posted 08-17-2000 01:27 PM
Many people have seen the CDC Chart showing a spike in Pnu & Flu Mortality. One individual, Critan1, wrote to the CDC to ask about it:
From: "Hummelman, Erik" To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 14:03:01 -0400
I am writing to you in response to your inquiry about an alleged radio broadcast citing 3200 deaths in the Dallas are since January 2000 caused by a viral pneumonia. I can assure you there is not an epidemic of pneumonia going on in Texas, nor in any other region of the United States. I believe that the statements surrounding this report were misinterpretations of regional data that is routinely posted on the CDC website. The explanation of the graph seen at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/weekly.htm specifically states that "Because of changes in the reporting case definition that occurred just prior to the start of the 1999-2000 season, the current increase in P&I mortality should be interpreted with caution." This simply means that if you expand the definition for a case of pneumonia or influenza, you will naturally pick up more cases in your surveillance, thus the "false" peak in the graph. There is certainly not an epidemic of pneumonia nor influenza that anyone need worry about. This is clearly a case of the media misinterpreting data and creating concern among the general public that is not based upon scientific fact."