Posted by: distributorcap | April 28, 2009

You Schweinhund!

No matter how hard you tried today, you could not get away from all the chatter about Swine Flu. While every single media outlet and website was loudly proclaiming – “do not panic,” from the sound of tone of their conversations, you know they wanted you to panic. That way you would watch them (or read them) more.

Eight years of Bush does bring out the cynicism in most of us.

Back to Swine Flu. Swine flu is a strain of the influenza virus that can pass from pigs to humans, or between humans. There are several strains of influenza virus (swine and avian), including H1N1, the one believed to be the cause of the current outbreak (and today’s media obsession). The first cases were reported in Mexico, but many countries, including the US, have reported people who have come down with this severe form of influenza.

This same virus, Swine flu H1N1, was thought to be responsible for the 1918-1919 “Spanish” flu pandemic that killed over 20,000,000 people worldwide, including 500,000 Americans. This strain of influenza was especially virulent, killing most healthy adults, as opposed to the old, young and infirmed like most flu viruses. H1N1 of 1918 has been described as a medical holocaust, with a mortality rate of 2-20% of those infected (depending on where the virus struck). Most influenzas have a mortality rate of 0.1%.

Currently cases have been reported in New York City, Kansas, Texas, California and other places. With the obstructionist Teabagging and No Sympathy Party (aka the GOP) filibustering Kathleen Sibelius’ appointment to HHS secretary (the cabinet department that would lead the fight), the leadership role seems to have fallen to Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano (I guess being in charge of the border with Mexico is the next best qualifier). Millions of doses of Tamiflu and Relenza, two antiviral drugs that have been effective against Swine flu, have been ordered and put on call. Even Texas Secessionist and uber-Nationalist Governor Rick Perry asked the Socialist Government in Washington for help since his “country” sits along a 2000 mile border with “the infected ones.” Contrary to popular belief – you cannot get this flu from eating pork products or standing near Rick Perry. (Blago and that hair may be a different story).

There is no current vaccine for Swine Flu. The 2008-09 seasonal vaccine that was given this year protected against a very different strain. However there was a time we did rush to contain Swine Flu – and the solution turned out to be almost as bad as the problem.

In February 1976, a Fort Dix, NJ recruit died from what was called a “strain” of the 1918 influenza. Public health officials rang the alarm bell and urged President Gerald Ford to inoculate all Americans. It proved to be both a medical and public relations nightmare.

On March 24, 1976, one day after losing to Ronald Reagan in the North Carolina primary – President Ford announced on national television that he was implementing a crash program to produce vaccine for every man, woman and child in America. Congress passed $135 million in funding (which is what it cost for a few aspirins shipped to Iraq today) for production to quickly begin.

There were big problems with the manufacturing process of the vaccine. After all the hype, states did not receive their supplies until October 1. Even after stockpiling the vaccine, some states (like New York) wanted more evidence of effectiveness and proof a pandemic was materializing. Other states like Minnesota immunized 70% of their population. People often waited in long lines.

Within weeks of the start of the mass inoculations, 532 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome – an autoimmune disease of the nervous system that causes paralysis – were reported in people who received the vaccine. 25 people died from complications of GBS – most likely related to the vaccine. The program was abruptly cancelled on December 16th. Almost 40,000,000 Americans had received the vaccine for swine flu, including me.

Guess what – the vaccine manufacturers had anticipated the potential of serious side effects in rushing out this medication. They insisted on indemnification by the Federal Government before they would distribute their product. Families that suffered from reactions to the vaccine had to sue the Federal government. Most notably – the pandemic never materialized.

It also turns out that evidence is leading epidemiologists to believe that the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic was probably caused by an avian virus, not a swine one.

A cynical and skeptical nation was left more cynical and skeptical. While Ford did win the nomination, he lost to Jimmy Carter – as the vaccine was being injected in an unsuspecting public.

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Responses

  1. I remember standing in line to get the swine flu vaccine. They had to have the shots administered at the local horse racing track. Long lines, long waits. Very weird. Here’s to hoping that immediate action by many governments will stop this virus. And wash your hands.

  2. The Swine flu is extremely serious and it has the potential to become a true global pandemic.I am very, very relieved this is happening with Obama in the White House and not the Motherfucker from Midland.Obama has a real challenge before him: the CDC and NIH have been flat-line funded for years and there is a lot of catching up to do.

  3. great post…and yeah….imagine any of us being cynical….oye…after all that we have been through….I am mostly worried because 50 Million are UnInsured and Without Healthcare right now- plenty of 20-60 year old , who have lost jobs and homes…and have no one to monitor their health…and the GOP so ProLife would not and could not “approve” Sebelius- so now we have no one in Charge of Leading the Emergency Management of ALL those UnInsured Lives….and the biggest Health Crisis we have had since AIDS…or Polio ? or the last pandemic ? as a nurse that is what worries me- NO Medical Person in Charge – other than DrBesser of the CDC…he might be fine- I have no idea…We are not supposed to be alarmed ? really ? I think we should be…The Situation in Mexico went downhill fast…..because their Public healthcare is lousy….but really ours is nothing to be proud of….( not to blogwhore- but top two posts at watergate summer are all Swine- how to prepare and take of each other and yourselves and information from all over, to get the bigger picture…..)Antiseptic Wipes,Hand Gel, and Wash your hands….ALOT….

  4. I am wiped from a day of people freaking out about Swine flu. Although I remain calm, I also think think 149 people dying from a highly contagious strain of flu/virus is pretty damned serious. Anyway… thus the blog post- A vacation to die for.

  5. tamiflu (which made lots and lots of money for rummy–like $18 million) is scary as hell, too. this is from mother jones, excerpting an article from 2005 :With no vaccine in sight, the U.S. government, along with others, is belatedly stocking up on Tamiflu, a drug that supposedly offers some defense against bird flu. But last week Japanese newspapers told how children who were administered Tamiflu went mad and tried to kill themselves by jumping out of windows. In a cautionary statement the FDA noted 12 deaths among children, and said there are reports of psychiatric disturbances, including hallucinations, along with heart and lung disorders. Roche, the manufacturer, is quoted by the BBC as stating that the rate of deaths and psychiatric problems is no higher among those taking its medication than among those with flu.my mom had guillain-barre, and it almost killed her. she had to learn to walk again. i think i might rather take my chances with the flu than with the vaccines.

  6. Hi Cap;Humanity has faced these things before and continued on. I don’t like people dying needlessly, even less so if it is someone I know and love. I may even end up getting it and dying myself.It is a part of nature. From plants to other forms of life there seems to be this need for a weeding out once in a while to adjust populations.I think it follows the premise of the theory of evolution.For some, this comment may appear cold and callous, but it is more in line with acceptance of what is.

  7. Rick Perry “asking the Feds for meds for the country of Texas”–priceless humor, D-Cap!

  8. Oh, ichabod is so evil. And correct. Something will happen. Or something won’t. Some might croak, some might not. As long as I go after the Cavs win the title.

  9. Already, there are shortages of Tamiflu being reported.One of the students at the St. Francis prep school in Queens, NY said her parents were unable to obtain a script for Tamiflu from any pharmacy or from the Dept. of Public Health (way to go, Bloomberg.)Here in Monroe County, the Director of Public Health said yesterday we have 20,000 regiments for a county with a population of 1 million.Meanwhile, the GOP is holding up the appointment of President Obama's choice to head-up Health and Human Services — Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius because they object to her being pro-choice and to her support for creating a single payer national health system.The number of confirmed U.S. cases of swine flu is up to 50, with cases at the Times Square building at Ernst & Young, along with cases in New Jersey and Dallas. The number of cases in California has doubled to 13, with 10 suspected cases awaiting confirmation.I hope a month from now, we're not seeing numbers in the tens of thousands. If so, we're going to be faced with a national public health catastrophe.

  10. In a memory of the dearly departed administration, I say “Heck of a job Brownie”. Get those vaccines to market.

  11. It’s a flu. It’s not a contagious version of Ebola or HIV. Of the 6 cases reported in Canada, everyone has recovered. No one has died in the U.S. either. In fact, no one outside of Mexico has died at all.So I think there is more to the story regarding the Mexican deaths that we’re not hearing about. I don’t know whether there are extenuating circumstances, or a breakdown in the medical system, or these people were already immunosuppresed or something else. But it seems very odd that you can have 150 deaths inside Mexico, a developing country with a questionable medical infrastructure, and absolutely none outside that country, even though non-Mexicans have been coming down with this for over a month.The mortality rate from regular flu isn’t exactly zero either. 30,000 people die from it in the U.S. annually. People just need to take regular precautions and go to hospital if they develop alarming symptoms. The wall-to-wall coverage is stoking overblown fear. We’re being manipulated for ratings. This isn’t 1918. We are much healthier population than they were, with more awareness of disease prevention and better treatment options.

  12. I agree, I think the media is stoking the fear for no reason. There has only been one case where anyone has even been hospitalized. As far as being out of Tamiflu, then use the other medicine. It’s not rocket science. Just use standard precautions and everything should be fine. There really isn’t a need to panic. Like was pointed out.. 25 to 30,000 people die every year from normal flu, and so far no one is even seriously ill with this strain in the US.. why are we getting all panicky over this so quickly.. Sounds like the President and his people are handling everything just fine and that’s what is driving everyone crazy on the GOP and FAUX News side.. They don’t know what to do.. Bush couldn’t handle anything like this and Pres. Obama is just taking it in stride like smart people do.

  13. Hi toujoursdan;”The wall-to-wall coverage is stoking overblown fear. We’re being manipulated for ratings.”Your analysis is quite correct. We are being played the fools, maybe to take the focus from the economy, wars and torture?

  14. This shows you the right wing’s priorities. Delaying any change in the health care status quo is even more important than nativist hysteria. Keeping Obama’s health care team on the sidelines is priority one, so, for now, Swine Flu is just some liberal plot. Once Sebelius and her team are in place, the Flu will be another apocalypse attributable to illegal immigration…

  15. You are much, much, much more likely to die in an auto accident (or if in NYC, crossing the street or in a subway accident) than from Porcine Flu. The WHO can’t explain why only Mexicans have died. Virologists that were interviewed on Al-Jazerra English seem to believe that those Mexicans probably had some other secondary infection or condition that contributed to their deaths. We are talking about a poor, crowded part of the world in the midst of a low-level civil war.

  16. toujoursdan,You’re imparting some factually inaccurate and irresponsible information here.Regarding Ebola, first detected in 1976 and always contained in a the host village, Ebola to date has killed fewer than 1,000 and has never appeared outside Africa.Regarding HIV, while a very serious retro-virus, HIV — which causes AIDS, is difficult to contract as it requires an exchange of bodily fluids, i.e., blood or semen and not casual contact.The current swine flu virus, by all accounts looks to be a particularly virulent and contagious virus made up by DNA parts of type A influenza, avian flu and swine flu, and unlike HIV which can’t be caught by being in the same room as an infected patient coughing or even sharing the same utensils or cups, swine flu is spread through respiratory exchange — droplets of virus airborne and inhaled by people in close proximity (under 6 feet) or by mouth-to-hand-to-surface, as in ATM buttons, door knobs, kissing, and intimacy.This virus kills the host by over-stimulating the immune system which is called a Cytokine Storm. It is usually fatal. During this “Storm”, over 150 inflammatory mediators are released. This would account for the high mortality rate in 1918 flu which was also a swine flu in origin.As to why the mortality rate is higher in Mexico (thus far, anyway) it’s really fairly obvious. Only a small portion of the population residing in Mexico City (15% by some estimates) have health insurance or means to cover the cost of a hospital admission.This explains why so few Mexicans went to hospital upon display of symptoms. Tamiflu — while an effective anti-viral, must be taken within the first 48 hours of on-set of clinical symptoms. After 48 hours, Tamiflu is rendered useless. The low number of fatalities reported in Mexico City (152 thus far) represent just a small fraction of the actual numbers of the dead. Mexican bloggers I know quiet well report the actual number of dead from swine flu may be as much as 10-to-30 times this number as 85% of residents in Mexico City who have become ill have died at home and their deaths have not been officially counted by the government.

  17. I had the misfortune of getting swine flu back then. No fun that’s for sure. The thing that has me concerned about this current situation is that people in their 20s and 30s are dying. That happened during the 1918 outbreak but then that was when there were no antibiotics. Most of the people back then died of secondary bacterial infections. Pop over to the Brooklyn Eagle and read the articles from the time.

  18. Hi Christopher: I think you are misunderstanding a bit of what I wrote, so let me clarify.I understand what HIV and Ebola are and how they are transmitted. I used to volunteer for an HIV services group on their hotline, and have read about Ebola mainly because I found it interesting. What I was expressing is that this isn’t anything like HIV or Ebola. In other words, we aren’t dealing with a new airborne disease with a very high kill rate like Ebola or HIV: where once you get it, you’re dead. That’s all she wrote. This is a flu, one of many porcine flus human beings have been exposed to over the millenia. For most human beings it will behave like any other flu.Secondly, I understand that the disease seems to be more fatal in Mexico, killing 152 and more may die that we are unaware of. (The mortality rate there seems to be about 10%, which is higher than the usual 2.5% for a flu, but still not approaching 100%). No doubt that health officials will find even more dead who never had the ability to seek medical attention, but whether that changes the overall mortality rate is hard to tell. Many will also have undoubtedly came down with the disease and recovered without reporting it to the medical authorities as well. (As an aside, you don’t need to have health insurance to receive medical attention in Mexico. There is a public system and free clinics too.)What you didn’t address is why so many non-Mexicans have gone to Mexico over the past month, caught the exact same disease yet haven’t even needed to go to hospital, much less have been killed by it. They aren’t taking anti-virals, yet they are still recovering just as they would from any other flu.It’s not just lack of medical attention that accounts for the difference, the level of sickness itself seems to be different for the different populations. Why isn’t it having the same effect on Americans, Canadians, Europeans or New Zealanders? Same virus – different outcomes. Why? I watched a WHO official who was asked the question today, and he said no one knows. Could there is some other secondary factor that is leading to a much stronger reaction in the local Mexican population than in others? Many virologists believe so. I think you’re feeding into the hype. It’s a flu. Flus can be serious, but the vast majority of people recover without medical attention. For most of us if we are unlucky enough to get it, this will probably be like every other flu. We will get it for a few days, feel awful and recover, just like those kids in Queens and Nova Scotia did. Health Canada has a FAQ site that answers most questions here: Your questions about Porcine FluPart of the problem, thanks to Hollywood and the media is that people confuse the word “pandemic” with a certain level of disease ferocity. A pandemic describes the level and geographic area of the outbreak itself. It doesn’t address the seriousness of the disease itself. This could be a pandemic of a relatively mild disease. Right now it’s too early to tell and not worth getting worked up over. When the American or Canadian mortality rate matches the Mexican mortality rate, then I will be concerned, but most aren’t even going to hospital.

  19. What you didn’t address is why so many non-Mexicans have gone to Mexico over the past month, caught the exact same disease yet haven’t even needed to go to hospital, much less have been killed by it. They aren’t taking anti-virals, yet they are still recovering just as they would from any other flu.I’ll be happy to address this.If by non-Mexicans, you’re referring to Americans returning from Mexico who became ill, the answer is in two-part:1. Many Americans received Tamiflu within the 48 hour window once the onset of symptoms appeared. Tamiflu, while not a cure, greatly lessens the severity of symptoms and helps prevent the respiratory failure leading to pneumonia seen in the Mexico City victims. Tamiflu doesn’t require hospitalization — it only requires a script from a doctor.2. There is discussion among the doctors and PAs at the large, acute bed hospital where my partner works as an RN, that the transmission route of the swine flu virus travels from pig-to-pig-to-human-to-human and by the time the virus moves to the second human host, the DNA-strand has been sufficiently weakened, rendering the infection less virulent. This is conjecture/speculation by the medical community at this point but it makes sense.3. Regarding the Canadian cases, there have been six confirmed deaths from the swine flu. The cases have occurred in Nova Scotia and British Colombia. I have no doubt if these victims has gone to their doctor or hospital and received Tamiflu within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, they would be alive today.

  20. And this better makes my point than I did: On Sunday, the Department of Homeland Security held a press conference to announce that the swine flu outbreak that has spread from Mexico to the US and other countries was being declared an official public health emergency. Also over the weekend, the World Health Organization convened a meeting of its Emergency Committee to evaluate the situation. Said Committee has determined that “the current situation constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.” If this language sounds like dispensation to panic, it’s worth stepping back and looking at what led to these declarations and what they mean in practical terms, as the implications of these decisions are far more mild than the language would suggest.We’ll start where the current version of the swine flu virus apparently did, in Mexico, where dozens have apparently died due to influenza. That may sound disturbing, but it’s important to remember that most people with the flu evade any sort of public health surveillance—they feel awful for a few days, and then get on with their lives. As such, it’s impossible to tell what the actual mortality rate among those infected with the virus is. Complicating this situation further is the fact that not all cases of flu-like symptoms are caused by the flu, and there may be other flu viruses circulating at the same time. These factors probably explain a number of the suspected cases in other countries that have turned out not to be cases of the swine flu…The CDC’s monitoring has allowed a number of cases to be identified that might not have otherwise come to light, as very few of the US cases have wound up putting people in the hospital; so far, all have recovered. As the CDC’s Acting Director Dr. Richard Besser put it, “In terms of detection, what we’re seeing in this country is mild disease—things that would never have been detected if we weren’t ramping up our surveillance.” It’s not clear whether this represents the typical course of the infection or whether some environmental or genetic factor enhanced the severity of some of the cases in Mexico……So, the worrisome language [of the DHS declaration] is primarily due to standing rules that make these declarations necessary in order to fully mobilize the needed resources. Those resources will go to monitoring the dynamics of the spread of this virus, and putting the pieces in place to combat it if it develops into a serious public health concern. So far, indications are that it won’t, as the cases outside of Mexico have been mild, and it’s not clear that the Mexican fatalities are representative….Tracking—and separating—the hype from the swine flu outbreak(Emphasis mine)The media is whipping up what has been a mild disease outside of Mexico into some apocalyptic scenario. We are being frightened for ratings. It’s part of America’s fear based culture and it’s a bloody shame.

  21. 1. Many Americans received Tamiflu within the 48 hour window once the onset of symptoms appeared. Tamiflu, while not a cure, greatly lessens the severity of symptoms and helps prevent the respiratory failure leading to pneumonia seen in the Mexico City victims. Tamiflu doesn’t require hospitalization — it only requires a script from a doctor.But many Americans have recovered without Tamiflu too.3. Regarding the Canadian cases, there have been six confirmed deaths from the swine flu. The cases have occurred in Nova Scotia and British Colombia. I have no doubt if these victims has gone to their doctor or hospital and received Tamiflu within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, they would be alive today.Errr…. There have been 6 cases of swine flu in Nova Scotia and BC, not 6 deaths.No one has died in Canada from Swine flu. They all recovered.Where are you getting this information? Link (from a major news source) please.(Seriously, now I really have to wonder why the media is doing to people.)

  22. From the CBC: Health officials confirm 6 cases of swine flu in CanadaFederal health officials have confirmed six cases of human swine influenza in British Columbia and Nova Scotia and are warning more cases are likely in the near future as medical personnel around the world test for the virus linked to a serious outbreak in Mexico.Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said at a news conference in Ottawa on Sunday that two people from B.C. and four from Nova Scotia had “relatively mild” symptoms of H1N1 swine flu and have since recovered.

  23. Geez, get a grip people. See the interview on CNN online today with a High school student in NY who “survived” swine flu. Anderson Cooper asked how she was feeling today. Oh, a lot better. When did you get sick. Thursday. (Today is Tuesday, I’ve had colds and menstrual periods last longer). What about the fever, said Cooper. Oh, on Saturday I had a 103 fever and Mom took me to the ER and the seiped my nose and sent me home. Dad now: Oh she looked like she’d been hit by a truck (how many of us haven’t been through that?) lying on the couch, couldn’t move, cloth on her head. Cooper: Did they give you Tamiflu? Patient: Yes. Cooper: How long until you felt better? Patient: Oh, after 2 pills I started to feel better.So Thurs-Tues had a flu and is now better. This we need to panic about?

  24. This whole thing is nuts. It’s just something else conjured up to scare people. Look, if anyone is going to be exposed to most of the world’s communicable diseases, it’s a subway commuter in NYC. As a relatively new New York resident, I am not losing sleep over my commute. Getting hit by a bicycle or car is a much bigger concern.The worst thing about this is having to endure 24/7 media coverage of this… at least until they have wrung it out and moved on to their next big story. So far, the mortality rate outside of Mexico is exactly 0%. This includes people who have reported this to the health authorities by seeking treatment, and the larger majority who haven’t. I understand how it benefits the media to scare people and how it might benefit the drug manufacturer, but I don’t understand why people are so willing to allow themselves to be scared. How does it benefit us?

  25. I don;t think anyone is “scared ” toujours- but seriously education and sharing of information can save lives- and it does not hurt for all of us to discuss this and share information…this is serious, and it is a strain that NONE of us has been exposed to- it is in no way like a regular flu-it is good to know that….and studying clusters this week will help answer many questions esp once it has become a disease that spreads Human To Human….( the NYC school in Queens has become a Petrie Dish…worth studying…..)as Dcap blogged- the Swine Flu in 1976 was soooo poorly handled..we don’t want another debacle like that…oye

  26. Well actually, lots of people are “scared”. I had to talk my boss down from this today. She was freaking out over getting it from the subway and giving it to her young child. We spent 20 minutes on the CDC site walking through the information. Finally she realized that there is a significant difference between what she is hearing in the media and what is coming from officials.I agree that sharing information is all well and good, but there is way more heat than light being generated, even on this thread. The key is to keep this in perspective and share factual information, not lots of fear based speculation about what “might” happen, or continuing to blur the distinction between catching this flu and dying from it. (Again, there is no evidence that this is a death sentence.). The blurring of this important distinction seems to be occurring.It’s important to remember that according to the CDC itself, the cases outside of Mexico are mild and even they probably would have even remained undetected if surveillance wasn’t heightened.As the CDC’s Acting Director Dr. Richard Besser put it, “In terms of detection, what we’re seeing in this country is mild disease—things that would never have been detected if we weren’t ramping up our surveillance.” It’s not clear whether this represents the typical course of the infection or whether some environmental or genetic factor enhanced the severity of some of the cases in Mexico.We are exposed to new strains of flu virus every year. That’s why we have to get a new flu shot annually. Human flu viruses originated from birds and swine, which has been true for thousands of years.Many of us, particularly in Canada, remember the SARS virus of 2003 as it shut down Toronto for a few weeks and killed 44 people – mostly ethnic Chinese. Because no one in the U.S. died, it didn’t seem to imprint in American minds as much, but that was supposed to be the next pandemic. It had a higher mortality rate than this flu and wasn’t responsive to Taraflu or any other anti-virals. I agree that past outbreaks have been botched, including the response to SARS. I don’t see much here that leads me to believe that this won’t be botched too, mostly due to a 24 hr news cycle whipping people into unnecessary panic. Hysteria certainly doesn’t lead to clear thinking or good decision making.

  27. Tariflu = Tamiflu

  28. Scary stuff, man. Both on that 1918 pandemic, indeed . . .

  29. Toujours…there is a BIG difference between panic and asking questions and getting good info- and to be honest there is Not alot KNOWN yet and still being investigated…and all of us have to have compassion and be willing to explore peoples concerns- a Co worker worried about the subway and the health of her child is very justified….And the Truth is that we are still learning and don’t know enough about Mexico and what happened there- most people here and on this thread are trying to have an intelligent discussion and dialogue about it- that is critical at this point . Knowledge is power, education is critical with a health crisis, and people talking to each other and learning can save lives.I give Dcap much credit for trying to help educate people and share information, his post about history was very helpful, esp for some of the younger that might remember or know of the 1976 Debacle.Tamiflu is to be given it is an important tool- and Antiviral that saves lives, it was made as a tool to fight spread, but it is also proving to effective in treatment- and that is good to know- esp with a New First Time Strain….and it is nothing to be mocked or made fun of…as a nurse of over 20 years who has worked many diasters…I am asking you to be a little less critical…and understand people have a right to be concerned..and worried…so let’s all keep talking…If this is a big epidemic, we need to help take care of each other, stay calm, and not snipe, compassion and empathy and understanding….and listening to each other will be skills that save lives….thanks for letting us dialogue Dcap…as a nurse I am grateful….

  30. She was panicked and very emotional, not just inquisitive.We went through something very similar to this outbreak only 6 years ago with SARS. Same type of virus, same mode of transmission, same symptoms, spread all over the world in a similar way. 2003 SARS Outbreak 8,300 cases with a 9% mortality rate in a dozen countries. It burned itself out after a month. It would be a good idea to read up on this, since it is the best template we have.And I hope I don’t come across as sniping. I simply disagree with the hype and think it’s counterproductive.

  31. obviously this is a very ‘heated’ topic — as it should beand thanks to all….my quick take — we have to keep alert, be wary and talk about it — but the media is in overdrive — i watch all the stations all day (as you all know) — and they are tripping all over themselves to outdo each otherdont get me wrong — this has potential to be really bad – and pandemic. but the media just makes it so much worse (as they always do)there are no right or wrong opinions, and people tend to dramatize everything. vigilance, being smart – but a little less hype from the mediaagain tanks

  32. I am asking you to be a little less critical…and understand people have a right to be concerned.I am not going to be less critical because I think all the hype is harmful. It’s certainly nothing personal to be critical. It’s not a personal attack on anyone to express a different opinion and defend that opinion based on the information that is out there. I agree with you that sharing information about how to prevent getting any disease IS helpful, but on Facebook I had to hide friends whose status updates are the latest case count with comments like: “This is getting bad. OMG This is really bad. There isn’t enough Tamiflu for everyone. It’s 1918 all over again.”That isn’t sharing helpful information. That is panic. So the media hype is causing harm and I will remain critical of that. It’s not uncompassionate and its intent isn’t to be sniping. It’s an attempt to separate fact from emotion. The big danger here remains the “crying wolf” syndrome. If this turns out not to be as serious as reported, then people are going to ignore what they are told if/when the next pandemic hits and it is serious. It could become like the terrorism statements issued by the Bush Administration. That would be bad for everyone.

  33. This whole thing is nuts. It’s just something else conjured up to scare people.I’m trying to follow your circular logic, tours, and I guess based on your comments that you believe three things:1. people enjoy being afraid1. there’s a conspiracy within Big Pharma to push Tamiflu (requires tinfoil hat):2. the conspiracy is aided and abetted by the following agencies to help Big Phrama (requires tinfoil hat):- the WHO- the CDC- the NIH- the EU Health Commissioner – Homeland Security- the HHSI suppose the parents of the 22 month old child in Texas who died yesterday of swine flu just got caught up in the frenzy and allowed themselves to be duped. They passed their “fear” onto to their child. What irresponsible parents.You remind me of the people who refused to heed the warning about the dangers of looking directly at a nuclear detonation because they said “it’s just another bomb and the light is so pretty.” Of course, they ended up blind.

  34. I suppose the parents of the 22 month old child in Texas who died yesterday of swine flu just got caught up in the frenzy and allowed themselves to be duped. They passed their “fear” onto to their child. What irresponsible parents.You mean the Mexican child who was brought to Texas and then died there from the disease caught in Mexico, like the other Mexican deaths?You do also understand that over 100 people in the U.S. die from flu every day – men, women and children. NY TimesYou remind me of the people who refused to heed the warning about the dangers of looking directly at a nuclear detonation because they said “it’s just another bomb and the light is so pretty.” Of course, they ended up blind.And you remind me of a chicken little running around in an hysterical frenzy spouting the most dire rumours you can find as if they are “confirmed”. How does posting daily case and death counts and spreading falsehoods like the 6 “confirmed” deaths in Canada (which a simple Googlesearch showed didn’t exist) or implying that if you catch the disease and don’t get Tamiflu right away you are a goner, help anyone understand their level of personal risk, recognize symptoms, or take the appropriate precautions? It’s simple fear-mongering and people gravitate towards it like a drug high. Your response about blindness confirms it.Good grief.

  35. You might also find this interesting. According the WHO there have only been 7 deaths from this, not 150. WHO says only seven confirmed swine flu deathsApril 29, 2009 – 11:21AM AESTA member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded only seven deaths around the world.Reports have put the likely death toll from the virus at 152, with Mexican officials confirming 20 deaths.The number of cases under observation in Mexico alone has reportedly reached 1,614.But Vivienne Allan, from WHO’s patient safety program, said the body had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths – all in Mexico – and 79 confirmed cases of the disease.”Unfortunately that (150-plus deaths) is incorrect information and it does happen, but that’s not information that’s come from the World Health Organisation,” Ms Allan told ABC Radio on Wednesday morning.”That figure is not a figure that’s come from the World Health Organisation and, I repeat, the death toll is seven and they are all from Mexico.”Ms Allan said WHO had confirmed 40 cases of swine flu in the Americas, 26 in Mexico, six in Canada, two in Spain, two in the UK and three in New Zealand.Ms Allan said it was difficult to measure how fast the virus was spreading.She said a real concern would be if the flu virus manifested in a country where a person had had no contact with Mexico, and authorities were watching all countries for signs of that.”There is no pattern that has emerged at this stage to be able to say that it is spreading in a particular way or it is spreading into a particular country … the situation is continuing to evolve,” she said.She said the WHO was not recommending against overseas travel, but urged those who felt sick to stay home and others to ensure they kept their hands clean.The Melbourne Age7 deaths, not 150. 7. We’re not even getting accurate information from the news media.

  36. Thank you. I have no idea why the WHO boosted it to a 5 when their own website says:”Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.” 29 April 2009 Swine influenza – update 5

  37. It’s something to be concerned about, but not something to freak out over or pass on bad information. The WHO number may be low, but it serves to remind us that this isn’t a disease with a high mortality rate. The problem here is that I am encountering more and more people who act like contracting Porcine flu is a 100% death sentence unless they get Tamiflu in time, which is seen as some miracle cure. Both of those items are really, really bad information, but they are coming from the media and Hollywood disaster B-movies like “Outbreak”. In Canada the public health policy is to use Tamiflu sparingly, which makes sense because if you give it to the mass population you run a real risk of this virus mutating into a drug resistant variety. So they are dispensing it to people with secondary risk factors (elderly, immunosuppressed, etc.) who can be monitored by a doctor. The hype is causing confusion. And I blame the media for this. Something is happening. It could become widespread. Any flu could be serious, particularly to people with secondary risk factors. Public health officials need to be ready. But we have a responsibility not to overstate this and sow panic. I have a lot of respect and admiration for people like Christopher but I think the tact he is taking in this particular case is counterproductive.

  38. http://markonzo.edu http://www.ecometro.com/Community/members/sibutramine-weight-loss.aspx http://riderx.info/members/atacand-generic-atacand-drug.aspx maqunita categorised http://blog.tellurideskiresort.com/members/aciphex-side-effects.aspx http://www.ecometro.com/Community/members/habeis-tomado-dostinex.aspx http://riderx.info/members/buspar-side-effects.aspx http://riderx.info/members/atarax-for-anxiety-atarax-25mg.aspx paises mainline http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/zetia-side-effects.aspx http://riderx.info/members/atrovent-inhaler-atrovent-facts.aspx garden


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