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Swine Flu in perspective

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posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 12:29 PM
One thing spreading faster then the swine flu is the swine flu panic. Through conventional and alternative media outlets we are being inundated. I'm sure most of us have read the constant updates trying to gauge how severe this new flu truly is. In the mornings many of us have woke anxious to see the latest statistics. Is this the morning in which we discover that the swine flu cases have spread infecting every pocket of the globe?

The mortality rate of the swine flu compared to other flu strains is alarming. According to the 2008 flu death toll and the current swine flu mortality rate a person is 60 times more likely to die of the swine flu then other strains. Based on Mexico's statistics and assuming that all the suspected cases and deaths are in fact the swine flu the current mortality rate seems to be holding steady at around 6%. This equates to approximately 1 in 17 people who contract the virus will expire from it.

However based on the panic I believe that where the media has failed is in providing any type of perspective. I hope to be able to fill at least part of that gap.

It has already been stated that approx. 1 in 17 who contract the swine flu will expire. Let's assume that 100% of the world's population will contract the virus. Surely something that has caused such panic would become the worlds leading killer and for year end statistics it most certainly would.

However for lifetime statistics it would still trail heart disease and cancer especially in the United States.

The World Health Organization reports that the leading cause of death accounting for 13% of all deaths are attributed to cancer. This is over twice the death toll of the swine flu even if each and every one of us contracted the virus.

In the U.S., according to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death. approx. 26% of all deaths in the U.S are caused by heart disease. Followed closely by cancer at 22%.

I hope that this post isn't viewed as trivializing the fatalities of swine flu victims. I just don't see much positivity that comes from panic. I realize that a global pandemic of the swine flu would skew some of the above statistics as well as decrease the population's life expectancy rate. We would all see and feel the effects. However I feel there is a gap in perspective which is being propagated by media outlets. I hope I have filled at least a small portion of that gap. I am not a statistician nor a doctor so I hope people will be forgiving in any errors or incorrect interpretations of the data presented. I have done my best to insure it's accuracy.


[edit on 30-4-2009 by harvib]


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