Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Panic! Be Scared! Pandemic! Terrorism!

Only the government can save you! Blah, blah...

So, the swine flu has a lot of people pissing their drawers. Me, I looked at the numbers and yawned. What a load of hooey. This "Pandemic" is nothing! Here is a great article that explains why this is overblown baloney. If you were even slightly nervous about this horrible swine flu pandemic read it and you will no longer be so worried.

Here is an excerpt but please, if you have any doubt that this is just more media hype, rather reminiscent of the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" nonsense used to get us into Iraq, read the whole thing:

Putting things in perspective

We’ve been hearing all sorts of numbers and speculations as to how many people have come down with the flu or are dying. We’re also being led to believe that the virus is actively spreading and sickening increasingly more people. “The number of cases has doubled,” television news reported tonight.

But, as Dr. Nancy Cox, Director of CDCs Influenza Division, explained to media yesterday, a total of seven cases of swine flu virus have been confirmed in California, but all of these patients had been sick weeks ago and all have recovered.

The number of confirmed cases nationwide now tallies about 40, but it’s not because the virus is spreading, said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC. It’s because more tests are being completed. All of the patients have recovered. There have been no deaths. [That's not to say that there probably won't be, of course, because people do die from flus and respiratory infections.]

“So far this is not looking like very, very severe influenza,” said Dr. Schuchat.

The cases we’re seeing outside Mexico have been “no more serious than your average flu bug,” said Dr. Layton.

These numbers — 40 cases of this strain, that might have gone unrecognized from the regular seasonal influenza in past years, and no deaths — pale in comparison to the number of Americans who are estimated to die from the flu every year. According to government health statistics, about 30,000 to 50,000 people die every year from influenza. Princeton biologists estimated that from 1979 to 2001, annual deaths from influenza in the U.S. averaged 41,400. About a thousand times more people die every year from influenza than have from swine flu, yet there are no nightly death counts on the news during flu season each year.

Addendum: And how many cases of the flu are normally seen, for comparison? This month, in just one week (April 12-18, 2009), the CDC confirmed 25,925 cases of influenza in the United States and 55 child deaths.

While estimates of annual influenza deaths vary depending on the methodology, each is consistent in showing that cases are not rising. For instance, MIT research found that there’s been a substantial decline in influenza deaths in the U.S. during the 20th century. Not only that, but the influenza pandemics of 1967-8 and 1968-9 showed “substantial overlap in both degree of mortality and timing compared with nonpandemic seasons.” In other words: “The considerable similarity in mortality seen in pandemic and non-pandemic influenza seasons challenges common beliefs about the severity of pandemic influenza.” Don’t let the word pandemic play on your fears.

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