Last week, the World Health Organization ratcheted up its pandemic rating for swine flu (aka H1N1) all the way to an unprecedented “pandemic imminent” level 5, with a top-of-the-chart 6 considered inevitable. Was it time to wear masks? Stock up on Tamiflu and canned goods? Update wills? Pull out old high school lit-class copies of The Decameron?
Well, no. At least not yet. Plenty of people got sick, but is was mostly run-of-the-mill seasonal flu-style misery. Fevers, aches, pains, head-aches, gastrointestinal woes. In the jargon of the public health set: “mild.” Yet swine flu remains an imminent pandemic and will likely be once all the cases are tallied up.
What’s wrong with this scale? (more…)
Filed under: disease surveillance, epidemiology, swine flu, TrackerNews, Uncategorized | Tagged: 28 Days Later, CDC, Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Decameron, epidemiology, global public health, GreeneChips and High Through-put Sequencing, H1N1, Ian Lipkin, influenza, Mass Tag PCR, Pop!Tech, rabies, swine flu, WHO, WHO phase of pademic alert, World Health Organization | Leave a Comment »