Friday, October 30, 2009

The difference between Seasonal and H1N1 influenza?

What exactly is the difference? There has to be something different, right? Given the over the top media coverage with "Breaking News" segments to keep us "up to the minute" informed. Repeatedly using the word pandemic, pandemic, pandemic, like a mantra.

I thought I would use the Health Canada Preparedness Guide to figure out just what is the difference between the seasonal flu and h1n1.
The following information helps to explain the difference between the H1N1 flu and seasonal flu.
" This is a new strain of influenza". It is claimed "humans have little or no immunity to" and that it can cause "serious and widespread illness"

Now let's read about seasonal flu:

Seasonal Flu: is also an"influenza". It is a "highly contagious, respiratory disease" "Influenza viruses can change rapidly. That's why there's a "new flu shot made every year" to protect against the circulating virus strains"

They are both influenza's. They are both contagious, both able to cause widespread illness.
No difference yet.

Maybe this? "Having little or no natural immunity for H1N1". No difference there either.
With seasonal flu, every year we have a different strain, "viruses change rapidly". And a different vaccine is required to contend with that strain,"new flu shot made every year".
So I would presume there is little to no natural immunity to seasonal flu virus either?
I am getting disheartened, still no difference.

Maybe the symptoms are different. Yes, yes that has to be it!
Page 6 of the guide: Symptoms of the Flu virus (H1N1 and seasonal).
What! They're the same symptoms!!! Cough and fever, Fatigue and Headache, Muscle Aches, Decreased Appetite, Sore Throat, Runny Nose, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea

Try as the guide may to portray H1N1 as something different, it ends up looking like just another influenza virus, and we get one of those every flu season.

There is one thing that is different though when reading Page 7:

"Seasonal influenza is a serious illness that infects millions of Canadians yearly. It is estimated that 2,000- 8,000 people die yearly from Influenza".
I am going to repeat this, so it sinks in.
2,000-8,000 Canadians die EVERY YEAR from Influenza".
Including " mostly seniors, children and those with chronic health problems"

This means on average 5,000 Canadians die every year from Influenza, every single year.

Well there is the difference! To date in Canada, through two waves of the H1N1 influenza outbreak, their have been 89 deaths. Every year in Canada the average death toll from seasonal influenza is 5,000 deaths. Why don't we hear about them, repeatedly? Are 89 deaths a pandemic, but 5000 deaths somehow not a pandemic? Are those Canadian deaths from an influenza virus that is not H1N1 somehow less tragic? And, before anyone say's "how dare you" make such a statement, I will say to you -that is the way it appears to be.
I am sure the people that have died from seasonal influenza were special to their family and friends, the people that love, cherish and miss them. But to the main stream media and government? These seasonal influenza victims barely garner any attention. They are and were cleary substantially less important. When a child died previously of seasonal influenza did it get any coverage at all? Is the media present to shove their microphones in the face of a grieving parent and sensationalize the tragedy? Not that I have ever seen. And, every single year there are seasonal flu clinics. But does the news media sit outside of them to report on the line-ups? Not that I have ever seen.
There are always out breaks of influenza in hospitals, every single year. It usually gets local news coverage which is necessary. But, does it get national news coverage? I don't think so.

89 h1n1 deaths every one of them tragic, especially to their loved ones, but more tragic then 5,000 average yearly deaths? More deserving of hype and 'preparedness guides'? The overblown news coverage complete with breaking news reports? The coverage from the flu clinics and the bashing of the health care system? Or is this being all done to create a vicious cycle of fear that justifies the tax dollars being used to enrich the pharmaceutical and media companies?


  1. I've been working this week and listening to CBC, I can't be bothered to change it, don't ask.

    It's like entering a different world. The swine flu hype every hour on the hour is bloody irritating...

    They say: We are going to run out of vaccine!

    it's truly, truly bizarre.

    Ya think this is a dry run?

  2. I know, I know, I noticed that last night!
    I cannot tell you how many times I heard about swine flu, vaccine, lines, outbreaks at the hospital, over and over and over...

    Is this all the news there is?
    But the angle of it all is interesting, meant to demonstrate how dangerous the virus is,and how in demand the vaccine is.

    I noticed in the GTA they only had two clinics open, what's with that?

    Two clinics! What is the population of the GTA? More then a million? More then two million?
    But two clinics will ensure the long line ups required for the media...
    Create the perception of demand?

    Now we are going to run out of vaccine?
    Creating again a perceived shortage?
    More fear?
    Like OMG, I am not going to get the vaccine, oh my, oh my.

    Imagine hand wringing and furrowed brows.

    I think it is a total manipulation

  3. btw:
    you may want to bookmark this page

    Deaths Associated with H1N1 flu virus in Canada

    1. Please note that the cause of death of one of the three deaths reported last Thursday was not due to influenza. As a result, Ontario’s case count for death is down

  4. Niagara Regional Public health (taking direction from Public Health Canada) is now advising doctors to do the following: "If a patient appears to have an Influenza-Like Ilness (ILI), it should be assumed to be the Influenza A (H1N1) virus." So, this will artificially bump up the number of reported cases of H1N1 furthering the perception of an epidemic.

  5. Great post! I love reading all sides to the story.

    The seasonal flu has multiple strains - they are not updating the vaccine. They swap out which 4 strains to include in it each year by using statistics, etc.

    The seasonal flu kills people usually after at least a week or more of fighting and it is most often due to a secondary infection of pneumonia.

    The h1n1 can kill within a day of onset of symptoms and the pneumonia that people are getting from h1n1 are actually from h1n1, not as a secondary infection.

    h1n1 is airborne and thus can be spread just by talking to someone or being on the same elevator as them; in the same office; walking through the same door, etc. It is also spread by droplet and contact.

    The seasonal flu is spread only by droplet (and once the droplets settle, it becomes contact). This means that by coughing and sneezing into a sleeve, we can prevent the spread via the air. Washing our hands can also prevent the spread.

    Because it is so virulent, so contagious, vaccination is encouraged. It is completely by choice, of course! I was going to get it, but we actually came down with h1n1 (family of 3).

    It wasn't like the normal flu, either, where you start off with a stuffy nose or you feel like you have a cold, then a day later, your temperature will slowly rise to a fever.

    My BF had pretty much no symptoms until one night, he almost instantly had a cough (dry), then all within an hour, he broke out into a fever of 40*C. In one single, short little hour! It was insane.

    If you feel like you're questioning the shot, certainly follow your gut. Your gut is a better source than any news article, family friend, doctor, nurse, or blog post.

  6. Sanj -- it actually is a pandemic. That just means that it's far spread, which it is. Being airborne, it is no surprise that it's all over the globe now :P

    I'm hoping the general public won't associate a pandemic with death rates or something equally as bazaar.

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  8. and actually Nurse Joc(joss)
    the information regarding the transmission of H1N1 you are bringing here is false according to the CDC.
    quoting you:

    "h1n1 is airborne and thus can be spread just by talking to someone or being on the same elevator as them; in the same office; walking through the same door, etc. It is also spread by droplet and contact.

    The seasonal flu is spread only by droplet (and once the droplets settle, it becomes contact). This means that by coughing and sneezing into a sleeve, we can prevent the spread via the air. Washing our hands can also prevent the spread'

    According to the CDC the swine flu is spread the exact same way as the seasonal flu.

    "Spread of 2009 H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. "

    therefore the transmission of seasonal and H1N1 is exactly the same mode.

    I get the impression you are trying to use fear, rather then facts in discussing this situation.
    It seems you are attempting to make the H1N1 into something much worse then it seems to be at this point in time.

    here is the updated death toll from H1N1

    101, all tragic, but vastly less then seasonal flu, which btw even the gov says the vast majority of swine flu cases are mild.

    another contradiction to your information

  9. Actually a pandemic was associated previously with morbidity, until the WHO changed the definition.

    Seasonal flu every year is a pandemic, because it spreads, and the government of Canada stats demonstrate the seasonal flu has higher death rates then H1N1.

    You can check the Preparadness guide for those stats yourself.

    The death count is 2 -8,000 from seasonal flu, yearly which is 5000 on average.
    The swine flu to date has killed approximately 101, on it's second wave, without major vaccination.

  10. According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control only 700 - 2500 Canadians die each year from seasonal influenza, and this is probably an overestimate. A Danish study concluded that of all seasonal flu deaths, 95% were in people over 60 years old (83% over 70). This would mean that on average only 80 people (5% of 1600) under the age of 60 die yearly in Canada from seasonal flu. I guess it depends on what numbers you believe.

  11. I am citing Canadian stats for the figure I used, the link is given as to where the information came from.
    It is from the H1N1 preparadness guide that was made available to all Canadians

    And actually nearly everyone does not die from "the flu", wether seasonal or H1N1. The vast majority die from complications brought on by the flu.
    This has been the same case with H1N1 deaths reported.

    Meaning they have underlying health conditions, which the flu exacerbates.

  12. Yea!!! It's great to find an intelligent post on how absurd this swine flu "joke" is!!!!

    Have you seen the 1974 swine flu "pandemic" government ads on YouTube that tried to scare everyone into getting a vaccination? Unbelievable!! Just search 1974 swine flu. To top it off, the vaccination was more dangerous than the swine flu!

    I don't know why they're doing this, but there must be a reason... maybe there's something in the vaccination that will make us all easier to control? Haha …or, it will make everyone that much “weaker,” thereby feeding the medical industries’ pockets that much more?? Who knows!

  13. hello anonymous, yes I have seen those ads and actually they are here on my blog somewhere...
    Along with a slew of information, including the Mike Wallace 60 minute interview from way back which you really should see...

    If you come back, click on the "swine flu" label at the bottom of the post. every post I have put up concerning the topic of swine flu will be made available to you, and there is lots of good information, I have tried to keep it intelligent so I am very glad you appreciated that.

    Thanks for stopping by
    Myself I lean towards money making, pure and simple. With the government helping corporations as they always do.