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I've been watching this swine flu "pandemic" rather carefully and have questioned the alarm propagated by the media and what is really behind all the fear mongering. I encourage your thoughts on what the data really mean. I always thought that a pandemic meant that cases increased at an accelerating rate. These data would not appear to support a "pandemic". These numbers don't even come close to malaria, tuberculosis, diabetes, cancer, HIV, or even "normal" flu. Why all the hype?
The following data was gathered from the WHO (World Health Organization) website's situation updates
Date, # cases, %increase, # deaths, % increase
07/06,--94,512, ---5.1,---429,---12.3


Yahzmin (US) in 3-D said...

I think it means a pig shot this fall.

Mr. Peachy® said...

The issue of pandemic / epidemic needs to be looked at in the medical definition:…
"Pandemic: An epidemic (a sudden outbreak) that becomes very widespread and affects a whole region, a continent, or the world."
So, technically, the H1N1 virus does fall into that category, as it is affecting an entire region, and it is a 'sudden' outbreak, not a long-term, well-known health risk like diabetes, malaria, etc.
This should not be used to belittle the severity of any long-term health risks, of course. But news -- needs to be NEWS, not old, rehashed issues nobody pays enough attention to. It is a sad reality of our world that people watch exciting things. So the news media is pressured to make what they report exciting.
On the other hand, this should not be allowed to belitte the risks and severity of H1N1, either. Writing it off as media hype is as much of a mistake as allowing the hype to terrify us into locking ouselves into homes and not coming out. Both are over-reactions to a very real situation.

DD said...

According to the WHO, a case can be considered a pandemic if it shows transferrence within a certain country in more than one continent. Which is the case now.
In that train of thought, even an extremely mild virus can be considered a pandemic even when it makes no fatalities at all. In fact, seasonal flu is considered pandemic as well by the WHO even though we all know and love our flu seasons and don't consider them a source for panic at all.
I think the idea of the media making it worse comes from how we see the word "pandemic". We associate it with worldwide panic, death and dismay. In fact, pandemic is simply a worldwide epidemic, even when it's very mild.
All things considered it might not be worse, but you should think about the risk groups because they are more vulnerable, more likely to develop serious complication and thus more likely to die from it. Hence why vaccines are generally given to those risk groups. I don't think it's cause for concern in the general population but IS cause for concern in risk populations simply because there is no vaccine.
And I'm not entirely sure but I think the entire hype has something to do with that, too.

cricketl said...

Read this carefully. The point of this being a "pandemic" is because it's a new strain that popped up at the end of flu season, and is spreading during summer in the northern hemisphere. It also has a lot of ways to improve. Scientists just found a week ago that this virus is not even used to us humans yet, which they said means it has room for improvement. They fear it could combine with seasonal or bird flu. This strain is following the footsteps of it's ancestor-the strain of the Spanish flu in 1918 that killed tens of millions. They think swine flu has the ability to do this. They call this pandemic "moderate", right? They also said that swine flu is as severe as the 1957 pandemic (which killed 4 million people). Well, keeping that in mind, the WHO said in October that a "moderate" pandemic like that of the 1957 one could kill up to 14.2 million people. Now, you may ask, if it's as severe as the 1957 pandemic, wouldn't swine flu also kill around 4 million, and not around 14 million? Well, that's a good question. The reason is there's a lot more people in the world now. The 1957 pandemic had a mortality rate of .1%, while swine flu has a mortality rate of between .54% and .61%.
To answer your question...the left-hand side is the dates, when the information was recorded. The second column is the number of cases confirmed for the date on the left. The %increase is the percentage increase of cases from the date before. The number of deaths are the number of confirmed deaths in the world on the date. The 2nd %increase on the far right is the percentage increase of deaths from the deaths of the date before. For example, the %increase on the date 7/06 is 12.3%. That means there is a 12.3% increase in deaths on 7/06 from the date before, which is 7/03.

Aya and baby! said...

Thank god. Your the only normal one.
I have Swine flu. I'm free tommorow so i can leave my house and goto Thorpe park for a school trip. I had it bad. It isnt a Hype. And the reason it's Panedemic is because it cannot be Quarintiend no more. No and i wont die.
Heres my story
9th July 09
Got diagnosed. So bad. felt so bad. 39.3 temp.
10th July 09
Felt better as the day went on.
Got way good. And i started annoying my Mum again as usual. temp was between 37.3-38.0
11th July 09
12th July 09
13th July 09(Future)
PERFECTOLOCO and cured Baby cured.
Trust me. I have it. It's horrible on the first day.
The reason people die is because they already have BAD health problems like HIV. Lung diease ETC. ALL major illnesses. I have No health problems. I didnt have to take the tablets. but i did to heal myself quicker. But then i thought there may be consquences if i didnt. Such as beeing ill longer. So after 5 days. Tommrow = 5 i can come outside and be free again! YAY!

Ben said...

Pandemic is defined by the geographic space over which a disease has spread and has nothing to do with the number of cases or number of deaths (a fact of which many are unaware, and thus media use of the word "pandemic" causes undue panic).
The cause for anxiety over H1N1 is that there seems to be little to no natural immunity and that people dying from H1N1 are not the people who die from seasonal influenza. People who die from seasonal influenza are generally elderly with pre-existing conditions, immunocompromised, or children and thus have not developed immunities. People who are relatively young and otherwise healthy, however, are dying from H1N1. Also, there is a fear that the virus will mutate rapidly and thus outstrip our efforts to create a vaccine for it.
Just yesterday I was informed that there may be a mass vaccination campaign in schools in my region this fall. I'm not entirely sure how dangerous H1N1 is, but I think in developed countries with proper healthcare, it is far less dangerous than the media would have us believe.

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