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2nd May
2009
written by Sean Noble

The headline of this post is obviously a play on the words “swine flu”.  Get it? I don’t know that it’s relevant, but as my previous posts suggest, I think this is much ado about nothing… or at least I hope it’s much ado about nothing.

The Saturday Arizona Republic ran a story headlined “Medical Experts Cast Doubt On Actual Peril Of Swine Flu  Huh, that sounds familiar.

More than a month into the swine-flu outbreak that has now affected 15 countries, medical experts are wondering aloud whether the contagious disease will ever become the pandemic that everyone fears.

With at least 141 infections now confirmed in 19 states, the H1N1 virus continues to spread via person-to-person transmission.

The overwhelming majority of new cases, however, have been mild and haven’t required hospitalization. Only one death, that of a Mexican toddler, has occurred on U.S. soil. There have been 16 confirmed deaths in Mexico.

As the disease migrates farther from its Mexican origins, where it’s confirmed to have sickened 397 people and possibly many more, it hasn’t yet packed the fatal punch that the world is bracing for.

Reuters has a story that lays out potential scenarios, but the scary scenarios aren’t playing out.

Field investigators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it appears the new H1N1 virus outbreak may be more widespread and milder in Mexico than it first appeared.

So far the swine flu virus has behaved like seasonal flu as it has spread to 14 countries, carried mostly by travelers from Mexico.

The World Health Organization says it cannot be stopped, but has no immediate plans to declare a pandemic — a global outbreak of a new and serious disease.

Here is the line in the article that really caught my eye:  Even with vaccines, drugs and better public education, ordinary seasonal flu kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people every year.

Holy cow!  Up to 500,000 people a year!  Now those are real, and scary, numbers.  I think I should be more worried about the ordinary flu my kids get at school.  Why hasn’t Obama issued a health warning for the ordinary flu?  Why hasn’t Biden suggested that we never ride public transportation?  (I sense a new campaign theme against light rail projects: It may be your last ride.)

My point is that we do a good job worrying about things that are pretty unlikely to kill us in comparison to more common ways of dying.  It may be that we all have an “exotic” death wish.

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2 Comments

  1. 02/05/2009

    Yes, As I had noted on a twitter post, more people each year die from tripping over their dogs than from ManBearPig Flu. I also said more people die from tying too many balloons onto wicker lawn furniture,flying away, and that the CDC is banning all wicker. But then that is just a dream of mine as I loathe wicker.

  2. […] “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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