Flu Watch Jan. 14 – What Swine Flu ISN’T Doing this week

Infections are down, hospitalizations are down and deaths are the same. But given the reporting time lag it should prove that these were all about the same as last week. Last week one state reported widespread flu, this week none do. As I’ve written, we’re now at an endemic stage where cases pretty much trot along at the same pace. Again, it might pick up some in February because that’s when it gets coldest and flu, unlike your humble blogger, loves cold weather.

Only 1.4% of infections reported were clearly not swine flu, indicating that so far, as I’ve reported has been the case in Australia and New Zealand, swine flu is muscling aside the deadlier seasonal flu strains – and hence will make for a light flu season.

The CDC has also released a new estimate of infections and deaths, namely 55 million and 11,161 respectively since last April. That keeps the death rate about about 1 per 5,000 or a third to a tenth that of seasonal flu. Meanwhile the World Health Organization is defending itself against charges that it created a phony pandemic, including using the predictable line that one reason the flu has proved so mild is because the WHO did such a splendid job! I address that lunacy elsewhere.

It’s getting kind of dull in here, folks. So I’m discontinuing the weekly watch but I will keep blogging and otherwise writing on the faux pandemic.