- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (March 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452282225
- ISBN-13: 978-0452282223
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,471,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Virus Within: A Coming Epidemic Paperback – February 1, 2001
About the Author
Nicholas Regush is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated medical and science journalist at ABC News, where he produces segments for "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings." He also writes the popular "Second Opinion" column on health and medical issues for abcnews.com. A reporter at the Montreal Gazette for twelve years, Regush has written investigative pieces for Mother Jones and Equinox. He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows.
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Learn this, so that you can learn that the Aids Virus doesn't literally exist.
I know, I know you think me a crack pot.
"Does the aids virus actually exist"
I know I know.. but why do they keep lying.
I think to protect Jonas Salk.
In attempting to re-focus almost two decades of research into the nebulous human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), he rightly comments on the inconsistencies in research findings on HIV. For example the fact that measurements of active HIV `viral loads' (measured by sophisticated and sensitive DNA `footprint' techniques) do not seem to correlate with disease in patients with progressive or severe HIV-associated disease.
He follows the demanding and dedicated early careers of two `non-establishment' neuropathology researchers Konnie Knox and Donald Carrigan - the former who had presented for her PhD thesis the role of a ubiquitous and particularly small herpes group virus (herpes hominis type 6 or HHV-6) as a co-factor in the pathogenesis of AIDS. Indeed some of the arguments suggested that HHV-6 may be the dominant virus which by damaging a wide range of T-lymphocytes (including CD4, CD8 and CD56 or natural killer/NK cells) actually induces the progression towards terminal disease in these patients and not the `hard to find' HIV virus. Indeed they have wondered - quite publicly - if the HIV virus was an artefact created as a `retrovirus' by the body's own ability to create RNA sequences which resembled and behaved as rather innocuous viral organisms. It had been suggested that perhaps the retrovirus fragments had a co-factor role in reactivating the ubiquitous, mostly dormant HHV-6 virus.
Being the smallest in the herpes virus group and now having been shown resident in small quantities in otherwise `normal brains' also, the likelihood of a powerful role of the HHV-6 virus in non-HIV diseases is also very strong. Indeed in the final chapter Knox and Carrigan are being courted into the broad-based research program of microbiologist Howard Urnovitz.
Urnovitz is said to believe that the dormant role of HHV-6 and the complex interaction of the human immune system over a lifetime are likely to have associations with a number of other non-HIV related diseases apart from multiple sclerosis, especially chronic diseases. Indeed he believes, and quite rightly in my personal opinion that they have been researching a time bomb. It is of some interest that a large amount of the HHV-6 research in the last few years has come from places other than the US - which is I suspect a commentary on the academic conservatism of the AIDS-research institutions in North America.
If there is any other criticism of this book it would be that Regush has concentrated largely (and perhaps unavoidably) on the qualities and imperfections of individuals - and not just Knox and Carrigan. This is done at the expense of exploring in more detail the abundance of other work by other researchers on HHV-6, HHV-7 and HHV-8 over the last 5 years. These largely dormant or 'slow viruses' have been suspected of permanently turning on abnormal cellular neuro-immune functions (including cell destruction) in ways which have yet to be fully elucidated, but which in likelihood come, rather than primarily through the bloodstream, through the antigenically-primed and virus-laden lymphocyte cascade which re-penetrates the central nervous system at times of reactivation, following the primary viral infection in childhood through the nasal passages and saliva. That first journey from the respiratory and salivary reservoirs to the brainstem (via the cranial nerves) is presumably a formality; thence in a trans-synaptic semi-random military like attack the virus may move through the vast mass of peripheral nerve and plexiform conduits to potentially every nook and cranny of the body - including the bone marrow. With the executive control of the imprinted host genome, the ultimate disease we as individuals may experience might in many other respects depend on both neurotropic randomness and our inherent immunological integrity, at least some of which will be inheritable.
Regush comments on the substantial `patch protection' between specialities - for example the treatment of multiple sclerosis could, and indeed probably will be usurped eventually by the infectious disease physicians over the neurologists. Neurologists may well be wondering if they will continue to have a broad-ranging speciality in the future. Others would argue that the impact of the control of the human body through its central nervous system, the ubiquity of nerve supply to every organ and vessel in the body and the complexity and bio-variability of the neuro-immune response to `innate' centrally disposed infectious agents such as HHV-6 and the general deterioration in the immune response as we get older are in a holistic sense the real basis of most if not all degenerative disease.
While the HHV-6 virus, discovered in just the last decade, has in all likelihood been around since pre-historic times talk of a coming epidemic is perhaps unconvincing. But what has changed in modern times is the nature of human existence - marriage breakdowns, multiple and changing sexual relationships, more liberal immigration policies, urban living and frequent international jet travel. These are perhaps the real source of concern - the creation of a Darwinian-like environment for an accelerated passage of a wide range of neurotropic viruses throughout the globe.