Ok, so the media is firing on all scare-mongering cylinders over this whole swine flu snoutbreak. The threat level was raised today to 5 out of 6, which seems to mean that you might not want to travel unless it’s really urgent, say a holiday or business trip. Presumably 6 means only go to the airport if you really have to see of a loved one or need a tie and the airport is closer than town.
Let’s get this into context, this is definitely more hamdemic than pandemic, there have been 20 cases across Europe(1), of which no-one has died. In Mexico itself only 99 cases(2) have been confirmed as H1N1, and the swine flu has claimed just eight lives in Mexico, whose health spending per capita was recently rated 25th out of 25(3). 50 people in China have died of hand-foot-mouth disease(4), presumably from over exposure to this(5), and yet there is no cobra meeting to decide when we should change the threat number.
Tamiflu, of course, probably does nothing against hand-foot-mouth, whereas those extra supplies manufactured for bird flu are probably getting close to their expiry and what better market than a public scared of an over-exaggerated threat.
Besides, swine flu’s been in Sheffield for years(6)…
*Can’t get the links to work properly so here are the old school sources: