The title of this one is so much like a Fox News headline it almost annoys me. However I thought I’d post my thoughts on the swine flu, as I had ranted (at the request of a friend) on my thoughts of the current swine flu “epidemic”.
This was written awhile ago, as I think most of the hype has worn off, but I still thought it relevant enough to post on it. So here it is, mostly unedited except to make it a bit more cohesive in this setting:
I think the swine flu is an overblown threat and the only people that seem to have to fear it are those in third world countries or those without adequate health care services available to them.
Many people forget that yearly in the US 200,000 people tend to get sick and it kills 36,000 people. This is a substantial sum, and so far seems to be a lot more of a health-risk at this point than the swine flu.
However, since it makes good news, and causes people to buy papers or tune into TV programs who mention the outbreak it’s going to remain a hot-button topic until people realize that it’s not something worth freaking out about. For the meantime, my wife will continue to sell face masks like crazy from the pharmacy where she works (Been sold out for weeks). People are asking how many antibiotics they have, and whether they think they’re going to rush out, and whether they’ll dispense them without prescriptions. People are insane.
The fact is maybe this will act as a wake-up call and people will start to rethink just how much we use antibiotics both on ourselves for everyday things and how many drugs we feed livestock.
We feed crazy amounts of drugs to livestock, I’ve heard up to 70% of all antibiotics produced in the US go towards livestock feeds to cause them to get sick less, and grow fatter. This eventually leads to drug immunities and crazy viruses such as this H1N1 flu.
People are also abusing antibiotics and the bacteria and germs are getting immunity way faster than we can produce more antibiotic drugs. We’re getting to the point where a flu epidemic could wipe out a significant portion of the planet, but in my opinion the swine flu isn’t it. It’s more than likely one of the warning signs people will write about and discuss after 3/4 of the planet dies from some plague a few decades (or longer) from now.
Of course this could possibly change if the virus mutates and becomes incredibly contagious and then congests hospitals etc. But I’ve seen no evidence of this yet, and provided you have adequate health care as I’ve stated above, you’ll be fine.
For the most part, I really think I hit the nail on the head, but of course I do, it’s my words. And despite all this time to see how things develop I still think it holds.
What do you guys think? Am I being reasonable or am I not being cautious enough?