As H1N1 (swine flu) continues to spread, so does misinformation on the Internet. There are several emails in circulation that are simply wrong, and web sites with false information are popping up all over. And scams are starting to emerge.

We share this planet with people who still believe the earth is flat, lunatic conspiracy theorists who claim that the 1969 moon landing didn’t happen, and criminals bent on separating us from our money however they can. So it’s not much of a surprise that there are some people who “don’t believe in vaccinations” despite overwhelming evidence that the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. Or that some criminals don’t care who they hurt along the way.

If you find yourself reading these emails and web sites, please take a moment to remember that anyone can write an email claiming to be whomever they wish, and anyone can create a web site. It doesn’t make anything they say correct, honest or credible.  Surf on over to and you’ll find many examples of emails that have circled the globe for years, often evolving as people take it upon themselves to embellish, edit and reattribute misinformation. Most of us have been taken in by at least one of them.  But what’s truly frightening is that some people could make important health decisions based upon fiction.  Don’t be one of them.

We will undoubtedly see a lot of H1N1-related scams as criminals seek to profit from fear. Some of these will be appeals for cash, and they are sure to tug at our heartstrings. Others will offer bogus insurance to protect those who become ill. And sadly we will probably see fake vaccines and bogus cures for sale as well. Don’t fall for it. Delete those emails and point your web browser to reputable sites for solid information.

Here are some links to get you started:

General Information

Australian Government

British Government

Public Health Agency of Canada


World Health Organization

H1N1 Vaccine Information

Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Vaccine

British swine flu vaccination programme

Health Canada Arepanrix™ H1N1 Vaccine FAQ

US CDC 2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccine Info

One Response to H1N1, bad information and scams

  1. Cecelia
    Nov 04, 2009

    Definitely not going to listen to any of those scams!

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