Excuse me, but statistically the number of deaths and infections in India from swine-flu is, hmmm, zero: Time for rationality please!

Why are the government and media spreading panic in India about swine-flu?   There is almost none of it.

The population of India as of August 2009 is near 1,163,698,689.

Something between 19,782,878 and 115,206,170 people among this population may be suffering some kind of ailment or other at any given time (don’t forget headaches, runny noses, upset tummies, sore backs etc).  The lesser figure comes by taking the minimum rate  of morbidity across regions, 17/1000, the greater figure comes by taking a supposed national average morbidity rate of 99/1000.   I shall be  happy to yield to more accurate figures from any source.

Of these millions, some 1,200 (twelve hundred) are said to have been isolated due to and are being treated for swine-flu as of today.  That is, statistically speaking, zero.

As for deaths, India experiences something between 20,405  and 26,398 deaths per day from all causes, depending on whether you use 6.40/1000 or 8.28/1000 as the mortality rate.

The number of deaths in India attributed to swine-flu since August 3 is  twenty — or about 2 per day on average.  That again is, statistically speaking, zero.

Of course governments at Union and State levels and the public health authorities and medical authorities need to follow their protocols and procedures – for swine-flu and every other disease that afflicts us.   But, please, closing down cities and towns or holding so many ministerial meetings due to a purported swine-flu epidemic in the country is quite simply a nonsensical waste of resources.    Time for a little rationality please.

Subroto Roy

Kolkata

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2 Responses to “Excuse me, but statistically the number of deaths and infections in India from swine-flu is, hmmm, zero: Time for rationality please!”

  1. Azygos Says:

    Flu epidemics can exponentially multiply turning the world of statistics topsy turvy. The 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic killed 5% of Indians and yet historians/economists never refer to it
    In Delhi, all the government hospitals, are working over capacity, and at most can manage 1000 swine flu admissions. In an epidemic situation the availability of bedding and treatment, then becomes statistically zero.

  2. drsubrotoroy Says:

    The 1918 flu epidemic was studied by my late great friend T. W. Schultz, but the commentator is right to suggest that it has been ignored or remains unknown. I do not think anything like the 1918 flu epidemic has been ever seen again by mankind, especially with advances in medicine and public health.


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