The Reasoned Review

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The Swine Flu Panic

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Spiegel has a good article on how Swine Flu, a non-lethal strain of influenza indistinguishable from the regular variant, captivated the world for a few months in 2009 and then mysteriously disappeared.

The Mexican boy’s infection was mild, like an overwhelming majority of the millions of cases that would occur worldwide in the coming months. The new virus would probably have attracted far less attention if it hadn’t been for modern molecular medicine, with its genetic analyses, antibody tests and reference laboratories. The swine flu would have conquered the world, and no doctor would have noticed.

But the world did notice, largely because of high-tech medicine and the vaccine industry. From Ebola to SARS to the avian flu, epidemiologists, the media, doctors and the pharmaceutical lobby have systematically attuned the world to grim catastrophic scenarios and the dangers of new, menacing infectious diseases.

Now turned up, the machinery was set into motion. Researchers got to work examining the molecular structure of the virus. The pharmaceutical industry started to develop vaccines. Government agencies laid out disaster plans. There was only one thing that everyone was ignoring: The new pathogen was, in fact, relatively harmless.

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Written by pavanvan

March 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Posted in environment

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