With the essential caveat that we can't tell the future and things may change, (though I suspect not in this case), it is humorous to see the media still trying desperately to flog swine flu as a "crisis."
Yep, according to the Channel 7 news last night, it is a "CRISIS", OH MY GOD, WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
Did somebody mention children? Here is a photo from this morning's The West Australian of a child minutes from dying from the swine flu. Poor little bugger.
In Channel 7's terminology, (and the only reason I'm picking on them is because I vowed several weeks ago never to watch the Channel 9 news ever again, after they ran a long piece of "news" one night that was nothing more than an extended advertisement for their shitty Underbelly series, of which the nearest it got to "news" was footage of Robert Trimboli taken over 30 years ago), this lad is a "victim".
I dunno, maybe they're propping up his near lifeless body with sticks?
More sensibly, he's a certified "legend" (or whatever argot the vile young are using these days) at his school because he's got them off for a whole week.
Junkfood Science yet again looks at what is being claimed and what is really happening.
First thing - the H1N1 strain of influenza has been around for many years. In sequencing the DNA of the current type it is clear that genetically there does not appear to be anything to suggest that it should be any more dangerous than previous types of H1N1.
"H1N1 strains have always been part of seasonal flu and that this newly identified strain is behaving much like typical seasonal H1N1 influenza strains."
Much has been made of the "worrying" development that the swine flu strangely attacks younger people preferentially, not the old and the sick.
Only thing is, this is a recognised characteristic of H1N1. Nothing unusual here.
All indications so far are that this most recent strain of H1N1 is not particularly virulent. The total number of deaths clearly attributable to it worldwide is currently about 125.
In a normal year, worldwide, influenza will kill between 250,000 and 500,000 people. Every year.
Sandy provides three helpful adages:
1. Diagnosis ≠ incidence
2. Bigger numbers ≠ better evidence
3. “What-if” speculations ≠ science