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The economy-wide impact of pandemic influenza on the UK: a computable general equilibrium modelling experiment

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 20 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4571

Article's timing very puzzling

It is very puzzling that an academic modeling exercise such as Smith
et al's paper would be published at this point in time. This is all the
more puzzling given that it is well established now that this H1N1
influenza has an infection fatality rate of less than 1:25,000 or 0.004
percent, a fraction of the lowest CFR used in the paper. It also beggars
belief that the model would include such extensive closing of schools when
such closures haven't been undertaken.

This 'pandemic' does not meet the definitions used to establish
pandemic preparedness plans. It is not a new sub-type and it has not
resulted in enormous numbers of deaths and illness. If it wasn't for the
fact that the WHO changed the definitions of a pandemic to potentially
include seasonal influenza then this would not be a pandemic.

An international judicial inquiry is need to determine how and why
the definition of a pandemic could be changed by WHO so arbitrarily,
especially given the fact that some, if not all, vaccine supply contracts
were invoked when the WHO declared a phase six pandemic.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

29 November 2009
Ron Law
Risk & Policy Advisor
Auckland, 0614