Installed 24 May 2004. Latest update 25 Jan 2017.
(New or changed material is in bold.)
Key Words: astrobiology, bacteria, BHT, exobiology, influenza, life on Venus, microbes, SARS
"Of the morning star, the great star, it was said that when
it first emerged and came forth, four times it vanished and
disappeared quickly. And afterwards it burst forth
completely, took its place in full light, became brilliant,
and shone white. Like the moon's rays, so did it shine.
And when it newly emerged, much fear came over them
all were frightened. Everywhere the outlets and openings
were closed up. It was said that perchance [the light] might
bring a cause of sickness, something evil, when it came to
emerge. But sometimes it was regarded as benevolent."
(Ancient Mesoamerican recollections of Venus)
Sahagun, Bernardino de., The Florentine Codex, General
History of the Things of New Spain - Book 7, Salt Lake City,
Utah: University of Utah, 1952, p. 11.
On Jun 8, 2004 the planet Venus is scheduled transit the sun during its
inferior conjunction with the Sun. Historically, outbreaks of new
strains of influenza and influenza related illnesses (SARS for example) have
occurred shortly, on average 83 days, after Venus inferior conjunctions
with the Sun.* The following graph shows a tabular summary of
some of these events and a histogram representing the intervals between
the conjunctions and new outbreaks. *[The author is of the opinion
that the average interval is more on the order of 45 days but it
is not always possible to get good data as to actual onset dates.]
For comparison purposes, the outbreak dates are plotted below on a
calendar year basis.
[Added 27 May 2004.]
A new flu (or flu like illness) prediction associated with the
upcoming 8 June Venus conjunction with the Sun is at
USA Influenza Activity 2003-2004, Part 2.
The gist of the prediction is that 15 to 60 days following the Venus
inferior conjunction is a prime time to be on guard for new biological
visitors. [Modified 28 May 2004.]
Two crucial questions. [Added 27 May 2004.]
(a) How can these hypothetical viruses exist in Venus's upper atmosphere without hosts, and
(b) why doesn't the harsh radiation environment between Venus and Earth destroy them enroute?
Venusian cloud-colony bacteria may serve as the viral hosts and, when clumped together,
as radiation shielding viral spacecraft. Here, we're talking a War of the Worlds scenario, only the extraterrestrials are a lot smaller than in the H.G. Wells version.) Before one laughs oneself silly over this bit of seeming science fiction, go to
Google.com and do a search on "life on Venus,"
A direct link to an online news report on the topic of possible Venusian bacteria is the
Life on Venus may be microbe
Notes on Specific Events Related to the Historical Information Above
1947 Legionnaire's Disease - In 1947 a bacterium (OLDA) was isolated from a sick guinea pig that
had been inoculated with the blood of a patient [who had died] from a febrile respiratory illness.(1)
(The patient was a soldier stationed at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina.) The author is checking for
actual dates, but at present estimates that the patient died about a month (maybe earlier) prior to the
bacterium being isolated. The OLDA bacterium eventually came to be identified as the same as that
which causes Legionnaires Disease.
[Added 5 Jun 2004.}
[The following three paragraphs are underlined for emphasis.]
2003-2004 Avian influenza H5N1 - The avian influenza H5N1 which swept eastern
Asia seemingly was essentially a 2004 event, but a 30 Jan 2004
Reuters article says that "where and when the ... virus appeared is
still a mystery, at least to the public." It went on to say that a Geneva
based WHO spokesman, Dick Thompson, said samples taken "several months ago"
in a country he would not name proved to be the H5N1 virus.
Some late-in-the-game web browsing found a ProMED-mail report dated 20 Jan
2003 which informs readers that the initial [laboratory] detection of the
new virus was on 26 Dec 2002, and that the estimated date of first infection
was 17 Dec 2002.(*) It went on to say that the [current] H5N1 virus
was genetically different from the H5N1 strain which broke out in Hong Kong
(*)Venus passed through inferior conjuction on 31 Oct 2002. Thus, the
17 Dec 2002 first infection of the new attack of Avian flu
A(H5N1) occurred 47 days later. That date was right in the middle of the
most-likely 30 day window for new strains of solar-wind-borne viral
drop-ins following Venus inferior conjunctions with the Sun.
[Added 16 Sep 2005.]
2003-2004 Influenza A(H3N2) -The Fujian strain of influenza A(H3N2) which struck the U.S. and
Canada in late October 2003. On 19 Nov 2003 it was reported that the World Health Organization
knew about the Fujian strain H3N2 as early as Feb 2003.
2003 Avian influenza H5N7, Denmark - The avian influenza H5N7 outbreak [not listed above] which
was affecting ducks in Denmark in September of 2003 had never before been identified. [The H5N7
virus was found serendipitously when clinical tests were being done on ducks that had died
of Fowl plague.] The initial H5N7 outbreak date is not currently known by this author. Reader inputs
Global Influenza A(H1N2) 2001 - This note was added on 29 May 2004.
The Texas, USA H1N2 specimen collected in July 2001 was preceded by an
isolation in India on 30 May 2001. In a CDC report [(2)] on H1N2,
researchers reported: "Among the H1N2 viruses we identified, the earliest
isolate was A/India/66139/2001 (30 May 2001), which suggests that the
reassortment event may have occurred in South Asia in early 2001 or
The 30 May India isolation falls, date-wise, at the end of the author's
lookout window of 30-60 days following the March 30th Venus inferior
conjunction with the Sun. (The Texas date corresponded to roughly
105 days following the conjunction). The data table and graphs above have
been changed accordingly. See the non-prediction prediction in the
opening paragraphs of Global Developments:
What if a new strain of influenza (or influenza-like illness)
does hit this summer?
Assuming that there is a Venus-viral connection, new bugs
(perhaps even including bacterial events) can make their debut as early
as 15 days following Venus inferior conjunctions with the Sun. With
regard to the upcoming Venus transit, one might not be surprised to see
new illness activity springing up as early as two weeks prior to
conjunction. (See the rationale in USA Influenza
Activity 2003-2004, Part 2.
Either way, if a new influenza related illness pops up in the middle of
this summer there would be little chance of developing a vaccine until
five or six months after the bug has done its initial damage. Historically,
the initial forrays of new influenza viral strains tend to be mild.
From the Venus origin viewpoint, this would
be because the viruses arrive as damaged goods. It takes the virus (as a
population) a few months of R&R (and adaptation?) in its new hosts to get
up to battle trim.
Partial list of health-safety recommendations. [Added 28 May 2004.]
If unusual summertime flu-like illnesses do begin occurring in a
given area it would behoove people to restrict their outside travel and
avoid congested areas. Stay out of the rain as much as possible.
(If you do get caught in the rain, don't lick your upper lip! :)
Don't let rain get in your drink or on your food.) If one has to
be in an area where an outbreak is present, the use of a face mask, as
dumb as that looks to the American eye, would be a good idea.
[This section will in all likelihood get expanded.]
home page has a good section on things to do (and not do) in disease
epidemics. It's titled Potential Epidemics Boil in Asia and
is located mid-way down on the page.
* * *
There are over-the-counter medications that help immune systems to fight off
influenza viral infections. Check with your physician or with health food
stores. Antibiotics should be able handle bacterial incursions. Of course,
keeping in good health helps. (The anti-virals Tamiflu and Relenza have
good reputations in connection with reducing the effects of influenza, and
in September 2005 there was a lot of media coverage about countries around
the world building up stockpiles of Tamiflu as insurance against a a
possible H5N1 flu pandemic.) [Modified 16 Sep and 02 Oct 2005.]
According to Reuters News there appears to be a resistance problem with
Tamiflu with respect to the A(H5N1) flu virus. See:
Influenza Viruses, Drug Resistance
[Added 02 Oct 2005.]
Contributors to ProMED Digest suggest that the widespread reports of
H5N1 developing resistance to Tamiflu may be overblown.
[Added 07 Oct 2005.]
A correspondent of the author, says that oral injestion of the
Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
prevents you from getting the flu. One explanation
(of three) is that BHT strips the coats off of fatty
coated viruses, including those of influenza. When that happens,
our immune systems can do their normal jobs on the viruses.
Caution! BHT also acts as a blood thinner and can add to the effect
of medically prescribed blood thinners. According to G. Hocman(3), a
cancer researcher in Czechlovakia, a daily intake of 27 mg of BHT for
each 100 pounds of body weight is considered to be acceptible.
[This paragraph was reworked on 16 Sep 2005, 02 Oct 2005, and
08 Aug 2007.]
manufactures and sells BHT in 250 mg capsules. Phone 1-888-433-5266.
[Added 22 Sep 2005.]
Life Link 250 mg BHT capsules are also available at these on-line retailers:
See the About Chemistry article
BHT which addresses the questions, "Why are BHA and BHT in foods? Are
they safe?" The article has numerous links to studies that report on
tests done to check for possible harmful side effects.
Back on 4 Jul 2001, Barbara Boelter of Jerome,
Arizona, USA, in reporting on an unusual form of recurring flu in the
Phoenix area, stated "One thing that seems to help is dosing up with
Echinacea, Goldenseal, & Olive Leaf herbs, available in capsule form at
health food stores. The Olive Leaf in particular seems to fight viruses
somehow." Readers can web search using the phrase "olive leaf influenza
virus." [Added 29 Dec 2004.]
Health Events Possibly Related to 08 Jun 2004 Venus Transit
22 Jun 2004 - Legionellosis, Hospital - Spain (Zaragoza)
Seven patients infected with legionellosis in Zaragoza have been hospitalized
in community health centers, and three are in serious condition. Meanwhile,
the Public Health Department detected the bacterium in two refrigeration
towers of the Hospital Clinico de Zaragoza, and it is currently assessing
12 nearby towers. . . The first case was detected on 10 Jun 2004. . . the
incubation period is 2 to 10 days . . . The outbreak "has to do with the
current situation, and it is not related to prior attacks," said Dr. Gomez,
who affirmed that the situation is under control . . .
ProMED Digest Monday, 21 Jun 2004 Volume 2004 : Number 232
07 Jul 2004 - Plague - Turkmenistan (Dashoguz): suspected (02)
1st cases of bubonic plague in 20 years have been reported in
An epidemic of plague began in May 2004. [Outbreak date not given.] There
have already been more than 20 deaths in Turkmenistan. News about the
plague was delivered by a German humanitarian aid company that works at
the Uzbek-Turkmen border in the north Karakums in the Tashhovuz region.
According to a specialist, this is the most serious outbreak in the last
20-30 years. . . . Quarantine was introduced in several of the hospitals
of Ashgabad, and public [swimming] pools are closed. [This plague may be
"homegrown." According to a ProMED-mail contributor, the area of
Turkmenistan is an endemic focus of plague.]
Source: ProMED Digest Wednesday, 07 Jul 2004 Volume 2004 : Number 255
07 July 2004 - Avian influenza - Eastern Asia (85): China, Thailand
China suffers outbreak of avian flu months after appearing to stamp out
China reported a new outbreak of bird flu on Tue 07 Jul 2004, and Thailand
said it had a suspected case; signs of a return of the highly contagious
disease that health officials fear could sicken humans.
It was China's 1st report of the avian illness since it declared it had
"stamped out" the disease nearly 4 months ago. Tests at a farm in the
southeastern province of Anhui have confirmed that chickens died of bird
flu, the government said on state-run television.
In Thailand, authorities said they suspect a new outbreak of bird flu at
a farm in the central province of Ayutthaya. Thousands of chickens at the
farm have died.
Bird flu has also been confirmed on farms in Viet Nam in recent days.
[Again, these outbreaks may be "home grown."] "It is not surprising that
it has come back," said Roy Wadia of the World Health Organization in
Beijing. "It stays in the environment a long time."
ProMED Digest Wednesday, 07 Jul 2004 Volume 2004 : Number 255.
Source: AP & Canada Press via Canada.com [edited]
Excerpts from OIE (International Organization of Epizooties) follow-up
reports on China and Thailand HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza)
China: Estimated date of primary infection - 28 Jun 2004.
Source of agent/origin: possibly transmitted by migratory birds and wild
Thailand: Estimated date of primary infection - 04 Jul 2004.
Source of agent/origin of infection is under investigation.
[A ProMED-mail contributor says that Indonesia (along with the above mentioned countries)
is also experiencing renewed problems with avian influenza.] ProMED Digest Wednesday, 07 Jul 2004 Volume 2004 : Number 255.
Source: OIE Disease Alert.
[The following entry was added to this page on 29 Dec 2004, after the
author learned that the source of the Jul 2004 mid-Atlantic states (USA)
salmonella outbreak (gastroenteritis) is still undefined and that produce
handlers had been conforming to food safety guidelines.
See the 29 Dec 2004 entry below.]
FDA News, Fri 16 Jul 2004
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing an alert to consumers
that 57 cases of salmonellosis may be associated with food purchased
at deli counters, contained in Sheetz Gas Station locations, in Pennsylvania,
Maryland and West Virginia, between 2 Jul through 9 Jul 2004.
-- Sheetz is a mid-Atlantic chain of gas stations with deli take-out
sections. Sheetz stores are located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia,
West Virginia, and eastern Ohio, often along interstate highways.
The first batch of food samples taken from Sheetz convenience stores, in
Pennsylvania, showed no trace of the salmonella bacteria that has sickened
dozens of people, all of whom at Sheetz stores. -- State health officials
said there is no evidence that Sheetz employees spread the bacteria, and
the multiple locations indicate that a tainted food supply is most likely.
[Source: The Times Leader (Northeastern Pennsylvania) : Edited by ProMED
Digest - Sat, 17 Jul 2004 Volume 2004 : Number 273]
[2 through 9 Jul corresponds to 24 to 31 days following the 08 Jun 2004
Venus inferior conjunction.]
Gastrointestinal Illnesses, South Bass Island, Lake Erie (Ottawa County
[Source: Ohio State Department of Health.]
From 23 Jul 23 to 12 Sep 2004, 1,450 cases of gastrointestinal illness
in residents to South Bass Island were identified. These included 16 cases
due to Campylobacter spp., 9 cases due to norovirus, 3 cases
due to Giardia spp. and one case due to Salmonella typhimurium.
Widespread ground water contamination was found to be the most likely source
of the illnesses. Precipitation just before and during the time of the
outbreak in the region was "substantially above normal." Public and private
water systems were both identified as sources of the illnesses. Biological
contamination appeared to decrease with increasing depth of the wells.
(Wells that were 20 feet deeper than the surrounding lake bottom showed no
detections of the E.coli which was widespread in the shallower wells.)
[The 23 Jul outbreak was 45 days following the 08 Jun Venus transit.]
See: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/features/invstg/invstg1.asp . [Link no
Courtesy: ProMED Digest Fri, 25 Feb 2005 Volume 2005 : Number 082.
27 Jul 2004 - USA
On Tue 20 July, FluWatch.com placed four of its six active postal Zip
Codes in the United States into an inactive status. These were
Contra Costa Co. CA 94524, Clinton Co. IA 52732, Kent Co. RI 02816,
and Tarrant Co. TX 76133. That sounds like good news but it could also
raise the specter that some new bug, not Influenza A or B, hit the
streets and has suppressed the more common maladies.
29 December 2004 - USA
Salmonella at Sheetz still a mystery
Investigators still don't know what caused the summer  salmonella
outbreak among patrons of Sheetz convenience stores that resulted in 429
confirmed cases among people in 9 states. ... investigators determined that
food safety practices called for in the 1990s following tomato-related
outbreaks had, in fact, been adopted. . . . "We don't know how the
contamination moved to the produce," said Jack Guzewich, director of
emergency coordination and response for the Center for Food Safety and
Applied Nutrition of the FDA. "The other apparent thing is -- and this
isn't proven -- the organism can survive in the environment, on the
produce, in the face of the [safety] things that are being done. . . .
Investigators believe that as many as 5 different strains of salmonella
bacteria contaminated the tomatoes served at Sheetz, said Dr. Amy DuBois,
epidemic intelligence service officer with the CDC. The bacterial variety
virtually eliminates the chance that contamination came from an infected
food-handler somewhere along the food distribution chain, DuBois said.
[Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [edited] Courtesy of ProMED Digest
Tue, 28 December 2004 Volume 2004 : Number 487]
* * *
Questions: Are the tomatoes in the Sheetz system transported in ventilated
cartons? If so, were the tomatoes in question exposed to rain during
their delivery phase? The idea behind these questions has to do with
rainwater delivered bacteria. See : Influenza 1918, A
Venus Connection? - An alternate question might be, did the people who
contracted salmonella poisoning allow their food to be rained on (going
from store to vehicle) prior to eating it? [Added 29 Dec 2004.]
* * *
In early July 2004 (day not given) there was an "off-season" outbreak of
Influenza A (H3N2) in southeastern Nepal.
Influenza A (H3N2) Outbreak, Nepal [PDF]. - This would have
been approximately 30 days after the 08 Jun 2004 Venus Transit.
[Added 25 Jan 2017.]
Influenza A -- Florida and Tennessee, July-August 1998, and Virolgic
Surveillance of Influenza, May-August 1998(*) - Influenza virus strains
associated with summer outbreaks are important indicators of the strains
likely to predominate during the fall and winter months. -
CDC MMWR Weekly - September 18, 1998 / 47(36); 756-9.
[Added 22 Dec 2004.]
(*)The article at http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00054832.htm
has changed. [3 September 2005]
(1) Joseph E. McDade, Don J. Brenner and Marilyn Bozeman, "Legionnaire's Disease Bacterium Isolated
in 1947," Annals of Internal Medicine, 90 659-661, (1979).
(2) Xiyan Xu, Catherine B. Smith, Bruce A. Mungall, Stephen E. Lindstrom, Henrietta E. Hall,
Kanta Subbarao, Nancy J. Cox, and Alexander Klimov. "Intercontinental Circulation of Human Influenza
A(H1N2) Viruses during the 2001-2002 Influenza Season,"
Concise Communication, Influenza Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta Georgia.
Page 490, [This web page, which was for temporary student use, has been removed. Thanks to web host for the
(3) Hocman, G.,
"Chemoprevention of cancer: phenolic antioxidants (BHT, BHA),"
Int J Biochem, 20, 639-651 (1988) -