Time for Thorns

An independent view on life.

Pandemic panic…

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Wes Pruden has a go at reminding us that SARS was supposed to kill us all,  along with bird flu, dangerous produce and rising oceans.

The  SEIU labor union has launched an online petition against the GOP for delaying the confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius as Health and Human Services secretary in the face of a swine flu outbreak.

Larry Klayman of FreedomWatch,   formerly the energizer bunny of Judicial Watch who so annoyed Bill and Hillary! , wonders if this is a biological terrorism attack.    It could be, but wouldn’t a terrorist group would want something far more deadly?

Andrea Shea King is more inclined to see the swine flu as a useful diversion for the Obama team and Congressional Democrats as they work to arrange final approval of the $3.5 trillion FY 2010 budget bill,  with no Republican input,  by Wednesday,  Obama’s 100th day.    We certainly haven’t heard much about the $1.2 trillion dollar health care budget contained within the overall package since the flu took center state,  have  we?

The EU has issued a warning on travel to the US,   and Russia is not only checking  all planes from the Americas for swine flu,  but has also banned importation of American meat.    It doesn’t appear that either  Hillary!’s reset button or the foreign charm offensive of His Oneness did much for us,  does it?

My view is that,  if the Obama Administration can bring itself to follow the path laid down by the Bush Administration,  the systems are already in place to deal with an epidemic,  and likely a pandemic as well.    They will,  of course,  take all the credit,  and blame any shortfalls on Bush.    I just heard HHS Sec.  Napolitano say that flu vaccine was being shipped out today,  and that all states would have a supply by May 3rd.    Either she isn’t following the original guidelines which called for same-day shipping from the nearest supply, or she doesn’t know about FedEx.

I’m not worried for myself,  because I haven’t caught a cold or the flu in 40 years.    I suspect my rampant allergies keep my system in such overdrive that no bug can survive the instant onslaught I seem to generate.     I have nursed family and friends through rotovirus and all sorts of related unpleasantness,  and never caught any of it.

The CDC says 5 to 20% of Americans have flu each year,  which averages to 12.5%  or about 37.5 million people.     Napolitano said we could expect about 30,000 deaths from the flu,  in normal years about 40,000 die from flu and its complications.    That’s a mortality rate of a little over 1/10 of  1%,  and a tiny number compared to the 650,00 who die from heart disease and the  550,000 who die from cancer annually.

According to a Stanford University summary of the great flu pandemic of 1918,  that mortality rate was about 2.5%  —  almost 25 times the rate of a normal flu year.    If this outbreak rose to that level,  nearly 1 million could die.    But so far,   the variant in America seems to be mild.

Be prudent,  but don’t get hysterical.

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Written by timeforthorns

April 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

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