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Flashback 2009: Swine Flu


Fergasun

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Does anyone remember that this was the time the swine flu epidemic started going around the world last year. So, was it all a big hoax? Did anyone ever question that pork company that started the outbreak in Mexico. I'm not going to deny that swine flu wasn't an issue, but its another case where I can't remember the follow-up to the story.

Is this an example of what conservatives call the "Drive-By media"? Certainly something happened last year that was an anomaly...

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I'm not one for conspiracies at all, but I had a fishy feeling about this from the very start. Suffice to say, I didn't get a single flu vaccine, swine or otherwise, and I turned out fine. My theory? It certainly was a real mutated virus, and it certainly had the slight potential to be dangerous, but given the fact that thousands more people died of the actual flu than swine flu, it all but confirms that the whole thing was blown extremely out of proportion. The media's sensationalism sure made a lot of people in pharmaceuticals richer this year off an unnecessary second vaccine. :2cents:

basically I think America got hoodwinked.

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I'm not one for conspiracies at all, but I had a fishy feeling about this from the very start. Suffice to say, I didn't get a single flu vaccine, swine or otherwise, and I turned out fine. My theory? It certainly was a real mutated virus, and it certainly had the slight potential to be dangerous, but given the fact that thousands more people died of the actual flu than swine flu, it all but confirms that the whole thing was blown extremely out of proportion. The media's sensationalism sure made a lot of people in pharmaceuticals richer this year off an unnecessary second vaccine. :2cents:

basically I think America got hoodwinked.

It is HIGHLY unlikely that thousands of more people died this year from normal flu than H1N1. It is difficult to get an exact number of people that die of flu a year, but if you look at death certificats, the flu is only normally attributed to the death of a few hundred people a year.

Estimates put the number of people that die of flu related illnesses (e.g. the flu weakens the person, which causes a secondary infection wich then causes death) at about 36,000 on average, but there is a large std. dev. in the number so any one year can be quite "low" and the number is controversial.

This year, in particular, was a mild seasonal flu season:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/04/19/h1n1-flu-virus/

"Thousands of people died, including more than 60 in Minnesota, most under age 65. But the seasonal flu was virtually non-existent in the state. As a result, few elderly people died this year from seasonal flu.

Of the hundreds of influenza virus samples tested by the Minnesota Department of Health this year, Kris Ehresmann, the state's top researcher, can count on one hand the number of A or B flu strains that were the seasonal variety.

"Some years we have hundreds, 500 cases, 300 cases reported to the department for testing," said Ehresmann, director of the department's Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division. "And so to say that we have four or five or even 10 in a season is really unusual.""

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-04-25/news/bs-md-flu-h1n1-deaths-20100424_1_seasonal-flu-h1n1-flu-deaths

""Overall flu deaths are down this year because H1N1 flu crowded seasonal flu out," said Jeff Dimond, a health communications specialist for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "But this is a drastic oversimplification."

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, about 36,000 Americans die from seasonal flu in an average year. That would translate to about 600 to 1,000 people in Maryland.

This year, 45 people in Maryland and an estimated 12,000 people in the United States died from novel H1N1.

Of all the flu samples tested this season, only seven, or less than 1 percent in Maryland, and 394, or about 1 percent nationwide, turned out to be positive for non-novel H1N1 seasonal flu strains."

The swine flu was the DOMINANT strain of flu this season over the normal seasonal flu. Given that, it is HIGHLY unlikely that the normal seasonal flu killed more people than H1N1.

As I've stated before, it is diffcult to assess the real possible scope of the problem. We actually did a pretty good job of vaccinating people, especially amongst populations that were likely to have serious problems with the flu and most likely to spread the disease.

If you prevent the disease from spreading, obviously, you aren't going to see much of an effect. You also cut down on the amount of virus out there which prevents mutations which decreases the probability of a worse strain from appearing.

The end story is that it wasn't too bad. Plenty of people still died and lot's of people actually got sick, but it wasn't a pandemic or epidemic. How much of it was because this years version of the swine flu wasn't to bad or because we actually did what we needed to do to keep it from being to bad or we were just lucky is difficult to say.

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My question is more along the lines of, "how come we aren't investigating down to root cause this"? Am I a conspiratorialist Not really... do I think we should jump to conclusions? No, however Smithfield plant is a smoking gun and I'm not convinced we've looked closely enough at what they were doing that caused such a spread and panic.

If I did something that caused, hundreds of deaths, and a worldwide panic; you would bet that someone would be knocking on my door, investigating me, and trying to figure out what happened. Yet with this swine flu thing... nothing. I kind've would like to see some type of investigation, like when planes crash the NTSB gets involved and runs a full scale investigation and writes a full, open and public report.

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Fortunately, President Obama wasn't nailed to a cross for not being prepared for an epidemic that never happened the way Bush was with the Bird Flu.
That's because Bush is Jesus...

(That was the biggest, fattest, softball if I ever saw one, and I couldn't resist it, so help me if I just derailed the thread... someone had to say it).

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That's because Bush is Jesus...

Bush is Stephen Strasburg?

I honestly didn't know that. :pfft:

But seriously, I thought the coverage of the two situations was interesting. We weren't "ready" for either, but Bush got lambasted, and I don't remember the same anger with the lack of preparedness this time around.

The one thing I really do hope for, is that these two fizzled epidemics don't lead us to have a false sense of security. Even with modern medicine, a true epidemic could still wreak holy hells worth of havoc across the globe. We need to take this seriously, and have funding set aside to ramp up vaccine production when we need it.

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Its totally getting investigated. Its just not that interesting, so it isn't making the news.

At my hospital, we had approximately the same number of kids die of H1N1 this year as we do from "typical" flu in other years. We had pretty good vaccination rates around here, so perhaps it could have been somewhat worse if we had more average vaccination rates.

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As I recall, the danger was to very young and elderly people, and as I also recall, those people who died were either elderly or very young.

Everyone else who got it said it wasn't much different than the regular flu.

Considering none of us here fall into the two danger categories, I'd suggest that is why it ddn't seem like such a big deal to you.

The big deal isn't the actual disease, it is the proclivity for more and more strains of these diseases making the jump from species to species, and considering swine is a major food source, that causes concern. Influenza is very aggressive, and epidemics thru history have been deevastating. The fact that these are mutating and incubating in animals and passing to us is very troubing, especially in our food source animals.

But, as we have already been informed, it was nothing more than a lib'rul plot to make Bush look bad and Obama look like a saint.

Enjoy those bacon sandwiches, and pay no mind to the processes of bringing our food to us that is creating mutations of diseases that has killed a percentage of us already.

It probably was just a hoax.. on a huge scale involving health organizations and agencies from all around the world, none of which spilled the beans or slipped up even once in bringing this diabolical plot to fruition. Makes one wonder how the common cold still exists when you can credit them for such a massive conspiracy.

Conspiracies are hard to pull off. And especially when they involve hundreds of thousands who have to know the truth in order to speak the lie. And the more who know, the harder the secret is to contain.

However, the amazing ability to hold secrets so large seems to be Standard Operating Procedure among the boogeymen of the world. Sort of a paradox, really. Here's a group of people who don't know what they're talking about, but are capable of global fraud.

Idiot savant, i guess.

~Bang

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I don't remember a single person who I know that was extremely sick or had a serious case. Those who had this simply treated it like a regular flu...

I'm the same way. No one I knew had the swine flu and those that I heard that got it ended up being just fine. I think it was totally blown out of proportion.

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Its totally getting investigated. Its just not that interesting, so it isn't making the news.

At my hospital, we had approximately the same number of kids die of H1N1 this year as we do from "typical" flu in other years. We had pretty good vaccination rates around here, so perhaps it could have been somewhat worse if we had more average vaccination rates.

The relationship between vaccination and death is a bit more complicated than what you suggest (which I'm surprised you don't know).

By vaccinating, you not only deprive the virus the oppurtunity to kill somebody, but you also derive it the oppurtunity to use that person has a host to spread and possibly mutate to a strain that will be more resistant to the vaccine.

If you had the same affect as "normal" years with a much better vaccination program, that pretty much guarantees that things would have been much worse with a "normal" vaccination year.

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I'm just glad I kept some swine flu vaccine in my Y2K fallout shelter. Still trying to figure out how I'm going to fend off the killer bees and snakeheads though.

That is the best response by far.

I never had the flu, never had the shot, and yes I am not old enough or young enough to have worried about it. I liked Bang's response though and in intrigued me. But it still didn't convince me that it wasnt more hype than substance. I have 3 family members in the medical field, I guess I could ask them though.

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The relationship between vaccination and death is a bit more complicated than what you suggest (which I'm surprised you don't know).

By vaccinating, you not only deprive the virus the oppurtunity to kill somebody, but you also derive it the oppurtunity to use that person has a host to spread and possibly mutate to a strain that will be more resistant to the vaccine.

If you had the same affect as "normal" years with a much better vaccination program, that pretty much guarantees that things would have been much worse with a "normal" vaccination year.

Perhaps my wording wasn't clear, but this is exactly the point I was trying to make. Swine flu felt fairly anticlimactic, since it was on the surface just like "typical" flu in terms of numbers of deaths. However, the vaccination program was a big success and probably made a big difference in the final impact.

I hope I've demonstrated some understanding of vaccines here...

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Perhaps my wording wasn't clear, but this is exactly the point I was trying to make. Swine flu felt fairly anticlimactic, since it was on the surface just like "typical" flu in terms of numbers of deaths. However, the vaccination program was a big success and probably made a big difference in the final impact.

I hope I've demonstrated some understanding of vaccines here...

Yes you have.

The other issue with swine flu was that some of the flu vaccine makers could not provide as much of their regular WHO-specified flu vaccine as usual since they had to use some of that manufacturing capability to produce swine flu vaccine. This limited or delayed supplies of regular flu vaccine in some areas.

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Perhaps my wording wasn't clear, but this is exactly the point I was trying to make. Swine flu felt fairly anticlimactic, since it was on the surface just like "typical" flu in terms of numbers of deaths. However, the vaccination program was a big success and probably made a big difference in the final impact.

I hope I've demonstrated some understanding of vaccines here...

I don't think anyone overstated the concern among wh would be most affected by it. I recall most stories indeed told us that the majority of us would feel nothing more than a usual flu.

I think the main cause for alarm is the inter-species connection. Same cause for alarm with avian flu. Chicken and Pig are two major food sources, if they become incubators of potentially dangerous diseases, we've got a whole new problem to deal with.

Of course, I am by no means an expert, I am just giving my impression of the whole thing, In cases like this I always defer to PeterMP or Keeastman or others in the science and medical fields. You've got much more understanding than I, and I do not say that in any self-depricating manner.

I fully expect that if my thoughts on this are wrong, one of you guys will correct me, and I'll learn something.

~Bang

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Perhaps my wording wasn't clear, but this is exactly the point I was trying to make. Swine flu felt fairly anticlimactic, since it was on the surface just like "typical" flu in terms of numbers of deaths. However, the vaccination program was a big success and probably made a big difference in the final impact.

I hope I've demonstrated some understanding of vaccines here...

I read the perhaps in your other post as suggesting a possible weak possibility that vaccination hadn't made things better.

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Whenever there is something in the news and everyone is freaking out I sit back and laugh.

Monkey pox, bird flu, swine flu.....etc

I'm not worried about getting something like that. My immune system is flu proof.

I never get paranoid about getting something like that.

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