Saturday, 22 December 2007

Not for those with an anxious disposition

If you look at this page from the Office of national Statistics

which shows that moderate flu years like 1998/9 have 45,000 excess winter deaths instead of 25,000

and this page from prescriber

which links to the lancet saying that flu vaccination hasn't been shown to reduce mortality in the elderly

and realize that the first influenza graph on this Health Protection Agency page

could be overlaid more or less perfectly on the excess mortality graph

And realise that we normally have a moderate 'flu outbreak every three or four years (and a severe one every 20 or so, and a Bird-Flu type pandemic every century)

And remember that even the official statistics

show bed occupancy routinely above 85%, while the reality for most (and particularly PFI schemes) the real rate is nearer 100%

Then you should be really worried about the health prospects of a country whose government has removed every ounce (and more) of spare capacity in the last seven years of low illness rate

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