Monday, May 25, 2009

Ignoring flu won't make it go away

H1N1 flu is still spreading. In North America, the number of cases may have passed the 100,000 mark; and cases in Japan may tip us into a pandemic. Yet Europe claims it doesn't have evidence of "sustained transmission" of the virus.

That's hardly surprising, as Europe isn't doing the relevant tests (see "Europe is failing to test for circulating swine flu"). Do governments fear that if they discover the virus is spreading, people with sniffles will swallow antivirals unnecessarily and spawn a drug-resistant strain? Whatever the reason, mad cows taught the UK that refusing to see - and tell - the truth about disease is unwise. If H1N1 is spreading elsewhere, it is unlikely to peter out in Europe. The authorities have had years to draw up pandemic plans. Yet they appear as ill-prepared to track the spread of this virus as they are to make a vaccine for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment