Lessons to Learn from the H1N1 scare – The United Nations – WHO / CDC Manipulate Reporting –

Reposted from June 20, 2009 with a statistical  update from August 17, 2010  

Have you read an article like this …..

US swine flu cases now exceed 21,000; 87 deaths

ATLANTA – The national count of swine flu cases has risen to 21,449 cases and the number of deaths have nearly doubled to 87.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the number of confirmed and probable cases Friday morning. The tally is up from the last week’s count of 18,000 cases and 44 deaths


The United States is a Country of 300,000,000 plus (300 Million plus) people. The percent of the population that has contracted the much hyped Swine Flu stands at .00007 %, or in other words, 1 person in every 10,700 has contracted the flu since the Government inspired “panic”, complete with school and business closings, started 4 months ago.

The odds are much better that you’ll be struck by lightning, at some point in your lifetime, than of catching the Swine Flu. (The odds of being struck by lightning, assumming you live to be 80, is 1 in 5000 – http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/medical.htm ). 

It is estimated that 100 individuals a year die from bee stings in the U.S. (http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/bee-and-wasp-stings) , over 8,000 people are bitten by poisonous snakes each year. http://www.whmentors.org/saf/snakes.html .

On average, 15 children die every day due to preventable accidental injury in the US. http://www.usa.safekids.org/tier3_cd.cfm?content_item_id=24791&folder_id=300 . During the time period when the US has experienced 87 flu related deaths mentioned in this article, 1800 children have died in preventable accidents.

Relief agencies estimate that 10,000 displaced people are dying from disease and malnutrition every month in Dafur’s refuge camps. A condition that has existed since 2003.  http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-03-28-2046054389_x.htm  

While the flu related deaths, like any death, are regrettable, I don’t understand the continued hype. Is it possible the Government is trying to create a distraction from the real crisis, like the US ecomony? Is the CDC and WHO acting out of a “self serving” interests … we need to follow the money … who is manufacturing the vacinations? 

McAuleys World Update: Single response directed to the 26 irate Obama supporters to send the same response to this blog today: 1) Reference the sited article before you make the ridiculous claim that the stats that I sited are out of date –  what a miserably weak responce – the Associated Press report is dated Friday June 19, 2009 – yesterday. The statistics, quoted in the article as coming from the CDC, are obviously correct and current. 2) You are all Political Science majors correct –  because it is obvious none of you are handy with math.

Maybe it’s an Obama thing? His math is fuzzy too.

All 26 claim, incorrectly, that the death toll associated with the swine flu in the U.S. is now 150. As if the alleged increase from 88 to 150 would suggest some sort of statistical significance in evalauting the Swine Flu as a national threat. While the deaths are a tragedy for the families that are directly involved, from the perspective of a national medical emergency, the Swine Flu is a non-event. The school and business closings have been unnecessary and wasteful. Even assuming  15o deaths associated with the Swine Flu, 150 is something less than one person out every 2 million (2,000,000). Let me help you out with your math …… heard the term “a shot in a million”, dying from the swine flu is twice as rare. 

Thanks for the comments anyway …… do you all work in the same “blogging office”? Is there a supervisor that writes your responses for you? It simply isn’t statistically possible to receive 26 responses, all claiming Friday’s stats from the CDC, are out of date, without sometype of coordinated activity taking place.

Update 08/17/2010

Chicken Little over swine flu: Learning from the H1N1 scare

Last year’s scare over a potential H1N1 flu epidemic was a bust, the WHO now indicates. With reports of another scare over a “superbug” supposedly from India, officials and media need to act with caution and restraint without stoking fears.

Some media outlets are making much of reports that Westerners seeking low-cost medical treatment in India might have returned carrying a drug-resistant bacterial infection. But that news should be seen in light of another, less noticed news item this week: As a potential pandemic, the H1N1 flu virus was a bust.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says H1N1, also known as swine flu, is not eradicated, but it has lost its “superbug” status, becoming just another flu variant among many.

Fourteen months ago dire predictions swirled through the news media about the possible effects of H1N1. Hundreds of thousands of deaths were possible, and perhaps 40 percent of the US work force could be affected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated. (The CDC had already declared the H1N1 public health emergency over by June 23.)

Nothing remotely close to those predictions came about. The WHO estimates the number of deaths from H1N1 in 2009 at 18,500, [world wide] though it says that number is almost surely underreported. Still, it is a figure far lower than the hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide attributed to other strains of influenza every year. Why did the pandemic fizzle? “Pure good luck,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan says, that it didn’t mutate into a more troublesome form.

European governments and medical groups have criticized the way the WHO handled the H1N1 outbreak, saying it caused unnecessary expense, including stockpiling of unneeded drugs, and undue public alarm.

Dr. Chan has defended the organization’s actions, pointing out that from the start the WHO had termed H1N1 as “a pandemic of moderate severity” from which ”most people” would recover – many without receiving any medical treatment.

But is that the impression that was left on most people?

“The number of victims of H1N1 fell far short of even the more conservative predictions by the WHO,” said an investigative article in BMJ (British Medical Journal) in June. The authors’ “investigation has revealed damaging issues. If these are not addressed, H1N1 may yet claim its biggest victim – the credibility of the WHO and the trust in the global public health system.”

Questions have also been raised about the secret “emergency committee” that guided the WHO’s policies on H1N1.

This week the WHO released the names of the emergency committee, several of whom had ties to drug manufacturers as advisers or received support for their research from the industry.

Fighting an infectious disease is a serious matter. Public health organizations and governments can face tough calls in trying to pass along sensible information about possible health problems. They must share helpful information without creating undue panic or alarm. Chan suggested that “perhaps we need more flexibility in our future pandemic planning.” In the future the organization might offer “a best-case, an intermediate-case, and a worst-case scenario … to allow flexibility and adjustment as we track the evolution of the pandemic.”

The news media bear a responsibility, too, in not sensationalizing a public health story in order to grab reader attention. But today formal news organizations are less the “gatekeepers” of such news than ever before. People share their own versions of what’s happening via social media: e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Chan acknowledged as much, noting that “we need to adapt the way we do communication, and learn how to work with social media and social networks.”

Perhaps some of these lessons can be applied to the “superbug” now being traced to India. The H1N1 pandemic that never was may provide a useful history lesson in that regard.


McAuleysworld Comments

Another United Nations Group discredited for it’s self serving manipulation of scientific inquiry … an inquiry that netted a tremendous amount of money to “policy makers” whose decisions are made behind closed doors …. Move over UN IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), you are clearly not alone ……… 

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