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Why is swine flu worse here and all panicky but not Europe?

(57 Posts)
sarah293 Sat 18-Jul-09 08:47:46

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Hassled Sat 18-Jul-09 08:49:55

This has puzzled me as well. I spoke to my stepmother in Ireland the other day - she only seemed dimly aware of Swine Flu. She is often on a different planet, though.

Hassled Sat 18-Jul-09 08:52:15

Although if you look at the stats on the right of the Wiki page, Europe doesn't feature other than UK and Spain.

PrefetParfait Sat 18-Jul-09 08:55:19

Because the only other European country which has had deaths is Spain.

PrefetParfait Sat 18-Jul-09 08:58:44

Just below that list is a tab which you can open to see data on countries which have had no deaths. There are numerous countries listed there, and they all have less cases than we do.

Maybe their governments were more effective in the containment phase? Maybe they are just 2 weeks behind us in the pandemeic (which could well be true actually as I think we had an early confirmed case IYSWIM).

sarah293 Sat 18-Jul-09 09:50:42

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BecauseImWorthIt Sat 18-Jul-09 10:00:40

Wasn't it - initially at least - to do with travel to Mexico? And Britons make up a fairly high proportion of those who go to Mexico on holiday.

mumonthenet Sat 18-Jul-09 10:01:54

I wondered that too.

Schools here in Portugal broke up for the summer hols a month ago......could that have anything to do with it?

They are quite concerned that there will be an increase of infection when the schools go back in September. The local Health Centre is full of posters about H121, and the nurse there told the kids to start taking precautions, washing hands, door handles, sneezing into the arm or a paper tissue - not onto hands etc etc.....
Our local hospital has been set up as a centre for treatment in addition to the two main hospitals in Lisbon.

belgo Sat 18-Jul-09 10:30:33

In Belgium it's not called Swine Flu, but Mexican flu. That doesn't sound as nearly as scary as swine flu. In fact, it sounds positively exoticgrin. There haven't been very many cases in Belgium, one 'victim' was quoted as saying it was little more then a normal cold, and I've now checked the news to see that the Belgium government have ordered12 million vaccines - more then enough for the while population. When my children were ill recently with flu like symptoms, I mentioned to the GP could it be swine flu, and she just shrugged and asked if we had been in contact with swine flu - I said I don't know and she shrugged her shoulders again.

Added to that the schools broke up at the end of june. And it's just not in the belgian character to panic.

SlartyBartFast Sat 18-Jul-09 10:37:53

perhaps we have travelled more, have more foreign tourists?

SlartyBartFast Sat 18-Jul-09 10:38:16

although i read todyathat the germans are the most well travelled in europe, so that rules that out

cheerfulvicky Sat 18-Jul-09 12:04:35

Riven, I was just thinking that the other day. It's like the UK gov are determinedly trying to whip up a good panic despite constantly claiming they are not.

And I heard the theory that everyone else in Europe is a few weeks behind us, we are just a bit further on with it all. I suppose if that's true then we will see an increase in cases/deaths in other countries soon?

It does piss me off though. Most things about our government piss me off grin

belgo Sat 18-Jul-09 12:04:57

No belgians travel plenty, and Brussels airport is a stop over for many destinations. My ds as clearly ill on a flight back from the UK, so was another child, no one stopped us. There just isn't the media fed panic that you see in the UK.

SlartyBartFast Sat 18-Jul-09 12:06:35

i blame the Sun

belgo Sat 18-Jul-09 12:08:44

and the Mail

foxinsocks Sat 18-Jul-09 12:11:34

also, we know someone whose teenager is on a trip around Europe and they have just been quarantined (in Italy) for having swine flu symptoms! So I think they are taking is seriously but haven't had any deaths yet (other than Spain).

foxinsocks Sat 18-Jul-09 12:11:53

it seriously

belgo Sat 18-Jul-09 12:16:18

Just been reading about british school children in China who are being quarantined.

foxinsocks Sat 18-Jul-09 12:21:02

maybe they will ban british people from europe belgo wink. We'll all have to holiday in Blightly (which we are doing anyway) with our buckets and spades and our raincoats!

belgo Sat 18-Jul-09 12:25:51

smile you're making me nostalgic for the seaside

PrefetParfait Sat 18-Jul-09 13:52:27

Officially it IS Mexican flu not swine flu. Originally there was a theory that it originated in pigs and it has since stuck.

Last I saw (which TBH was a while ago) there is no evidence that this strain was transmitted from Pigs at all. The virus has at some past in it's history incubated itself in pigs; as well as birds. But I don't think there is any hard evidence that pig to human transfer has caused this pandemic. AS I say my info is at least 3weeks old and there may be an updated opinion

Tinker Sat 18-Jul-09 14:40:06

We had early cases. We're supposedly about a month behind the US. I wonder if there is more travel between the USA and UK than USA and other European contries?

mrsbean78 Sun 19-Jul-09 06:40:01

There are 652 people in intensive care with Swine Flu in the UK at present OUT of normal flu season. There are only 75 in Australia at the HEIGHT of their flu season, when they apparently have three times as many cases as we do.

Bit worrying that.. suggests mismanagement somewhere along the line, don't you think?

These figures can't really be discounted byt the theory that we don't have as much swine flu as we think due to over-the-phone diagnosis?

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 19-Jul-09 07:01:23

I think as it was spreading a few weeks ago GP's were only diagnosing if people had contact with confirmed cases but in fact it was doing the rounds and peope weren't realizing they had been in contact with someone who had it, didn't spend as much time away from people as they should have and the whole thing spread quickly. It is only last week that some of the doctors here have been diagnosing swine flu where as flu (which they have been diagnosing as seasonal flu) along with a bug which starts with sudden temperature and cough which is diagnosed as chest infection have been doing the rounds for at least 6 weeks.

mrsbean78 Sun 19-Jul-09 07:11:49

I reckon a lot of this is still happening WBN. I don't think, despite the media and sudden 'panic', that a lot of people actually take it seriously. My GP told me that he didn't really 'believe' in it - at all! Also advised that if I did succumb I should avoid antivirals as I'm pregnant (despite all national and international guidelines advising otherwise) - even though I'm quite significantly and severely asthmatic. "Oh, if you did get it, you'd be fine - it's very mild".

Really? Evidence, please! What exactly put those 652 people in intensive care?

I think it's pretty bad if even the GPs are so (apparently) misinformed. It's not as if I was asking to be signed off work for the next four months - just what procedure to follow if I did become ill as I'd been in close contact with some confirmed cases. All this 'don't panic' stuff is well and good, but it will stop people carrying tissues and taking sensible precautions. Mexico managed to rid itself of spread relatively quickly BY panicking. A little more caution - if not panic - might not go astray here, too.

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