The death of an assistant principal in New York City, along with a few other disturbing factors, may indicate that the H1N1 influenza, otherwise known as swine flu, may be spreading faster in the US than previously thought. The death on Saturday of the asst. principal is the first confirmed death in NYC from the disease, although a few dozen have been suspected as contracting it.
Atlanta’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) admits that they only have tallied 4,714 “confirmed” cases of the virus in the US so far; and that due to the way they test samples, which have to be only in their laboratories. Taking this in mind, estimates for people now say to have been infected by the disease now run to at least 100,000. With warm weather now in the Northern Hemisphere, the number of cases of flu will be less due to people being exposed to sunlight and with it, ample does of vitamin D, said to be very effective against flu viruses, including H1N1. But next fall and winter will be different matter, however; and many health authorities fear that flu cases will go up then when levels of vitamin D in the public will be less. The opposite is true in countries like Australia, and Argentina, and South Africa, where being in the Southern Hemisphere, their seasons are reversed.
A similar pattern occurred in the great Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 when numbers of flu cases also decreased during the spring and summer months and later returned with a vengeance with the onset of cold weather.
Another fear among the health authorities is that the H1N1 virus will mutate by “mixing” with other strains of influenza, making any developed vaccines ineffective in preventing or treating it. They say that if a vaccine is developed for the present strain, as found originally in Mexico, it could be virtually worthless later on after the virus has mixed with local flu strains. This could result in a situation similar to that which occurred in 1918.
The ones benefiting from all of this are the “big pharmas” or large pharmaceutical companies who sell both vaccines and remedies for the virus. There are even rumors going around that the swine flu have started in the first place due to “human error”; or as a result of a mistake made in a pharmaceutical laboratory. How’s that as a topic for a Stephen King novel?