Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu: Hype or Horror?

I am kind of getting that “don’t believe the hype” feeling about the Swine Flu. Remember SARS? Vaguely, right? Well it was covered by the media much the same way and nothing happened. Same for the Bird Flu when it first popped up.

Yes, we will face one of those population decimation diseases sooner or later. When it comes, it is going to have to be something that completely catches our science off guard. It will be during that time we are figuring it out, that it will take its toll on our populations. I just don’t see this happening with a different type of the flu.

To date there are about 70 known cases here in the United States. The media reports this in such ominous tones. However, when you remember that we are a nation of 300 million, you realize that we are not even talking about 1% of the population. The odds of not catching it are still greatly in your favor.

Only 2 Americans have died from the Swine Flu and almost 200 Mexicans. I think those deaths have more to do with the ineffectiveness of the Mexican government and its crummy healthcare system, than with the potency of this new strain of flu. Every year thousands die from the flu and we don't scream Pandemic!

For myself, I plan to watch how it progresses and follow normal flu season precautions (wash your hands regularly and avoid people who carelessly hack and spew in public). If it does take a turn for the worse, I have plenty of surgical masks and rubber gloves left over from handling my mail after 9/11.

What’s your view?


Joie said...

pretty much the same view you have. although, my hubby wants me to go get some masks for in case. he likes to be prepared. so i guess tomorrow, i will be getting some.

Clifton B said...

Yeah, I am not too worried. It is just a flu, we face them every year. I have not read anything that makes it anymore severe than any other type of flu.

Now if this was some type of ebola deal, I would be freaking! But since it ain't, then just pass the Purell please!

Ron B said...

I still err on the side of caution. How did this strain of swine flu start and why Mexico? Could it be a terrorist, excuse me, a man-made-disaster threat. That is where I am with this. The flu kills tens of thousands a year in this country alone but why a genetically mutated version of a version of the flu that has been around for some time.

I still say close the borders to Mexico since we know that this is ground zero. I could really give you a scare with this country's inability to control a once thought to be controlled TB crisis.

Clifton B said...

Ron B;

So far, I just don't see anything to indicate that this is a major killer.

We should however, close the borders. It is too late to stop the flu from getting in, but it is not too late to make sure that we don't have millions of Mexicans sneaking in to over run our heath care system.

JMK said...

Here's the thing, some 36,000 Americans die friom influenza (the flu) every year. Most of those who've died in Mexico have beeneither very young or very old and have come to treatment very late.

Swine flu, appears to be merely yet another strain of flu and nothing like SARS or Legionaires disease, which is apparently what the CDC would like to make it out to be.

There's MONEY in crises!

Ron B said...

JMK those who have died in Mexico have been between 25-45. According to the CDC. That is why there is some concern as the flu does not normally affect these age groups in this manner.

Clifton B said...


I agree, I have not heard anything to indicate that the Swine Flu is so much more potent than any other flu. New strain yes, but is it radically more different than the run of the mill stuff, so far no.

Clifton B said...

Ron B:

While those ages are correct, there isn't anything that can rule out Mexico's poor government and healthcare? It is mentioned today that the one American who died was actually a Mexican who came here for treatment (got to close those borders now or we risk many more of them doing that).

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