Does the Swine Flu really have the makings of an epidemic? Yes.

I do think that we have seen a robust response to Swine Flu, sometimes bordering on panic.  Much of this seems like overkill.  However, first analyses of the H1N1 virus suggest this response is entirely warranted:

H1N1 swine flu is spreading fast enough to justify calling it a pandemic, say epidemiologists who’ve analysed the pattern of spread so far.

“The message is that the epidemic is spreading very much as expected based on past flu epidemics,” says Christophe Fraser of Imperial College London, and co-leader of the analysis team.

The results suggest that the H1N1 virus is showing “sustained human-to-human transmission”, thereby justifying the WHO’s pandemic phase 5 rating, one short of the most severe.

Read more at New Scientist.

Having read John Barry’s “The Great Influenza,” about the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-1920, I think it bears remembering that the first probable incidents of flu were recorded in February 1918. It wasn’t until October that the virus’ true epidemic proportions were registered.  One-third of the deaths were registered in mid-September to December.

Even if all seems well with the Swine Flu, I sleep better at night knowing continued vigilance is still the order of the day.

Source
First analysis of swine flu spread supports pandemic plan – New Scientist

5 Comments
  1. DavosSherman says

    Having read John Barry’s “The Great Influenza,” about the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-1920, I think it bears remembering that the first probable incidents of flu were recorded in February 1918. It wasn’t until October that the virus’ true epidemic proportions were registered. One-third of the deaths were registered in mid-September to December.

    Even if all seems well with the Swine Flu, I sleep better at night knowing continued vigilance is still the order of the day.

    +1

    Great read indeed. I’ve been following this where I blog, using these links.

    http://flutracker.rhizalabs.com/

    http://trancy.net/

    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

    A lot of discrepancies between the aggregate.

    Even the doc. who collected the data for Flu Tracker says in this video something to the effect, well we will have as many deaths as Mexico when we have the same number of 200,000 cases….his chart, back then was around 2,000 cases. I found it also interesting that after Mexico said the A(H1N1) was on the decline that the Flu Tracker shows it increasing.

    I’ve also listened to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX3bzqeHmTQ&feature=player_embedded and I read this http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/29/Swine-Flu.aspx

    Lastly, while this has a conspiracy ring to it, it is the only article I could find that talks about how these f-ups released this live vaccine to 18 countries. http://www.naturalnews.com/025760.html

    Take care

  2. Wag the Dog says

    Pandemic or not, the more important question is what is the mortality rate?
    http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/04/swine_flu_what_do_cfr_virulenc.php

  3. Olaf says

    “I think it bears remembering that the first probable incidents of flu were recorded in February 1918. It wasn’t until October that the virus’ true epidemic proportions were registered.”

    Yes, but this was without fast cars and especially without airplanes which today help spreading the flu.

    1. Edward Harrison says

      Olaf, you should remember there was a World War going on in 1918. John Barry’s book makes it plain that this contributed to a very rapid spread of the virus. It was the February cases in army bases in the U.S. before soldiers shipped out to Europe that made the virus spread so rapidly.

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