Talk:2009 flu pandemic/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

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Hey all, I'll be reviewing this article for possible GA status. Cheers, Nikkimaria (talk) 15:46, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm placing this on hold to allow contributors time to address my (substantial) concerns. Cheers, Nikkimaria (talk) 02:27, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Writing and formatting[edit]

  • "which entered its winter flu season" - do you mean "as it entered", or did the outbreak cause an early start to the flu season? Should clarify
    • Removed, as it was unnecessary and the reference was not sufficient. Jehochman Talk 12:52, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Make sure to spell out CDC before using the acronym
  • "Nomenclature" should go much earlier in the article, possibly right before "Virus characteristics"
  • "Influenza A virus strains caused three major global epidemics...These pandemics were caused by strains of Influenza A virus" - slightly repetitive, and should be consistent in using either epidemic or pandemic
  • 20th century table - people infected from Asian and Hong Kong? 50% of what, world population? Question mark on case fatality rate for Asian?
  • Could use some more wikilinks, but some are duplicated
  • "may have some immunity" - to H1N1? Specify
  • "last January" -> "January 2008"
  • "the first time that was done" - when?
  • Could use some editing for clarity and flow
  • "In children signs of respiratory distress included blue lips and skin, dehydration, rapid breathing, excessive sleeping, seizures[46] and significant irritability that includes a lack of desire to be held." - grammar
  • "may have indicated...may have required..." - why "may have"? Why not just "may"?
  • Avoid one- or two-sentence paragraphs
  • Magazine and newspaper names should be italicized
    • Italicized the one instance of New York Times. Did not see any others. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:12, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
  • References should be immediately after punctuation with no spaces
    • Apparently rectified in the course of my reference fixes. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:14, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Terms that are wikilinked inline should not also be wikilinked in See also
  • The first paragraph in "Prevention" doesn't seem to fit in that section
  • While not an explicit criterion for GA, I find that the presence of very short paragraphs is a common concern in GA reviews that has yet to be brought forth here. There are many such one- or two-sentence quasi-paragraphs in this article that should be expanded or merged into other paragraphs. Emw2012 (talk) 15:39, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Already mentioned above by original reviewer: "Avoid one- or two-sentence paragraphs" --Cybercobra (talk) 05:09, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • The 'See also: Swine influenza' tag seems unnecessary and a bit distracting to have atop the lead. Shouldn't this be wikilinked in the body of the article, or at the very least moved into a conventional 'See also' section? Emw2012 (talk) 04:07, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Accuracy and verifiability[edit]

  • Some facts need to be updated already
  • Quotations need to be cited immediately, not at the end of the paragraph
  • Citations needed for:
    • All now tagged with {{cn}} --Cybercobra (talk) 07:09, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Works temporarily. Unfortunately, having a large number of citation-needed tags is a valid reason to fail GA...actually, I think that's a quick-fail. Needs real citations in order to pass. Nikkimaria (talk) 20:27, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
        • Well of course. But now at least they're marked in the article itself and not just this review page. --Cybercobra (talk) 22:16, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
          • Okay, good. I've had someone in the past who said since it was marked in the article it should be okay...wanted to make sure you weren't another like that! Sorry if it sounded insulting, wasn't the intent! Nikkimaria (talk) 22:19, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Annual influenza epidemics are estimated to affect 5–15% of the global population. Although most cases are mild, this still causes severe illness in 3–5 million people and around 250,000–500,000 deaths worldwide.
  • 0.5 to 1 billion (near 50%)
  • <0.05%
  • Immediately after the outbreak was officially announced, Mexico requested material support from the U.S., and within days of the outbreak Mexico City was "effectively shut down." Some countries canceled flights to Mexico while others halted trade. Calls to close the border to contain the spread were rejected.
  • The new virus strain was reported to be "unstable"
  • In late August 2009, WHO predicted a large rise in swine flu cases during the remainder of 2009 and into 2010. WHO advised that there would be a period of further global spread of the virus, and most countries could see swine flu cases double every three to four days for several months until peak transmission was reached.
  • Some experts stated that "masks may give people a false sense of security" and shouldn't replace other precautions
  • Many planned to stockpile medical supplies and discuss worst-case scenarios
  • Government officials are especially concerned because the virus appears to disproportionately affect young people between ages 6 months to 24 years of age, making them one of the top priority groups when it comes to the new H1N1 vaccine.
  • The president of the Association of Flight Attendants told members of a U.S. Congressional subcommittee that all flight attendants should be given training in how to handle a person with flu and help in communicating to passengers the importance of keeping clean hands. She also said that flight attendants need to be provided gloves and facemasks to deal with flu-stricken passengers
  • U.S. airlines had made no major changes as of the beginning of June 2009, but continued standing practices that included looking for passengers with symptoms of flu, measles or other infections, and relying on in-flight air filters to ensure that aircraft were sanitized. Masks were not generally provided by airlines and the CDC did not recommended that airline crews wear them
  • The CDC further advises that persons in the workplace should stay home sick for seven days after getting the flu, or 24 hours after symptoms end, whichever is longer.
  • As a result, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert about China's anti-flu measures and was warning travelers about traveling to China if ill.
  • In Hong Kong, an entire hotel was quarantined with 240 guests
  • Russia and Taiwan said they would quarantine visitors showing symptoms; Japan quarantined 47 airline passengers in a hotel for a week; India ordered 231 passengers to receive antiviral drugs.
  • Some governments, including India and China, have also suggested pre-screening "outbound" passengers from countries that are thought to have a high rate of infection.
  • WHO expects to have vaccine available globally by the end of 2009
  • Although it was initially thought that two injections would be required
  • clinical trials have shown that the new vaccine protects "with only one dose instead of two,"
  • To be most useful, they were to be given within two days of showing symptoms and "may shorten the illness by a day or so," according to the Mayo Clinic
  • The CDC warned that the indiscriminate use of antiviral medications to prevent and treat influenza could ease the way for drug-resistant strains to emerge which would make the fight against the pandemic that much harder. In addition, a British report found that people often failed to complete a full course of the drug which encouraged resistance.
  • it was recommended that patients discuss possible side effects with their doctor before starting any antiviral medication
  • The last WHO update, issued on July 6, showed 94,512 confirmed cases in 122 countries, with 429 deaths
  • In July 2009 WHO experts changed the name to pandemic H1N1/09 virus to distinguish it from the current seasonal H1N1 virus, and as of August, 2009, the CDC began referring to it as the novel H1N1 virus.
  • Why is there a single subheading under References?
  • All web references should have access dates and titles (i.e. no bare links), and also author/publisher where available
  • Blogs are not considered to be reliable sources
    • The blog in question is that of "Vincent Racaniello Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology at Columbia University Medical Center" --Cybercobra (talk) 07:22, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Neither are forums - if the forum poster cites a newspaper, the reference here should be the newspaper, not the forum
  • Refs 15, 28, 56, 73 are broken
  • Note non-English sources
    • I came across 1 Spanish one and marked it. Were there others? --Cybercobra (talk) 07:23, 17 September 2009 (UTC)


  • Pigs section should mention more of the "anti-pig" response - even just a sentence or two
  • Some sections are focused mainly on the US; should include a world-wide viewpoint as much as possible


  • There are some issues with WP:Weasel that should be addressed


  • Given that we're about to hit flu season, this article is going to need to be updated rapidly in a very short period of time
    • It's always flu season in either the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. *Smile* Yes, the article needs constant updating, but we have thus far been able to avoid edit warring or other poor conduct that can make an article unsuitable for GA. Jehochman Talk 13:12, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Obvious target for vandals
    • Many reliable editors watch this article. It gets vandalized less often than search engine optimization, a featured article and spam magnet. Any vandalism is reverted quickly. Jehochman Talk 11:22, 17 September 2009 (UTC)


  • What is ECDC in the opening template?
  • Video is tagged as lacking source information
    • It's been fixed by somebody. Jehochman Talk 00:09, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  • The airline picture would probably make more sense in the airline section
  • Airline picture has a slightly misleading caption - should specify that these are (I assume government?) inspectors, not employees of the airline
    • The uploader did not specify and probably did not know for sure. I added a caption that accurately represents the facts as we know them. Jehochman Talk 13:13, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
  • In the caption for the video, why is "CAPT" all caps?
  • Since the semi-logarithmic plot ends at a specific date, might mention what that is (i.e. "up to..." or "curent as of..")


All of the issues noted above as resolved have been taken care of, as well as some of the issues that have not been marked. This article is very well referenced with over 75 inline citations. It is not required to have a citation for each and every sentence. Could we get a concise list of work remaining to be done? Jehochman Talk 19:23, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

The "citation needed"s are probably still the main remaining issue. If something is uncited and not obvious, it's not verifiable. --Cybercobra (talk) 19:51, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Citation needed, weasel words and dead link tags still need to be addressed - you don't need a citation for every sentence, but there's still some statistics and other things that should be cited but aren't.
    • Stats cited, dead links fixed. Only 3 more citations needed! (yay!) --Cybercobra (talk) 00:13, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Some wikilinks are still duplicated, and a few others could be added.
  • When was the virus first mapped?
    • Date added to "Response" section. --Cybercobra (talk) 00:31, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
  • There are still some clarity/flow issues.
  • For example , it says "certain symptoms may have required emergency medical attention" - why "may have"? You're not suggesting that these symptoms no longer require attention? I don't think anything in that section other than the last sentence should be past tense. The last sentence is also slightly ambiguous with "were attributed to". That can be read either as "were mistakenly thought to be a result of pneumonia" or "were a result of pneumonia acquired secondary to H1N1" - I think you mean the second, but it's unclear, IMO.
  • One- and two-sentence paragraphs should be avoided wherever possible
  • UniCali students have presumably checked into dorms already - were they screened for fever?
  • There's still a few web references missing access dates
  • There are still sections focused largely on the US that should include a more world-wide view
  • Video is still tagged as lacking source info
Also, I've been following some of Cool Nerd's arguments on the talk page. While some of his ideas are obviously incompatible with GA standards (like the section titles idea, for instance), some of his points about missing information are valid and could reasonably be incorporated. Other than the above issues, the article is in pretty good shape. The tags are the most pressing issue at this point. Cheers, Nikkimaria (talk) 20:29, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

As of now, article has no citations needed or dead link tags. Could you be more specific on the weasel words? It seems to be the only major remaining issue. --Cybercobra (talk) 23:09, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

  • "Some experts say/state..."
  • "is thought to be..."
Phrasing like that should be avoided, as it is not clear who exactly thinks/says these things. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:50, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Weasel stomping complete; exorcised all the ones I could find. Do any remain? Are the clarity/flow issues you enumerated the only thing keeping the article from being Good(TM)? --Cybercobra (talk) 04:05, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Post de-weaseling[edit]

Weasel words look fine now. Remaining problems:

  • Ref 52 is a dead link
    • Replaced with alternative source. --Cybercobra (talk) 17:57, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Two wikilinks to disambiguation pages: Chinese government and Department of Education
  • Still have duplicated wikilinks (you even have Mexico City linked twice in the same paragraph!), and could use a few more unique wikilinks
    • Wikiwatcher1 seems to have done significant work in the overlinking department. --Cybercobra (talk) 07:54, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Were students screened for fever at the University of California? The possibility is mentioned (written before move-in), but they've moved in now, so that sentence needs to be updated to reflect what happened
    • Reasonably sure they weren't; couldn't easily locate anything on it; noted accordingly. --Cybercobra (talk) 19:00, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Is Dr. Friedan New York City's health commissioner, a member of the CDC, or both?
    • Clarified after researching. --Cybercobra (talk) 18:04, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Watch for redundancies, especially vague terms of size like “some”, “a variety/number of”, “several”, “many”, “any”, and “all”.
    • Addressed now? --Cybercobra (talk) 18:34, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Better, but there's still a few. Also watch out for phrases that read awkwardly, as these disrupt the flow of the article. Nikkimaria (talk) 19:54, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
        • Could you be more specific? --Cybercobra (talk) 21:07, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
            • "The illness is generally mild with some exceptions for people in higher risk groups." - not clear. I think you mean that people in higher risk groups get sicker sometimes, but that's not obvious from reading the sentence
              • Attempted to make more obvious. --Cybercobra (talk) 07:53, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
            • "recommend that employers balance a variety of objectives" - what does that mean?
              • Removed as meaningless execu-speak --Cybercobra (talk) 07:40, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
            • "attempt to patch any gaps" - fine, but this was this past summer - were there gaps?
            • "urged schools to suspend any rules" - any rules? Not one specific set of rules? Don't you mean any rules that require ill students to go to class, or something like that?
              • The article is that non-specific. Clarified the CDC's reasoning slightly. --Cybercobra (talk) 07:49, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
            • "mass slaughter of all pigs" - "all" is somewhat implied by "mass" here, so having both is redundant
            • Symptoms include "coughs" and "sneezes"? Why not "sneezing" and "coughing"/"cough", which is more conventional?
            • "advised Europeans not to travel to the United States or Mexico unless urgent" - kind of awkwardly worded
            • "a tiny fraction of the amount of people" - first, 1/3 is not a "tiny" fraction; second, should be "number of people"
          • These are some examples of wording issues still left to be addressed. Nikkimaria (talk) 21:41, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Don't use contractions in the body of the text unless in quotes

There are also other minor problems with clarity and flow, but it shouldn't be too hard now to get this to GA status. Cheers, Nikkimaria (talk) 13:37, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Wrapping up[edit]

Okay, so what now prevents this from becoming a GA, besides giving an update on the gap-patching thing? --Cybercobra (talk) 07:57, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Gap-patching thing, a few more unique wikilinks, and assuming nothing extraordinary happens, this is a GA. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:07, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
What can I do to help finalize this. I'm not sure what needs doing? Jehochman Talk 18:27, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
There's a concern regarding 1- and 2-sentence paragraphs that's yet to be addressed from the 'Writing and formatting' section of this review. The primary reviewer brought up the issue first, and I reiterated and expanded on the concern without knowing that it'd already been made. Emw (talk) 19:30, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
The guidelines say to minimize the number of them, not that there need to be none of them, and a many of them have already been combined into other paragraphs. I don't think the ones that currently remain could be combined without worsening the flow of the article. --Cybercobra (talk) 22:08, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Scanning the article just now, I counted ten 1- to 2-sentence paragraphs. One of these is in the lead (third paragraph), and another constitutes an entire subsection ('United States'). While I think this detracts from how "complete" the article feels (even considering that articles may never be complete per se) and runs against the convention of other good articles (if not MoS guidelines themselves), I'm not the primary GA reviewer here. And note that these mini-paragraphs don't necessarily need to be merged with larger paragraphs; ideally the paragraphs in question would be expanded by a few sentences. Emw (talk) 22:36, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I've completed a top to bottom edit for flow. This resulted in the merger of some of those short paragraphs. One had a run on sentence that got turned into three sentences. I also eliminated two subsections that were not needed. The article flows better this way. What do the reviewers think? The challenge we have is that this is a parent article of a great many other articles. We have summarized the daughter articles and provided numerous link so that people can find more information on the subtopic that interests them. Jehochman Talk 13:20, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think it does flow better that way. I went through and removed a few more duplicated links, but CDC is still linked numerous times. The delinking has left room for a few more unique wikilinks to be added. Also, is there an update on the "gap-patching" issue from above? Nikkimaria (talk) 15:00, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The CDC is only linked 3 times; once in the lede, and twice in 2 sections in the context of US Gov't agencies making flu-related recommendations. I don't think 3 wikilinks is "numerous". --Cybercobra (talk) 17:48, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
There were more, but I removed some. Anyways, update on the "gaps"? Is there something to be added there? Nikkimaria (talk) 17:53, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
That's probably going to take some actual time-consuming research due to how vaguely "patching gaps" is defined. --Cybercobra (talk) 18:11, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy to do that if somebody points out the troublesome sections. Jehochman Talk 19:37, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Second paragraph of "Response". Quote: "The CDC and other American governmental agencies used the summer lull to take stock of the United States's response to the new H1N1 flu and attempt to patch any gaps in the public health safety net before flu season started in early autumn." Source (Reuters). Nikkimaria would like information on what gap-patching was done added to the article. --Cybercobra (talk) 20:02, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like bureaucratic doublespeak or happytalk. I'll rework the sentence so it's just the facts. Jehochman Talk 20:05, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done I figured out what they meant, and added an explanation to the article. Jehochman Talk 20:14, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Done, and passed. Congratulations all! Just keep in mind that it will need updating as time passes, but as it stands, everything looks great. Thanks for all your hard work. Cheers, Nikkimaria (talk) 20:44, 4 October 2009 (UTC)