Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid Response:

Origins of the crisis - crying wolf?

Dear Editor

I believe one of the key things which has gone wrong is that we have been exaggerating influenza mortality. For instance, winter 2017-18 was considered a very bad year for flu mortality - but we had only 3,454 ICU admissions in the UK and 372 deaths (140 beds, 14 deaths a week?) And we told ourselves we had 16,000 deaths or 50,000 deaths which would have equated to 150,000 or 500,000 ICU admissions [1]. Of course, we were never anywhere near that and the service was at full stretch. Now we are reaping the whirlwind.

[1] John Stone, ‘ Government exaggerates flu mortality again: why cannot the public be trusted with the truth?’, 5 December 2018,

Competing interests:, an on-line daily journal, concerns itself with the potential environmental sources for the proliferation of autism, neurological impairment, immune dysfunction and chronic disease. I receive no payment as UK Editor

25 March 2020
John Stone
UK Editor
London N22