Friday, December 11, 2009

The Pandemic that Wasn't

When it comes to swine flu in Ontario, and larger issues, Dr. Schabas is my hero.

Surely a big part of the job of public health officials is to tell the truth about actual health risks as simply and clearly as they can.

Just over 100 deaths in Ontario from H1N1? The provincial ministry of health says: "It is estimated that annually influenza and community-acquired pneumonia account for 60,000 hospitalizations and 8,000 deaths, most of which occur among elderly persons1. Groups at increased risk for influenza complications include the elderly, immuno-compromised and persons with chronic medical conditions. In Canada, on average, 500-1,500 deaths every year are due to influenza alone."

So we had a fairly normal flu year, except that deaths were lower than would have been expected. Is that the impression you get from the media?

There have probably been 300 traffic deaths in Ontario during that time. There are about 80,000 deaths a year in Ontario from all causes.

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