I totally agree.
Unfortunately, a lot of times I've seen on this board some people claiming that a catastrophic event was inevitable during the H1N1 pandemic, although there was a clear lack of data supporting those theories, even today some experts still "raise pandemic concerns and claim that the world's health is at risk". As some of these forum members and experts say "Embellishment is not required", with this they have a pretext to explode their theories and harm the trust of the people in health authorities.
On the other hand, I do appreciate their moderate "studies" when available. And the many contributions bloggers and forum members do every day. Thanks to these people we can put things into perspective.
Nonetheless, ignorance about influenza in 1918, the lack of effective vaccines or antibacterial and antiviral drugs, and the social disruption caused by World War I also contributed heavily to the lethality, and it is unlikely that influenza of similar destructiveness will recur. [color=#000000]The stupefying publicity over the threat of influenza has been generated partly by those, such as the pharmaceutical industry and influenza researchers, who benefit from the increased expenditures the publicity provokes. It is, in effect, disease mongering, the promotion of disease or dread of disease for one's own gain. Huge expenditures on influenza preparedness have produced little demonstrable benefit and some harm, independent of the wasted resources. Disease mongering, including spreading fear of influenza, is widespread and unhealthy and should be vigorously opposed.
Icouldn't disagree more. These pieces are generally put up by those with no background in infectious diseases and no clue about virology or sequences. The piece fails on all levels and is really a political piece with a lot of handwaving. The argument that 1918 can't be duplicated because of unique conditions present in 1918 was silly before the latest pandemic emerged, and utter nonsense after.
In 1918 waves were facilitated by public gatherings like parades, and such gatherings exist today. Moreover, today's population is much more mobile, so spread can be quicker and more extensive. In addition to spread in humans, there are more opportunities for spread in animals.
pH1N1, like 1918 is swine origin and attacks previously health young adults. A small genetic change can have a major effect. D225G was present in 2/5 sequences from 1918/1919 and it is in a few percent of current case. A jump to 40% would have a catestrophic effect. As seen in the UK, the current version can tax health care delivery. Although more advance procedures are in place today, these alternatives, like ECMO machines or mechanical ventilation are limited, both in the number of devicesd as well as trained personal. A 20 fold spike in severe cases would compromise delivery by train medical personal. Increased activity would lower personal levels directly or indirectly.
Similarly, there are issues with vaccine development and delivery, which also apply to antivirals. Even antibiotics have issues, including resistance.
Thus, there are major issues and pieces like the one above should be called out for what they are - polical nonsense, no science required.