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What ever happened to Swine Flu 2009 - UK and France

Swine flu WTF happened?

swine flu comparison chart france - uk 

This is a page I put up in September of 2009. This was all the rage in global disasters then, but like many others before and probably left to come it wasn't as bad as predicted. At the time of writing Aug 2010 The Financial disaster of the global banking crises is being replaced with bank profits in their billions whilst we are all loosing jobs, working longer and surviving on less. Why don't we have a big live aid concert to get rid of all the worlds crap politics and finance and start again with less mass terror and more concensus?

The Swine flu cases map displayed here on the right shows the confirmed swine flu cases in the UK and France as of September 20th 2009. It shows a much denser spread of the influenza strain in England than in France and Europe in General.

No where in Europe has had such a large number of confirmed swine flu cases. To me this does not look correct because in countries like Germany the spread of swine flu seem to have stopped moving when it reached a peak. In France it doesn’t seem to have even really taken hold yet.

Why has this happened?

When you look at England you could probably conclude that If not a Pandemic was in place then certainly a disproportionate epidemic. Cases around the world are greater but many of these have already had their flu season which will increase the spread to those areas.

Can anyone maybe suggest some ideas on why this is happening. I can’t tell if this is figures becoming distorted or something more telling about the way we live now.

Why has this happened?

30th April 2009: England 8 - France 0. By the 30th May the totals were England 231 – France 21. The last date 30th July 2009 showed a staggering 11,159 cases in the UK to a total of 664. The growth rate for the period May to July was completely different for the UK and France as shown in the chart below.


The swine flu spread chart here shows the number of swine flu cases in the UK compared to the number of swine flu cases conformed in France. Between April 30th and July 30th. The chart shows an equal growth rate of confirmed cases of the flu. The flu spread changed between the 15th and 30th April when many more Hn1 cases were confirmed in the UK than France.

Some possible reasons.

The web largely reports the where the flu has spread of but on this situation in Europe. It breaks down to four possible reasons:

Although the national health system makes it easier for people to see a doctor, many would still and will treat themselves at home. Leaving many cases unreported.

2. Tourism?

Also, the spread of the infection in the early stages was linked to flights out of Mexico. With Mexico being a popular tourist destination for British tourists, Britain was one of the first countries alongside America and Canada to start seeing cases.

I’m not sure that France has less tourism but it is interesting to note occurrences of the influenza strain turning up at ports and places with airports and international commerce.

3. Early Adopter?

As the UK was affected earlier than some other countries the infection has spread to a higher number of people.

Why was the UK affected earlier. Early on in March and April Until the 22nd May Spain had more cases of the flu reported than the UK. The situation at the end of July was 1538 Spanish cases to 11,159 in the UK. Until the 22nd Spain consistently had more cases of the flu being reported.

4. Hygiene?

Has the UK got a poorer standard of hygiene than Europe? Do the English need to be more aware of hand washing and cleaning surfaces. Is the problem in the levels of heat found in UK homes and workplaces?

Hygiene is always an important factor in the spread of any illness but I doubt hygiene can be classed from nation to nation properly.

It is just too crowded.

here is another other possibility and that is population density. In France there is more space between houses and towns. Perhaps the spread is greater in the UK because we’re all living on top of each other. Its Dickensian I know but it is another possibility.

With the new flu season heading for Europe and a possible media frenzy about death tolls what do you think? Have the English been unlucky or is there another reason why it looks like flu will be in the he headlines for the next few months.

The UK Government says the Swine vaccine can be obtained soon but no one is yet sure
if wearing face masks will help to stop the spread of this strain of influenza.