The coming aporkalypse, or why we don’t need to worry about the swine flu epigdemic

Ok, so the media is firing on all scare-mongering cylinders over this whole swine flu snoutbreak. The threat level was raised today to 5 out of 6, which seems to mean that you might not want to travel unless it’s really urgent, say a holiday or business trip. Presumably 6 means only go to the airport if you really have to see of a loved one or need a tie and the airport is closer than town.

Let’s get this into context, this is definitely more hamdemic than pandemic, there have been 20 cases across Europe(1), of which no-one has died. In Mexico itself only 99 cases(2) have been confirmed as H1N1, and the swine flu has claimed just eight lives in Mexico, whose health spending per capita was recently rated 25th out of 25(3). 50 people in China have died of hand-foot-mouth disease(4), presumably from over exposure to this(5), and yet there is no cobra meeting to decide when we should change the threat number.

Tamiflu, of course, probably does nothing against hand-foot-mouth, whereas those extra supplies manufactured for bird flu are probably getting close to their expiry and what better market than a public scared of an over-exaggerated threat.

Besides, swine flu’s been in Sheffield for years(6)…

 

*Can’t get the links to work properly so here are the old school sources:

  1. http://www.euronews.net/2009/04/30/europe-prepares-for-swine-flu-pandemic/
  2. http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/world/eyauididmhau/
  3. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_car_fun_tot_per_cap-care-funding-total-per-capita
  4. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-04/12/content_11174256.htm
  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmHClIHgnRI
  6. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2205108364#/photo.php?pid=30379508&op=1&o=all&view=all&subj=2205108364&aid=-1&oid=2205108364&id=1019065705

5 thoughts on “The coming aporkalypse, or why we don’t need to worry about the swine flu epigdemic

  1. Incidentally, in 1918 the Spanish Flu epidemic hit the world, and is generally regarded as the best example of the spread of a disease like H1N1. In 1918 28% of the American and Canadian population caught the infection (http://www.vancouversun.com/Health/much+knowledge+exaggerate+danger+pandemic/1540616/story.html), and of that percentage 2.5% died of complications arising from the ‘flu. That’s 0.7% of the population. In 1918.

    We have enough antiviral agent to treat half the population (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8025461.stm). Even assuming this ‘flu strain is more survivable than the last we’re still looking at a minimal death toll for us UK residents.

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  2. Ado

    Terrible joke sir. I’ll see you spit-roasted for that…

    PS, you can have an epidemic/pandemic and no deaths. That’s just the relative spread of the disease, not the effects…

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  3. Ado

    Indeed, I wasn’t trying to say it was a pandemic. Just stating that just because the WHO are saying it may/will turn into one doesn’t mean it’s the end of days, as the papers/mainstream media are shouting, it just means the disease has the ability to spread.

    I think your most relivent point was, perhaps tounge in cheek, the expiration date on some of these drugs purchased for the possible Avian Flu outbreak is now running low. If they (these they…) can stir up this situation into a panic and use the drugs for this then they don’t lose face for stock-piling drugs needlessly. Plus the fact that Tamiflu etc… have no effect on Avian Flu strains discovered in humans but seem to work on this Swine version (the H1N1 as opposed to the avian H5N1 veriety), so these drugs are seen to “work” when they are quite ineffective in case of the type of outbreak they were purchased for.

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