can we chillax a little bit about swine flu?

artflumaskman, this whole swine flu thing sure seems to be overblown to me. had a great commentary piece by jack cafferty yesterday. in it, he writes:

More than 13,000 people in the U.S. have died of complications from seasonal flu since January; and it’s expected to continue killing hundreds of people a week. In total, about 36,000 people a year die from the flu in this country; and worldwide, the annual death toll is somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000.

there are 257 cases of swine flu identified, worldwide, with 1 death in the US and 7 in mexico. hardly seems like a level-5 epidemic to me.

what do you think?

(btw: if you want to check if you have swine flu, here’s a handy little online app that will tell you, with a very high level of probability.)

16 thoughts on “can we chillax a little bit about swine flu?”

  1. my thought? fear is a powerful way to control people. whether it is using the threat of terrorism, failing economy or “swine” flu. keep people afraid, they will let you do whatever you want as long as you fix it.
    that isnt just said about one administration or government. i think that works across the board.

  2. the media got tired of talking about the economy, so it had to have something to freak people out to increase their ratings. the whole thing is completely ridiculous. in indiana, we’ve had one confirmed case and you would think that the bubonic plague has resurfaced.

  3. i totally agree. in fact i put a bunch of thoughts & stats & stuff up on my blog yesterday afternoon related to it & sent out a couple twitter messages. i think the way to combat poor communication is through better communication.

  4. I heard on the TV news last night amid all their tabloidy coverage that there was misinformation about the Swine Flu on Twitter.

    I believeI found this post via Twitter.

  5. I wish we would get this worked up over AIDS or malaria, mostly preventable diseases that are killing thousands of people every day and millions every year. That’s an epidemic we could do something about.

  6. Remember the avian flu? You do now because I mentioned it. It’s overblown. More die form drunk drivers then this swine flu.

  7. yeah, they had me right away…until at the end of the news piece they said, “if you think you have swine flu, take this medicine or this other one…” and i thought…hmmm…a flu that already has cures….doesn’t sound too bad to me.

    @adam, i made that exact same reference to Y2K to a good friend tonight before reading this blog…i guess i’m not the only one that thinks a media-created panic machine…but i’m sure they made a killing on ad sales…

  8. it has definitely been blown out of proportion, i agree. the name is also simply related to the similarities between the flu and the swine in the genetic coding. (it’s not from swine itself)

    part of the actual problem is the high mortality rate and higher mutation rate. this makes it more dangerous than an average cold.

    this is, for many people a deadly and real condition. many people have lost their lives, and many, many others are sick.

    i would hope that we would show some sort of compassion and empathy for the hurting & affected, even in the midst of our sarcasm and frustration with the media.

  9. dan – interestingly enough, this current mutation of the flu virus is exactly what the hooplah was about re: avian flu.

    The avian flu spread from birds to people, but then didn’t infect any further. To combat it, they stocked up on Tamiflu and various medications in case there was a situation like this – where the virus now infects person to person.

    So while, I think maybe there is some unnecessary hype – the science gives SOME reason as to the urgency. Interestingly enough, all six cases in NZ are now recovered. But we are lucky enough to be 1st world developed. The impact could be much worse in lesser developed nations.

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