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WHO to review handling of H1N1 outbreak

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The World Health Organization is to review its handing of the swine flu pandemic, as it again comes under attack in Europe over allegations it overhyped the dangers of H1N1.

Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s special adviser on pandemic influenza, says an independent group will review how well the WHO responded to the outbreak and also whether the risks of the virus were communicated properly. A key issue for the review will be the WHO’s decision to declare a pandemic (Reuters).

“If we look back to the beginning of the pandemic there was a lot of discussion about what do you call these things,” says Fukuda (AP). “These things affect how people perceive outbreaks and pandemics so I think it’s one of those issues that we have to think about.”

The announcement came as the WHO again came under attack for over-hyping the dangers of H1N1. According to the Guardian, the Council of Europe’s health committee is considering a report which currently says the WHO has “gambled away” public faith with its excessively scaremongering pronouncements on H1N1.

“When the next pandemic arises many persons may not give full credibility to recommendations put forward by WHO and other bodies,” says the draft report, according to the paper. “They may refuse to be vaccinated and may put their own health and lives at risk.”

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe meets today to discuss swine flu. A previous meeting also dragged up allegations of poor practice at the WHO.

However, the WHO is not without support. Alan Hampson, chairman of Australia’s Influenza Specialist Group, said suggestions the WHO had overreacted were “absolute nonsense” (Sydney Morning Herald). And the Kentucky Department for Public Health has released an advert ridiculing those who doubt the swine flu vaccine (video here).

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  1. Report this comment

    Dr David Hill said:

    The fallacy that the Drugs Strategy will save us from a Pandemic is only for the foolish and uneducated

    The facts are taking the most powerful country in the world the USA as an example,

    Detection

    Time Scale – 0 months

    Swine Flu first detected – Influenza A, Novel H1N1 “swine flu” was first detected in Mexico City and was made public March 18, 2009. Therefore the first causality was probably at the beginning of March 2009 taking into account the incubation period.

    First Death in USA

    Time Scale + 2-months later at the end of April 2009

    1st Vaccine Approved

    Time Scale + 6 months 2 weeks

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the new swine flu vaccine for use in the United States on September 15, 2009.

    Vaccine 1st ready for use in USA

    Time Scale + 7 months 1 week

    The vaccine was first ready from mass production and used on 5th October 2009 in the USA

    Most Vaccinated City in the USA by 22nd March 2010

    Time Scale + 1 year 1month 1 week

    Massachusetts vaccinated more residents against the swine flu and seasonal flu in the fall and winter than any other state.

    Up to the end of Winter (March 2010) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says 36 percent of residents were inoculated against the swine flu, also known as H1N1, compared with 21 percent nationally. Seasonal flu vaccinations were administered to 57 percent of the population, compared with 37 percent nationwide.

    A mere 36% in one USA city and where nationally only 21% had the vaccine by March 22nd 2010.

    The Spanish flu of 1917/18 did its worst in the second wave between week 16 and week 26.

    Considering this fact by the time we get any vaccine, most of us will be well dead. Fact not fiction. Therefore the vaccine strategy is totally flawed and we have to move from this stupid strategy to a standpoint of never letting it happen in the first place – the preventative strategy not cure strategy and the only strategy that will actually work.

    That strategy is – http://avian-influenza.cirad.fr/content/download/1931/11789/file/Kennedy-F-Shortridge.pdf

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