May 18, 2010

United States and France support WHO/Pharma reaction to swine Flu "epidemic"

A map of the infected countries of the H1N1 fl...

After stringent criticism by many doctors, including Dr Wolfgang Wodarg, the World Health Organization has found support from expected quarters. Countries which head quarter the MNC pharmaceuticals have openly come out in support of the Pharma industry and the WHO.

"While some have questioned some of the actions taken by the international community, the outcomes speak for themselves. I believe we made the right decisions at the right times," said US Secretary for Health Kathleen Sebelius.
The French health minister Roselyne Bachelot said "I want to express, in France's name, our solidarity with the WHO, which has been taken to task in an unjust manner,". She told the assembly.that knowledge about the severity of the virus was "imperfect" in the beginning yet decisive action had to be taken. She also expressed concern about the perception of swine flu threat, especially for younger people, arguing that public thinking had been muddled and underestimated the risks. She  also warned that doubts about expert advice and the role of the pharmaceutical industry could undermine future alerts.
Below is a table quantifying the Case fatality rate of Swine Flu ( approx 0.03%), which is lower than case fatality in seasonal flu ( approx .08%), but which has been handled with much more alacrity and financial resources.

20th century flu pandemics
Pandemic Year Influenza virus type People infected (approximate) Estimated deaths worldwide Case fatality rate
Spanish flu 1918–1919 A/H1N1 33% (500 million) 20–100 million >2.5%
Asian flu 1956–1958 A/H2N2 ? 2 million <0.1%
Hong Kong flu 1968–1969 A/H3N2 ? 1 million <0.1%
Seasonal flu Every year mainly A/H3N2, A/H1N1, and B 5–15% (340 million – 1 billion) 250,000–500,000 per year <0.1%
Swine flu 2009 Pandemic H1N1/09 about 622,482 (lab-confirmed) 18,036 (lab-confirmed; WHO) 0.03%

As per the latest WHO update (As of 9 May)  worldwide more than 214 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 18036 deaths.
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