Tuesday, May 05, 2009

People Catch the Flu-PANIC NOW!

Yes, hundreds of people apparently died in Mexico from the H1N1 Influenza Virus-the Swine Flu. Furthermore, this is very similar to the strain of flu responsible for the 1918 worldwide pandemic which killed countless millions. Someone forgot to tell the press that this is 2009:

There were little more than 1,200 cases of swine flu confirmed worldwide as of Monday, with fewer than 300 in the United States. In Mexico, where the latest count is fewer than 800 cases, officials lowered the alert level in the capital on Monday and said they will allow cafes, museums and libraries to reopen this week.

School closings, the Vice President of the United States telling people not to use the local metro transit, and entire cities going into dead panic over-a case here and a case there.

It makes sense that H1N1 might be a major issue in Mexico because that country, while not Third World by any means, is nowhere near as developed as the First World West, including in its ability to respond to the spread of disease or to provide adequate medications to treat symptoms. In this country, we have access to anti-viral drugs, and medicines designed to deal with the symtoms of the flu, something we didn't have in 1918.

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and realize that what we are dealing with is an outbreak of the flu. If a massive percentage of people become sick with influenza, then it might be necessary to start closing facilities to prevent the spread of the disease. However, having had the flu numerous times in my life, I can verify that for most of us the advent of modern medicine means that if we catch the flu, we will be inconvenienced. It might even be the case that we'll be laid up in the bed or confined to the house for a few days, and will have to drink lots of tea, take coughdrops, drink NyQuil, and sleep a lot. The swine flu will not lead to the end of the world as we know it.

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At Thursday, May 07, 2009 10:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, for one, am glad to see precautionary measures being undertaken by the government. I would rather there be more information out there than less - and I'm glad that there is a level of concern about a potential pandemic.

While the government has done a wonderful job of dealing with this, I can't say the same about the media - they have sensationalized the problem and made it seem much worse than the CDC and other government agencies have made it.

As for the "I've had the flu before and it ain't so bad" meme being pushed by this blog, you have to remember that you haven't had this particular strain and you don't know if it is any better or worse than any other strain of the flu. I've had the flu myself and I'd be particularly happy if I don't run across a carrier of this while I'm out in public.


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