So now they are saying the flu outbreak in the UK is worsening and more vaccinations are urged. Now the health minister is considering ordering vaccinations.
We must watch this and weep. Why? The new ‘food safety’ bill that passed last week will eventually take from us the very herbs and supplements that are missing in the UK now! UK has adopted Codex and some very peculiar rules to ‘govern’ (read eliminate) certain herbs from use, herbs that could be useful in combating the flu.
We must educate our state reps and have this bill remain where it should, on the shelf in D.C.!
Government told to vaccinate millions more against flu
• Lansley accused of U-turn as campaign is restarted
• Tory MP warns health secretary over NHS reforms
Health secretary Andrew Lansley was tonight under pressure to get a grip on the winter flu outbreak, amid warnings that millions more people need to be vaccinated in order to prevent a mounting toll of deaths.
Lansley was accused of a U-turn as he reinstated a public health advertising campaign after he was warned by government advisers of the need to improve immunisation rates which are at their lowest this winter for many years.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the government’s advisers on vaccines to prevent serious illness, said 16 million Britons are at serious risk from flu. The committee said a greater uptake of the flu jab was vital among groups including pregnant women, those with breathing conditions such as asthma, and people with diabetes or heart, liver or kidney disease.
Lansley reinstated the national Catch It, Bin It, Kill It advertising campaign. It had been discontinued despite helping educate the public to adopt good hygiene habits during last year’s H1N1 swine flu epidemic at a cost of just £609,000.
He has been criticised for not instigating the campaign to urge everyone at risk to get a seasonal flu jab from their GP, for ending the Catch It publicity drive, and for not ensuring that all under-fives were offered the vaccine.
But the JCVI ruled out the need for under-fives to be added to the list of those advised to get routinely vaccinated, and said there was not enough evidence to justify recommending that switch.
There were 12 more deaths in the last week from flu, bringing the total this winter to 39, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said today. Thirty-six of them were killed by H1N1 swine flu, which is the most virulent of the two main flu strains currently circulating. The other three died after contracting Influenza B, the other strain. All except one of the 39 were under 65 and four were under five, which underlined how the dominance of this winter’s flu by H1N1 means it is mainly affecting groups other than the elderly.
Significantly, 23 of 38 of the fatalities belonged to one of the clinical “at risk” groups whose health is at potentially serious risk if they get infected. And only two out of 33 had received a winter flu jab recently, despite their vulnerable health status, the HPA confirmed.
His radical plans to restructure the NHS in England are also under fresh scrutiny. Writing in the Guardian, Conservative MP and ex-GP Sarah Wollaston warns that they run the risk of ending with the NHS in England being privatised – as critics, including some doctors and the main health unions, have alleged.
Wollaston, a member of the Commons health select committee, is the first Tory MP to raise such public and serious concerns about the health service shake-up.
With experts predicting the next few days will bring the peak of this winter’s flu season there were signs that the NHS is under growing pressure. The number of people receiving critical care in hospital, mainly because their breathing has been badly affected by flu, leapt from 460 to 738 in the last week – a rise of over 50%. Arrowe Park hospital, in Merseyside, has stopped allowing visitors to come and see patients in a bid to ensure that patients are kept as clear of flu as possible.
The expert committee held a teleconference after the Department of Health (DH) asked them to review whether the existing vaccination policy, which has been subjected to serious criticism in recent days, needed to change. They said: “It would be hoped that influenza circulation will have subsided within a month. The greatest gain will be achieved in increasing vaccine uptake in the clinical risk groups.” These groups total some 14.5 million people in England alone, and about 16m in the UK.
Lansley’s Labour counterpart, John Healey, said: “I welcome Andrew Lansley’s U-turn on the use of a public advertising campaign to help tackle the flu crisis. The health secretary made a serious misjudgment when he axed the annual autumn advertising campaign to help public understanding of this flu and boost vaccinations for those most at risk. At a time when the NHS is stretched and playing catch up, the decision he has taken today is better late than never.”
“With Britain about to go back to school and work after the Christmas and New Year break, I welcome Andrew Lansley’s change of mind on public advertising to back up the efforts of doctors, nurses and midwives to boost flu-jab protection for the groups most at risk and to advise people on how to deal with those in the family who have flu.”
Lansley is about to overhaul both the NHS and public health budgets which will see GPs commission £80bn of healthcare. Wollaston writes: “I received an email this week asking me to stop the privatisation of the NHS. The coalition is not privatising the NHS, but it is in danger of failing to make that clear.”
She predicts that none of her former profession will be prepared to commission care, and will increasingly hand the process over to private providers, who are better able to navigate the new system. She says most GPs do not want the role Lansley is carving out for them and points to parts of the country where clinical excellence is being achieved “without the need for a revolution”.
Have you begun to load up on herbs and supplements that would likely become outlawed with the ‘harmonization’ of Codex in this country?
I urge everyone to be very cautious about the latest round of Swine Flu news and of course, the urging by MSM to get vaccinated. I can’t support that sort of recommendation considering the toxic chemicals used to make said vaccines. Not only are the vaccines toxic but there is virtually zero evidence that they actually keep one from getting the flu.
My advice is to stay far away from vaccines in general.
Swine flu woman dies in hospital
(UKPA) – 30 minutes ago
A pensioner suffering from swine flu has died in hospital, an NHS Trust said.
The woman, in her 70s, died in the critical care unit at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital on Monday.
A spokeswoman for The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said the patient, who has not been named, had an underlying respiratory condition.
Trust Chief Executive David Loughton CBE said: “Sadly we had a death in our Critical Care Unit on Monday. This was a woman who had an underlying respiratory condition who was confirmed as having swine flu.”
He added: “Of course deaths and serious illness from swine flu are a rare event but we would still urge people out in the community to have their flu jabs done.
“Particularly those in at risk groups suffering with chronic illnesses or respiratory conditions. Older people, pregnant women and children are also encouraged to take up the vaccine.”
The spokeswoman said there had been three confirmed swine flu cases at the Trust, adding: “This is expected to rise over the next couple of days as swab results come in.
“The Trust is working hard to deal with and treat those admitted with flu and has yet to turn away elective patients.”
The question is now whether the Swine Flu will reach epidemic proportions (real or imagined) and then be ‘exported’ from the UK. Then what will you do if it reaches the US and the government mandates vaccination?
AS the swine flu hits the UK causing phrases like ‘pandemic’ to rear their ugly heads, we find that even though a very large portion of the population has now been vaccinated you still see that same percentages of infected population.
What they don’t want you to know is that the vaccinated are getting ill also…so what is the point? We can go from the really benign, MSM explanation to the more ‘radical’ interpretation of conspiracy. I tend to fall somewhere between the conspiracy theory and the just raw capitalism exhibited by these drug companies. The more of these toxic vaccines they get the governments to buy into and sell for them by ‘requiring’ said vaccinations, the better their bottom lines.
There is enough nasty business in these vaccines to cause some long term damage and even death in some cases. You can go from there in drawing more conclusions. This screwy scheme is far deeper than meets the eye, especially if your eyes are drawn to MSM reporting.
Britain on course for flu epidemic
Britain is on course for its first flu epidemic for more than a decade, according to the Government scientific data.
The level of influenza – including the swine flu strain – in the population is now higher – and rising more sharply – than they were at this point in 1999, when the country was heading for an epidemic which triggered a major NHS crisis.
With millions of people visiting friends and family over the Christmas period experts believe that the rate could reach epidemic levels within a week.
The number of flu victims in intensive care has more than doubled in one week, with 460 patients now in critical care beds.
Meanwhile, a Government memo is warning of shortages of Tamiflu – the main drug used to treat flu patients – in some parts of the country.
The rate of flu in England and Wales is 87.1 cases per 100,000 of the population, a rate which has tripled in seven days.
In the run-up to Christmas 1999, levels were less than 60 per 100,000 population, yet by early January 2000 the outbreak had reached epidemic proportions, with more than 200 cases per 100,000.
The records, which only represent those who visit their GP, always underestimate the true extent of sickness.
Influenza expert Prof John Oxford said: ‘The numbers now are worse than they were in winter of 1999, and the curve is steeper; when you look at the graph the line for this year it is incredibly unsettling; it looks like scaling Everest,” said the virologist.
“If that trend continues I would not be surprised if we get to epidemic levels within one week.”
In the millennium winter, the resulting crisis meant patients were left to wait on trolleys and thousands of elderly people died, prompting then prime minister Tony Blair to order a tripling in health service spending.
Prof Oxford, from Queen Mary University of London said the “massive movements of populations” across the country as families came together for Christmas were likely to be speeding the spread of disease.
He said it was a “great shame” that the Government had taken the decision to axe its annual publicity campaign urging vulnerable people to have their flu jab.
“We don’t know what will happen next – everything is now hanging in the lap of the Gods – and it wouldn’t have been that way if people had been vaccinated,” said the professor of virology.
While the elderly usually suffer worst from flu, research suggests they may have some immunity to swine flu having encountered a similar strain of the disease in previous decades.
As a result, in the event of an epidemic, overall death numbers were unlikely to be as bad as those in the winter 1999/2000, Prof Oxford said, though overall “years of life” lost might be the same, with more children and young adults being struck down.
Latest figures show 27 deaths from flu, 24 of which were from swine flu. Nine of the cases were children.
Across the country, pharmacists are complaining of shortages of Tamiflu, the main drug used to treat the virus.
Prof Dame Sally Davies, the Government’s chief medical officer, last week changed the official advice to GPs, instructing them to prescribe the drug to anyone who might benefit – not just those in “high risk” groups.
A Government memo seen by The Sunday Telegraph reveals there are already shortages of the drug in some parts of the country, with concerns that stocks will run out elsewhere as demand increases.
The letter, by Dr Keith Ridge, England’s chief pharmaceutical officer, sent to hospitals and pharmacies on Thursday and marked urgent, warns: “Following increased demand for antivirals, there have been reports of localised shortages at both pharmacies and wholesalers”.
The letter, which announces the release of more than 50,000 packs of drugs from national stocks, says increased demand is expected, but that the level is hard to predict.
Pharmacies are told to ensure they have sufficient drugs to give them to patients within 48 hours of them falling ill, but told that stockpiling drugs “will lead to further shortages”.
A separate warning about shortages of treatment for babies was issued by the Royal College of GPs on Christmas Eve.
Doctors have been ordered not to prescribe the liquid version of Tamiflu to anyone over the age of one, to ensure there is enough of the formula left for babies.
GPs have been told that patients aged one or more must be given tablets, with parents of children who cannot take tablets given instructions on how to crush and dilute them.
The same practice is more dangerous when the solution is for babies, because of the greater risk of giving too high a dose.
John Healey, shadow health secretary, attacked the Government’s decision to axe a national advertising campaign, which until this year had encouraged take-up of flu vaccinations.
Vaccine uptake among under 65s in at risk groups, such as those with conditions like asthma, is five per cent lower than last year, while the number of elderly people being vaccinated has dropped slightly.
He said: “The health secretary should authorise an immediate public advertising campaign to encourage those most at risk to get the flu jab. This is the time to act.”
Last weekend Prof Davies criticised ministers for stopping the campaign, after warning hospitals that half of the most severely ill patients treated had previously been in good health.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said the numbers of those now critically ill with flu had been a “significant increase”.
He said the NHS was “responding well” to the demands on it, and said the Government would continue to monitor the situation carefully.
Please don’t allow these animals to convince you get vaccinations. I can’t recommend them nor can many other folks, MDs included. They are not effective and can be dangerous to your health.
Well maybe not collodial, although that would be my choice, but the research is positive on ‘nano-silver’. Collodial silver has been known, at least among the few that care to research, to do all the things and more that the article below mentions.
There are several great manufacturers of collodial silver, gold and such. Just make sure that they are small particles. I prefer Meso Silver.
Scientists strike gold: ‘Silver bullet’ could finally beat common cold
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:25 AM on 18th October 2010
A ‘silver bullet’ against the common cold and other illnesses is being developed by scientists.
Tests show that arming bacteria with minute studs of silver endows them with the ability to combat viruses.
Norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, is unable to cause infections after coming into contact with the silver-impregnated bacteria.
Researchers believe the same technique could be used to ward off other viruses, including those which cause flu and the common cold.
Belgian professor Willy Verstraete discovered a way of ‘studding’ harmless bacteria often found in probiotic yoghurts with nanoparticles of silver, each thinner than a human hair.
Sprayed up the nose or rubbed into the hands, the silver-studded bacteria stop any viruses that cross their path from infecting cells.
As viruses need to hijack a cell’s internal machinery to live and breed, barring them entry leads to their death.
The common cold wreaks havoc among all age groups but the huge number of different viruses behind the symptoms means that a cure has, so far, eluded scientists.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1321363/Silver-bullet-finally-beat-common-cold.html#ixzz12q2GMt9w
As I said I prefer MesoSilver products. Be sure not to ever let them freeze!
Here we go again as the government is recommending vaccinations for all! Well this is a party I personally will not be attending!
Panel recommends annual flu vaccinations for all
By MIKE STOBBE
The Associated Press
Wednesday, February 24, 2010; 8:52 PM
ATLANTA — A government panel is now recommending that virtually all Americans get a flu shot each year, starting this fall.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices had gradually been expanding its recommendation for flu shots – 85 percent of Americans were already included.
On Wednesday, the panel voted to recommend a seasonal flu vaccination for everyone except babies younger than 6 months and those with egg allergies or other unusual conditions.
The panel’s recommendation now goes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC usually follows the panel’s advice and spreads the message to doctors and hospitals across the country.
“Now no one should say ‘Should I or shouldn’t I?'” said Dr. Anthony Fiore, a CDC flu specialist.
CDC vaccination recommendations tend to be influential with the doctors who give the shots and the health insurers who pay for them.
Flu shots are already recommended for 85 percent of the U.S. public, including pregnant women, children older than 6 months, adults 50 and older, people with certain chronic health conditions, health care workers and those who take care of people in a recommended group. The only people who weren’t specifically included were healthy people ages 19 to 49 who don’t have close contact with anyone at risk of flu and its complications.
But only about 33 percent of Americans actually get a flu shot, and unusually millions and millions of doses get thrown away annually.
The swine flu pandemic that hit last year caused a new momentum for flu vaccinations. Virtually all the 114 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine doses made were distributed, and more young adults and children got the swine flu vaccine than usually come out for seasonal flu.
The panel voted 11 to 0 – with one abstention – for the recommendation, prompting a short round of applause in the CDC auditorium where the meeting was held. Some public health experts and physicians had been pushing for a universal flu vaccination recommendation for more than 10 years.
Also on Wednesday, the panel gave its nod to a proposed formulation of next year’s seasonal flu vaccine. The vaccine will be built to protect against three strains of flu scientists think will be circulating next fall and winter. Swine flu is to be one of the strains incorporated into the vaccine.
At past meetings, the panel stopped short of recommending flu shots for everyone. Panel members were mindful of a history of temporary flu vaccine shortages in the United States. They worried a universal recommendation might cause demand to far surpass supply and endanger those at the highest risk of life-threatening flu complications.
“Yet every year we wasted millions and millions of doses,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases expert who for years has passionately pushed the panel to recommend flu shots for all.
The swine flu vaccine campaign appears to be ending the same way. Doses were scarce when the swine flu vaccine first became available in early October, but now roughly 90 million people have been vaccinated, demand is dying and millions of doses are unused.
Swine flu provided another argument for universal vaccination. The new virus proved to be unusually dangerous to young adults, and also took a surprising toll on Native Americans and obese people. Many of those hospitalized and killed by swine flu were not in groups previously recommended for annual flu shots, and that fact was another reason to expand the vaccination recommendation, experts said.
There are a few exceptions to the universal recommendation. Children under 6 months of age, who have undeveloped immune systems, will continue to be exempt. So too will people who have egg allergies (the vaccine is made using eggs) and those who have had certain severe reactions to flu shots in the past.
The panel also decided that elderly people can consider a new, revved-up version of the seasonal flu shot. It’s a Sanofi Pasteur vaccine for adults 65 and older.
In years when the flu shot is well matched to circulating flu viruses, vaccine is 70 to 90 percent effective in people younger than 65, the CDC estimates. But it tends to be only 30 to 70 percent effective in those who are older because they generally have weakened immune systems.
The Sanofi vaccine – called Fluzone High-Dose – has four times as much immunity-building antibodies as a standard dose. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine in December, and it should be available for the 2010-2011 flu season. It would cost about $25 a shot, or about twice the standard version.
The panel did not state a preference for the vaccine, however. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine through an accelerated process, and Sanofi is to do further studies to show the shot reduces flu illnesses.
I urge everyone to think carefully about vaccinations. The premise is that you can stop specific germs from making you sick. This could not be further from the truth! It is how well the environment within your body is doing. We all have germs of all kinds, what keeps them at bay is how healthy that environment is!
Know your flu and build a strong immune system
Knowledge is a primary key in the battle of any communicable disease. Understanding symptoms can provide both peace of mind as well as the information you need to know should a doctor’s visit be required. The most important thing you can do for your family is boost your natural immune system!
Defining Swine Flu
Like the more common flu strains, ‘swine flu’ may include fever, sore throat, muscle aches and eye infections. However, ‘swine or avian flu’ may also include pronounced lethargy, acute breathing difficulties and chest pain. In more extreme cases pneumonia may make an appearance as well as potential organ failure.
This virulent strain of flu virus has, to date, been spread primarily through physical contact and germs. This virus stays alive for only minutes outside the body but can easily spread on surfaces by coughing and human touch.The incubation period for humans who do contract ‘swine flu’ may be as few as two days or as many as 17.
Members of the World Health Organization have worked to develop a plan that could be implemented on a global scale to address both current issues as well as those that may be forthcoming in the event of a ‘swine flu’ pandemic because estimates for deaths range in the millions. Steps are currently being taken to address the treatment and containment issues surrounding ‘swine flu’. All countries are gaining assistance from the findings of the CDC and World Health Organization in this critical preparation.
Are we all sitting ducks
…waiting to be swallowed up by such devastation? I say: a resounding “No!”
Build your natural immune function
What we should be publicizing is: There is much you can do to arm yourself.
First, have hope. Next, learn to build your immune system. Exercise, proper nutrition, sound sleep and meditation are all things you can do on a daily basis that will stimulate the immune system and build your force field against dangerous pathogens. It’s not just me saying so, either. This is the prescription given by researchers at Columbia University’s School of Public Health.
The best prevention of the flu is a strong immune system. Exercise the body and the lungs. Look for a natural antiviral supplement. You have natural remedies that you can employ. Colloidal silver is known to kill bacteria and virus. Echinacea, garlic and peppermint can relieve symptoms, reishi mushrooms have been proven to boost immune function and Milk Thistle can help restore liver health.
If you need super strength help try Darrens herbal Rocket Fuel:
Darrens Recipe for Rocket Fuel
FDA, FTC threaten Dr. Weil over immune-boosting supplements for H1N1 swine flu
(NaturalNews)By Mike Adams
Government headed towards outlawed supplements and forced vaccines
In working to protect the business interests of vaccine manufactures, both the FDA and FTC have declared all-out war against any products that might offer consumers options other than vaccines. This week, that war against natural remedies reached the shores of Dr. Andrew Weil, who is perhaps the best-known alternative medicine doctor in America. In an intimidating, threatening letter jointly issued by the FTC and the FDA, these rogue government agencies threatened Dr. Weil with criminal prosecution for making true statements about his immune-boosting formula such as, “Astragalus … is … used traditionally to ward off colds and flu, and has demonstrated both antiviral and immune-boosting effects in scientific investigation.”
This statement, although scientifically valid and true, is a threat to the profits of the vaccine industry, and so Dr. Weil’s company is being targeted by the FTC / FDA vaccine racket tag-team for termination.
Some of the threats leveled against Dr. Weil by the FTC include:
• Forcing Dr. Weil’s company to refund ALL customers who purchased his immune support formula. (For no apparent reason other than to burden his company with such costs.)
• Subjecting Dr. Weil’s company with “legal action in the form of a Federal District Court injunction or Administrative Order.”
• Gunpoint seizure of ALL of Dr. Weil’s nutritional products:
“If your firm fails to take corrective action immediately, FDA may take enforcement action, such as seizure or injunction for violations of the FFDC Act without further notice.”
• Subjecting Dr. Weil and his company to criminal prosecution: “Firms that fail to take corrective action may also be referred to FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations for possible criminal prosecution for violations of the FFDC Act and other federal laws.”
• Adding Dr. Weil’s company to a list of companies that have been found in “violation” of the FFDC Act.
These threats are signed by the top fearmongers running the censorship racket at both the FTC and FDA:
Mary K. Engle
Associate Director, Division of Advertising Practices
Federal Trade Commission
Roberta F. Wagner
Director, Office of Compliance
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration
Kick the criminals out of office!!!
Do you now see what a criminal racket the vaccine industry is running in America by invoking these tactics of tyranny? This is the kind of thing you might expect to see in China, where government officials arrest Falun Gong members who attempt to meditate in public, but you wouldn’t think that in the United States of America — “Land of the Free” — you’d be threatened with arrest and financial ruin for simply telling the truth about a powerful herb with scientifically-validated medicinal properties.
The FTC’s dangerous double standard
This FTC / FDA letter claims Dr. Weil has been promoting his immune-boosting formula “…without rigorous scientific evidence sufficient to substantiate the claims.”
This might be taken with some level of seriousness if, in fact, the vaccine makers had any such evidence to substantiate their own claims that flu vaccines work at all. But as NaturalNews readers have already learned, flu vaccines are a scientific hoax lacking any honest evidence that they actually work. In fact, all the evidence points to the reality that they don’t work. (http://www.naturalnews.com/027239_v…
Well they are still trying to sell their snake oil to the public and my advise is beware of snake oil salesmen! These Big Pharma guys need to get rid of some inventory and will probably stop at next to nothing to sell it!
Flu pandemic could be mild
H1N1 toll likely to be lower, but vaccinations are still encouraged
Yadira Ramirez holds her daughter Amanda Ramirez, 2, at an H1N1 vaccination clinic at in Dallas. Swine flu rates declined for the fifth straight week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Yadira Ramirez holds her daughter Amanda Ramirez, 2, at an H1N1 vaccination clinic at in Dallas. Swine flu rates declined for the fifth straight week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Matt Nager/bloomberg News)
By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
With the second wave of H1N1 infections having crested in the United States, leading epidemiologists are predicting that the pandemic could end up ranking as the mildest since modern medicine began documenting influenza outbreaks.
Experts warn that the flu is notoriously unpredictable, but several recent analyses, including one released late Monday, indicate that the death toll is likely to be far lower than the number of fatalities caused by past pandemics.
The predictions are being met with a mix of skepticism, relief and trepidation: Public health officials worry that people may become complacent about getting vaccinated, which could prove disastrous if a third wave of infections swells later this winter or the virus mutates into a more dangerous form.
“I think it is very likely to be the mildest pandemic on record,” said Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, who led a federally funded analysis with researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and elsewhere published online Monday by the journal PLoS Medicine.
The analysis, based on data collected in New York City and Milwaukee, indicates that the virus may directly cause 6,000 to 45,000 deaths by the end of the winter, with the final toll probably falling between 10,000 and 15,000, Lipsitch said. In the worst-case scenario, the swine flu pandemic would kill no more than about 60,000 people, his new analysis concluded.
Several experts noted that even if the overall death toll does end up being relatively low, the pandemic already has taken an unusually high number of children and young adults.
“We’ve had hundreds of deaths among children, which is a tragedy any way you look at it,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
A typical flu season is associated with an average of 36,000 deaths in the United States, and an estimate released in August by a presidential advisory panel that Lipsitch was involved in predicted that the 2009 H1N1 virus could kill 30,000 to 90,000 in this country.
“Those were the best estimates we could make at the time based on the data available at the time,” he said. “We now have much better data to make estimates from.”
When the presidential council’s estimate was made, experts thought the virus could make up to 30 percent of the population sick. So far, the virus appears to be causing symptoms in a much smaller proportion, perhaps 15 percent, Lipsitch said.
The new analysis also indicates that the pandemic’s “symptomatic case-fatality ratio” — the percentage of those who become ill and die — has been far lower than the previous three pandemics.
“If things continue as they’ve gone so far, this could turn out to be quite mild,” said Ira M. Longini Jr., a professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington in Seattle who has calculated a similarly low case-fatality rate based on CDC data.
Several experts praised the new analysis as the most sophisticated and therefore reliable to date.
“From what we know now, it would appear this is the mildest, both compared to 1968 and 1957 and certainly 1918,” said Neal M. Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College in London who advises the World Health Organization and the Health and Human Services Department. The pattern appears to be consistent in other developed countries, such as Britain, he noted.
Others, however, cautioned that previous pandemics have produced deadly late-winter waves, which could occur in this case. More older people could also become infected, which could also increase the toll.
“I would hold my horses until we are through the winter,” said Lone Simonsen, a research professor at George Washington University.
To encourage Americans to continue to get vaccinated, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new multimedia advertising campaign Monday aimed at countering complacency. After a slow start, more than 80 million doses of vaccine are now available, she said.
“We have to seize this opportunity as disease is going down slightly to remind folks how important this is,” she said.
While agreeing that people should continue to be inoculated, Lipsitch and others said they doubt that a major increase in deaths would occur in a third wave without some significant shift in the virus.
“There’s a faint possibility,” Ferguson said. “But I don’t think there will be a major change.”
One major reason for the relatively low death toll is that the elderly have largely been unaffected, apparently because many have some immunity against the disease. The 36,000 deaths blamed on a typical flu season include many that are caused by heart attacks, strokes and other complications associated with the flu among seniors and people with other health problems. About 9,000 deaths are directly caused by the influenza virus during a typical flu season.
“Sometimes Mother Nature throws us a break,” said Howard Markel, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.
But other factors may also be playing a role, including the virus being less likely to cause illness than viruses involved in previous pandemics, as well as better medical care available than in previous decades, such as antiviral drugs and more sophisticated intensive-care techniques.
“In 1918, it was really prehistoric medical care,” Markel said. “In 1957, we really didn’t have intensive care. In 1968, we were starting to have it, but it was nothing like we have today.”
Nonetheless, Lipsitch and others stressed that the multibillion-dollar vaccination campaign and other intense responses were appropriate, given the uncertainty of what the nation and world was facing.
“We got lucky,” Lipsitch said. “But if we didn’t have a plan in place and we had 60,000 or 70,000 deaths, people would have been justifiably outraged.”
Again, BEWARE of SNAKE OIL SALEMEN!
Yet another blow to the entire Flu vaccination scandal! WHO scientists suspected of taking bribes from the drug companies.
SHOTS HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD
Swine-flu bribe fever!
U.N.’s H1N1 scientists linked to companies making vaccine
Posted: December 07, 2009
9:53 pm Eastern
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
World Health Organization scientists are suspected of accepting secret bribes from vaccine manufacturers
to influence the U.N. organization’s H1N1 pandemic declaration, according to Danish and Swedish newspapers.
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical profits from swine-flu related drugs have soared – with earnings between $10 billion and $15 billion in 2009, investment bank JP Morgan estimates.
As WND reported, the WHO Director General Margaret Chan initially raised the influenza pandemic alert to its second highest level in May – but evidence reveals the agency may have made it easier to classify the flu outbreak as a pandemic by changing its definition to omit “enormous numbers of deaths and illness” just prior to making its declaration.
The world was gripped with fears of swine flu as the alert increased from Phase 5 to Phase 6, the highest level. Immediately, pharmaceutical companies began working to develop vaccines, and countries tailored their responses to address the situation.
Danish newspaper Information reported that when Chan raised the level of pandemic alert on June 11, the declaration meant substantial economic benefits for the pharmaceutical industry – especially since many countries have contracts with major drug companies and are required to purchase vaccines in the event of a pandemic. Swedish newspaper SvD echoed Information’s report.
“Many of the apparently impartial researchers the WHO uses, however, are paid by the companies that produce vaccines,” states a translated version of the Information article, “Strong lobbying behind WHO resolution on mass vaccination.”
One expert in a WHO H1N1 advisory group, Dr. Albert Osterhaus, has been subject to a Dutch government investigation. The government convened a crisis meeting after an article in Science magazine indicated that Osterhaus has financial interests in several pharmaceutical companies.
Osterhaus, known as “Dr. Flu,” is the head of the department of virology at the Erasmus MC, University of Rotterdam. According to a European Commission Research website, Osterhaus is co-founder of two biotech companies and promotes vaccines as solutions for pandemics.
Another expert who advises WHO on vaccines, Dr. Frederick Hayden, is described as a flu-research coordinator from the Wellcome Trust in London.
However, according to the report, Hayden also serves as a “paid adviser” for pharmaceutical companies Roche, RW Johnson, SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome.
WHO expert Dr. Arnold Monto is also purportedly a paid consultant for MedImmune (a company that produces nasal flu vaccine), Glaxo Wellcome and ViroPharma. However, WHO’s Strategize Advisory Group of Experts, or SAGE, never divulged those ties, according to the report.
The newspaper also states that numerous pharmaceutical companies maintain an active presence during WHO advisory group meetings, with representatives listed as “observers.”
Professor Tom Jefferson, epidemiologist at the Cochrane Center in Rome, told Information he believes the researchers’ dual roles are problematic, and he noted the WHO’s emphasis on drugs rather than proper hygiene habits.
“The WHO’s latest recommendation on the control of pandemic influenza has frequent washing of hands mentioned twice,” he said. “Vaccines and antivirals are, however, mentioned 24 and 18 times. Why would an international public health agency focus on much more expensive interventions, such as vaccines and medication, when it is not proven that they work?”
Jefferson said washing ones hands is the only proven method of flu prevention.
Wolf Dieter Ludwig, head of drug commission of the German Medical Association, told Der Spiegel he has no doubt pharmaceutical companies have been seeking to capitalize off what he called a “non-existent threat.”
WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told Information it’s natural to allow representatives of the pharmaceutical industry to participate in WHO meetings.
“Everybody has something to contribute in this process – industry, NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and professional players – so we can gather all information,” he said. “They cannot vote. They have no influence on the outcome, and they can only speak when they are asked. We make vaccine recommendations, so we need knowledge about what is required to produce a vaccine. Only the manufacturers have that knowledge.”
According to the report, WHO does not publicize information about advisers’ financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
“All staff must sign the declaration of conflicts of interest, so we are clear about their background,” Hartl said. “But again, Frederick Hayden is the best influenza virologist in the world, so if you want to know how influenza behaves, you ask Fred Hayden.”
Asked why WHO doesn’t publish the advisers’ financial ties to drug companies, he replied, “I’m not sure why we didn’t publish it. I can’t answer that. … It is possible that we will look at a code of disclosure of financial information, but I cannot promise anything.”
He continued, “WHO has a system that guarantees independence. … We do not let anything or anyone influence us.”
Louise Volle, journalist at the Danish daily and co-author of the report, told Russia Today, “The biggest problem seems to be that we don’t know enough. There’s not enough transparency on financial disclosure on the expert groups used by WHO. … Scientists who appear to be independent are also hired consultants working for the same pharmaceutical companies who produce the vaccines. This is clearly an issue that needs to be taken care of.”
Volle said she does not expect that the WHO will publish the financial disclosures on its experts unless public pressure is put on the organization.
Asked whether any solid investigations are being conducted to explore the allegations, she replied, “Not currently. I don’t think so. … [I]t has to be public what is going on in these meetings and what is going on in these expert groups. Who are the people working for WHO? And who else are they working for?”
According to Voice of America, Keiji Fakuda, WHO director general on pandemic influenza, refuted claims that WHO is in collusion with the pharmaceutical industry. He also noted that 150 million doses of H1N1 vaccine have been distributed in 40 countries.
Meanwhile, WHO reports the global H1N1 death toll at 8,768 as of Dec. 4.
According to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2,500 and 6,100 Americans died from swine flu between April and Oct. 17 this year.
However, the CDC also reports that during a typical U.S. winter, normal seasonal flu strains result in an average of 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 American deaths – roughly 10 times the current swine-flu death rate.
Leading epiemiologists are now predicting the pandemic may rank as the mildest on record.
Note: Concerned individuals may contact the World Health Organization.
Ahmad Fawzi, director of the news and media division; Kiyo Akasaka, undersecretary-general for public information; and Ban Ki-moon can be contacted via e-mail.
So you still doubt that this world is in trouble. Everyone it seems has a price now and it really doesn’t matter if the money is bloody or not!
I don’t think anyone really knows what is going on with this strain of flu. It is proving very difficult to predict where and how hard it will strike and even in what form! Best to be a bit cautious and build you immune system naturally!
Mutated Swine Flu Strains Block Drugs, Worsen Illness
By Michelle Fay Cortez and Marianne Stigset
Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) — Swine flu infections in which the virus mutated to a form that’s more severe or less sensitive to drug treatment are being investigated by European and U.S. public health officials.
Five patients at a hospital in Wales contracted swine flu that resisted treatment with Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu, and three more infections are being analyzed, the U.K. Health Protection Agency said today. Four patients had resistance in a North Carolina hospital. A separate mutation that may trigger more severe illness was found in Norway among two patients who died of the flu and one who was severely ill.
While there is little risk posed by the mutations, investigators are monitoring the new clusters closely, according to health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Influenza activity decreased last week in the U.S. and was widespread in 43 states compared with 46 states the week earlier, the CDC’s Anne Schuchat said today in a briefing. Since swine flu was identified in April, there have been 57 U.S. cases of Tamiflu resistance and “sporadic” reports of mutations similar to those in Norway, she said.
“We take this development seriously, but the HPA currently considers that the risk to the general healthy population is low,” the U.K. officials said in a statement about the Wales cases. “The Tamiflu-resistant virus has emerged in a group of particularly vulnerable individuals. These patients are known to be at increased risk of developing resistance to the drug.”
Spread Since April
Swine flu, also known as H1N1, infected about 22 million people in the U.S. and killed 3,900 people from April to Oct. 17, according to the CDC’s most recent estimate. Norway has had an estimated 700,000 infections, with 21 reported deaths. The disease has killed at least 6,770 people worldwide, according to an estimate today from the Geneva-based WHO. The agency no longer keeps an up-to-date count of global cases.
In the U.S., patient visits to doctors for flu-like symptoms declined the week of Nov. 8 to Nov. 14 from the week earlier as did the rate of influenza hospitalizations, said Schuchat, head of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
“We are beginning to see some declines in influenza activity,” she said. “But it is still much greater than we would ever see at this time of year” compared with typical seasonal flu that runs from November to March.
Difficult to Transmit
The swine flu mutation discovered in Norway is difficult to pass from person to person, said David Mercer, acting head of the communicable diseases unit of the WHO’s European region, and Geir Stene-Larsen, the head of the Oslo-based Institute of Public Health. The mutation was found in 3 of 70 patients tested, the institute said.
The infections in Wales may have passed from a person using Tamiflu to patients who haven’t taken the drug, raising the possibility that a hard-to-treat form of the disease may spread, according to the U.K. health agency. The U.S. cases occurred in October and November, according to the Atlanta-based CDC.
The patients in Wales had blood diseases that weakened their immune systems, either because of the condition itself or the chemotherapy used to treat it, according to the U.K. agency. Resistance to Tamiflu is known to occur in patients with weak immune systems. All the Welsh patients remain sensitive to GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Relenza, another antiviral treatment, the agency said.
In Norway, the changes seen in the virus may allow it to penetrate deeper into the airways and cause more severe disease.
“It seems that the mutated virus does not circulate in the population but might be a result of spontaneous changes which have occurred in these three patients,” Stene-Larsen said in a statement. “There is no indication that this change in the virus is of any importance for the effect of the vaccine or the effect of antiviral treatment.”
Sensitive to Drugs
The virus in Norway appears to be sensitive to Tamiflu and the vaccine now being offered in some areas to prevent swine flu infection, said Mercer of the WHO.
“I don’t think it yet has the public health implications that we would wonder about,” said Schuchat of the CDC. Similar mutations have been seen elsewhere and haven’t necessarily led to a more virulent disease, she said.
“It’s most likely that the virus’ capability to mutate is not just specific to Norway, it will occur in other countries as well,” Stene-Larsen said in an interview on broadcaster TV2.
To contact the reporters on this story: Michelle Fay Cortez in London at email@example.comMarianne Stigset in Oslo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: November 20, 2009 19:23 EST