Sunday, 3 January 2010

Swine Flu Secrecy Award 2009

I feel that I should be giving out swine flu awards as it's the end of the year. Everyone else is having awards for the best and worst of 2009 so I'm going to hand out my Swine Flu Award for the most idiotic piece of secrecy of the year. It's shared between the health authorities in Newham and Ayrshire & Arran (and probably many others). Both these authorities refused to reveal the gender of a swine flu victim in 2009. Now I can understand the need to respect the wishes of families at a time of tragedy but it's hard to see how announcing whether a man or woman had died could worry anyone. And it's no good the same health authorities moaning when people refuse to have swine flu jabs with such a lack of information. If people (wrongly) believe only elderly women or those already sick with underlying health problems then there's little pressure to have the jab. If the public were told x number of healthy young men, or y number of pregnant women are dying of swine flu it makes it all the more relevant. If swine flu really has gone away for good then I hope any 'inquest' into how this pandemic was handled includes highlighting the lack of data given to the public.

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