Influenza is slowly progressing in Europe

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

According to the Weekly Influenza Surveillance Overview published on Friday, January 20, 2012, influenza is slowly progressing across Europe and is currently dominated by A(H3N2) viruses.

During week 1/2012 (2–8 January 2012), of 625 sentinel specimens collected and tested, 81 (13%) were positive for influenza viruses. While this influenza season is so far characterized by the dominance of A(H3N2) viruses, A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses are significant among the severe cases reported. Since week 40/2011, 157 severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases have been reported by six countries.

Two countries reported regional spread (Italy and Sweden), three countries (Netherlands, Norway and Spain) reported local spread, while sporadic activity was reported by thirteen countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia) and the UK (England and Northern Ireland).

Obviously, chances are that with rapid travels between our countries the virus may sooner or later be caused to arrive at the shores of the UK proper and, in the same way as elsewhere, could cause an epidemic.

However, I would suggest that, if and when it arrives, we do not give out Tamiflu again like candy as, aside from the rather serious side effects – been there and done it, the drug actually does not speed recovery by more than a day.

Considering that the drug “Tamiflu” was known to have – one – serious side effects, including the ability to cause psychosis, and – two – that it actually did not really work, one can but wonder why it was given out like sweets? Was there more to it than meets the eye?

In fact, we all know, including most of the medical profession, that nothing really stops influenza, once it has hit, and that it will have to be left to run its cause.

There are many ways to ease this passage but there is very little else that can be done and thus we should steer clear from anything that is unproven and untested. Or was it unproven and untested? Was the use another?

© 2012