Cobblers disseminated on the web caused fear uncertainty and doubt to circulate in the matter of the influenza pandemic, the World Health Organisation thinks.
The WHO's head of influenza, Keiji Fukuda told a review of the international response to the pandemic that the organisation needs to consider more carfully how it deals with such information in the future, as bloggers, Twits and potty nuns with video cameras tend to cloudy the waters blurring the line between fact and fiction with sensational FUD.
"News, rumours, a great deal of speculation and criticism in multiple outlets," caused the WHO a few headaches over the issue, Fukuda said. "Anti-vaccine messaging was very active, made it very difficult for public health services in many countries," 'Flu' Fukuda told health experts studying the problem. "We saw confusion over many of the words and phrases used in the pandemic."
The UK Government ordered millions of doses of flu vaccine after the airwaves were saturated with suggestions that the virus would wipe half of us out.
Maybe if a few more people had died the Internet public might have taken the threat more seriously