If germs are powerless against a healthy body the logical preventive is the cultivation of health. If the body manufactures its own antiseptics and antitoxins it should be supplied with the proper elements of sun, air, water, food, exercise, rest, etc., out of which to build these protective potencies instead of being subjected to the present mad-house efforts to produce artificial immunity.
A certain or specific germ is said to cause a certain or "specific disease." That this is not true is obvious from the fact that the germ is never the cause of "disease." It may form one of the multiple factors that collectively constitute cause. For, as Pasteur, himself, said: "In a state of health the body is closed against the action of disease germs." It is a mistake to single out one of the correlated factors that constitute cause and hold it responsible for pathology. Germs alone can no more produce pathology than a seed alone can produce a tree. Just as a seed must have a fertile soil, moisture, air, water, warmth and sunshine, if it is to grow into a tree, so the germ, if it is to add its complicating influence to an evolving pathology, must find certain essential conditions existing in the bodies of those it enters, before it can do the slightest harm. Normal nerve energy and pure blood--in a word, good health--are proof against germs of all kinds.
Tilden says: "Germs, like heat, cold, clothes, food, drink, and every other object in man's environment, may become a secondary ally of toxemia; but none of the objects or elements in man's environment can cause disease except as they may enervate the body, and check elimination of toxin, thereby super-saturating the blood with dead body-cells bringing on disease--the only disease, Toxemia."--Critique, May 1937.
Impaired health provides the suitable soil in which germs thrive and grow. The soil is more important than the germ. Infection and degeneration can set in only when the soil is badly fertilized by inappropriate nutrition. Germs are immanent coagitators--always secondary; a possible reinforcing or contingent cause, but never an exciting or primary cause.
If germs are a cause, they do not constitute the cause of "disease." If they require an ally, if antecedent conditions are essential to their work, they are, at most, but part of the cause of "disease," and are never primary; probably they are not even secondary. Germs are assumed to be the cause, but any one element in a chain of causation may as reasonably be singled out as the cause. "The germ is a busy body waiting everywhere for organic matter to give him a job by fertilizing the soil in which he likes to play and work," says Dr. Weger.
A universal cause comes first; then the ferment in the form of a germ gaining access to the weakened tissues, takes on activity and attempts to assist in the removal of undesirable material by liquifying it. The morbid material generated by this activity is more a byproduct of the disintegrating tissue than a virulent poison resulting from bacterial maliciousness. Germ activity, in this view, is an outside accessory that facilitates the removal of autogenerated filth.
If tissue loses its resistance, and impaired secretions are present, an otherwise harmless germ may thrive and produce poisons. Bacterial toxins are metabolic products of bacterial activity, their character being determined by the feeding habits of the patient. But the germ is never the cause, anymore than the germ associated with diphtheria is the cause of diphtheria. There must be a prepared soil for its propagation, and germs can only be secondary complications of a pre-existing toxemia. At most they may become an auxiliary cause, but not the primary cause. They may complicate when there is a perversion of chemistry. But the germs of the so-called specific "diseases" never take on specificity until the vitality of the different tissues is lowered and nutrition perverted because of dysemia--the chemistry of the blood fails to supply the essential elements; then germs, previously innocent, take on virulency in keeping with the general enervation and systemic toxemia of the individual.
The Medical Journal and Record, March 17, 1926, says editorially, "Many acute and semi-acute diseases originate in the mouth, nose or throat by inhalation of microbes or germs there present which are excited into activity by causes as yet unknown. *** This seems to be the theory that is gaining in favor, that some unknown cause activates latent germs into activity." First it is assumed that germs cause "disease," then when it is found that the presence of germs does not produce "disease," it is further assumed that another and unknown cause causes the germs to cause "disease," but never that the unknown cause is the real cause of the pathology.
The best works on bacteriology declare that all the germs of a supposedly specific character are often found in people who do not have, have not had and do not subsequently develop the "disease" which they-- the germs--are supposed to produce. Do germs cause infection part of the time and fail to do so the rest of the time? If so, are there some individuals whom they never attack and others whom they never immunize? If germs create "immunity," as serologists claim, why are there "chronic infections"? "What causes the "chronic infection"?
Sir Wm. Osier says: "The presence of the Klebs-Loeffler bacillus is regarded by bacteriologists as the sole criterion of true diphtheria and as this organism may be associated with all grades of throat affections, from a simple catarrh to a sloughing gangrenous process, it is evident that in many instances there will be a striking discrepancy between the clinical and the bacteriological diagnosis." Here we have it stated by the very highest medical authority that diphtheria germs may be present in the throats of those who are sick (have simple catarrh and other affections) without producing diphtheria. The Lancet (Dec. 10, 1927) stated that of 772 cases admitted to the Birmingham hospital in all of which the bacteriological report was positive, 391--about 50 per cent.--showed no clinical evidence of diphtheria. It should be evident that something more than germs is essential to the development of diphtheria.
Pathologists report finding diphtheria germs in from 7 to 15 per cent. of the throats of healthy persons they examined, while this germ has been found in skin "diseases," emphysematous Kings, vaccine pustules, puerperal fever, pyorrhea, eczema, leprosy, "rabies," and other conditions remote from diphtheria. Dr. Hitter demonstrated the diphtheria bacillus in the throats of 127 school children when no diphtheria was present.
What is true of diphtheria germs is true of the germs of tuberculosis, typhoid fever, pneumonia, or any other so-called "disease." They are found in the mouth, throat, air passages, stomach and intestines of those who do not have, have not had, and do not subsequently develop the "diseases" these germs are supposed to cause.