The CDC held a briefing this week in which they claimed significant increases in flu activity, but not once did they mention any real numbers. However, by scouring information on the CDC site it becomes apparent that real flu activity is still virtually non-existent.
In essence, the CDC’s claim is based on earlier numbers where there were virtually no laboratory verified cases, compared to now where there are several hundred verified cases (at most) per type of flu. Yes, you read this correctly – there are still only hundreds of flu cases, per type (out of a US population of 312 million). This is a significant increase in percentages, but not in real numbers.
Why is the CDC intent on scaring people into getting flu shots? There are many possible reasons for this, but there are just as many reasons (and perhaps more) that the average person should be leery of getting the flu jab.
And, nowhere else but in the United States do medical authorities urge blanket coverage of the entire population.
The CDC loves to spout numbers such as the potential for 49,000 people to die. This is irresponsible and the number has been proven to be inaccurate. The CDC concedes that this number is an estimate and is grouped together with pneumonia deaths. And, of course, neither the CDC nor any other authority in the US actually tracks flu deaths – so the numbers are entirely made up out of whole cloth. You will note that the use of vague language, like “could” or “as many as.”
The real scandal is that media outlets lap this up as if this was real news (and is “truth”). Whatever happened to investigative journalism?
According to the briefing, the big culprit this year is H3N2, yet the number of reported, verifiable cases (according to their own site, for the most recent weekly period) is, you guessed it, zero.
Here are the numbers, as reported by CDC, (for the most recent reporting period, for the week of November 24):
A (H1): 0
A (Unable to sub-type): 0
A (H3): 755
2009 H1N1: 11
A (subtyping not performed): 701
We remain skeptical of the CDC’s blanket recommendation and urge citizens to get the facts for themselves.