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WHO: Flu May Return ‘With A Vengeance’

From the ever hopeful Agence France-Pressee:

Swine flu may return ‘with ‘a vengeance’: WHO

by Marc Burleigh

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – The World Health Organisation chief warned Monday that swine flu could return with a vengeance despite Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon insisting his country has contained the epidemic.

WHO chief Margaret Chan said that a second wave of the virus "would be the biggest of all outbreaks the world has faced in the 21st century", puncturing optimism emanating from the outbreak’s epicentre…

Twenty-five people have died from swine flu, according to the WHO, all but one of them in Mexico. Twenty-one countries have confirmed cases of the virus which has affected around 900 people.

Calderon said Mexico had managed "to contain the epidemic" and was now "in a position to overcome" the A(H1N1) virus.

Mexico’s Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said the epidemic peaked between April 23 and 28 and was "in its phase of decline".

But Chan said the end of the flu season in the northern hemisphere meant that while any initial outbreak could be milder, a second wave could be more lethal, reflecting a pattern seen with the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that killed up to 50 million people.

"We hope the virus fizzles out, because if it doesn’t we are heading for a big outbreak," Chan told the Financial Times in an interview, adding it could re-emerge in the months ahead "with a vengeance".

"I’m not predicting the pandemic will blow up, but if I miss it and we don’t prepare, I fail. I’d rather over-prepare than not prepare." …

In an interview with Spain’s El Pais newspaper, Chan said it was important to avoid a "wave of panic" if the alert level was raised to the maximum six, adding that such a move would not mean "the end of the world"

Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting this from the same cool headed WHO:

WHO head indicates full flu pandemic to be declared

By Ben Harding And Laura Macinnis

MADRID/GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization is likely to raise its flu alert to the top of its six-point scale and declare a pandemic, its director-general indicated in an interview published on Monday.

In remarks setting the scene for another alert increase, but without saying when, WHO chief Margaret Chan warned against over-confidence following a stabilization in the number of new cases of the H1N1 strain that has proved deadly in Mexico.

"Level 6 does not mean, in any way, that we are facing the end of the world. It is important to make this clear because (otherwise) when we announce level 6 it will cause an unnecessary panic," she told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"Flu viruses are very unpredictable, very deceptive … We should not be over-confident. One must not give H1N1 the opportunity to mix with other viruses. That is why we are on alert."

The WHO’s pandemic phases reflect views about how a virus is spreading, and not how severe its effects are.

What is exactly accomplished by raising these flu alert levels? Who does it help the average Joe on the street?

Isn’t there a more discreet way for the medical community to communicate with each other than this?

Think what these scares are doing to the world’s economy. And what pushing them higher will do.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, May 4th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “WHO: Flu May Return ‘With A Vengeance’”

  1. proreason says:

    “What is exactly accomplished by raising these flu alert levels?”

    They increase the serf’s feeling of dependence on government.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    The virus isn’t even here and already it is in the “CRISIS” column.
    Ready to be pulled at a moments notice.
    (notice that they are starting to line up and be held in reserve)

  3. Right of the People says:

    Never let a good crisis go to waste, is that what the Obamites say?

  4. Odie44 says:

    Imagine if the media followed flu deaths – at 35,000 a year, ad nauseum:

    6 months are considered “flu” hot spots or 6,000 per month or 1,500 per week.

    Schools, public transportation, planes, etc would all be closed, zero revenue flowing in and mass hysteria would take over.

    Instead, 280 cases, with zero deaths (sorry a Mexican kid sadly dying in America via Mexico shouldnt be tallyed as an American death) and over 5,000 stories in the past 3 weeks are dominating the paranoia. As many posters here have said – intentional “pandemic” fears to install the government as your nanny. Precursor to Nationalized Health Care.

  5. Confucius says:

    Now, can we close the border?

  6. BatK says:

    Would not surprise me if they had “mandatory” vaccinations to infect people with something worse… Maybe I’ve seen V for Vendetta too many times… then of course, blame the virus for what the vaccine actually did, thus making us beholden to the govt to take care of us, etc etc…

  7. Reality Bytes says:

    Chicken Little in 2012

  8. BillK says:

    Nice to see there is no WHO level to denote say, a world-wide pandemic that is actively killing a percentage of the population.

    For anyone medically illiterate, this means every common cold virus is, technically, a “level 6 pandemic.”

    As is of course, each year’s season flu.

    My question is, once again, will the schools close for a week each time a child falls ill with the seasonal flu this fall?

    • proreason says:

      Well, it depends on how many other distractions are lined up for the House of Mirrors.

    • elizabethyork says:

      At least it’ll keep kids out of those liberal rehabilitation centers known as public schools for a while. Maybe the’ll actually learn something staying home!

  9. canary says:

    The WHO bank gave them 25 million. Is this propaganda to give them the other 175 billion? It sad they are in such a panic cleaning everything. I picture the poor people washing money. I think the Mexican leader who also lied about 90 % of the guns they confiscate come from America, and that America has a responsibilty to help them fight the drug cartel, are cruel in their handling. And then unbelievably DHS won’t let our border patrol wear masks when searching their cars at the border. That’s DHS torture to the border patrol. They keep holding their breath till they nearly pass out.

  10. CGardner says:

    I don’t think WHO is calling a “Chicken Little” on this virus.

    If you look at the stats on St. Francis Prep, 1,000 people contracted swine flu from a group of 5 or 6 kids who vacationed in Cancun. So, it’s very easily transmitted. If it mutates, as influenza viruses tend to do, we could see the emergence of a more deadly form of the virus. (Or in fairness, it also could mutate to something more benign.) It’s also likely that the mutations would include a resistance to Tamiflu, as other H1N1 viruses have done in the recent past.

    The thing to remember is that influenza viruses do best at 40C and in low humidity. So, while the Northern Hemisphere is passing out of its flu season, the Southern Hemisphere is just entering theirs. Think of all the second and third-world countries down south of the equator who don’t have a medical infrastructure or anti-virals to deal with a virus for which most people have no immunity. And then, after the bug simmers for the winter months down under, it can loop around and hit us full force in the Fall.

    WHO and CDC don’t know how this will play out, but they are correct to respect this virus.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      …..while all the time our fearless leaders look the other way. Allowing air travel and open borders to continue as if “nothing ” was going on.
      Obumble doesn’t give a hoot for American citizens…..he wants the Bush Administration tossed into Club Gitmo and waterboarded!

  11. anniebuddy says:

    The scare of world economy seems to start taking effect in Japan:
    http://www.newsy.com/videos/viral_confusion/

    As mentioned in the video, I think emphasizing the “etiquette” of staying home when you’re sick should be one of the things this alert accomplishes.


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