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Where’s My Flu Panic?

Finally they are reporting some reality. At CNN: Regular flu has killed thousands since January

Since January, more than 13,000 people have died of complications from seasonal flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on the causes of death in the nation.

No fewer than 800 flu-related deaths were reported in any week between January 1 and April 18, the most recent week for which figures were available.

Compared to regular flu and auto accidents, the shooting rampages and swine flu are weak beer. As Stalin purportedly said: “One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.”


1 Kryten42 { 04.28.09 at 11:10 pm }

They’ve gone mad here also. I was watching the midday news, and they said that two people who were detained because of suspected swineflu last night at the Airport have been cleared and released.

The Daily Show has a great sketch about it! 😆

To get the inside-conspiracy scoop on the swine flu, Stewart gets the lowdown from ‘Some Guy’

I sometimes wonder if Stewart is a closer rightwingnut. His show often get’s so close to their ignorance and paranoia it’s scary!

Then, I just remind myself that it’s satire, and I’m OK again. 😉

2 hipparchia { 04.28.09 at 11:59 pm }

well, you guys in the southern hemisphere do have all winter [ie flu season] to look forward to, but ours is just about over.

hipparchia´s last blog post..Send faxes, faxes, and money! [update]

3 Badtux { 04.29.09 at 12:01 am }

Here’s the deal: The regular flu kills about 1 out of every 1,000 who gets it. I.e., there’s 30 million cases in the USA each year, and about 30,000 deaths attributable to the flu (most of whom are old, sick, or immune-suppressed, but still a fair dinkum).

Thus far, the swine flu kills about 40 out of every 1,000 who gets it. Which means that if it goes pandemic, it would kill… uhm… around 1.2 million people here in the USA.

Of course, the “if it goes pandemic” is the biggie here. Thus far there hasn’t been any indication that it is anywhere as virulent as the normal flu. But all it takes is one mutation for virulence… and say hello to a million or so dead bodies.

Thus why the CDC and the Obama administration are paying attention. It’s not something to panic about right now, because there’s no indication that the mutation for virulence has taken place. But given how fast the flu virus mutates, it has to be something that policymakers pay attention to. The thought of 1.2 million dead bodies tends to focus one’s attention a bit, don’t you agree?

– Badtux the Health Care Penguin

4 Bryan { 04.29.09 at 12:34 am }

The problem ‘Tux, is that in the Mexican system, which is all too much like ours, they are only going to see the worst cases on an initial outbreak. At this point no one has any idea how many people have actually had this type of flu, so the fatality rate is skewed.

I’m not saying we should ignore it, but let’s not make things worse by going off half-cocked like the 1976 outbreak in which the bad reaction some people had to the emergency vaccine killed more people than the swine flu.

Mexico needs help and we need solid numbers to know what we are dealing with.

You at least have actual cases in California, while Florida is spending a lot of time telling people that they have colds, and the guy cutting the lawn is Vietnamese, not Mexican.

College Spring Break had a lot of people going to Mexico, as well as those people on cruise ships, so this can be expected to be widespread. If it is really virulent we should be seeing cases in Florida from the cruise ships. So far nothing, which may mean that it isn’t as deadly as is currently thought, and people assumed they had a cold. We don’t know.

5 cookie jill { 04.29.09 at 11:07 am }

Wonder how many people die from not having healthcare or early access to medical attention before it’s too late.

cookie jill´s last blog post..The Historic El Paseo Restaurant

6 Bryan { 04.29.09 at 1:08 pm }

That, Jill, is the underlying cause of the lack of hard numbers. People aren’t going to doctors, they are going to emergencies rooms when they are too sick to ignore it.

7 LadyMin { 04.29.09 at 3:25 pm }

Speaking of panic… or would it be proactive… Chicago closed a school today because one student was confirmed to have the flu and the absentee rate was higher than normal yesterday and they want to know what kept the other students home.

The media made a very big deal the past few days about staying home if you felt ill. Looks like people listened. So why exactly are we closing a school? The sick people are at home.

8 Bryan { 04.29.09 at 4:28 pm }

They are being extremely proactive about this. I’m not going to complain about people saying home, as I was constantly sending people home who worked for me when they were sick. I didn’t need the entire watch down with the flu because some fool wanted to prove how dedicated they were. Besides, no one wants a cop coughing on them.

9 cookie jill { 04.30.09 at 2:18 am }

Welcome to Aporkalypse Now

cookie jill´s last blog post..Meryl Streep plays Julia Child

10 andante { 04.30.09 at 8:11 am }

Kryten, that link was pure gold. Thanks!

The Daily Show is the only ‘news’ source worth watching anymore.

andante´s last blog post..

11 Bryan { 04.30.09 at 12:33 pm }

We may finally be seeing some cases in Florida, which should have showed up because of the cruise ships that go out from Miami and Fort Lauderdale and stop in Mexico, but they aren’t confirmed. Mexico had to scale back their death toll yesterday, because only 7 have actually been confirmed as H1N1, as has the Mexican child in Texas. In the Texas case the child had other problems, so the flu is listed as a contributing cause, not the primary cause of death.

Flu normally kills in conjunction with other problems, i.e. the victim is already in bad shape and it tips the scale.