Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
The Epidemic that Wasn’t
Organisations like WHO support virus hoax like Swine flue and Zika, while vaccine firms get rich
A ‘great’ epidemic broke out which was mentioned in all the headlines in print and electronic media, in the summer of 2009. It continued to be in the news, day in and day out, spreading from the sacred American media to the rest of the world which often slavishly follows the Western media. Everyone was worried that they might die anytime due to this deadly pandemic where a deadly virus, H1N1, had taken hold of this world! It proved to be a false scare. Today, it is the scare of that deadly virus Zika which, luckily, has failed to kill anyone since 1947. There is a twist in the tale now. The threat is not for you but for your yet-to-be-born progeny growing in the mother’s womb. 
Blame the drug companies and the WHO for sleeping in the same bed for that episode. Now, a new partner has come to light which is more scary. The watchdog body, that is the protector of the common man, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), has been found to have been in cahoots with the other two in this game. CDC, at that time, claimed there were roughly 10,000 swine flu victims in America. Sharyl Attkisson, a CBS news channel investigator, discovered something quite strange. Back in July 2009, the CDC had stopped counting swine flu cases. She wrote, on 21 October 2009, in an article on the CBS website: “Swine Flu Cases Overestimated?” If you’ve been diagnosed ‘probable’ or ‘presumed’ 2009 H1N1 or ‘swine flu’ in recent months, you may be surprised to know this: odds are you didn’t have H1N1 [Swine] flu. In fact, you probably didn’t have flu at all… In late July, the CDC abruptly advised states to stop testing for H1N1 [Swine] flu, and stopped counting individual cases. The rationale given for the CDC guidance to forego testing and tracking individual cases was: why waste resources testing for H1N1 flu when the government has already confirmed there’s an epidemic?” 
The investigators found that the “vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu, based on symptoms and risk factors, such as travel to Mexico.” Yet, CDC put out their statistics in November 2009 that “Shockingly, 14 million to 34 million U.S. residents—the CDC’s best guess is 22 million—came down with H1N1 swine flu by Oct. 17 [2009].” 
Sharyl Attkisson wrote: “...we discovered through our efforts that before the CDC mysteriously stopped counting Swine Flu cases, they had learned that almost none of the cases they had counted as Swine Flu was, in fact, Swine Flu or any sort of flu at all!” Ms Attkisson’s investigation was fair, accurate, legally approved. Does that mean that the public took and gave their children an experimental vaccine that may not have been necessary? Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world must have taken the expensive drug for no reason. Governments stockpiled the drugs as swine flu was declared a pandemic by the WHO obligating governments all over to buy drugs. Every taxpayer in all those countries has the right to question that. Do we learn any lessons from these happenings? If not, we will have to re-live those experiences. Now, with the new threat of Zika, do we become wiser? 
The other day, I met the health minister of Karnataka, UT Khader, who was all worked up about this threat of Zika. His whole department is working overtime to stop the devil, Zika, from invading Karnataka. I did try my best to tell him the other side of the coin but, I wonder, if he has accepted that. In the bargain, I got an opportunity to inform him that the best method to stop malaria is to give every poor man, woman and child a mosquito net. I think, that seems to have sunk in. He told me that he will think along those lines. This was the only plus point of the whole meeting.
“Thought is an infection. In the case of certain thoughts, it becomes an epidemic.” — Wallace Stevens



Meenal Mamdani

2 years ago

The one good point in this article is the recommendation to give mosquito nets to the people who live in areas where mosquitoes are numerous.

It is strange that the article blames organizations like WHO for giving alerts about possible epidemics. As the writer should know, it is better to provide warnings of possible epidemics than try to stop the spread of one that is already in progress. Then the author would blame the organization for sitting by doing nothing while the epidemic caused havoc.

WHO cannot say for sure if something will happen. It can only announce alerts and the possibility that something may happen. So if it does not happen, should we blame WHO or should we thank it for alerting countries to take precautionary steps and stopping the infection from spreading and becoming an epidemic.

This article reminds me of the argument my mother used to have with me. If her blood tests did not show any abnormality, she believed that her money was wasted and she had been defrauded. She had been raised with the practice in India that one only gets a test after one has become ill. The idea of preventive medicine was novel to her as it seems to be for this author.



In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 1 year ago

Meenal, before starting to attack the author, do realize that this article was not written by a journo. The author is of this article is a very eminent doctor Dr. BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee. His opinions and conclusions have more credibility than yours.

kapil bajaj

In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 2 years ago

Thanks Meenal for your puerile reading of a very good article and providing some humour.

One good point in your idle comment is your reference to your mummy.

One now has an idea where you got your intelligence from!

Meenal Mamdani

In Reply to kapil bajaj 2 years ago

You are making personal attacks on me and my mother which is a very uncivil thing to do.

You have not indicated why the points I have made are childish.

Namely that WHO is to be commended for sending alerts about possible epidemics. WHO cannot say with 100% certainty whether an epidemic will occur until it is well in progress. By the time vaccine companies can produce sufficient vaccine to use as preventive action, hundreds of thousands may succumb.

You are also probably aware that viruses mutate. This has been particularly problematic with Influenza virus. CDC and WHO make an educated guess about the type of virus. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong.

Vaccination to prevent an illness is accepted medical practice, not a gimmick perpetrated by WHO.


In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 2 years ago

Dear Meenal
FWIW, pharma makes big, big money from imaginary scares, creating unnecessary medicine, etc. Sometimes alas, international bodies, govts, well established Drs. are hand in glove with the pharma. E.g I saw how flu shots were sold as absolutely essential in the US, sent to all old homes, schools, etc. often at govt cost. It was most unnecessary. This has happened before so you and I have to be careful before accepting their word. I am sure you appreciate this.

Heartlessness, thy name is selfie

Some teenagers as well as young men were perched on a broken pillar of the Vivekananda Road flyover, taking pictures with their mobile


Even as hundreds in Kolkata did their best to rescue victims after a flyover collapsed here, some youngsters displayed insensitivity by clicking away selfies with the injured.
Some teenagers as well as young men were perched on a broken pillar of the Vivekananda Road flyover, taking pictures with their mobiles.
A few youngsters forced themselves into a waiting ambulance and started clicking selfies in the Posta area where the Vivekananda Road flyover came crashing on Thursday killing 24 people and injured dozens.
They appeared to be oblivious to the pain and suffering of a seriously injured person who was pulled out of the rubble by policemen to be ferried to a hospital. None of the young men cared to lend a helping hand.
Police had to literally drag them out of the ambulance.
Several ambulances were held up as large groups of youngsters almost laid siege to the vehicles in a desperate bid to click snaps of the injured.
They positioned themselves in a way so that they could take selfies with the wounded - many dazed and in pain and some dying.
The large crowd of onlookers choked the crucial Rabindra Sarani where a taxi and a Tata Sumo vehicle crushed under the flyover were kept. 
The narrow passage made it difficult for rescuers and ambulances to move.
Some selfie-seekers positioned themselves on a crane brought to the site to clear the rubble.
A few were seen virtually competing with each other in clicking gory videos of the destruction. 
"Ami peye gechi, ami peye gechi (I have got it, I have got it)," shouted a teenager, proudly showing his video to his friends.
A common thread in their operations was to ensure their faces were seen in the videos. 
Quickly would they post "their successes" on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp to send out a message to friends that they were at the spot where the flyover crumbled killing 24 people and leaving many badly injured.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


April Fool's Day memes, jokes go viral on social media
New Delhi : Did you read the news online that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to withdraw West Indies and instead clear India for the World Cup T20 finals against England? Do not jump to your feet as several stories like this trolled various social media platforms on April Fool's Day.
Following the Indian team's loss to West Indies in the semi-final, memes and jokes for April Fool's Day went viral across news websites. 
IBNLive news website was running a story of Indian skipper MS Dhoni's resignation as captain after the loss. A match-fixing audio in the voice of Dhoni was also circulated among Whatsapp chat groups.
NDTV's "Cell Guru" TV show host Rajiv Makhani played the role of prankster and fooled his own team assistants and guests.
International media houses like The Guardian and Daily Mirror came up with the list of most trending jokes round the world. 
Yahoo fooled its readers with a story on grocery chain Trader Joe's closing all its 457 locations by 2017. 
Google too was not left behind. The search engine giant rolled out "send + drop the mic" feature to fool its users, only to roll it back later during the day.
Micro-blogging site Twitter too had some interesting jokes and memes throughout the day. 
With the hashtag #ModiDiwas, one of the trending topics of the day, Twitter users were seen getting divided into Modi fans and critics who came up with potshots at the prime minister.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


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