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The End Of The World Is Nigh!

Here is an excerpt from a CNN story about an illness that was supposed to spread to pandemic proportions. It sounds eerily familiar. The illness is left blank.

U.S. poised for epidemic ___________.

CNN) -- With summer waiting around the corner and mosquitoes beginning to buzz, the United States is poised for a third epidemic year of _________ experts warn.

"We had a huge epidemic in ____ and we told everybody that this is the biggest epidemic [of its kind] ever to occur in the Western hemisphere -- and then the next year we have an equal one," said Dr. Anthony Marfin, an infectious disease expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, Colorado. "Our concern is that it's going to be like this every year."

Dr. Daniel Blumenthal, head of community health and preventive medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, agreed that the threat level this year most likely would be about the same as the last couple of years, but because of uncertainty surrounding the virus, "I would expect the unexpected this summer," too.

In ____, human cases in the United States exceeded 9,800, more than double the previous year's 4,156, according to the CDC. Blumenthal said the sharp jump in cases may be due to better recognition of ________ as an illness -- not necessarily an increase of actual cases. The death toll, however, didn't change dramatically: 284 in ____ compared to 262 in ___. Blumenthal explained that unlike illnesses which can escape detection, a death is thoroughly investigated, which may be why the death toll remained steady".

This was a report on West Nile Virus. To hear this reported in the hysterical way it was would be enough to scare the bejeebus out of anyone. You'd think the Black Plague was regrouping for a knock out round.

Now, coverage of swine flu has reached pandemic proportions.

Here are some headlines from today:

  • World Battles Swine Flu As Death Toll Rises
  • Swine Flu Cases On The Rise
  • Homeland Security: Obama Asks For $1.5 Billion To Fight Swine Flu
  • WHO Urges Governments To Prepare For Swine Flu Pandemic
  • Sick Crowd Emergency Rooms With Fears Of Flu
  • Swine Flu Death Toll Rises Amid Angst In US

For some perspective, here is a list of some per-year statistics on death for some common reasons:

  • Seasonal Flu in US: 63,726 deaths per year (174 per day)
  • Smoking related deaths: 5,000,000 world-wide, 440,000 per year in the US
  • Drunk Driving deaths: 16,000 per year in the US
  • Death from Malaria: 1 million world-wide
  • Deaths from 9/11: 2,752
  • Deaths from global warming: 0
  • Death toll in Darfur from 2006 to current: Approximately 400,000
  • Deaths from moving vehicle accidents (non-drunk driving): 428,156
  • Deaths from abortion: Approximately 1,700,000 in the US for one year

A little rational thought and a bucket of salt should be taken with every headline written or spoken about a situation like this.

The worse it is made to sound, the more people get sucked into it, and the more they'll consume the blatant scare tactics put forth by everyone from politicians to editors.

Take a deep breath (with your safety mask on) and do what you believe is right.


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Comments (10)

Maybe this swine flu was br... (Below threshold)
mag:

Maybe this swine flu was brought on by all the pork spending the idiots in Washington are doing.

DNA viruses like smallpox m... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

DNA viruses like smallpox mutate slowly and remain virulent for a long time, but their very stability makes them susceptible to eradication by vaccination. However, RNA virus like the current H1N1 swine flu evolves rapidly. A strain that incapacitates its host has fewer opportunities to infect new hosts than a strain that produces only mild symptoms. As the mild strain speeds though the host population more quickly than the virulent strain it leaves immune hosts in it's wake that soon drive the virulent strain to extinction. The new strain is still H1N1 swine flu, but it will evolve to produce milder and milder symptoms until it's just another flu. Perhaps it has already evolved and that's why we are not seeing the morbidity rates experienced in Mexico.

The 1918 Spanish flu is also a type H1N1 virus and it's descendent strains are still among us to this day. In fact, the current flu vaccine protects against the most common H1N1 virus and experts think it might offer some limited protection against the Mexico swine flu.

"Take a deep breath (wi... (Below threshold)
marc:

"Take a deep breath (with your safety mask on) and do what you believe is right."

Unlocked the underground man-cave - Check.

Laid in a 10 year supply of Hostess Twinkies - Check.

Locked and loaded every weapon I own - Check.

Post look-outs on the alert for low-flying presidential 747's spraying suspicious substances - Check.

WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!<... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

This very same tactic was u... (Below threshold)
BluesHarper:

This very same tactic was used to unsure a democrat Presidential victory.

C'mon Shawn, look at all th... (Below threshold)
epador:

C'mon Shawn, look at all the hysterical scare tactics the CDC is pushing:

http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/guidance/

and here's the last press briefing:

http://www.cdc.gov/media/transcripts/2009/t090427.htm

Really scary stuff, huh?

Connect the dots:A... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Connect the dots:

April 15th Tea Parties -----> incubation period -----> April 25th flu pandemic

cc: DHS

Never let a crisis go to wa... (Below threshold)
914:

Never let a crisis go to waste Obama... And You can always create one to get what you want if none pop up.

And I am Sure All the peopl... (Below threshold)
n/a:

And I am Sure All the people Dying are just figments of our imagination...... agrees with the person @ the pork spending in Washington...
Look What You Have Done.... Are You Happpy Now?

Once you have had this viru... (Below threshold)
Bob Schutter:

Once you have had this virus are you than imune for a possible worst strain of the same virus? In other words would this first contact act as an imunizer. If so, it is best to get it before it mutates. In other words go to Mexico and kiss a pig




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