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H1N1: Submission of a written request concerning investigations into deaths from H1N1


When a patient with either confirmed or suspected influenza A (H1N1) dies, the MHLW announces this through press releases, without waiting for investigations into the causal relationship between the infection and death. The mass media report the death using a number (for example "the 5th death from H1N1"), making it seem as if there have been a particular number of H1N1-related deaths.

Over-emphasising the risk of H1N1 can lead to a high use of vaccines and medication, and an increased risk of adverse effects as a result.

The cause of some deaths announced by the MHLW has been unconvincing, for example patients who died after their influenza symptoms had disappeared. The influence of medication and other underlying disorders also appear to be an issue. This means that is unclear to what extent H1N1 leads to death.

We therefore submitted a request to the MHLW on Dec 2nd 2009 as follows:

< Our Request Outline >

1. Concerning the deaths of patients with either confirmed or suspected H1N1, MHLW should investigate the course of symptoms, and the details of these investigations made clear.

2. MHLW should also release official opinions on the possibility of adverse effects following the use of medication up to the point of death, and whether there is a causal relationship between death and H1N1.

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