Reuters reports something I already knew:
The new H1N1 swine flu is estimated to have infected about 800,000 people in New York City in the spring, a top U.S. health official said on Sunday, citing a study due to be released later this week.
I remember when they were telling us only 20-30,000 cases were to be expected nationwide...
I was acquainted with three people who had the swine flu this spring - a little boy, a teenage girl, and an adult female.
The teenage girl went to the doctor with all the flu symptoms; the doctor agreed that she likely had H1N1, but refused to test her. Why? As the doctor told the concerned father, the CDC had informed them "not to inflate the numbers of the infected", and recommended only testing younger children and senior citizens.
The little boy was tested and came up positive. He was kept home for a week from school; and the administration was properly informed. About three days later, the school sent out an email-blast to all parents telling them there was no cause for swine flu fears as not a single student in the school had been reported as infected.
The adult female? Also told she likely had swine flu but not tested. Perhaps the doctor should have; as this women's flu turned into a pneumonia that had her hospitalized and in bed for almost two weeks. Is this a pattern we need to be aware of? We'll never know, as apparently records are not being kept...
Right out of Stephen King's "The Stand", no? A pandemic races through the nation, and the government lies about its potency, while it sits in protected offices fretting about the danger.
While I have always believed that the swine flu scare was a bit overblown - and as likely to be fatal as any other flu that makes its way through the population - it is beyond me why the government would ask doctors to deliberately under-report its severity. And why doctors would comply. And why school officials would lie to parents about their children's safety.
The government has set a dangerous precedent here in the realm of public health, intentionally withholding information that could have put the public at great risk, should the strain had mutated and turned more severe.
The question is, what do we do next time, if we cannot trust our government? Looks like we are going to have to set up our own public database, with all the flaws and faults that would be inherent, as an alternative to reliance on the CDC. Perhaps some enterprising doctors, more concerned with their oath than reprisals from the government, can be counted on to run a state-by-state information system. Anything is better than the mess we just encountered, where the people were lied to so that the government would not have to deal with the public health issues involved.
And to think: These same liars are asking us to "trust them", as they attempt to take over the entire medical establishment...