Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   1 comment

OpEdNews Op Eds

The Swine Flu Might Turn Out To Be Less Deadly Than the Average Winter Flu

By       Message George Washington     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 4/30/09

Author 8941
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)
- Advertisement -


The headlines have been scary.

For example, the headline from the Telegraph says:

"Swine flu: 'All of humanity under threat', WHO warns"

That sounds extremely dire, indeed.

However, the World Health Organization quote was taken out of context. And the science actually says something different.

For example, as the Los Angeles times notes today:

Scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza -- at least in its current form -- isn't shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.

In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.

The LA Times goes on to provide useful detail:

- Advertisement -

Mounting preliminary evidence from genetics labs, epidemiology models and simple mathematics suggests that the worst-case scenarios are likely to be avoided in the current outbreak.

"This virus doesn't have anywhere near the capacity to kill like the 1918 virus," which claimed an estimated 50 million victims worldwide, said Richard Webby, a leading influenza virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn...

"There are certain characteristics, molecular signatures, which this virus lacks," said Peter Palese, a microbiologist and influenza expert at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. In particular, the swine flu lacks an amino acid that appears to increase the number of virus particles in the lungs and make the disease more deadly...

We expect to see more cases, more hospitalizations, and, unfortunately, we are likely to see more deaths from the outbreak," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters Wednesday on her first day at work.

But certainly nothing that would dwarf a typical flu season. In the U.S., between 5% and 20% of the population becomes ill and 36,000 people die -- a mortality rate of between 0.24% and 0.96%...

- Advertisement -

And a pandemic doesn't necessarily have a high fatality rate...

Though scientists have begun to relax about the initial toll, they're considerably less comfortable when taking into account the fall flu season. They remain haunted by the experience of 1918, when the relatively mild first wave of flu was followed several months later by a more aggressive wave.

The longer the virus survives, the more chances it has to mutate into a deadlier form.

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

George Washington

As a political activist for decades, I have rejoiced in victories for the people and mourned in defeats. I chose the pen name "George Washington" because - as Washington's biographies show - he wasn't a (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Top Financial Experts Say World War 3 Is Coming -- Unless We Stop It

Indonesian Health Minister Says Swine Flu Might Have Been Man-Made | Epidemiologists and Virologists Need to Weigh In

Obama Is Considering Doing Something Even Bush Didn't Try: "Preventive Detention" of People Who Will Never Get a Trial

How To Solve the Economic Crisis

The Four Reasons the Mainstream Media Is Worthless

5 Reasons that Corporate Media Coverage is Pro-War