UPDATED AT BOTTOMThis reply by Renee, a health care professional in New York, over at Brutally Honest, in response to a post Rick has about panic in this swine flu ordeal we are in. I found it very down to earth and helpful in gaining some understanding about what is actually going on with these dramatic things being discussed around the issue.
People need to think education, not panic.
The designation of a pandemic is based on the ability of a virus to be transmitted, sustained, and then move across populations. It is showing about a 60% infection rate based on reported numbers. Even having 60% of a population sick can be a serious problem.
The markers in the H1N1 Swine flu is the same H1N1 marker in the common influenza. The common influenza kills more but only because it overwhelms people who have a compromised immune system, the 9 out of 10 it kills, are all older than 65, weakened humans. The other 1 out of ten it kills is other people, in other age groups, that also have compromised immune systems. It rarely, rarely kills a healthy person.
Now, you have a new cousin H1N1-Swine on the block...it has a new key to get in and components-swine and avian-that the majority of the human population hasn't had the pleasure of meeting before AND it is killing the young healthy crowd. This is a HUGE difference between it and the common H1N1 influenza.
It is just the begining of the flu season for the southern hemisphere so it will be telling to see what this virus does there over the next few months if they aren't able to contain it.
As far as the numbers being reported of infected or deaths...they are wayyyyyy under reported. Ask a doctor in Mexico treating the people who have it...and from personal reports, many medical professionals died in the process. They were told to put other causes on their certificates of death, they turned people away from the hosptials because they were overwhelmed.
Even in the U.S., only a portion of people are getting tested. For instance, in Queens, not even half of the people were tested...so that half gets reported as offical number of cases.
There are personal reports on U.S. forums of the 25-44 age group individuals having died a few weeks ago that had flu symptoms. It is not the normal influenza age group, so what did they die from? Those people are buried. Do you think they are going to dig them up to test them for swine flu when they aren't even testing people with apparent symptoms?
The CDC is pulling a trick now of trying to lessen the numbers by only counting those deaths THEY tested as having swine flu...forget about reporting all the people who had those symptoms, were tested by Mexican doctors, and died.
They know the real impact, they can't help but know, and so they are speaking out of both sides of their mouths trying to warn us, and calm everyone down. The number of deaths are likely more in the 1,000 range rather than the 150 and that is in a stage where the majority of the population hasn't been exposed to it yet.
We didn't know what to look for then, now we do, another reason to recognize a virus as having pandemic qualitites. It is too early in the life of this virus to see how it will mutate, stronger or weaker or what the actual fallout in numbers are..but it has to be watched, it has all the reasons to be taken very seriously. That doesn't mean panic the population, it means educate the population and prepare.Thanks Renee... very helpful.
XtnYoda, shalomedUPDATE:Following is a follow-up post by Renee about what a "conspiracy" thinking way of looking at this whole thing might look like.
It's really unthinkable that this could be a purposeful attempt to spread terrorism or maybe even worse, to make money off of the ensuing medical needs... like selling the medications to fight the flu... so you create a flu in order to make the vaccines to treat the flu...
The above response was the non-conspiracy theory response...put on your tin-foil hat and go with me to this possiblity.
There are some experts who are saying this virus has vectors that could indicate it is from a lab. If so, did it escape due to human error or was it purposely released?
Read up on Baxter or Bayer if you don't think there is a possiblity of that occuring and then ask the question about fear chasing the dollar around.
We know there are hostile states, and terrorist organizations that have bio-terrorism on their mind and have an ideology that international chaos and death must come to the world to welcome in their messiah...they could care less if their people die and our people die; lots of us have to die for this to come about and they think they have been tasked to help it along.
There are also scientists who feel we have to kill off 9/10 of the world population for planet earth to survive and we have organizations that fund those scientists and give them awards.
What better carrier for all of the above than the common influenza with a few tweaks to make it more deadly?
We need to identify where this thing came from.