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Swine Flu Hoax revisited - Racoon was right


Racoon
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Just thought I'd bring this back up for those who still believe mass corporate media.

 

Swine Flu was a hoax, and the people who profited were the Vaccine makers.. Check out their profit margins and stock prices if you don't believe me.

 

You Bashed me for questioning the authenticity of the so called "pandemic" and whether or not to take an unproven, hastily made swine-flu vaccine shot.

 

I can see this **** coming down the pipeline, and I had doubts.

Theres a helluva' lot more where that came from.

Thanks for playing.

 

Question Authority.

Read Thomas Jefferson.

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So you have data on the product line profits for swine flu vaccine for all the drug companies that produced it? And you can show that those numbers represent a significant proportion of their profits?

 

Love to see the data, dear....without such data, all you just said is, "stupid to spend a thin dime on something that is not absolutely certain to leave you with a 1 in 20 chance of dying by the end of the year."

 

Thanks, I'll take my chances on "enriching" pharmaceutical companies--who seem to have little interest in being involved unless their arms are heavily twisted--and feel free to call those who refuse to cooperate on public health a danger to society.

 

Self-righteous victims invite extra nails, :lol:

Buffy

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But did more people die from swine flu than from normal influenza? Does not seem to me, so Racoon is kind of right. Yeah I know, I need data to back this up, but it is just from what I was reading in the news...
Two points here:

 

1. the failure for swinflu to turn into a major pandemic may have been precisely because the global health authorities took the situation seriously and were proactive in containing it.

 

2. The potential for a major pandemic was there. The consensus of the medical community is that such a pandemic will occur. That view has not arisen because of lobbying and conspiracy by the pharmaceutical industry but bececause there are very sound reasons for believing it to be a valid, evidence based view. It would have been irresponsible to have taken no action. With events as rare as these it is difficult to gauge the correct amount of action that should be undertaken. This may have been an over-reaction, but do you want to die next time around because of an under-reaction. That would be a potential consequence of adopting Racoon's thinking.

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I see your point Eclogite, but as you say in 1) "MAY have precisely the cause..." so it also may not have been the cause, but just over-feared the flu. But this is an if-question we can't really answer...

 

AS to 2): I think that there is no conspiracy behind, but just a big side-effect of sensationalism...well as to under-react, I did not take the vaccin and last October I have been sick with fever, no idea though what I had...

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The number of deaths worldwide are not a "hoax"--here is what the facts show for the end of 2009:

 

End Of Day Summary for Monday, December 7, 2009 (FluCount.org): Over the past 7 days, 951 new swine flu deaths (average 136 deaths/day) have been reported from 62 nations around the world. ....The 5 most affected nations this week were the United States, Russia, Turkey, China, and India....The United States leads the list for the 6th straight week with 127 new confirmed deaths among 32 states and Puerto Rico. New H1N1-related deaths were reported in: CA (12), PA (11), AZ (10), MN (9), OR (8), NY (7), IA (6), MI (6), TX (6), WA (5), WI (4), AL (3), IL (3), MA (3), CO (2), FL (2), GA (2), ID (2), KY (2), ME (2), NH (2), NJ (2), NM (2), NC (2), VA (2), WV (2), AK (1), CT (1), NV (1), RI (1), UT (1), VT (1), PR (4).

 

From Wiki: On January 18, 2010, Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, said the pandemic appeared to be easing in the northern hemisphere but could still cause infections until winter ends in April, and that it was too soon to say what would happen once the southern hemisphere enters winter and the virus becomes more infectious.[21] Currently, there are 14,286 confirmed deaths worldwide.

 

How much higher would these numbers be without the vaccine in 2009 ?? How many more human deaths are needed to convince the skeptic that "swine flu is not a hoax" ?? Going into 2010, these were the "hoax" numbers that world health organizations had in front of them. Now, who would look at these numbers and say---wow, what a hoax, no reason to continue making the H1N1 vaccine so companies can make a profit ?

 

Also, there is genetic evidence the H1N1 swine flu virus is undergoing mutation in response to the vaccine, the mutated strain is spreading. I'm sure this virus is no "hoax" for the families of those that have died.

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Rade, can you find the equivalent numbers for the normal influenza? Before jumping to conclusions about how bad the deaths were you need to be able to compare it to something.
I did compare the numbers, I compared them to the topic of this thread:

 

Swine Flu Hoax revisitedRacoon was right

 

If swine flu was a hoax, that means there should be 0.0 deaths due to H1N1 virus. If we look up the common definition of the word hoax, it means "a trick or fraud--a practical joke"

 

So, given that Racoon stated bluntly that swine flu is a "hoax"--I just responded bluntly to say Racoon was not "right", not by any definition of the term.

 

==

 

OK, sure, it would be interesting to compare how many humans died from H1N1 vs other types of viruses. And when you look at the data, sure, all other virus last year (2009) killed ~ 600,000 humans worldwide---H1N1 ~ 15,000.

 

But that approach, imo, misses a very important fact. The H1N1 virus is classified as a Type A virus---and, in human history, Type A viruses have been documented to kill well over 1,000,000 humans/year. The last major Type A virus worldwide was in late 1960's. So, what were the world health organization to do in the late 2000's when the H1N1 evidence indicated the death rate was raising from a new form of Type A virus--just sit around and wait until 1,000,000 humans were dead ? Of course not, logic demands they would have done exactly what they did--try to offer vaccinations to as many as possible, especially children. If 1,000,000 humans have not died from the Type A virus called H1N1 (for whatever unknown reason), I think Racoon and all of us should say "thank God", and not "swine flu is a hoax"--that is the purpose for my response to this thread topic.

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Rade, I think what Sanctus is asking is what were the tally for swine 'flu deaths vs. regular 'flu deaths.

 

If the 2009 global tally for swine 'flu is 15,000 and the regular 'flu death count is 20,000, then yes - swine 'flu is bad. But if the regular 'flu death tally of 20,000 is the average for any given year, and it includes the swine 'flu death count, then the whole swine 'flu business was a hoax, and it did not raise the 'flu related deaths one inch.

 

So, is the swine 'flu tally additional, or included in the 2009 'flu total?

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But did more people die from swine flu than from normal influenza? Does not seem to me, so Racoon is kind of right.

You seem to be agreeing with a central point of Racoon's argument that the rest of us find horrifying: the implication that reacting with caution to a public health threat because it is "statistically unlikely" is bad public policy because it is "over-fearing" and as Racoon implies a waste of the public's money to the point of being legitimately called "fraud."

 

Any flu only has a *chance* of becoming pandemic, but the downside is that if it does, hundreds of *millions* of people may die.

 

The point here is that swine flu is potentially far more lethal than "plan flu" and thus any comparison is not only misleading, it could be tragically foolish to use the fact to argue anything.

 

What Racoon is crowing about being right on is his claim that we wasted our money on a "hoax" when as mentioned by Rade above, there were plenty of real deaths.

 

Whatever the reason for it not becoming pandemic, wrong genes, vaccinations, heavy public health coverage (and in fact, quite likely a combination of all of these), we dodged the bullet, and to do what Racoon advocates--doing nothing because it's just the greedy pharmaceutical companies perpetrating a hoax to steal our money--would be criminal negligence on the part of our public health organizations.

 

So I certainly hope you don't really agree that it was all a hoax and we should never do anything about this--oh to try to walk this back--"unless its absolutely certain to be a pandemic".

 

If we ever do get to that point of statistical certainty on predicting an epidemic, I'd argue that its way too late to take any action that would save millions of lives.

 

This isn't global warming folks: we're talking about avoiding the next 1918, or worse, Black Death.

 

Can no man tell me of my unthrifty son? :artgallery:

Buffy

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This is an ethics issue. Actually, it's two separate ethics issues.

 

1. Is it ok to let people die despite the evidence that speaks of looming death?

2. Is it ok for people to profit, or even over-profit, from "saving" people?

 

Neither choice is mutually exclusive of the other. Biology is the overarching choice as it does not obey our ethical constraints.

 

When herds of Elk reach a certain population density and do not have the predation to balance their numbers, factors such as bacterial infection and virus transmission become much more prevalent. If we then cage those animals and homogenize them, evolution seems to come to a virtual standstill.

 

So we valiantly search for the "cure of the day" in hopes that it will save lives, when all along, it is we that are both the symptom and the cure.

 

So, in a sense, I think Racoon was right and I'll defend Sanctus' remarks. But at the same time, I agree with Rade and Buffy that public health intervention is invaluable and can not be demeaned in such a derogatory manner.

 

It is virtuous and ultimately in our best interests to protect ourselves and our kind (and other kinds). It *is* frustrating to see pharmaceutical profits that provide more threads for pockets than infants, but we have to remember that we are a society and as such we need these people. The same company that created Sildenafil also created Lipitor. Both drugs have high marketability precisely because both conditions are rampant in our society. Likewise, drug companies respond to health threats. It's in their best interests, of course, but it also addresses fundamental shortcomings in our biology.

 

Philosophically, both sides have merit.

Socially, prevention of death equals higher productivity.

Morally, profiting from illness is evil business and the right thing to do is be honest and helpful.

Ecologically, we should probably leave it alone and let things settle themselves.

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Rade, can you find the equivalent numbers for the normal influenza? Before jumping to conclusions about how bad the deaths were you need to be able to compare it to something.

 

According to wikipedia's influenza article referencing this study,

there are an average of approximately 36,000 deaths per 200,000 hospitalizations associated with influenza in the U.S. each year. That would be a death rate of 18% of those hospitalized with influenza symptoms.

 

A second source from globalsecurity.org says "About 5-10% of hospitalizations [in the U.S.] for influenza lead to fatal outcome in adults."

 

According to the "Aggregate Hospitalizations and Deaths Reporting Activity" surveillance system on the CDC's site the past flu season had 41,821 confirmed influenza related hospitalizations and 2,117 confirmed influenza related deaths. This amounts to 5%. According to the CDC:

States report weekly to CDC either 1) laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations and deaths or 2) pneumonia and influenza syndrome-based cases of hospitalization and death resulting from all types or subtypes of influenza. Although
only the laboratory confirmed cases are included in this report
, CDC continues to analyze data both from laboratory confirmed and syndromic hospitalizations and deaths.

 

Another source appearing at the top of most of my google searches, flucount.org gives the number of "U.S. Lab-Verified Swine Flu Infections" at 44,640 and the number of deaths 10,837 and attributes the data to the CDC. This would be 24.3% I cannot reconcile that with the figures I'm seeing on the CDC's site.

 

It seems likely that this subtype of H1N1 is not more deadly than most others, but...

 

Looking at all the inconsistent data and incompatible sampling methods it seems like it is incredibly difficult to judge the severity of a flu strain even after a flu season has passed. I find this extremely troubling considering the difference between a typical flu today and a 1918-type pandemic could be as little as a 2% increase in mortality per infection.

 

I would hope that we can spot that type of statistical anomaly before it becomes a devastating pandemic considering how quickly they spread. And, on the flip side of the coin, the idea that some subtypes of H5N1 can kill as many as half those infected—I would say the risk justifies the most aggressive and expensive tracking and warning system and would hope people don't become desensitized to the warnings.

 

I live in an area with frequent tornadoes, and the likelihood of being personally hit by one is extremely low, but people here recognize the importance of the warning system. People tend not to think, "last time there was a tornado warning my house wasn't hit, so this time I'm not going to bother waking up, getting out of bed, and going to the basement". I hope people are as sensible when it comes to lower risk and higher damage outcomes of epidemiology.

 

~modest

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Rade, I think what Sanctus is asking is what were the tally for swine 'flu deaths vs. regular 'flu deaths....So, is the swine 'flu tally additional, or included in the 2009 'flu total?.
Hi Boerseum....your question does not have an easy answer---see this link for example:

Thirty-Six Thousand People Do Not Die Each Year from "Regular Flu" (Confirmed)

 

The author makes a reasonable suggestion that Racoon would have been partially correct if he had made the comment "Regular Flu Deaths are a Hoax" ! Government agencies and hospitals rarely confirm with lab testing of specific virus why any human dies (mostly related to respiratory and circulatory problems). The CDC uses statistical modeling to "estimate" annual flu related death rates. The published reports of deaths from regular flu virus types have very little scientific standing.

 

However, nearly all H1N1 deaths are confirmed (i.e., the virus has been detected in the patient). So, there have been ~ 15,000 lab confirmed H1N1 deaths worldwide in 2009. But, health organizations have little data on "confirmed" deaths from all the possible other types of flu viruses.

 

So, I wonder is Racoon will then agree:

 

DEATHS FROM REGULAR FLU VIRUS A HOAX

 

So, while I think your question is valid---how does one go about to get a scientific answer--regular flu death rates are not lab confirmed, H1N1 deaths are lab confirmed.

Do you see the problem here ?

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... The CDC uses statistical modeling to "estimate" annual flu related death rates. The published reports of deaths from regular flu virus types have very little scientific standing.

...

valid---how does one go about to get a scientific answer--regular flu death rates are not lab confirmed, H1N1 deaths are lab confirmed.

Do you see the problem here ?

 

no; i don't see a problem here. one goes about it with statistical analyses. :phones: one doesn't need the whole population, i.e. whole population of interest, in order to contruct a valid statistical conclusion/projection.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_(statistics)

...Researchers rarely survey the entire population for two reasons (Adèr, Mellenbergh, & Hand, 2008): the cost is too high, and the population is dynamic in that the individuals making up the population may change over time. The three main advantages of sampling are that the cost is lower, data collection is faster, and since the data set is smaller it is possible to ensure homogeneity and to improve the accuracy and quality of the data.

 

that said, in order to better qualify the data used, the testing would have to be carried out at individual hospitals at every death. who's gonna pay for that?

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So, in a sense, I think Racoon was right and I'll defend Sanctus' remarks

Well the question is "right about what?"

Swine Flu was a hoax, and the people who profited were the Vaccine makers..

You Bashed me for questioning the authenticity of the so called "pandemic"....

Racoon really is arguing that:

  1. The disease itself was a hoax
  2. The vaccine makers invented it to make obscene profits (implication that they represent a significant part of total profits)
  3. Any activity pursued by the public health establishment was foolish and should not have been taken because there was no threat to life or limb

 

You're absolutely right about there being two ethics issues:

This is an ethics issue. Actually, it's two separate ethics issues.

 

1. Is it ok to let people die despite the evidence that speaks of looming death?

2. Is it ok for people to profit, or even over-profit, from "saving" people?

But the answers to these questions have troubling implications.

 

The existence of a threat: I think it is pretty clear that Racoon argues that the threat was purely an invention of the pharma companies, and there was not even a chance of a pandemic: he clearly uses the words "hoax" and "authenticity." Do you agree that there was no reason whatsoever to take any action and the threat was manufactured?

 

There's plenty of data cited above that shows that the existence of swine flu was fully proven and deaths did occur, thus there is no reasonable justification for saying that the threat was wholly manufactured.

 

It is possible also to give Rac the benefit of the doubt and interpret this as saying that the *chance* of there being a pandemic was overblown (although both the quoted post and the previous thread make it hard to justify this, go ahead Rac and clarify....), but this also results in problems, to wit:

 

Public policy options given a threat: In essence Rac at best is arguing that the *likelihood* of a pandemic was zero--which was an opinion that no one in the public health field this side of Jeremy Rifkin would take. The historical facts have been clear: similar flu strains have been highly lethal and virulent even prior to the much more rapid transportation that is now available (most specifically the 1918 epidemic).

 

But the fact of the matter is that there is no way for public policy institutions to do more than guess at what *might* happen and based on the historical probability that this strain would be far more severe than the "common flu," if you are going to argue for *complete inaction*, you must either be fully convinced that the threat is indeed zero, or face freez's moral dilemma 1.

 

I'll argue that this is not really much of a moral dilemma, and despite lovely works of SciFi like "The Omega Man", that this quickly devolves not into an issue of degree (something Freez didn't quite say), but really an argument that we really should simply shut down all public health institutions entirely. The Tea Party folks I'm sure would agree with dismantling the Centers for Disease Control as some sort of wimpy liberal conspiracy.

 

Heck, why should we have hospitals at all? Survival of the fittest right?

 

The false equivalency of a priori and a posteriori analysis: This is the problem I see with Sanctus' response: he was trying to change the question from "was it reasonable before the fact for public health officials to institute programs including the ordering of vaccine in preparation for a possible bad outcome," into "after the fact was there evidence of a significant epidemic." The latter has no relevance whatsoever to the former, and any conclusions drawn about the probability estimated as being "wrong" because the *outcome* of the coin flip was tails is completely fallacious.

 

Who drove the policy, production and profits: The key thrust of Rac's overall thesis is that it was the Pharma companies who invented the swine flu threat and pushed governments to pay for it. The fact is that it's quite the other way around: they would really prefer not to bother with vaccines because the profit margin is low (the vaccines themselves have no patents that can be exploited to force high market prices), and the liability is high. Only by guaranteeing fixed, large orders with liability specifically waived can they be coaxed into doing it, and even then, the upside of meeting deadlines is low (there are financial incentives, but they are wholely outweighed by the opportunity cost of bringing down other product lines that are using manufacturing capacity), thus we end up with delays and shortages.

 

Moreover they don't bother contributing to discovering new technologies for manufacturing vaccines, because again, there's no patent-related exclusivity, so we're still pumping gunk in to chicken eggs by hand like we've been doing for the past 50 years because no one wants to pay for the development and trials of any other method.

 

Bottom line is that there are lots of things that Pharma is getting filthy rich off of: flu vaccines are *not* one of them.

 

I think the reason why social Darwinism got such a bad rap, is that it is in fact a call to "cull the human herd" which is very hard to defend.

 

When herds of Elk reach a certain population density and do not have the predation to balance their numbers, factors such as bacterial infection and virus transmission become much more prevalent. If we then cage those animals and homogenize them, evolution seems to come to a virtual standstill.

 

As another thread here has been discussing, its actually hard to argue this "evolution has come to a standstill" because of medicine which has "turned off" this culling of the herds. It's more correct to say that the existence of medicine and public health has changed the environment and thus we are evolving differently.

 

Now if we have an "overpopulation" problem, are you going to argue a morally defensible position of "culling the herd" versus longer-term motivational demographic policy?

 

It's an interesting position, and you're welcome to it, but it's kind of hard to call it "moral."

 

And I *think* freez agrees:

It is virtuous and ultimately in our best interests to protect ourselves and our kind (and other kinds). It *is* frustrating to see pharmaceutical profits that provide more threads for pockets than infants, but we have to remember that we are a society and as such we need these people. The same company that created Sildenafil also created Lipitor. Both drugs have high marketability precisely because both conditions are rampant in our society. Likewise, drug companies respond to health threats. It's in their best interests, of course, but it also addresses fundamental shortcomings in our biology.

And there you have it, but its important to realize that the real problems with big pharma are entirely controllable, they just need us to move away from the sheer insanity of unrestrained laissez faire markets. We really need to be discussing here not their "greed"--which is understandable and not necessarily undesirable--but changing the public policy and market dynamics which need to be reined in for the good of the people:

  • Adjustments to patent law to both maintain incentives and restrict artificial supply restrictions (length of patents, phasing in of required licensing to other manufacturers, restrictions on "silly patents" (like gene sequence patenting), etc.)
  • More government funding of research to both reduce the cost of invention and push patents out to practical application rather than discovery.
  • Subsidies for orphan drugs and out of patent drugs to maintain supply when the market size or profit margins are low.

I think there are lots of good topics to debate on this topic, but whether or not conspiracy theories are true and completely eliminating public health because it's "good for mother earth" are not very high up on the list in my book....

 

I was a med-school senior when they scratched the world. As a matter of fact, I was planning on applying to biowar labs for my post-doc, but, heh-heh, the next term never came, :read:

Buffy

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