Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just in case you didn't notice, the Great H1N1 Pandemic is over!

Yes, I'm back at least part time after a somewhat delayed recovery from what should have been relatively minor surgery. Oh well, all part of owning a baby-boomer body!

While I'm on the topic of health, on a very important note, the esteemed World Health Organization finally admitted today in a press release from Director-General Margaret Chan's opening statement at a virtual press conference that:

"The world is no longer in phase 6 of influenza pandemic alert. We are now moving into the post-pandemic period. The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course.".

As they say, no sh@t Sherlock. The WHO have finally come to the conclusion that most thinking people came to back in February or March 2010 when it had already become apparent that the virus certainly wasn't spreading with the virulence that it had back in November and December 2009 and that despite the tragic deaths of young and healthy people, the virus certainly wasn't a repeat of the Spanish influenza of the early 20th century. On their August 6th, 2010 update, the WHO has tallied up 18849 worldwide deaths associated with H1N1 and that the most active areas for pandemic influenza transmission are presently in India albeit much less severe than the original wave that took place in 2009.

Lest we become complacent though, the WHO keeps flogging a dead horse by terming this the "post-pandemic period" stating that we must remain vigilant just in case the H1N1 bogeyman should jump out of the closet just as we've been lulled into a false sense of safety. They are still even recommending the vaccination of high-risk individuals; this should not be a problem in Canada as we have huge stockpiles of unused vaccines.

So, now that the WHO has given us a conditional "all's clear" what are Canada and other nations around the world supposed to do with their unused and expiring stockpiles of oseltamivir (tamiflu) and H1N1 vaccines that put billions of dollars into the wide-open pockets of big pharma?

Thanks WHO, I'll sleep more easily tonight with your reassurances that the H1N1 pandemic is finally relegated to history. Let's just hope that you haven't cried wolf once too often.

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