Friday, 24 July 2009

It's going to get worse

Friday, July 24: It's going to get worse.

Looking at this week's swine flu figures released by the Department of Health, you are left with more questions than answers. The bullet points are:
  • 100,000 new cases in just one week
  • 840 in hospital
  • 63 in a critical condition
  • England death toll to date: 26.
Strangely, the BBC notes that the government has changed the way it counts mortality. I'm not sure what they mean by that. If you're dead, your dead! These figures are bad enough but if you bear in mind that the 840 in hospital are not spread evenly across the country but most likely focused on the hotspots of London, West Midlands and Leicester then it's even more worrying. And 100,000 cases a week is not to be sneezed at (if you'll pardon the pun). News reporters last night on TV were trying to reassure the public by pointing out the vast majority get flu and then recover but even they were having to admit that this is only the start - things are likely to get much worse in the winter.

I'm also getting worried about the journalist shorthand "underlying health problems" as in "Mr X died but he had underlying health problems" as though that makes it all right. Just what are underlying health problems? Pneumonia or slight asthma. If asthma counts as underlying health problems a lot more of us are in touble - including me!

Anyway, we'll all be okay now there's yet another new website. It is at Am I the only person baffled as to why they set up such a major website as a sub-section of rather than give it it's own easily memorable web address. Another sign of the government putting this together at the last minute with insufficient preparation?

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