Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Scientist: The Rise and Fall of Swine Flu

Did you get your shot yet? Hopefully not because the backlash of the pandemic started in early 2010 is finally upon us. H1N1 is a type of influenza virus which most typically occurs as seasonal flu although some natural mutation caused this particular outbreak to be more deadly than expected. Some amount of pig influenza managed to combine with ordinary human influenza to cause a disease that was unexpected to say the least.

As soon as the first deaths were recorded the media went into a frenzy. Reports of inadequate preparation and the incompetence of health organizations and governments were widely spread. Panic overtook the general public as vaccines and treatments were rapidly formulated in order to tackle the upcoming pandemic.
The response was quite swift but the vaccines provided by pharmaceutical companies were extraordinarily expensive.
"On June 11, 2009, the WHO declared an H1N1 pandemic, moving the alert level to phase 6, marking the first global pandemic since the 1968 Hong Kong flu."

After a few months of this propaganda and many increased national alert levels the pandemic suddenly ceased. After 18,000 deaths worldwide, only 2,000 more than regular seasonal flu, the media stopped all their reports and the public were made to believe that the pandemic was over. I owe this fact to the reduced amount of deaths in developed countries. Most likely most the deceased that were recorded were from developing countries but WHO does not want us to know that. Millions of dollars, euros, pounds and many other currencies were spent on the vaccines to what end? According to many governments only 10% of the total vaccines produced were actually used. As a result huge amounts of money were lost to fuel the corporations behind the pharmaceuticals themselves.

And the result is a full-scale judicial attack on WHO for issuing a false alarm and the pharmaceutical companies for their expensive prices and collaboration. Another such example of a false epidemic was the bird flu which in 2007 accounted for 2,000 deaths most of them in underdeveloped countries. This is the source of the problem. How can the World Health Organization warns us from pandemic threats if they make these rookie mistakes? Why do governments and the public continue to be influenced by the media with such ease? These are the questions that must be answered before we are able to proceed into our evolutionary future.


Anonymous said...

that's good news that young people are interested in science. Well done and good luck Lucas!
Monika, Tomek, Maks