Swine Flu – A Little Balance

It’s been a while since our health organisations have had something ‘juicy’ to gather funding over and put the fear of God into us all and most of us by now have heard of the latest one (Anyone remember SARS?) – Swine Flu.

Mexico reports 159 dead as of a little over 2 weeks up to 28/April/09.

The World Health Organisation is only able to confirm 7 of those actually died from the swine flu virus so far – more may be added as Autopsies/test results are investigated.

20 country’s now have ‘supected’ cases but so far no deaths outside of Mexico have been reported/confirmed, despite the disease being known to have existed for over two weeks.

I don’t wish to add to the hype, rather i would like to balance the perception more to a reasonable level.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about NORMAL influenza – the kind most of us have had at one or several times in our lives already:

‘Typically, in a year’s normal two flu seasons (one per hemisphere), there are between three and five million cases of severe illness and up to 500,000 deaths worldwide, which by some definitions is a yearly influenza epidemic.[82] Although the incidence of influenza can vary widely between years, approximately 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations are directly associated with influenza every year in America.’

Read that again… HALF A MILLION Deaths per year – every single year. that’s almost TEN THOUSAND dead from flu PER WEEK!!! (America can only manage a paltry 720 deaths from flu every single week, on average).

And we are getting fussed over 7? or a mere 160?(max) in a fortnight??

Lets get a grip people!

If you are going to start a rush on flu vaccine stocks and masks at least do it for the RIGHT reasons and not an over-hyped ‘pandemic’ that is nothing anywhere near as deadly as ‘normal’ flu. (at least so far).


  1. Just give us national health care and we will catch up with the rest of the world!! (You don’t know me, but I hope I don’t have to tell you I am being SARCASTIC!!!)


  2. There is far more panic, than pandemic, in the reaction to this variety of flu. I can understand health organizations being cautious, but he media, and some politicians, are over reacting.

    From an article in the Christian Science Monitor:

    “The US has recorded 109 confirmed cases and one death related to this new variant of the flu. Yet in a typical flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate, some 36,000 people die in America alone because of complications from the illness.”

    Article in Science Daily http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090429144956.htm

    “Although the type of flu we saw this season was not sensitive to some of the common antivirals that were available, swine flu is,”

    “Dr. Sutker adds that these medications should be used carefully as overuse could lead to drug-resistant strains of the virus.”


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