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Why Swine Flu Isn't Going to Kill Us All, Part II
Posted by Drew at 2009-04-30 3:09:13 PM, edited 2009-05-01 9:40:31 AM (484 comments) | Permalink
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21445 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Apr 2009 at 3:09 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

Here's what's happened since I wrote my original article, "Why Swine Flu Isn't Going to Kill Us All".

- A toddler in Texas has died of the swine flu
- Mexico's infection and death estimates continue to climb
- The World Health Organization has raised it's pandemic warning from 5 to 6, the top of the scale

These three items have ruled headlines for the past 24 hours. However here are a few other things that are going on that you may not have heard.

- 36,000 people die every year from the regular flu.
- Since I wrote my article on Monday, 1 person in the United States has died from swine flu.
- The tally in the last three days: Swine Flu: 1, Real Flu: 295.

I mentioned in my last update that only 18 deaths had been confirmed to have been from Swine Flu, and that the other figures were estimates. That confirmed total has since been revised downward to 7. To quote Stratfor's reaction to this data:
"There is still a lack of information regarding the particulars about this new pathogen; but if it has killed only seven people after two months of spreading in a country with somewhat limited health care services, perhaps its virulence is not so harsh after all, even if its communicability is impressive."

The WHO's alert level reflects communicability not lethality also

The incubation period for swine flu is thought to be 2-3 days. And since Monday there has been 1 death.

There are hundreds of interviews with people who have Swine Flu. They all have the following things in common: generally the symptoms are mild, no one needs hospitalization, and recovers on their own in a few days.

Once again, I have to say it: Don't Panic.
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484 Comments     (+0 »)

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2009-04-30 3:11:21 PM  
Too bad my /. mod points don't work here, you'd get a big fat +1 insightful Drew.
2009-04-30 3:11:30 PM  
Forgive me Drew, but the Portland media is now encouraging us to PANIC.

Why shouldn't I trust them? They think swine flu is way more important than stuff that actually kills people, like heart disease or drunk drivers.
2009-04-30 3:11:34 PM  
After saying just last week that no one who traveled to Mexico City for the president's visit contracted the flu, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced that a lead advance person for Energy Secretary Steven Chu came down with flu-like symptoms after the trip and appears to have spread the flu to three members of his family.

not everyone, but some of the White House staff, ostensibly! Oh Noes!
2009-04-30 3:11:39 PM  
Every time theres a farking recession there's an epidemic. 2000 was Mad Cow Disease. OK, twice.
2009-04-30 3:11:41 PM  
Very disappointed it only goes to 6.

yanksfansoxfan.typepad.comView Full Size
2009-04-30 3:11:41 PM  
I've been watching CNN covered in duct tape for a week now.
2009-04-30 3:11:57 PM  
The influenza family can be incredibly nasty. It can be weaponized or can mutate to forms which, like Ebola, liquify organs.

This time around, not so much.
2009-04-30 3:12:04 PM Full Size

Been ready
2009-04-30 3:12:07 PM  
- The tally in the last three days: Swine Flu: 1, Real Flu: 295.
deus-ex-machinima.netView Full Size

2009-04-30 3:12:10 PM  
Sorry, already moving to Madagascar if the port's still open
2009-04-30 3:12:28 PM  
upload3r.comView Full Size
2009-04-30 3:12:41 PM  
...but... but... THE NEWS!!!
2009-04-30 3:12:47 PM  
Shows you! I already died of it!
2009-04-30 3:12:56 PM  
Come on Drew. I like the panic. It keeps me employed.

/works in the health care industry. Well, sort of.
2009-04-30 3:13:02 PM  
i99.photobucket.comView Full Size

/had to be done
2009-04-30 3:13:07 PM  
Once again, I have to say it: Don't Panic..........

Yet. The people at WHO are not all dummies. While I agree the story has been blown up, still not a reason to assume everything is/will be fine.
2009-04-30 3:13:19 PM  
*cough*...Thanks, Drew...*ACHOO*...*sniff*
2009-04-30 3:13:23 PM  
OMG the swine flu killed Drew!

It then took over his computer and wrote a 'blog' post about how humans aren't at dire risk.

Before it is too late - come with me to the sewers where we can raise mutant turtles to combat this swine risk.
2009-04-30 3:13:28 PM  

squeez cheez: Very disappointed it only goes to 6.

never gets old... never....
2009-04-30 3:13:30 PM  
IiiiiiiiiEEEEEEEeeee!!!!!! We're all going to die!!!!!!

2009-04-30 3:13:37 PM  
Darn. And I was really hoping for a serious worldwide plague, people dropping like flies, bodies piled by the curb for pickup, it'd be Monty Python come to life...

//the fun stuff, it never goes all the way
2009-04-30 3:13:42 PM  
I called the Swine Flu Hotline...but all I heard was a CRACKLIN noise!
2009-04-30 3:13:42 PM  
Why Swine Flu Isn't Going to Kill Us All, Part II:

Porky Pigaloo
2009-04-30 3:13:48 PM  
Drew: The World Health Organization has raised it's pandemic warning from 5 to 6, the top of the scale

I thought it's only be declared a 5 so
2009-04-30 3:13:55 PM  
I'm getting over the real flu right now. Its been a few years since I've had it, forgot how much it takes out of you.

My cure for swine flu. Rest, Ibuprofen, NyQuil, xbox360, electrolytes.
2009-04-30 3:14:15 PM  
my dad said flu vaccines were linked to Autism, so to be safe from Swine flu I'm trying to lick an Autistic kid.

/xkcd ftw
2009-04-30 3:14:24 PM  
It's not my panic
It's his panic
2009-04-30 3:14:28 PM  
resolutedetermination.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
2009-04-30 3:14:30 PM  
You're no fun.....
2009-04-30 3:14:44 PM  
But if we don't panic, then I won't have anything to keep me entertained....
2009-04-30 3:14:56 PM  
This, Drew. This.

I think Mexico has so many deaths because of either bad health care, the pollution in Mexico City (which seems to be the epicenter of the panic), the over-population of some parts of the country, or a combo of all of them.
2009-04-30 3:15:08 PM  
but panic helps raise my tension level. and a raised tension level is a good thing. you know what, i'll be in my bunk.
2009-04-30 3:15:09 PM  
Right on, Drew. It is so patently obvious to even someone with a mild bit of smarts.

304,059,724 people in the country. You gotta get to 10,000 maybe 100,000 before its even a drop in the bucket.
2009-04-30 3:15:27 PM  
Link to part 1 please? Missed it...
2009-04-30 3:15:34 PM  
Sorry Drew, I vote for panic

/but only so i can see who idiots among us are
2009-04-30 3:15:38 PM  

boobsrgood: I've been watching CNN covered in duct tape for a week now.

Me too, but I just find it kinky to rip off my butt.
2009-04-30 3:15:47 PM  
And I was all prepared to not fear the reaper.
2009-04-30 3:15:49 PM  
i39.tinypic.comView Full Size
2009-04-30 3:16:03 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2009-04-30 3:16:08 PM  
I would like to volunteer to be injected with the swine flu, just to shut everyone the F up.
2009-04-30 3:16:16 PM  
Joe Biden told me not to ride trains or fly and he is really smart so I am going to hide in my bathroom for the next month. Not to be rude but he is the Vice-President and you only run a web site. What do you know? The government doesn't just make up things in order to keep us in constant fear, they are here to help.

2009-04-30 3:16:19 PM  
I was watching the local news this morning, and it was the usual *dramatic cut to a picture of a pig* Dun dun duuuuuun! thing. The usual panicking over how Swine Flu is gonna kill us all. And then the anchor abruptly mentioned how many people a year die from regular flu. But then went back to discussing how horrible swine flu was. I am still flabberghasted. How can you acknowledge the fact that your panic is full of crap and then go back to panicking?!
2009-04-30 3:16:31 PM  
I was out with a few people last night and this came up in conversation....

girl 1 - "I was watching CNN & they said it may raise to 6, highest level. We're in trouble"

me - "say that again?"

girl 1 - "I was watching CNN...."

me - "WHY?"
2009-04-30 3:16:39 PM  
Thanks for the sanity Drew...
2009-04-30 3:16:43 PM  
The Spanish flu appeared in the spring as a weak virus, dissipated and then returned to kill tens of millions the following winter.

/just sayin.
2009-04-30 3:16:47 PM  
Oh, and don't forget that it's not really "swine flu," it's a flu virus with identifiable genetic sequences from swine, avian, and human flu.

In other words: just another mutation of flu.

They'll have a vaccine for it by September, provided everybody doesn't die of panic by then.
2009-04-30 3:17:04 PM  

2009-04-30 3:17:09 PM  
I'm not panicking even though CNN and every major media outlet wants me to be deathly afraid of the Swine Flu...

I'm still leaving saturday morning for Playa Del Carmen and will be having a complete blast there. I'll probably make sure that I eat lots of pork to scare some of the wimps that got there before the fear mongering started.
2009-04-30 3:17:18 PM  
But but but cnn said I needed to shiate myself! NBC said I needed to run in circles and set things on fire or Swine Flu would rape my dog and eat my children!!

I mean its not like the news agencys would lie, would they?

/would you say its time to bash the head in of the nearest person and feast on the gooey goodness inside?
2009-04-30 3:17:19 PM  
That's the whole thing that seriously confuses me. I could totally get if it, like, made you bleed out of your eyes, made you listen to Rush Limbaugh, or spontaneously eat your young. But it certainly isn't fatal.

Is it THAT slow a news week?
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