Our health officials still insist on describing the swine flu (H1N1) as a pandemic – even though the UK’s health supremo admitted this week that just 70 people died from the infection, forgetting that he had predicted 750,000 deaths.
Canadian researchers have also called H1N1 a pandemic, but have reassured the public with the calming news that there won’t be a ‘further’ pandemic this year.
Of course, swine flu was never a pandemic even though the World Health Organization (WHO) classified it as such in 2009, and regulators and researchers the world over have perpetuated the myth.
Why? A European Parliament commission is currently investigating the WHO’s role in issuing a pandemic alert. For its part, the WHO claims it did so on the advice of expert committees, mainly made up of representatives of the drugs industry.
Before the pandemic classification, drug companies had got purchase agreements out of governments around the world that were triggered the moment a pandemic was announced. GlaxoSmithKline made $698m in extra sales from its Pandemrix swine-flu shot alone.
Pandemic – or egg on face?
(Sources: The Times, October 27, 2010; Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2010; October 18, doi: 10.1503/cmaj.100910).