Thursday, July 16, 2009

Some of the facts you are not being told

A couple of things have been circulated in media recently that needs to be addressed. Since Journalists rarely (never) do their job, one need to rely on scuffed aside professors, real scientist and bloggers to find out the truth. No wonder they want to regulate or close down the Internet.

One such interesting thing that, to some extent, has been claimed is that obese people run a higher risk of attracting and dying from Swine flu. There is, however, no scientific findings supporting this. In fact the evidence states the complete opposite. In the US 13-14% of hospitalized for the H1N1 (the catchier name for Swiney Flu) is said to be obese. Since health statistic show that 34% of Americans are obese and if we to this ad the fact that most of those hospitalized in the US that were obese also suffered from diabetes, liver failure, heart failures and similar problems, we can actually conclude, with certainty, that plump fatties actually are highly underrepresented. In other words, if you want to avoid catching or dying from this Piggy disease, please go and buy 55 or so hamburgers.

According to some headlines claiming that H1N1 (not as fun that name, now is it?) is either a “new” strain or an “evolved” variation of earlier flues since it behave differently and is highly likely to attach itself on younger people. This is, of course, not really true. First of all H1N1 strains have always been part of seasonal flu and this “newly” identified strain is behaving much like typical seasonal H1N1 influenza strains, and that the virus goes for younger people is common for H1N1 strains hence there is nothing really different about this season.

We have also been reading about comparisons with the pandemic 1918 which in no way is relevant. The Spanish flu back then had a death rate around 2 percent, today Piggy Flu is just above 0,4% overall and around 0,15% in US, UK and Europe, which is actually slightly lower than any normal flu. The death rate is also going down for every report that WHO and other organisations release – the number of death in relation to the number of infected is less and less. Also, one need to remember that the Spanish flu hit the world during a time when food shortages, weaker immune systems and millions of refugees roamed around as a consequence of World War I. In addition to this one also need to remember that information regarding flu and potential cures and so on travels a lot faster today. Information that 90 years ago could take weeks or even months to reach relevant areas is today more or less instantaneous.

Then we have this fun thing about vaccination. The last time around the “swine flu” caused a scare in the US, during the 70’s, hundreds of people died or got very sick from vaccinations but very few confirmed deaths from the actual flu could be noticed. As an example if you are allergic towards certain things that is used to develop the vaccine it can be a death sentence injecting yourself. Please make sure before letting any needles close to your body.

I also need to ad my personal, not really scientific, belief that the immune system actually need to work out once in a while. Although I have read some scientist claiming the same, this is not proven. I firmly believe that if you always try to avoid bacteria or viruses, you actually stand a higher risk of getting really sick. Those white blood cells and other thing in your body that acts like your personal army are, as any army, in need of training and proper equipment in order to function. If they rarely get to act without the assistances of or even get replaced by injecting anti-virus and nibbling on painkillers, are they really up to the task when some real nasty thing enters your body?

Except for the last passage I collected these fact and data mainly from the American CDC, WHO, different science journals that among other places can be found here: Mongabay
I also constantly read (and steal from) this blogger that is one of the best information sources on the net. Fantastic site that cuts journalists into little pieces. If you ever want to visit a place were facts are discussed, not fiction or headlines, go there.


  1. Gött jobbat!

    Undrar hur det är med fästinsjukorna. Har funderat sedan jag sett sponsrade informationsbilar om vaccin fara runt. Är det farligare än tidigare eller vill någon sälja vaccin, eller en kombination?

  2. Of course most things being read about or heard about is a combination of things. Journalists want to sell newspapers, some “scientists” want to feel important and politicians need to show they do stuff and act accordingly. But there is also, most of the time anyway, some truth behind the claims. Consequently; when it comes to ticks (fästingar) and other things we hear about it is best to check facts on your own or consult a doctor/scientist directly.

    Often journalists come close to the truth eventually – after they scare us with headlines for a week. I’m no doctor or highly regarded expert in either swine flu or ticks, but I would say like this; don’t roll around in grass filled with ticks and don’t have sex with someone highly sick with swine flu. Otherwise behave pretty much as normal. It is never fun being sick, but it happens to all of us, live with it.

    Some information on this subject: