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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Review: Influenza

 Why read yet another book about Influenza, when I'd already read The Great Influenza? I kinda skipped the history of the so-called Spanish flu, having already gotten all of those details from that other book, but the modern parts of the book were actually interesting.

For instance, I didn't know that the approval of Tamiflu was actually steeped in controversy. It turns out that it reduces your symptoms by one day, but only if you take it right away. But we stockpile it anyway, thanks to some insider's political involvement during the procurement process. Similarly, I didn't know that the British NHS would only vaccinate the very old and the very young with the flu vaccine and basically not recommend flu vaccines for everyone in between. Again, I don't know if that's changed since the COVID pandemic.

In any case, it seems like any kind of treatment/effective vaccine for the influenza is quite some time away, and of course, since the book was published events have over-taken it and we've gotten effective COVID19 vaccines in record time, so maybe if another influenza pandemic kicked off we might be able to do it again.

I thought the book was good, but not as good as The Great Influenza.

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