Pork flu returns to kill us all.

Click for brain damage linky

We’re DOOOOOOOOOOMED! Doooomed, I say! Run, run for the hills. Run for your li… oh wait, no.
What’s that last bit again?

… and other winter viruses.

Ah, so should we run around screaming, “PORK FLU” at the top of our lungs before rounding up absolutely everything that looks a bit piggy?

Kill it! Kill it with fire!

Or should we calm the fuck down a bit first and look at what viruses we’re talking about that are all being lumped together with pork flu by The Daily Jellygraph?

Yeah, I’m going for the second one (my bold).

Scores of hospital wards closed due to norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, which put more than 1,200 beds out of use in one week as nurses attempted to isolate the disease.

Norovirus. Okay. Although my medical expertise doesn’t extend beyond A level biology I’m reasonably confident in saying without bothering to check that norovirus, while it may be unpleasant, possibly deadly and apt to make you able to shit through the eye of a needle or puke your own sphincter across the room (not sure which, possibly both), is not actually swine flu. But just in case I’m wrong I will go and check. Bear with me.

Okay, I’ve checked and it isn’t. I won’t bother to reference it since anyone with internet access can confirm it in seconds unless they are either lobotomised, retarded or, just possibly, a journalist.

And, er, that’s it. The only illnesses mentioned are norovirus, flu and swine flu, and it’s not made clear how much flu is swine flu or whether the writer intends flu to mean non-swine flu versions of flu. Beyond that we’ve got mention of a couple of deaths from swine flu and a list of areas where hospitals have cancelled routine surgery, slightly spoiled by the admission that many hospitals do that at this time of year anyway. Again, the article fails to say how many have cancelled routine surgery who would otherwise have carried on, though presumably Southampton General was one.

Southampton General Hospital spent more than three weeks on “black alert”, closing 10 wards as norovirus swept through the centre. It was forced to stop all non-emergency surgery and cancel most appointments for outpatients during the period. The crisis warning was finally lifted on Thursday.

Three points. One, it’s norovirus again, not swine flu. Two, they seem to be over it now. And three, it’s fucking norovirus for fuck’s sake.

Okay, maybe it’s just that one and all the others are … oh, who am I kidding?

Because of the same bug, four wards were closed at Royal Cornwall Hospital last week and cancer and surgery wards in Poole, Dorset, were closed to new admissions. Three wards were closed at West Suffolk hospital.

Again, norovirus in the case of the first two for sure and by implication the third as well, though since the article says no more than that they were closed it could have been for fucking redecorating for all we know.

Now I’m not saying the NHS is struggling to cope or that the restrictions on routine surgery are a non-issue. This is not a dig about health so much as journalism, and in particular the use of this headline

Swine flu: hospitals ‘gridlocked’

to describe events that the article itself ascribes largely to other illness such as norovirus, which pops into my head for no obvious reason whatsoever, and standard fucking procedure for this time of year.

All of which leads me to wonder whether the Jellygraph is after the crown of another newspaper.

PS – looks like they might be gunning for The Express as well.

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Posted on January 16, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Pork flu returns to kill us all..

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