Koch then developed his famous 4 "postulates" (MedicineNet, 2019), being:
- The microorganism must be present in every case of the disease (or infection)
- The microorganism must be isolated from the host with the disease and grown in pure culture
- The specific disease must be reproduced when a pure culture of the microorganism is inoculated into a healthy susceptible host
- The microorganism must be recoverable from the experimentally infected host.
This germ theory was not universally accepted even after the discoveries of Koch and Pasteur. One of the reasons was that, according to Koch's Postulates, a pathogen must cause the disease in EVERY case. But this doesn't happen! Some more recent experiments have been conducted and results published, after deliberately infecting individuals with a flu virus - even with a strain that was similar to the one which allegedly caused huge mortality rates in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. In this study, researchers found less than 40% of those who inhaled the virus actually developed symptoms! And of those who did develop symptoms, they were very mild to mild, and none had any serious symptoms at all (Cannell et al., 2008). Other research investigating the transmission of respiratory viruses amongst people in close proximity, again where some human participants were deliberately infected with a flu virus, found that only 20% of people developed symptoms of an infection. Up to 80% of people who were exposed to the virus did NOT actually develop the infection (Cannell et al., 2008).
Results from this research and other viral infections show that there are many more factors involved in an outbreak than it just being caused by a virus. We are seeing this in the current pandemic too - of symptoms being very individual in severity and duration, and many people being exposed but not getting symptoms at all. There are many reasons for this that have been known for a long time (Stewart, 1968):
- Genetic constitution - your inherited genes, and your how they are expressed (turned on or off) to contribute to your health or ill-health
- Susceptibility - your existing health
- Behaviour - including hygiene and lifestyle practices
- Socioeconomic determinants - income and expenses, and how the income is spent.
In this current coronavirus pandemic, the media scare campaign has everyone overly anxious and fearful about everything, but pretty much the only guidance from your elected officials and health departments have given you to date for the "prevention" of this virus has been to "wash your hands" more.
I said in a previous post that the recommended advice by these "experts" of just washing your hands was pathetic advice, in terms of all the other things you can do for prevention. Similarly, the belief that sanitising everything in sight, distancing yourself from others in schools, cinemas, shopping centres, restaurants and any other public place, again, may only slightly reduce your risks of getting this infection or reducing its severity. All of the current prevention strategies being recommended are trying to avoid or target the virus itself, when we can neither completely avoid all pathogens, and we certainly cannot kill them all with hand sanitiser or antibacterial wipes! Not to mention (again) that there is no evidence that washing hands, or using sanitisers or removing oneself from others, will actually reduce your risks of this particular infection. It's pure speculation!
Instead, or perhaps as well as improved hygiene, some better things you can do to prevent and reduce your risks of this pandemic are to work on your immune system! After all, as mentioned above and shown in studies, if your immune system is strong, it can deal with any virus without you developing symptoms or the infection. If for many reasons, your immune system isn’t so strong, then there are many natural things you can do regarding your food intake, lifestyle, environment, to quickly improve its function to protect you and reduce your risks of this infection. It's not too late to start!
I'm sure some readers will take this article the wrong way. I'm not saying to not wash your hands or not improve your hygiene. Keep doing this every day, regardless of whether there is a pandemic or not! But I'm also highlighting that the recent focus on killing the virus or attempted restrictions on movement or isolation is NOT ENOUGH! You MUST also work on your immune system defences to help prevent the virus getting into your body, and to help it fight any infection so that you can recover more quickly, without progressing to pneumonia that can be very dangerous.
Louis Pasteur, one of the leading figures in the early germ theory, said on his deathbed "The microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything" - meaning that infections are nothing compared to the host or the body , or that an infection is more the result of host-based factors, and not the microbe. A strong immune system will prevent the infection more than any other factor. Antoine Bechamp, a rival of Pasteur, said to "treat the PATIENT, not the infection"! Just like Koch and Pasteur, the focus on prevention and treatment in this pandemic is wrong. It must be changed to help people and their immune systems instead.
Please refer to my other articles on the coronavirus prevention strategies for more information. You CAN improve your immune system function to better reduce your risks of this virus!
Cannell, J.J., Zasloff, M., Garland, C.F., Scragg, R., & Giovannucci, E. (2008). On the epidemiology of influenza. Virology Journal, 5 (29). DOI: 10.1186/1743-422X-5-29
MedicineNet. (2019). Medical Definition of Koch's Postulates. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7105
National Academy of Sciences. (2004). A theory of germs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK24649/
Stewart, G.T. (1968). Limitations of the Germ Theory. The Lancet, 291 (7551): 1077-1081. Doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(68)91425-6