Sunspot Activity, Venus Inferior Conjunctions
Shade Tree Physics
*The 1957-1958 Asian flu pandemic is generally said to have started in February of 1957 but, according to an article in Time, "... the outbreak apparently started in northern China in January; in February it swept through Shanghai; by March it was in Canton. Early in April influenza jumped to Hong Kong ..." [The map shown here is based on the one which was part of the Time article.]
An entry in the Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence says the first outbreak was in Kweichow (southwest China) in early February 1957. It also says "Some scholars believe it originated in Vladivostok in 1956."
It will be helpful for the global community to learn if there really was a 1956 Vladivostok H2N2 event and, if so, when and where was its earliest onset. (Revised 27 April 2002)
I've seen a recent news story which suggests that the influenza which hit the USSR in 1956 was Influenza D. I don't have verification yet.[Added 18 Sep 2007.]
The following report, by V. M. Zhdanov, RESULTS OF FURTHER RESEARCH ON INFLUENZA IN THE USSR With Special Reference to the 1957 Pandemic, Bull Org. mond. Santé, Bull Wld Hlth Org. 1959, 20, 261-296, (pp 262-263) says: [Emphasis added.]
"In October 1956 there was an outbreak of influenza-like infections at children's crèches in Moscow, which affected 35 children aged between eight months and one year. The infections took a serious turn and in three cases ended in death. Four strains of haemagglutinating viruses were isolated from the sick children; further investigation showed them to be C viruses."
"In March 1956, during an intense outbreak of influenza in Vladivostok, a member of the staff of the Vladivostok Institute of Epidemiology, Microbiology and Hygiene, O. G.Gerngross, isolated five strains of haemagglutinating virus differing in antigenic structure from viruses A and B. The strains were sent for identification to the Influenza Diagnosis Laboratory where those who studied them (A. S. Gorbunova, O. G. Gerngross, V. M.Gnorizova and A. G. Bukrinskaya) identified them as D influenza viruses."
"In December 1956 and February 1957, in the Moscow Region outbreaks were studied of severe influenza in a children's home and in the therapeutic department of a children's hospital, leading in some cases to death. In the first instance one strain, and in the second three strains, of haemagglutinating viruses were isolated and these were identified by V. M. Zhdanov, V. V. Ritova and L. A. Golygina as D viruses."
"The D strains isolated in 1956 and 1957 resembled the Japanese strains of the D virus in their antigenic and other biological properties." [Added 20 Feb 2017.]
** As far as we know, the bird to human phase of the 1997 Hong Kong A(H5N1) avian
flu scare started in March 1997. Apparently the
same pathogen (H5N1) was
reported to have been causing fatal outbreaks in poultry flocks rural Hong Kong and in Guangdong
Province on the mainland that year. According to one source, 1.7 million
chickens died in Guangdong Province between November 1996 and April 1997. Thus, it appears that some point in November 1996 should
mark the actual onset of A(H5N1) activity in that region. The interval between the June
1996 Venus-Sun conjunction and that onset should be considered as being five months, or
approximately 150 days. The data table and histogram, above, have been modified to show this
five month interval. (This paragraph was added on 8 April 2002 and updated on 9 April 2002.)
We now have indications that a new influenza virus, A(H1N2), was identified in six cities in China in 1988-1989 but that the virus did not spread further. . . . There was an inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun in June of 1988 which preceded the onset of that activity by about six months. (This paragraph was added on 8 April 2002.)
To compare the onset dates of other disease outbreaks to the dates of Venus inferior conjunctions with the Sun, see Calculated Dates of Venus Inferior Conjunctions with the Sun.
Since 2001, I've been compiling a list of the timing of other outbreaks of new strains of influenza and influenza-like illnesses. At present the list includes some Avian strains that were eventually shared by the human population, Legionnaire's Disease, and SARS. I'm thinking about adding some strains of equine encephalitis, and perhaps equine influenza. On 17 August 2007, Australia experienced an outbreak of equine influenza (of unknown origin). Humans are also susceptible to that influenza. is The outbreak started on the same day as a Venus inferior conjunction with the Sun.
Here is an updated copy of the list and histogram of the outbreak delays that I've incorporated so far.
This list and histogram are copied from the page, Venus Transit, Biohazard?"
The 17 Aug 2007 outbreak of Equine Influenza in Australia has been incorporated.
A copy of this diagram was used in a poster
at the American Astronomical Society's
An entry for the 1976 H1N1 "Swine Flu" entry, (which was shown in the histogram as a grey box) has been removed. It represented a pandemic scare. The scare was instrumental in getting a nationwide influenza innoculation program going in the United States, but it seems that the "affected population" was confined to one soldier at Ft. Dix., NJ. [Updated 13 and 16 Nov 2007.]
Especially note that the 2002 SARS outbreak, the 2003 H5N1 Avian flu, and the 2003 H3N2 Fujian flu all started shortly after the 31 October 2002 Venus inferior conjunction with the Sun. These events are enclosed in a box shown on the list.
To show how unique the Inferior Conjunction to Illness Onset delay distribution is, here is one example of what the data and histogram would look like if the illness onset dates were strictly random. [Added 10 Sep 2007.]
On 17 August 2007 Venus went through an inferior conjunction with the Sun On that same day an outbreak (of unknown origin) of Equine Influenza struck Australia. Humans are susceptible to the influenza as well. (That outbreak has been added to the delays study list.) From what I've read so far, Australia had no problems with Equine Influenza prior to the August 17 outbreak. If it turns out that no terrestrial precursors for this outbreak of equine influenza are can be found, then the case for Venusian Flu will be strengthed.
Here is a GIF Animation which shows two sequences of histograms. The left side histograms, which start with the month of July, show the calendar months in which simulated illness onsets began. The right side histograms show the delays between Venus Inferior Conjunctions and the illness onsets. The lower frames show running accumulations of the upper histograms. (The range of dates used here corresponds to the 20th century.)
A flu-season probability template was used in the creation of the dates of each onset. There is quite likely a significant problem with using a time-wise fixed template. Flu seasons peak in different months, whereas the template is stationary with respect to a February peak.
There are 20 frames in this sequence.
Note that, for the runs in this sequence, none of the right side histograms ever show all twelve illness events occurring in only one half of the 584 day synodic period.
Random Flu-Season Related Events
[Added 10 Sep 2007. Expanded on 12 Sep 2007]
Recommended articles and web pages.
"Sunspotting" influenza - moderndrugdiscovery - newsinbrief, July 2001.
Donald R. Barber, "Invasion by Washing Water," Perspective, 5, 201-208 (1963)
Monessen and the Spanish Influenza of 1918 [Page no longer available.]
Pandemics and Pandemic Scares in the 20th Century - CDC NVPO [Page no longer available.]
Time, June 24, 1957, p. 80.
Newsweek, January 8, 1968, p. 43. "Actually the [1968-1969] bug struck a little ahead of schedule when some 3000 students at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, came down with flu last October."
Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence, Ed. George C. Kohn, Facts on File, New York, NY., 1995,
Vol. I, No.4 ~ EINet News Briefs ~ 11-01-98 - APEC Emerging Infections Network. [Page no longer available.]