Most Americans will ignore the World Health Organization’s (WHO) official announcement that the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic has ended – just like most Americans have ignored the virus for the last six months or more. H1N1 never lived up to the levels of excitement and panic that seemed to keep ... Read more

Most Americans will ignore the World Health Organization’s (WHO) official announcement that the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic has ended – just like most Americans have ignored the virus for the last six months or more. H1N1 never lived up to the levels of excitement and panic that seemed to keep the threat of the virus top of mind in the news media.

Although tens of thousands of lives were lost to H1N1 worldwide, this is the case each year, and billions of dollars were spent throughout the world on vaccines that were produced for a much more deadly pandemic. The vaccine went largely unused, and reports surfaced that consultants to the WHO were also on the payroll, or receiving consulting fees from pharmaceutical companies that were directly impacted (positively) by the mass production of H1N1 vaccine.

ABC reports that $1.6 billion of U.S. taxpayer money was turned over to the private sector for a flu vaccine that most of the American public greeted with apprehension – a vaccine they may not have taken even if the H1N1 outbreak was closer to what was forecasted. At one point, news reports stated that 1 in 2 Americans could contract the H1N1 virus before it ran its course.

The WHO has never stopped downplaying the severity of the virus, and it still maintains that “continued vigilance is extremely important.” The WHO stated that the virus is now co-mingling with other viruses and that it is behaving more like other flu viruses.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has begun a comprehensive public relations push to help ensure that more Americans receive a flu vaccination this year. The U.S. vaccine for this flu season will include H1N1 and two other influenza viruses, and the CDC said it will be available in abundance.

Those most at risk for H1N1 remain young adults, small children and the elderly. Although it may be best for them to err on the side of caution during flu season and get vaccinated, it remains to be seen if the overblown threat of H1N1 will cause even fewer Americans to pay attention to influenza this flu season.

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