OMG, It’s Swine Flu

In the realm of non-news, I am getting a real kick out of the recent brouhaha over the swine flu. So far, there are 331 confirmed cases of Swine Flu in the world, a “pandemic” that started about 3 weeks ago in Mexico. Thus far there are 28 confirmed deaths in Mexico, 1 in the United States (although I have heard of another death from a person coming back sick from Mexico, so it may be 2 in the US – unfortunately, the man was not tested before he was buried).

Someone has a Google map of cases:

This “pandemic” has a lot of people freaking out, but let’s take a reasonable look at the “pandemic”.

  • Flu stats from the CDC show about 18,000 cases of influenza A & B in the US with 55 pediatric deaths
  • shows there are about 25-50 million flu cases each year, with 300,000 – 500,000 deaths annually (1-1.2% of people dying that contract flu)
  • Currently about 8/.4% of the people contracting swine flu have died, but almost all of the deaths are in Mexico. The likely explanation here is not getting proper care before the virus has fully incubated (10 days). In comparison, there have been 168 deaths in Mexico of flu like symptoms that have not been swine flu.

Don’t get me wrong. This version of the swine flu (H1N1) appears to cause respiratory distress and can be serious if contracted. But we are going crazy.

On a positive note, the focus on swine flu has the media far less obsessed with their new 100 day old king and the economy. Still it reminds me of the panic over shark attacks a few years ago. I guess we need something to obsess about.

Peace and Grace,


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