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30th April
2009
written by Sean Noble

I don’t want to minimize the potential threat of the swine flu, but I’ve been trying to figure out what the big deal is.  We’re being told that it’s a “pandemic” and that we should avoid riding public transportation.  In Phoenix, a kid was diagnosed with swine flu – after he was recovered and fine (he was never hospitalized) but they have closed the school for seven days. Really?   There are probably now going to be a wave of schools closing.

So why the alarm?

According to the CDC, there are typically 20,000 deaths a year in the United States attributed to the common flu.  Given that there has only been one reported death in the U.S. from swine flu, I think we might be focusing on the wrong threat.

But if you were to watch the news or go online, you’d think the world was ending. Just look here, here, here and here for starters.

I’m just sayin’, I don’t get it.

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10 Comments

  1. Sarah
    30/04/2009

    Me neither…it makes no sense.

  2. Thomas
    30/04/2009

    This is so ridiculous. The age of reason is over and we have embraced the age of ignorance.

  3. Mark Wrighton
    01/05/2009

    Apparently, the media doesn’t get it either….

  4. Michelle
    01/05/2009

    Who stands to benifit from this? Let see, Big Pharma, need I say more? This whole thing is a joke.

  5. NotSoNoble
    01/05/2009

    Sean –

    Playing to the anti-science base (seems a lot like the GOP congressional primary base too, eh?) once again?

    This issue really is not that complicated and you are way out in right field. Of course, the normal flu kills a lot more people than have died, so far, from swine H1N1 flu. “So far” being the key words.

    We have no or very little resistance to the H1N1 flu as it stands and there won’t be a vaccine for 4-5 months, so the fear is that even with a low death rate — about 5% in Mexico so far and about 1% in the US so far — this could be (emphasize “could be”) a huge, global disaster IF the spread is not stopped/slowed early.

    Consider, for example, even with a low death rate of 1%, the spread of H1N1 to 100 million people in the U.S. That would kill 1 million people. That’s a disaster of enormous proportions that needs to be prevented if at all possible.

    In order to prevent that eventuality, we have to lower one variable: the number of people infected by the average person infected with H1N1. If that number is low, close to 1. Then we will be fine and this pandemic will die relatively quickly. But, if that number is high, then this will spread incredibly fast.

    Numerous peer-reviewed academic studies have shown than there are effective methods for lowering this single critical variable.

    1. “University of Western Australia Professor George Milne and colleagues said staying at home, closing schools and isolating infected people within the home should reduce infection, but only if they are used in combination, and activated without delay.”

    Link: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2009/04/30/Study-Social-separation-stops-flu-spread/UPI-90941241109670/

    2. “Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Public Health have shown that staying at home, closing schools and isolating infected people within the home should reduce infection, but only if they are used in combination, activated without delay and maintained for a relatively long period.”

    Link: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/04/30/social.separation.stops.flu.spread.must.be.started.soon

    3. “Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conclude that the regional spread of annual influenza epidemics throughout the United States is more closely connected with rates of movement of people to and from work than with geographical distance or air travels.” (i.e. Biden was right you right-wing wackos)

    Link: http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/apr2006/fic-19.htm

    So, please Sean, in the future let’s keep the posts on the level and not just stir up partisan rancor for your own electoral goals. We are talking about people’s lives and solid science here.

    NSN

  6. Zach
    01/05/2009

    How can you claim solid science if we don’t know what the effect of the H1N1 virus will be? Your death rate percentages are only on confirmed cases. There is no telling how many people have gotten the flu, gotten better, and no one will ever know they had it. Is this what you call hard science? Creating a crisis based on suppositions and little hard evidence?

    Doesn’t it seem at all politicized? What do you call slaughtering pigs in Egypt? Is it that different from and calls to close the boarder at home? Both were on the table before. Maybe we should all take a deep breath (properly covered by face masks, of course) and think a little.

    If it does spread as fast as you say and it is already in 11 countries around the world, isn’t it too late?

  7. […] (Source: Sean Noble – Noble Thinking) […]

  8. MoreNobleBS
    02/05/2009

    No it is not too late. If you look at scientific studies of the 1918 flu, you would see that in fact cities that took aggressive actions to prevent or slow the spread had much better outcomes. This is real science, based on facts. Please, do some reading y’all.

  9. Zach
    02/05/2009

    No one is questioning that common sense practices will help you not get sick. The question is whether or not this flu really demands the kind of fear that it has generated. Reading is not the only skill thinking people have–try some critical thinking.

  10. […] the words “swine flu” was on Thursday in a story about Napolitano.  I guess my skepticism (here and here) about the whole thing is now shared by the MSM.  Huh, maybe I should rethink […]

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