The H1N1 insanity continues: CBS News reports that the CDC advised states to stop testing for H1N1 flu and stopped counting individual cases back in July.
While we waited for CDC to provide the data, which it eventually did, we asked all 50 states for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July. The results reveal a pattern that surprised a number of health care professionals we consulted. The vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu, based on symptoms and risk factors, such as travel to Mexico.
With most cases diagnosed solely on symptoms and risk factors, the H1N1 flu epidemic may seem worse than it is. For example, on Sept. 22, this alarming headline came from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.: "H1N1 Flu Infects Over 250 Georgetown Students."
H1N1 flu can be deadly and an outbreak of 250 students would be an especially troubling cluster. However, the number of sick students came not from lab-confirmed tests but from "estimates" made by counting "students who went to the Student Health Center with flu symptoms, students who called the H1N1 hotline or the Health Center's doctor-on-call, and students who went to the hospital's emergency room."
California, for example, looked at 13,704 specimens from "swine flu" patients -- and found that 86% did not have influenza, 12% had non-H1N1 flu, and only 2% had H1N1.
We've previously mentioned how only a small percentage of "flu" cases are actually influenza, and how the CDC's figure of 36,000 flu deaths a year is fantasy.