What killer swine flu cost NZ – research

Otago University researchers estimate the deadly 2009 swine flu cost New Zealand's hospitals about $31 million.

However, they say actual cost could be more than $40 million because their study only included hospitals, not primary care and public health services.

The study's lead author, associate professor Nick Wilson, says the spread of swine flu, or H1N1, in 2009 killed 49 people, sent 1122 to hospital and 102 of those to intensive care.

Calculations estimate the average cost for those hospitalised was $17,000, rising to $97,000 for people admitted to intensive care.

The study also estimates the cost-effectivenes of providing hospital care was about $155,000 per life saved.

"This is very good value for money, especially since some of the lives saved were young people who would otherwise have lost many years of future life," Dr Wilson says.

The researchers say the indirect economic cost to society of a pandemic would probably be much higher because of effects such as lower workplace productivity.

However, "the high cost estimate from just hospital care alone in this study indicate the potential value of further work on preventative measures, such as influenza vaccination, and of investing in pandemic planning and other control measures," associate professor Michael Baker says. 

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In 2009 I received the H1N1 shot (AREPANRIX by GSK GlaxoSmithKline) and had an adverse reaction to the vaccine. I received PERMANENT neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory symptoms: dizziness, vertigo, irregular heart rhythms, shortness of breath, muscle weakness and pain, and numbness in hands and feet. My physical fitness changed from marathon fit to that of a 70 year old in a matter of days. Studies have linked neurological disorders to this vaccine including "Narcolepsy in association with pandemic influenza vaccination", September 2012, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. You may also query the National Vaccine Information Center database of adverse reactions to vaccines (VAERS) which includes more than 11,465 events (adverse reactions) to the H1N1 vaccine, 3,390 symptoms and 61,500 reactions (more than 5 reactions per record).  In the UK, the "FINAL PUBLIC SUMMARY - UK Suspected Adverse Reaction Analysis, Swine Flu (H1N1) Vaccines - Celevanpan and Pandemrix, 26 March 2010" details more than 8,600 suspected reactions classified into 650 reaction names. Other information to consider is from Richard Warrington, President of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, "Vaccination with Arepanrix has led to far more reports of anaphylaxis or significant allergic reactions than is normally expected for a flu vaccine." According to "Product Information Leaflet Arepanrix H1N1 AS03-Adjuvanted H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Vaccine - Version 4 approved 20 April 2010" originating from the manufacturer GSK and listed on Health Canada's website, the vaccine consists of a "two-component vaccine ... an H1N1 immunizing antigen, ... and an AS03 adjuvant", "The antigen is prepared from virus grown in... embryonated hen's eggs", "The virus is inactivated with ultraviolet light treatment followed by formaldehyde" (Health Canada states "formaldehyde can cause cancer"), "The AS03 adjuvant ... composed of a tocoherol, squalene and polysorbate 80", in addition the vaccine contains "Preservative content is 5ug Thimerosal" (according to the FDA "Thimerosal is a mercury containing organic compound ... there is an increasing awareness of the theoretical potential for neurotoxicity of even low levels ... the FDA has worked with, and continues to work with the vaccine manufacturers to reduce or eliminate thimerosal from vaccines"). The Arepanrix leaflet states "Contraindications: History of anaphylactic reaction (i.e. life-threatening) to any of the constituents or trace residues of this vaccine" (According to the US Government MedlinePlus "a contraindication is a specific situation in which a drug ... should NOT be used, because it may be harmful to the patient."). The leaflet goes on to state "Anaphylaxis and severe allergic reactions have been observed in persons receiving Arepanrix", "Non-clinical Safety Data: Non-clinical data reveal no specific hazard for humans ... Two reproductive studies were conducted ... Although no definite conclusion could be reached ... In the first study, there was an increased incidence of fetal malformations ... In the second study, there was an increased incidence of post-implantation loss (loss of the fetus)", "This leaflet is part of a package insert and is specifically for Consumers. This leaflet is a summary and will not tell you everything about Arepanrix H1N1. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about the vaccine.", "Health Canada has authorized the sale of Arepanrix H1N1 base on limited clinical testing in humans". You may also ask your doctor and other Health care workers if they received the H1N1 vaccination and if they plan to remain up to date with all vaccinations. Reports from Canada, US, India, Hong Kong and other countries note a 50% vaccination rate among those who recommend and administer the immunization. According to Fox News "Most said they would pass on the H1N1 shot ... because they were afraid of side effects and doubted how safe and effective it would be." I asked my doctor and he didn't hesitate in saying "no way". Be informed and please choose wisely if you do plan to have your next flu shot or vaccination.

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