Selsema babi vs H1N1 influenza vs dengue

The current spat between a minister and a secretary general of another ministry over the proper nomenclature to be used for the current influenza strain that is threatening the world’s population is fast becoming a laughing stock of the nation. I am sure both them had their own reasons for insisting on using their own nomenclature. Having said that, I tend to veer towards the secretary general for the simple reason that he is of the proper profession to insist on following the directive by WHO in using the term H1N1 A influenza rather than the not so accurate layman like term – swine flu. Over the years, they were thousands of influenza strains have been detected and millions have died because of them and I am sure more would come in the near future. Rather than bickering over what we should call a certain strain of the influenza, it would be more prudent if we focus our resources in containing the epidemic. Anyway, what is the credential of this Minister in the field of medicine to insists on using the term Selsema Babi?

On the same track, a comment found in my daughter’s blog caught my attention. He said that we are being orchestrated by the western producers of the vaccine to take drastic action over what he termed as a western propaganda to obfuscate their inaction over a more pressing issues such as famine in Africa, war in Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq where a lot more people had died. He further added his curiosity that a lot more people were infected in the UK and USA, but there were no directives to close schools or public places except at the initial stage in Mexico. A close relative who was in Canada and the UK recently told me that  there were no such stringent measures in the Heathrow or Montreal.  She hardly saw anybody wearing face mask in the UK or deployment of body heat scanners at both airports.  Why huh?

Someone also wrote that 65 people had died from dengue in this country this year and none from this H1N1. Aren’t we suppose to go all out in fighting dengue rather than the H1N1? On the other hand one can argue that dengue had been with us for umpteenth years like heart attack which kills more Malaysians than any other diseases, the wow factor is low as compared to this new influenza strain. But we are dealing potential killers here, the authority should decide which is more lethal and act likewise to contain it.


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