Every day as I scan through the news sites I get to read more and more about H1N1. And every time this happens I get more and more frustrated with the way things are portrayed in the media. Since June this year we at Sankalp are having a horrible time. This is because of the unprecedented rise in the number of people suffering from dengue. Out of the few hundred requests for blood we have seen in last few weeks, we have come across 4 people who failed to get sufficient blood on time. All four of them were suffering from dengue! We have been working closely with emergency services since last 6 years. Never have we seen a particular disease take this high toll. Blood banks are out of platelets and each day scores of people are getting infected with the dengue virus. Still, I could find little news about the viral. Hardly anyone reported the fact that the disease is spreading more each day. The media failed to take notice of the immense shortage of platelets in the blood banks. Life just seemed to be so normal. With a mortality rate of dengue known to be close to 5% (Source: http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news/Dengue-and-Chikungunya-3A-The…) it is not something that the nation should have been ignoring so blatantly. Think of it.
- get to hear too much about the prevalence of dengue?
- hear about how to save yourself from dengue?
- See anyone taking steps to kill mosquitoes with an increased sense of urgency?
It will be a surprise to me if your answer is ‘yes’ for the above questions. If it is dengue, or if it is Chikungunya, it is just another infection that comes each year and kills a few from the billion that live in this nation.
Then H1N1 came. Switch on a news channel and you get to hear about it. Every child in the nation has been scared of this new viral infection. The general feeling in the public is that soon H1N1 is going to wipe the chunk of the civilization away! With all this ho halla, the media and the Government sweeping into action, no stone is being left unturned to overdo the preparedness to the level that the caution converts into fear and the fear makes way for horror! Masks are being sold at 10 times the price. School assemblies are cancelled. Tension is in the air. Each death that can remotely be linked to swine flu is being aired by the media with the minutest of detail.
It is not bad to prepare, but doing this for swine flu when the doctors claim that it is just flu but a more contagious variety of it is what I question. The mortality rate of H1N1 is less than 0.01% to 0.4%. This is pathetically low compared to several other season outbreaks of disease in our nation. Why then is swine flu getting all the attention?
I think I know the answer. And I am presenting the answer to you in two images that I have picked below:
I know my answer now. Dengue has assumed a low profile just because it is not prevalent in the US and Europe. H1N1 is the talk of the town because it is what concerns the developed world!
CAUTION: Please do not see this article as underestimating H1N1. It is an attempt to highlight the issue that has been grossly disregarded. I hope and pray for the day when the Government and Media of our nation acts on the needs of the country rather than blindly following their western counterparts!
In-fact with the news reports about H1N1, we are heading towards a situation where a large number of people may die. Not because of the virus itself, but because of the fear, because of people not donating blood!