Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Research Methods & Reporting

Assessing the severity of the novel influenza A/H1N1 pandemic

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 14 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2840

Rapid Response:

diagnosis of 'swine flu'

I am An Inner City GP in England, in the past 3 or 4 week I have
been seeing patient with what I suspect is H1N1 'swine flu', I am
treating some of these cases with antiviral medication. The numbers of
people that I diagnose will go toward making up the numbers of the UK flu
epidemic numbers. But I am not allowed to take swabs on even a proportion
of the cases. So that even in retrospect I will not be able to see if my
diagnoses are correct. The computer saying 'rubbish in , rubbish out'
comes to mind when assessing the UK statistics. Incidentally the numbers
of patients with fever, myalgia and what I take to be 'swine flu' went
down last week as compared to the week before. I await the late Autumn and
winter with interest. Pat Lush

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 August 2009
patrick lush
General parctitiioner
115 Barton St, Gloucester. England GL1 4HR