Thursday, January 26, 2012

Waiting for the Flu...

"Shouldn’t we all be dead by now?" is the first question that Kent Sepkowitz, card-carrying hospital epidemiologist, asks in his latest article in Newsweek.  He goes on to ponder why it's almost February and there's so little influenza activity and suggests that nothing we have done to prepare has made any difference including influenza vaccination and alcohol hand rub .  He hints that perhaps La Nina or climate could be a possibility.

He concludes by saying: "In fact, what we are seeing here is the dark secret of medicine and public health: the fact that we usually have no clue why something, good or bad, is happening...(and) should accept that we are mere spectators to an inscrutable alliance of virus, animal, and climate, a longstanding collaboration that we cannot, as yet, influence — though getting that flu shot might help."

Kent Sepkowitz, Newsweek/Daily Beast 1/23/2012

1 comment:

  1. This piece surprisingly doesnt mention my theory. Remember that the circulating strains are the same as last season. So we've had a chance now for over at least 2 seasons to either be exposed to or vaccinated against the currently circulating strains. Even tho vax rates by season remain low, over 2 years exposures + vaccinations, even if we see some waning immunity, may be enough to achieve herd immunity... until that new strain emerges. So brace yourself this spring, we may not be done. The flu virus always finds a way to outsmart us.