Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Swine Flu Hysteria Was Totally Justifiable

From NYmag.com: With the benefit of hindsight and research, it may be time to admit that the people who responded to the swine flu pandemic of 2009 with utmost caution and functional hysteria weren't all that crazy. In a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, CDC researchers write thatthe H1N1 virus likely claimed around 280,000 lives, or about fifteen times more than the 18,500 confirmed in labs.

The numbers are being highlighted now “To improve the public health response during future pandemics in parts of the world that suffer more deaths, and to increase the public's awareness of the importance of influenza prevention,” said the researcher's lead author Fatimah Dawood, a CDC epidemiologist.

Note to self: When a global virus is given a provocative name involving a farm animal, figure likelihood of death is much higher than reported.

Swine flu death toll revised to nearly 300,000 people

PARIS: The influenza A subtype H1N1 ''swine flu'' 2009 pandemic probably claimed more than a quarter of a million lives - 15 times more than the 18,500 reported, according to a paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

The elevated toll underlined the need for better planning and vaccine distribution, said a team of epidemiologists and physicians who made a statistical model based on population and infection estimates to present what they believe is a more accurate picture of the pandemic's reach.

''This study is one of the first to provide a global estimate of deaths caused by the 2009 H1N1 virus,'' lead author Fatimah Dawood of the US government's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.

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Global H1N1 death toll may be 15 times higher than previously reported

An Algerian doctor prepares a vaccine dose
against the H1N1 flu in 2009 in a hospital in Algiers.

The actual number of deaths from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic might have been more than 15 times higher than previously thought, according to a study released on Monday.
When the new H1N1 virus, often referred to as swine flu, spread around the world three years ago, 18,500 deaths were reported to the World Health Organization in the first 16 months of the pandemic.  Based on this new study, published online in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers estimate 284,400 people actually died in the first year the virus was circulating around the world.