Friday, May 01, 2009

Opinion: Don’t Panic About the Swine Flu

Disclaimer: This is our opinion only – take medical advice from medical professionals.

But.... The average annual number of regular, seasonal flu-related deaths in the U.S. alone is 36,000. The Centers for Disease Control says, “[Study] results...showed that...36,171 flu-related deaths occurred per year, on average.” Additionally, estimates are that worldwide flu-related deaths are 250,000 to 500,000 per year.

Currently (May 1) reported by the World Health Organization there are 9 confirmed swine flu deaths in Mexico, and 1 in the U.S. (Mexican health officials are reporting 159 deaths from the disease.)

We just read an absurd travel newsletter where the author talks of going out and buying more than 60 pounds of rice at Costco (in case food supplies are interrupted worldwide for months?), and that he couldn’t find hand sanitizer packets anywhere. (This is also a travel writer who still doesn’t believe in Global Warming.)

In our opinion, you’re more at risk of getting sick from using the bathrooms at Costco than from flying or traveling during this flu “pandemic” (a lovely scare word from the medical community).

Yes, this may get worse – much worse. But for now we think it’s another media/political thriller. Wash your hands. Try not to kiss someone who’s sneezing. If you have travel plans, go. You’re probably more likely to be killed in an ambush in Kazakhstan or get food poisoning by eating a bad fish taco than you are of getting – much less dying from – the swine flu while you’re traveling.

America, and the world: Stop being so afraid.