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Influenza Periodicity

Shade Tree Physics

Installed 20 May 2012 [as part of Venus Atmosphere Temperature and Pressure Profiles]
Latest update 27 Sep 2018.
Text additions or modifications are in bold.

Quoting from Edwin D. Kilbourne (2006): “Three worldwide (pandemic) outbreaks of influenza occurred in the 20th century: in 1918, 1957, and 1968. The latter 2 were in the era of modern virology and most thoroughly characterized. All 3 have been informally identified by their presumed sites of origin as Spanish, Asian, and Hong Kong influenza, respectively. They are now known to represent 3 different antigenic subtypes of influenza A virus: H1N1, H2N2, and H3N2, respectively. Not classified as true pandemics are 3 notable epidemics: a pseudopandemic in 1947 with low death rates, an epidemic in 1977 that was a pandemic in children, and an abortive epidemic of swine influenza in 1976 that was feared to have pandemic potential. Major influenza epidemics show no predictable periodicity or pattern, and all differ from one another. Evidence suggests that true pandemics with changes in hemagglutinin subtypes arise from genetic reassortment with animal influenza A viruses.”(1)

This study looks at the possibility of predictable periodicity of influenza and influenza-like epidemics, including West Nile Virus (WNV) in the United States, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Mideast Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus ( MERS-CoV) and the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Western Africa.

I use some historical bacterial invasions as a stepping stone to the viral outbreaks.

In Worlds in Collision(2) Immanuel Velikovsky speculates about the possibility of bacterial and insect life forms existing in the Venusian atmosphere some 3500 years ago.

The following data table and graphs may show evidence of bacteria and viruses in the Venusian atmosphere that have been being transported to earth periodically by the solar wind . The detailed data table, just below, is extracted from Donald Barber's 1963 article, "Invasion by Washing Water."(3) [Added 20 May 2012. Latest update 16 Sep 2014.]

                                                                           Inf.      Nearest     Time 
               Event   Date of          Degree of Bacterial Activity       Conj.   Geomagnetic    Lag
                        Onset                                              Date       Storm     (Days)
                  a  1937 Jun  5    Water-borne infection very severe                  1937
               1  b  1938 Aug 31     first phase, less severe in           1937        Apr        41
                  c  1939 Feb  6     recurrent outbreaks. Long            Apr 18      24-25*  
                                     continued activity.                              26-27 
               2     1948 Jul 26    Severe                                 1948        1948       66
                                                                          Jun 24     May 21-22
               3  a  1956 Jul 23    Water-borne infection preceded by      1956        1956       61
                  b  1957 Jul 28     airborne yeast like organisms.       Jun 22     May 23-25
                                     Very severe in initial stages.
               4     1958 May  8    Relatively slight and short lived.     1958        1958       57**
                                                                          Jan 28      Feb 11*
                  a  1959 Jun 17    Moderate and short lived.              1959        1959       35
               5                                                           Sep 1    May 11-12*
                  b  1959 Nov  2    Slight but long continued.                       Sep 3-4      59
               6     1961 Jun 21    Moderately severe; short lived.        1961        1961       67
                                                                          Apr 10     Apr 14-15
                  *Signifies "great" geomagnetic storm.    **value is actually 87

Barber used the above table to draw attention to the geomagnetic storms which happen to occur near the times of Venus inferior conjunctions as a causal effect leading to bacterial transfers from Venus to earth. The following graph uses his data to focus on the relation between the inferior conjunctions themselves and the timing of the observed semi-periodic bacterial invasions. [Added 31 Jul 2014.]

Barber's Bacterial Invasions vs Venus inferior conjunctions

In Barber's article he said, "An American suggestion that the virus responsible for endemic influenza outbreaks emanated from the planet Venus, led to a fresh examination of the 1937/1948 Sidmouth data, and also to a search among the large collection of spectrograms obtained at Sidmouth prior to 1937 for earlier evidence of bacterial attack. As a result of the latter, two earlier outbreaks--one probable event in 1930 and a second well-determined occasion in 1932--were discovered."

Here is a Microsoft Excel chart showing periodicity effects in Barber's data (10 events which include the annually recurring outbreaks).

Peridicity graph for Barber's
bacterial events

I think it is of interest to examine the timing of influenza epidemic outbreaks compared to that of Venus inferior conjunctions. For this, I elected to focus on events that garnered global attention. The following table summarizes my findings through 2013.

Flu and Flu-like histogram
Horizontal time increments are 29.2 (584/20) days.
Yellow squares represent synodic period wrap-around.

[Added 19 May 2012. Latest Update, 27 Sep 2018.]

According to Wikipedia the Ebola outbreak in Guinea started in December 2013.

Back in about 2004 I found a reference to a 1967 outbreak of Influenza A(H3N2) in birds in Guandong Province, China. The outbreak started on 30 October which would have been 61 days following the 29 August Venus inferior conjunction. I currently cannot find the reference to that outbreak, so that event has been removed from the table and graphs above.

Periodicity Calculating Procedures

The following graph shows an apparent degree of periodicity for 13 outbreak dates from the Influenza and Influenza-like illness data above.

Periodicity of Influenza Related
Illness Outbreaks XLS

For an example of a suggested advanced outbreak see the Special Problem in the last half of West Nile Virus.


(1) Edwin D. Kilbourne, Influenza Pandemics of the 20th Century Emerging Infectious Diseases • Vol. 12, No. 1, January 2006 http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/12/1/pdfs/05-1254.pdf

(2) Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, MacMillan and Company, New York, (1950), pp 59-60.

(3) Donald R. Barber, "Invasion by Washing Water," Perspective, 5, 201-208 (1963)
The Focal Press Ltd., 31 Fitzroy Square, London, W.I.
The Focal Press Inc., 20 East 46th Street, New York (10017) N.Y., U.S.A. [See data table on page 207.]

Comments/questions? Contact Bob Fritzius at
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