Swine Flu Assessment: First Wave Cut Many Lives Short1 min read
Prompted by allegations that the swine flu pandemic was oversold to promote vaccine sales, researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda MD have released their assessment of the mortality associated with the H1N1 virus in the U.S during the past flu season. In their own words:
“We conclude that the 2009 A/H1N1 pandemic virus had a substantial health burden in the U.S. over the first few months of circulation in terms of years of life lost, justifying the efforts to protect the population with vaccination programs. Analysis of historic records from three other pandemics over the last century suggests that the emerging pandemic virus will continue to circulate and cause excess mortality in unusually young populations for the next few years.”
Relying on the fact that the average age of an H1N1 victim (37) is far younger than the average of a typical seasonal flu victim (76), researchers calculated that in the U.S. H1N1 cost nearly 2,000,000 years of life versus 600,000 for the seasonal flu.
In an interview with New Scientist magazine, researcher Lone Simonsen warns that most people killed in the 1968 pandemic died in its second wave, and advises vaccination. It’s autumn now in the southern hemisphere, and H1N1 is returning. We will keep tracking its progress for our globally mobile readership.