Pandemic – When did the definition change?

January 24, 2010 by
Filed under: WHO Watch 

The old version:


An influenza pandemic
An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness. With the increase in global transport, as well as urbanization and overcrowded conditions, epidemics due the new influenza virus are likely to quickly take hold around the world. Outbreaks of influenza in animals, especially when happening simultaneously with annual outbreaks of seasonal influenza in humans, increase the chances of a pandemic, through the merging of animal and human influenza viruses. During the last few years, the world has faced several threats with pandemic potential, making the occurrence of the next pandemic a matter of time.

and the new version:


What is an influenza pandemic?
A disease epidemic occurs when there are more cases of that disease than normal. A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic of a disease. An influenza pandemic may occur when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity. With the increase in global transport, as well as urbanization and overcrowded conditions in some areas, epidemics due to a new influenza virus are likely to take hold around the world, and become a pandemic faster than before. WHO has defined the phases of a pandemic to provide a global framework to aid countries in pandemic preparedness and response planning. Pandemics can be either mild or severe in the illness and death they cause, and the severity of a pandemic can change over the course of that pandemic.

The two documents above can also be found at:

These two documents were sourced and provided by Dr Tom Jefferson, and  Peter Doshi.

And here is Fukuda, at WHO, claiming that they didn’t change it!

Now let me move on to the second issue. Did WHO change its definition of a pandemic? The answer is no, WHO did not change its definition.


7 Comments on Pandemic – When did the definition change?

  1. Jupiter on Mon, 25th Jan 2010 1:54 am
  2. If you were properly educated in the value of oseltamivir, you’d be well versed enough in modern vocabulary and communication methods to see through the junkscience and know that “enormous numbers of deaths” is simply a relative term.
    Seasonal flu always kills “enormous” numbers of healthy children and adults, and deserves as much of our healthcare resources as possible, be it 10%, 50%, or whatever.
    Cancer and stroke and myocardial infarction etc are completely unworthy of research and investment (especially since they’re always the fault of the patient) compared to flu, rotavirus, and varicella.
    Not that I expect the lowbrows of society to understand this.

  3. admin on Mon, 25th Jan 2010 7:03 am
  4. Thanks for the enlightenment, Jupiter. Perhaps you should go back and hang out with your moons? Obviously, WHO couldn’t possibly have changed the definition so that “somebody” could sell oseltamivir, could they? Nah.

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ageofautism, Catherine Miller. Catherine Miller said: Pandemic – When did the definition change? : Inside Vaccines: An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza vi… […]

  5. admin on Thu, 28th Jan 2010 9:41 am
  6. one of our readers wanted to post this comment but ran into a problem, so here it is:

    The data referring to WHO definition are coming from Peter Doshi’s BMJ article : and the table here is really interesting: Maybe would be useful to mention it.

    NostraBrucanus NB

  7. Imma-Adama on Wed, 10th Feb 2010 10:54 pm
  8. Professor Dr Ulrich Keil, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Epidemiology at the University of Munster:

    A number of scientists and others are questioning the decision of the WHO to declare an international pandemic. The H1N1 virus is not a new virus, but has been known to us for decades. The H1N1 vaccination campaign was stopped abruptly when it was realised that the effects were milder than anticipated. I am asking for a reconsideration of this pandemic announcement by the WHO.

    In Germany, about 10,000 deaths are attributed to seasonal ‘flu, especially among older and frail people. Only a very small number of deaths, namely 187, can be attributed to the H1N1 virus in Germany – and many of those are dubious.

    The Director General of WHO declared the H1N1 pandemic in June 2009, triggering a cascade of actions by individual countries who were prepared for this by the SARS and Avian ‘Flu scares.

    We are witnesssing a gigantic misallocation of resources in terms of public health. Governments and public health services are wasting huge amounts of money in investing in pandemic diseases whose evidence base is weak

    Even some (at least one) people in the WHO are apparently re-thinking how much money needs to be spent on pandemic and seasonal flu…

  9. MinorityView on Mon, 12th Apr 2010 7:49 pm
  10. WHO gets caught lying again:

    Good work, Doshi and Jefferson!

  11. MinorityView on Fri, 9th Jul 2010 11:10 am

    WHO has gotten tired of their pandemic so they are going to turn it off. Must be handy to have such superhuman powers. Declare a pandemic! Declare the pandemic over!

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