Tag Archives: CDC

Swine Flu alarm raised to nincompoop

There it is, health crisis confirmed. Today the WHO raised the pandemic alert level to five. Confirmed cases of Swine Flu H1N1 have now spread to ten countries and our health is in the hands of idiots. Conniving idiots. This morning President Obama announced the dreaded first US fatality, but declined to reveal specifics out of a concern for patient confidentiality. Through the day we learned that the US death wasn’t exactly representative of an accelerated infection rate. In reality the Swine Flu victim was a Mexican 23-month-old who’d been brought to the US for treatment. However, when CDC director Dr. Richard Besser was interviewed for the evening news, the alarm theme turned once again on the virus’s escalation with the death of the American child in Texas.

Though so far the US victims have suffered only mild cases, the CDC concludes on 4/29/2009:

“The more recent illnesses and the reported death suggest that a pattern of more severe illness associated with this virus may be emerging in the U.S.”

I find it loathsome that Right Wing Nuts are pointing the finger at Mexican immigrants, and I’m in favor of our hospitals attempting to help whoever they can. But I don’t think it’s fair to pretend that someone afflicted in Mexico, who comes to the US, should be counted as an example of the Swine Flu having spread within the US.

Wasn’t Barack Obama supposed to herald the expunging of at least the facade of duplicity from our policy makers? We do not want to close the US-Mexico border, we say, because it’s already too late, implying concern for relations with Mexican nationals. But hasn’t the border permanently closed to them already? It’s fortified by Minutemen vigilantes in fact? No, leaving the border open has everything to do with the products which US corporations are now producing in Mexico, both agricultural and industrial.

I have to admit I’m not surprised at the lies, there are innumerable reasons to obfuscate the truth, from protecting the pork industry, to boosting shareholder investment in pharmaceutical stock. But I didn’t expect the charade to be so incompetent.

Dr. Besser went on to repeat the instructions with which we are meant to arm ourselves against the pandemic. Are you comforted any by the “duck and cover” advice they have to offer? What to do in the even of a pandemic: 1) wash your hands often, 2) cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, 3) stay home if you feel sick –I’ll interrupt to point out the obvious, this is not advice for staying well, it’s advice for not contaminating others with what you have– and 4) stay away from sick people. Is that how the health experts make themselves useful?

And what sick people might those be?

The other farcical component to this Keystone Docs epidemic is what’s passing for a description of the “flu.” Black Plague victims didn’t know what they were up against, and apparently neither do we. To my mind it would help immeasurably to know what exactly is the ailment. Oh, you know, flu-like symptoms, basically like the common cold, or a headache or sore throat, or mono or strep or a nondescript uneasy feeling, with a fever. When it comes to defining the flu, it’s as if medical science is in the Dark Age.

I omitted the last instruction: 5) If you think you might be ill, see your doctor.

Now, how many of us have doctors we can see, or are prompted to visit a doctor about a headache or a sore throat? I’m convinced that if this epidemic sweeps through before we can even guard our sneezes, it will be because few have access to medical help. Infections will go largely unreported because there’s no one to make a record of your ailment before the issue is settled about what insurance coverage you have. In El Paso County, budget cutbacks have left only a skeleton crew at the county health department. No one’s left to do the work of surveying the public health in these parts.

That is to say, the only agencies with manpower left, and the only health care generally available to the American public, are the morgues. That’s where and when this pandemic will be charted, if it materializes.

Thanks to Tamiflu, we may just avert the phantom menace entirely.

Swine flu pandemic, my ass

1976 swine flu epidemic mandated vaccinationDo you have an uneasy sense that someone’s trying to pull the wool over your eyes? Does the hullabaloo over a looming swine flu pandemic seem a bit overblown? The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the pandemic alert level (a 6-point scale) to 4 and is considering moving it to 5 today, with only 7 confirmed deaths worldwide! Keep in mind that seasonal flu kills 40,000 every year in the US alone, so why the sudden grave concern?

I don’t claim to understand all the factors at play here, but one thing I do know: I am FAR more concerned that my government will use manufactured fear somehow to my detriment — likely another lost civil liberty or two and large profits or other benefits to a chosen few — than I am about contracting the demon swine flu.

A few facts to bolster your immune-to-bullshit system:

–Thus far, only 97 cases of so-called swine flu have been definitively identified worldwide, mostly in Mexico (26 confirmed, 7 deaths) and the U.S. (64 confirmed, no deaths). About 1600 suspected cases, including 159 deaths, are reported in Mexico. Sad as this is, it does not add up to a pandemic swine flu outbreak. We love to make this shit up for some reason. Remember the one million Americans who were supposed to die of swine flu in 1976? WHO has forgotten about them, I suppose, because they refused to become cooperative statistics.

–The virus at issue has nothing to do with swine. In fact, it hasn’t been seen in a single animal. And you can’t possibly get it from eating pork which I see as an unfortunate truth, because a good reason to stop eating pork would be a welcome silver lining to this “worldwide health crisis.”

–No existing vaccines can prevent this new flu strain. So no matter what you hear – even if it comes from your doctor – don’t get a regular flu shot. They rarely work against seasonal flu and certainly can’t offer protection from a never-before-seen strain.

–Speaking of this strain, it doesn’t seem to have come on naturally. According to the World Health Organization, this particular strain has never before been seen in pigs or people. And according to Reuters, the strain is a ‘genetic mix’ of swine, avian and human flu. Was it created in a lab? We don’t know yet, and I doubt we’ll find out anytime soon.

–The drug companies are getting excited, and that’s never a good thing. According to the Associated Press at least one financial analyst estimates up to $388 million worth of Tamiflu sales in the near future – and that’s without a pandemic outbreak. Imagine the payday when everyone begins to flip out!

–Let’s not forget that Tamiflu comes with its own problems, including side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, cough — the very symptoms it purports to relieve! But, oh well, at least the drug company benefits financially from Tamiflu sales. No one benefits if we don’t take it, which makes the whole pandemic thing seem like a wasted opportunity.

–Vaccines for this flu strain won’t have to jump through all those annoying hurdles like clinical trials for safety and effectiveness (which, if you know anything about the FDA, are usually a waste of time anyway). That won’t, however, stop the government from mandating the vaccine for all of us – a very likely scenario. And if the vaccines are actually harmful — killing people, for example, which they certainly will be — the vaccine makers will be immune from lawsuits. D’ya suppose they could bottle up some of that fail-safe immunity for the rest of us?

“Swine flu” is endemic to a sick system created by pigs. Your best defense against swine flu – your only real defense in any manufactured health crisis situation – is a bullshit-proof immune system.