But a year on, questions linger as to whether a decision by the World Health Organization to declare swine flu a pandemic, thereby unleashing the slew of health measures, was over-dramatic or even tainted by commercial interests
"It's a decision which costs huge amounts of money, which frightened people throughout the world unnecessarily," said Paul Flynn, a British parliamentarian who led a Council of Europe inquiry on the issue.
The WHO's decision resulted "in the disruption the changing of priorities in health services which were concentrating on swine flu instead of concentrating on matters which were far more important to save lives," he charged.
Flynn noted that huge sums were spent on anti-virals and vaccines, which went largely wasted as skeptical populations refused to get vaccinated.
In France, for instance, the purchase of 94 million vaccines cost the state around 600 million euros, but only less than 10 percent of the population went to get vaccinated...