Monday, July 27, 2009

From none other than the venerable Guardian newspaper - yet another voice of reason. Are people listening though? While parents blithely offer up their infants to the ‘gods’ of vaccination testing, one has to wonder if this is Darwin’s way? Why do we keep on being fooled by these pandemic promises by those who profit from disease?

The way we're collating figures for swine flu is wildly inaccurate and almost certainly inflating infection rates and public anxiety.

My best wishes to those who have had, and will get, swine flu, and my profound sympathies to the families of those who have died from it. To them it is real. But to those responsible for counting cases and designing defences to protect the population, it is a statistical disease.

Before the virus was discovered in the early 1930s there was no other way to measure it. Influenza has no unique clinical features. There is no diagnostic rash. Its symptoms can be caused by a multitude of other microbes. Its activities could only be measured by looking at groups rather than individuals; studying death rates (making the assumption that a rise in the winter was due to flu), and counting the number of cases in a community with "typical" symptoms (likewise assuming that if there was a big rise, its cause was flu).

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