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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

January 14, 2010


Fergus Walsh, BBC - There is very little swine flu about. Latest figures show that there were fewer than 5,000 new cases in England over the past week. And disease "modellers" have advised the Department that a third wave of swine flu is unlikely this winter.

Sir Liam pointed out that these were the same experts who predicted that up to 65,000 people might die from swine flu this winter - a figure which was later downgraded to 1,000. . .

To date there have been 360 deaths from swine flu in the UK (251 in England, 64 in Scotland, 28 in Wales and 17 in Northern Ireland). But the vast majority of those infected have had either a mild disease or no symptoms at all.

The Irish Times - The World Health Organisation is to examine its handling of the swine flu pandemic after accusations that it exaggerated the dangers of the virus under pressure from drug companies.

The United Nations health agency will review the way it dealt with the outbreak of swine flu once the pandemic has subsided, WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said. . .

The Department of Health said yesterday that as members of the WHO, Ireland will participate in any review should it be asked to do so.

In the meantime it is continuing to advise everyone in the at-risk groups to get vaccinated against swine flu to further protect against future cases of infection and a possible second wave of the disease. . .

Council of Europe parliamentarian Wolfgang Wodarg called for an inquiry into what he called a "false pandemic" and the way it was handled at national and European levels, claiming pressure from pharmaceutical firms.

The Council of Europe is to discuss the claim and whether drug companies influenced public health officials to spend money unnecessarily on stockpiles of H1N1 vaccines later this month.

Latest WHO figures indicate swine flu has killed at least 12,799 people whose cases were laboratory confirmed, but the real toll will take several years to establish, the WHO says.

It has also cautioned against comparing death tolls from seasonal and swine flu.

"Such comparisons are not reliable for several reasons and can be misleading. Numbers of deaths for seasonal influenza are estimates . . . in contrast, numbers of deaths from pandemic influenza, as notified by national authorities and tabulated by WHO, are laboratory-confirmed deaths, not estimates," it said.

Reuters - The United States has scaled back its supply of H1N1 flu vaccine, cutting its order with Australian firm CSL Ltd in half, the company said.

The U.S. move follows other nations which have also cut back swine flu vaccines as health authorities around the world grapple with oversupply due to low demand. . .

Governments across Europe are scaling back orders because of limited vaccine uptake and the fact one dose is enough to protect against the virus, rather than two as originally anticipated.

France has said it aims to cancel 50 million of the 94 million doses ordered from Sanofi-Aventis, Glaxo, Novartis and Baxter, while Germany wants to cancel half the 50 million doses ordered from Glaxo.

Last month, Spain said it was looking to return unused vaccine, and the Netherlands and Switzerland plan to ship surplus supplies to countries still facing a shortage.

Sales of H1N1 vaccines have been a windfall for drugmakers since mid-2009 due to government orders.

Glaxo was expected to be the single biggest beneficiary with anticipated sales of $3.5 billion, according to industry analysts.



Blogger Samson said...

That's ok. The liars and the scammers have long since stolen millions on this con and have moved on to the next one.

So, the scare stories today are that some fool tried to light his underpants on fire. And the solution is of course for the government to shell out tens of millions of our tax money for scanners that let TSA people google every attractive woman who flies.

Meanwhile, those people who don't have swine flu also don't have jobs, and somehow the government always says there's no money available to help them.

January 15, 2010 12:08 PM  

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