The CDC has only "confirmed" 4,714 cases of the flu so far, but by its own admission, the CDC's testing lab is so hopelessly overloaded that it has all but abandoned trying to identify every case of swine flu. All it can do now is estimate the likely number of infections through statistical modeling.
That modeling essentially says that swine flu is already at a pandemic stage, and it will eventually infect anywhere from one-third to one-half of the world population, depending on whose figures you believe.
So if swine flu is infecting so many people, why aren't more people dying?
Some people are dying from it, of course. The latest is an assistant principal of a NYC school, who just passed away yesterday (http://www.nypost.com/seven/0516200...).
Beware of the "influenza winter of 2009"But the lack of deaths from the swine flu at the moment doesn't mean the danger is over. In fact, the western world is right now experiencing the health benefits of Spring, which brings sunlight and vitamin D (a natural anti-viral vitamin) to the people.
Historically, influenza strikes in the Fall and Winter months when vitamin D levels are low. Winter, of course, means December - February in the Northern hemisphere, and June - July in the Southern hemisphere. So even if a pandemic strikes North America during the winter of 2009, it is unlikely to be as dangerous in Australia at the same time (because that's Australia's summer).
At the same time, the coming Summer in North America is a vitamin D deficient winter in Australia, so there may be increased risk of H1N1 influenza deaths throughout June, July and August in the Southern hemisphere.
The CDC and WHO, however, are most concerned about the coming winter in North America. The 1918 pandemic struck during the winter months, of course, hitting the population when people were most vulnerable with vitamin D deficiency.
With potentially millions of Americans carrying non-fatal H1N1 influenza into the regular winter flu season in late 2009, there is a very real chance that H1N1 genetic code could mix with various seasonal flu strains, creating a highly lethal and contagious strain that devastates the human population across the world.
It's impossible for anyone to accurately predict the risk of such a mutation occurring, but the elements are in place for precisely such a development. Importantly, should such a scenario unfold, vaccines will be totally useless because they only target whatever H1N1 strain was circulating eight months ago!
Remember this: A viral mutation instantly renders all vaccines completely useless.
Big Pharma making big bucks off influenzaThat doesn't mean Big Pharma isn't trying to cash in on the vaccine money machine, of course. In fact, the drug companies have been busy negotiating with third world countries to take possession of viral genetic material found in those countries so that they can manufacture patented vaccines that they sell back to those very same countries (at monopoly prices). Read more here: http://www.reuters.com/article/heal...
In fact, Baxter Pharmaceuticals, the very company that was found to have accidentally (yeah, right!) inserted live influenza viruses into vaccine material distributed to 18 countries, is now cashing in on the H1N1 pandemic (http://www.chicagotribune.com/busin...).