Pandemic blindness - The shocking truth of a wasted 48 hours

I have decided to write on the subject of the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and the scandalous waste of 48 hours by the World Health Organisation and governments worldwide in tackling this virus.

The UK government, along with every other government worldwide (except Japan) has introduced no special measures for dealing with people arriving from Mexico despite the fact that the government's own Pandemic Flu procedures (based on Avian flu H5N1 mutating from the far east) say that travel restrictions and screenings of incoming flights should be introduced immediately to stop the spread of pandemic flu to this country.

And what are the World Health organisation doing ? They have raised their warning level to "3", which states that a new virus has emerged, but have not raised the warning level to "4" which would confirm that the virus can now be spread from human to human, despite evidence in the USA of people in close contact with people returning from Mexico suddenly becoming ill with Swine Flu. I read too that a group returning from Mexico to New Zealand are also ill with swine flu symptoms.

What worries me is this statement on CNN's websbite

"In Mexico, otherwise young and healthy people have been hit by the virus -- "one of the pieces of the puzzle that is worrying us," said the World Health Organisation's Gregory Hartl

Surely he should know that this is common with pandemic flu, like the 1918/1919 Spanish flu, which struck down far more young healthy adults that it did children and the elderly. If the WHO cannot recognise the signs then God help us all !

National governments, including are own, won't do anything until the WHO says it is a pandemic, but the WHO are totally useless and unwilling to make decisions that are obvious to everyone else.

The truth is that this virus, which has a mortality rate of about 5% is spreading, could be here in the UK within hours, given the nature of modern air travel. Yes, a BA crew member has been cleared of having the virus, but it is only a matter of time.

We have a world wide crisis about to start and we have totally wasted the 48 hours window of opportunity that existed to introduce screening at airports and stop its widepread early introduction to the UK.

Good luck everyone, make the most of your family over the next few weeks because if this is another 1919, there will not be a family in this country unaffected by the death of a loved one by flu.

Update : Comments on the BBC website suggest the number of dead in Mexico now numbers several hundred, not the 81 stated by the Mexican government. Secondly, this has been around for three weeks and the Mexican authorities have apparently done very little to stamp it out at source and other Asian countries as well as Japan have now introduced checks on incoming flights from Mexico whilst we in the UK have not. All very worrying.


Mark Reckons said...

Nich, according to the BBC, tests on the cabin crew member have proved negative (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8018991.stm)

Anonymous said...

Extraordinarily good point. Welcome back by the way.

Paul Pinfield said...

Welcome back Nich. And what a come back...

Tony Sharp said...

Welcome back, Nich.