Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Lack of swine flu data is a scandal

My thanks to one Linda Robinson who gave me a link to the www.flutrackers.com website in my quest to try and collate more details of swine flu victims in the UK. I've added the details from that site to my list. I've tried to be very careful but the information is so confused that I can't rule out omissions or duplications. Email me if you have any corrections or additions. It's appalling that the details from official sources are so sparse that I am having to do this. It is very reminiscent of Daniel Defoe's Diary Of A Plague Year (set in 1665) and going round the streets to try and find news of how many people have died! It's difficult to see what this secrecy achieves - except suspicion that the government is hiding the true situation. The public should be given as much information as possible. For instance, most believe the young are worst affected by swine flu but this doesn't seem to be borne out by the ages and genders in my list. It's difficult to pick out the worst offender in this blanket of secrecy but I'm going to have a go anyway: Newham University Hospital Trust. The good work of reporter Susan Smith on the Newham Recorder enabled the paper to discover that someone on their patch had died of swine flu. The Trust grudingly confirmed the fact but the most telling line in Susan's story is "Newham University Hospital NHS Trust will not reveal the gender of the patient." For goodness sake, why not? One can understand the name and address not being given out (although personally I think those details should be given) but what possible reason is there for not saying whether it was a man, woman or what age they were. (One wonders how the public would react if they later found out the adult was worked at a nursery but no parents were told). This nonsense - the lack of data - has got to stop.

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