算不上流行病的流行病

帕洛阿尔托——去年6月,联合国世界卫生组织对H1N1病毒爆发性流行做出反应,将流行病警报级别提升到最高级别6级,也就是流行病已经爆发——这是世卫组织近41年来首次采取这样的公开行动。但这次病毒爆发似乎并不是世卫组织官员预想中的那头暴戾的野猪,而更像是一份配有苹果和鼠尾草烤猪脊肉。

事实上,世卫组织一而再、再而三地违反了夏洛克·福尔摩斯的警告,“在掌握所有证据之前就上升到理论高度是一种严重的错误。”而流行病警告更是让人感到双倍奇怪,因为普通的季节性流感每年都会席卷世界各地,而且无一例外地较之目前流行的低毒性H1N1病毒危害更大,这无疑符合世卫组织对于流行病的定义:在广泛的区域造成感染,影响很大一部分人的身体健康。

颇具讽刺意味的是,可以将九个月来H1N1流感病毒的出现看作一种公共健康的净造福因素,因为它似乎抑制、至少也是取代了毒性更大、致命性更强的季节性流感病毒。1月的第二个星期期间,有3.7%的美国人季节性流感测试呈阳性,而在2009年的同一个星期,上述比率高达11.5%。全世界因H1N1造成死亡的官方统计人数不到14000人,而季节性流感仅在美国就平均导致36,000人的丧命,在世界其他国家更是杀害数十万人的元凶。

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