Getting on wrong on flu again and again and again and again

I've posted too often about flu and must be boring people, but I feel there is a public duty to go on about the level of incompetence the government have shown in dealing with pandemic flu both before and during this outbreak.

I've listed the various cock ups the government have made since April HERE, but we need to look very carefully at the government's whole flu strategy to see where they have gone so badly wrong, and in particular their reliance on the "silver bullet" that they think Tamiflu is.

The government announced back in 2005 that they were to order progressively (with about 3 million doses arriving each year) 14.3 million doses of Tamiflu in case of an outbreak of bird flu (which may still happen at some future point). The problem is that Tamiflu is almost completely useless against the bird flu anyway, and this has been known since 2005. Now we hear today that against the much milder swine flu Tamiflu will not save your life. Infact, all that tamiflu does is reduce the length of the illness by between 12 and 24 hours but in children can have nasty side effects. It does not stop you dying from flu if you are going to die, all it does is lessen the symptoms of those who are actually suffering from a milder type of flu. So much for the wonder cure that would save us if bird flu strikes.

So what's the government's strategy now ? Well its what it was before. Keep your fingers crossed, give out the placebo that is tamiflu and hope that a vaccine arrives soon (the same vaccine that was delayed because the UK government put pressure on the World Health Organisation to delay declaring a pandemic.

We just have to pray this shower are not still in charge when bird flu mutates to a human form.

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

There are barely 10% of the cases that there were in 2000 and yet the Governmeny admits that the Health Service cannot cope with them and passes responsibility to unqualified call centres against all national health quidelines. They are massively incompetent.