Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fox News: The Most Powerful Virus Is Fear Not Flu

FOX Forum

We hear about an unseen killer and we worry that we will be next. The best antidote for this kind of fear is the facts.

So let me take on the fear-laden terms. The first is pandemic. A pandemic means a new flu virus infecting people in several areas of the world at the same time. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. Everyone knows about the 1918 Blue Death that killed over 50 million people worldwide, but how many people realize that the last pandemic, in 1968, ameliorated by vaccines, antibiotics, and public health measures, killed only 32,000 in the U.S. and 700,000 worldwide, less than many yearly outbreaks.

The current swine flu outbreak is not a pandemic, as the outbreak is confined mainly to Mexico, but if it does become one, it is far more likely to be the 1968 variety because of modern public health measures and because we have been exposed to several parts of this virus before and have an immune memory to it. Dr. Marc Siegel: The Most Powerful Virus Is Fear Not Flu

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