Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 19, 2010

H1N1 messaging muddle? Or leading indicator?

Filed under: Biosecurity,Preparedness and Response — by Philip J. Palin on December 19, 2010

For the last two or three weeks I have noticed much more attention to flu stories — and especially H1N1 – in the British media than I have seen in the United States.  But when I have checked the health  informatics I have seen no statistically significant difference. 

The divergence in attention has, however, finally gotten to the point where I will at least aggregate some of the recent reports for the benefit of the — mostly stateside — HLSWatch reader.

If swine flu pandemic is over, why the panic?  (The Telegraph)

Warning over number of previously healthy swine flu patients suffering lung problems (The Mirror)

Doctors warn of flu crisis (The Guardian)

Seventeen people die from flu this winter (The Press Association)

Swine flu now dominant virus as cases rocket (The Mercury)

Region is facing major flu crisis (Norther Echo)

Sussex facing flu epidemic as patients refuse vaccines (The Argus)

There is some indication that — unlike in the US — the percentage of the British population receiving flu vaccinations has dropped from last year.   How much of this is a “health vector” and how much this is a “perception vector” would require more attention than I have given the issue.

Basic information on the status of influenza is available from:

World Health Organization Flu Net (information is a bit dated)

UK Health Protection Agency Weekly National Influenza Report (December 16)

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Weekly FluView (December 17)

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 20, 2010 @ 8:55 am

Another excellent subject. First of all the British government really takes its public health issues seriously. Second, the issue of vaccination is extremely important and all must realize that the real purpose of vaccinations is not to protect the individual but the herd. That is why CDC has started slowly to turn the ship of vaccination about and not talk about individuals with identified reasons for getting flu vaccines, like the immune deficient (which I am post radiation treatment for cancer) and that all should be vaccinated. This message has not yet reached the public but should.

Just as those face masks utilizied by many are not designed to protect the individual wearing them but the people they come into contact with–including the medical profession. And even qualifying masks for H1N1 must be carefully scrapped as medical waste and replaced every two hours. Suggest a link to CDC website for this blog.

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