Monday, December 18, 2017

The 2013 Influenza Epidemic – a Hoax?

February 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Influenza, Vaccination

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention this year’s Influenza season has reached “epidemic” proportions. Areas in the northeast are calling this the worst outbreak in 10 years with hospitals overwhelmed and understaffed. Boston has even declared a state of emergency due to the outbreaks. Mass vaccination “parties” have occurred all over the nation in response to the CDC’s renewed efforts to get everyone vaccinated for the Influenza virus that is ravaging the population everywhere.

For some reason this all sounds very familiar to me. I remember these same calls about the “worst Influenza epidemic in years” in 2011, and 2010 and especially in 2009 that led to a new vaccine – the H1N1 Influenza vaccine.

I’ve become leery about these statements, mainly due to the fact that the organization that tracks illnesses also makes policy about vaccinations and dictates what strains should be included in the seasonal Influenza vaccine. A not so minor conflict of interest to me.

So let’s look at that data.

For the 2012-2013 flu season, 29 states are reporting high amounts of flu activity and the CDC reports that flu is widespread in 41 states. Boston states they have had 700 cases whereas last year the month of January only had 70. Scary right?

Well let’s look at the whole season and the real numbers we want to see – how many Influenza cases end up in the hospital or end in a severe complication. Since October 1, 2012 there have been 2,257 people hospitalized with the flu, and 56 deaths reported due to influenza related complications. The numbers are still much lower than what we saw in the H1N1 flu pandemic . Horrible for parents who have lost children – Utah being one of the states having a 16 year old child die from Influenza complications (long story short he had a bacterial infection that became severe when he got Influenza, a sad story), but as a whole not a large population of people ending in severe complications.

The data would suggest a pretty severe outbreak but not at epidemic proportions and not severely life threatening when the whole season so far is taken into account.

Looking closer at how the CDC reports adds more light to the topic as well.

It would make sense that the CDC uses hard scientific evidence while tracking the Influenza outbreaks, meaning they use confirmed cases, but that’s just not the case. They claim it’s not “fiscally sound” to actually test everyone who complains of flu like symptoms but that by using these same symptoms they can predict with “a high level of accuracy” whether the patient has the flu or not. You will notice that when the rates are reported they state “influenza like illnesses” – which of course means not confirmed.

Currently confirmed cases are being reported at a rate of 23.3% from all tested samples. Meaning for every 100 people showing up in the Emergency Room with Influenza like symptoms (which gets reported as such) only 23 are actually positive.

In a nut shell – my opinion is that a large portion of these outbreaks are due to multiple viruses such as paramyxovirus or parainfluenza. There is no doubt that many are getting severely ill but to blame it all on the Influenza Virus is a joke and seems to be more of a ploy for vaccination rates to climb.

I just don’t understand how sound scientific reasoning and fact reporting often goes out the window when the Influenza season begins.

Oh and as a small side note, the CDC is reporting on their website that preliminary data suggest the Influenza vaccine success rate is at 60%. Pretty low by my standards.

To me there are just so many other tactics that are way more effective than the Influenza vaccine at preventing this illness. That is where the focus of the CDC should be.

References:
www.CDC.gov

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