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Swine flu

Swine Flu is Officially Over: UK National Pandemic Flu Service to be Closed

Thursday, March 04, 2010 by: Marek Doyle
Tags: swine flu, pandemic, health news

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(NewsTarget) The UK Government has announced that, as of February 11, the National Pandemic Flu Service (NPFS) is to be shut down, following a `steady decline` in the number of cases of swine flu. This has been taken by many to signal the end of the swine flu scare in the UK, and it is hoped that the incessant promotion of toxic antiviral drugs will finally begin to dwindle too.

Health minister Gillian Merron said: "The Department is today announcing the decision to stand down the NPFS with effect from 1am on February 11 2010. This is being done in response to the steady reduction in the estimated number of swine flu cases in the community and is in line with our overall aim of ensuring the operational response is appropriate to the level of threat posed by the virus."

Naturally, many are questioning how appropriate the Department of Health`s response was to the much-hyped threat posed by swine flu. In the spring of 2009, Health Minister Andy Burnham and Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson warned that more than 65.000 could die in Britain alone. Instead, the figure reached just 411. Whilst no doubt a tragedy for those involved, around 3,000 people die of seasonal flu in Britain each and every year.

Allegations have been made that the fearful stance taken by the Government was not one based on naivety, but a deliberate attempt to manufacture consent for the massive spending spree required to subsidise the pharmaceutical industry for another year. And estimated 256m pounds was spent on anti-viral drugs when, due to the financial crisis of 2009, public finances were under more scrutiny than usual. At the time, the World Health Organisation pointed out the raw data showed that the threat posed by swine flu was minimal for otherwise healthy individuals, and that all flu strains were prone to quickly developing resistance against anti-virals like Tamiflu.

However, for many Brits, the defining image of the swine flu crisis was the leaked photos from inside the NPFS. These photos showed the bored office staff trying to fill their time, with most playing with paper aeroplanes as the number of calls to the service dried up. As well as costing around 1bn pounds, the NHPS helpline will be forever remembered as the service where untrained individuals prescribed anti-viral drugs on the basis of a flowchart. A report by the HPA in December showed that, of the 1m people prescribed anti-virals, 800,000 were misdiagnosed (as reported here).

The decision to close the helpline is expected to reduce the prescription rate of anti-viral drugs. This serves as a further blow to the pro-pharma lobby, whose hard-sell of patented flu vaccines took a hit recently when Australian doctor Claire Gordon discovered that hard-hit victims of swine flu could be treated effectively with antibody replacement. Meanwhile, the public is left to reflect on the killer disease with a tenth of the bite of seasonal flu.


About the author

Marek Doyle is a London personal trainer, nutritionist and the pioneer of the Combined Allergy Test, with locations serving Kensington, Chelsea, West London and Basingstoke. Marek runs Blueprint Fitness, edits theAdrenal Fatigue Focus website and has been recognised as one of the top three trainers in the country and counts world champion athletes, models and TV celebrities amongst his clientele.

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