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Readers Aren't Scared of Swine Flu

Many of Our Readers Who Comment are not taking the swine flu threat seriously, if their remarks this morning are any indication of reality.

Rob Stein reports that "While flu viruses are notoriously capricious, making any firm predictions impossible, a new round could hit the Northern Hemisphere within weeks and lead to major disruptions in schools, workplaces and hospitals, according to U.S. and international health officials."

And several readers say, "hooey." They note that traffic accidents kill many more people in the United States than does the flu; they joke about Obamacare and the phony Republican charge that it involves euthanasia solutions for people of my generation, and they complain that the story-starved press (it is August) is hyping things. To be sure (using an old journalistic canard), some of our Readers actually are concerned, but they appear to be in the minority at this writing.

We'll start with DorothyfromColumbus, who wrote, "Y2K all over again. The press is just blowing this out of proportion."

And JohnQCitizen said, "Approximately 36,000 Americans died in traffic accidents last year [actually it was closer to 40,000], versus a few percent of that number dying from the swine flue. Guess which story the media has been and continues to pump?..."

KatieAtl wrote, "My nine year old child contracted the H1N1 virus while we were on vacation in July in the Northeast... the reality is that it wasn't much worse than the regular flu and all is well now... I am fully aware that H1N1 can be fatal, but for most it does not even approach that level of severity..."

losthorizon10 said, "Don't worry everyone! We have the 39th best health care in the world!* *for those of you who can afford health insurance"

KathyWi added, "With the status of health care in this country, think of all the people who will not take their children to the doctor because of the expense and adults who will not see a doctor for the same reason. The swine flu may sound scary but what is scary is that. And it is scary all the time..."

kris2 said, "Many people have low immune systems and don't practice proper hygiene, eg, handwashing hot water and soap. That, and taking vitamins c, b, and adequate d can help. While I don't think the sky is falling yet, I think it has the potential of blowing up, and we should be aware of the implications."

highwaybluesoccer wrote, "Another scary sickness brought in from another county. When does it stop???"

To which knjincvc replied, "I don't want to burst your bubble but there is a lot of evidence that H1N1 started on a U.S. corporate pig farm."

JohnQCitizen wrote. "...this story is yet more shoddy journalism from the national press corps for failing to put the risk posed by this strain of the flu into perspective. It appears to be no worse than the regular flu we see every year, and the threat to "at risk" populations is lots less than that presented by the automobile..."

marvin_gardens said, "...AIDS patients are immunosuppressed, and are extremely susceptible to pneumonia. In certain countries, they are often coinfected with tuberculosis. We didn't have this problem the last time we had a flu pandemic. This could pose a big problem in South Africa, for example."

sfmaster wrote, "At my gov't civil service job earlier this year I came down with another type of flu that made every bone in my body ache with pain; the following week I had a horrible sore throat that felt like it was a pillar of fire.
If I have to wear a face mask this winter I'll do it, because I come in contact with hundreds of people every day. Hand sanitizer, anyone?"

ANTILIB wrote, " 'You shall be required by government mandate to receive your flu shot. If you experience any adverse reaction to the flu shot and do not recover within 10 business days, you will be required by government mandate to report to your local Euthanasia Center immediately.' That's Obamacare."

But MikeMcNally suggested, "Considering the republicans have fully stated that this flu is just a fake story made up by the Obama administration, perhaps they could stand by their values and refuse any sort of vaccine. They should stand tall and just let the Democrats take it."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  August 10, 2009; 7:41 AM ET
 | Tags: Swine Flu  
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Next: The Big Government Health-Care Fear


Letter to the Editor
Are the nation’s public restrooms in the link to the swine flu pandemic?
Health experts tell us that the swine flu virus passes by human contact, especially through our hands. If you are the flu victim, don’t shake hands or do other physical contact that would transmit your virus to others. Ok, but suppose you are healthy, what can you do?
In particular, I’m concerned about using the nation’s public restrooms. After washing you hands, you look for paper towels to dry your hands and to open the exit door. The towels acting as a barrier to germs and viruses left on the door handle by those who don’t wash their hands. In thoughtful establishments, a waste container is located near to allow disposal of the towel after opening the door.
What to do in the public restroom that has air-dryers instead of paper towels. Here is a brief list of possible actions by the individual:
• Wait for someone to come in to the restroom, then use the back of your hand or elbow to hold the door open while you leave
• Carry small packets of paper tissues to use opening the door, dispose of the tissue in a near waste container or on the floor next to the door.
• Carry a small container of hand sanitizer to use after opening the germ infested doors
• Don’t patronize establishments that don’t provide hand towels

What can owners of public restrooms do?
• Provide paper towels or sanitary wipes and convenient disposal containers
• Prop restroom door open or remove doors
• Make restroom door open outward to allow use of elbow, shoulder, or hip to open the door

What should health agencies and governments do?
• Require all public restrooms to have sanitary means of exiting
• Pass laws requiring the above

Posted by: chkwgn07 | August 10, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

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