virus has an average incubation period of about a week. Now, first of
all, you can't catch a virus; and secondly, if you could catch the cold
virus, it would take a week before it had established itself within your
body and starts to show symptoms. Consequently, your cold cannot have been
caused by the other person's cold in the office the day before!
What is seen and has been named "a virus" starts after the cellular
structure begins to disintegrate. Why does a cell start to fall apart?
Because it is diseased. The disease is already there, long before any viral
particles show up in any pictures. So, then we have to ask the question why
the cell has become diseased? The answer to this lies in the build-up of
toxic material within the cellular structure. As the cell gets loaded up
with inappropriate material it will eventually be unable to cope and it
will start to fall to pieces. It is exactly those pieces that are
photographed by the electron microscope and have been named "viruses".
The influences that can lead to an increased pressure on the system are
many and are varied. They range from the weather, to living and working
environment, to life style and diet, to the balance of activity and rest,
to mental balance, stress and worries. Because a lot of these influences,
such as working conditions and the weather, are general circumstances which
affect all of us, it is very likely that a great number of us, in the same
environment, will fall ill at or around the same time, succumbing to the
environmental influences. Add to this that people who are working in the
same environment are very likely to have similar life styles and another
factor has been identified explaining why similar disease pattern occur
within certain groups of people at certain times. On top of that, we now
know that worry reduces our immunity capacity and increases the likelihood
of illness. The belief that, if one person close to you has a cold you are
going to get it, increases the likelihood of this actually happening
dramatically, as you become more vulnerable through the immune reducing
effect of the worry itself.
Epidemics occur because people in similar circumstances, living
environments and conditions, have similar imbalances within their systems,
leading directly to similar disease patterns. This causes fear and
apprehension all around them, making others more vulnerable to start
showing a breakdown of health themselves. The disease is spreading. More
accurately, the fear of the disease is spreading first, resulting in a
lowered resistance, which allows each individual's imbalances to show up
through the inability to cope with the problems the system has already been
faced with for a long time. More and more people are becoming ill and
showing signs of the fact that their bodies have been under extreme
pressure for quite a while to maintain health. The showing of an illness is
the end result of a long process, even an "acute" illness, of a slow
deterioration of the system's normal functioning. Disease is a process, not
a state of being.
It is time to learn the facts of life.
It is time to do away with ignorance and the resulting fear.
It is time to focus on individual health and the factors that influence it.
Viruses are dead, but diseases are very much alive. Let's concentrate on
the living, not the dead, if we want to be healthy.