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I work in the media and am a veteran of hysteria over SARS and bird flu in Asia, and even so I'm having a lot of trouble understanding the panic over this one. This flu so far is way less virulent than either SARS or bird flu, both of which are truly scary. Two of my theories are, this came out of nowhere, they don't understand it yet, therefore they're panicking until told otherwise; or, more cynical, that they're actually more worried about the potential economic cost, given that this comes just as the global economy is showing signs of recovery and could hit travel, tourism, and a lot of exports. I too remember both 1968 and 1976 and this is...weird. Let's hope that, like bird flu, this is unwarranted panic.


Elaine - I hear ya. The only thing that seems more frightening about this flu compared with avian flu is that human-human transmission is so easy. With avian flu, you pretty much had to French kiss a chicken to get it. This thing seems to have human, bird, and pig DNA, so it can pass easily between all three. I do hope that the hype is just hype.


Not to be blunt, but look at the figures of the people who have died from this. We have something like what, 1,500 cases (not even all verified) and at most, 150 deaths? Again, not all verified. That's like 10 percent, right? SARS was close to 70 percent and bird flu 60 or so.

I agree that the transmission rate seems high, but a lot of the people involved have had fairly minimal symptoms. We'll see, of course, and I could be totally wrong. But at this point I think the whole world is over-reacting a bit.

Melissa in TN

This one is scares me big time! I was really worried about it and then read what Cec wrote about being advised to keep Tori in when/if it hits Philly. Then after you did the math....

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