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Swine Flu Treatment US vs. UK. Round Two November 16, 2009

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous, huh?.
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Hmmm. My friend in the UK, who was a “Flu Friend” last month? This month, she is the one who needed a “Flu Friend”. (search flu in the tags to the right to read that post) Yup-she has the swine flu.

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One of her parents noted to me that the approaches are different across the pond. The UK geared up to treat people who came down with the H1N1 flu. The US is all in a tizzy over getting the vaccine to its citizens, and to prevent H1N1 flu from happening to us.

The UK has lots of doses of Tamiflu and a great plan to keep sick people at home, while they get the treatment they need to get better. They have a plan in the meantime to treat people who are actually sick.

The US doesn’t have enough vaccine; and people are standing in line to get it, when it comes in. Wall Street firms have gotten doses, but I have no idea when I can get mine.  And I don’t work for Wall Street anymore. Maybe my stock broker has some-I’ll have to see if a secondary market for that or Tamiflu has sprung up.

UK 2, US 0.

Barbara Ehrenreich had an essay published on the CBS website back on 11-4-09, which is where the next numbers come from. [120] to 160 million doses were promised to the government in July by the 5 private manufacturers of the vaccine and only 28 million had been delivered by Halloween. [Another news source said 38 million  were delivered] Something about the eggs. Apparently the alternative ways of growing the cell cultures were not used and they are faster.

Another WordPress blog has a post on the shortage. That writer  said only 13 million doses were available on October 20, 2009. Clearly there are some issues with the numbers!

The two approaches of the UK vs. the US are not right or wrong, said my friend, they are just different. But I wonder…

Ehrenreich’s opinion essay concludes with these words:

“Faith in private enterprise and the market has now left us open to a swine flu epidemic; faith alone — in the form of optimism or hope — does not kill viruses or cancer cells. On the public health front, we need to socialize vaccine manufacture as well as its distribution. Then, if the supply falls short, we can always impeach the president. On the individual front, there’s always soap and water.”

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