Friday, May 21, 2010

A year on - what's happened to swine flu?

Golly, it's been over a year already!

Here's the latest media release from the Ministry of Health on the matter -

It's still out there, though from my point of view, it was a bit of a damp squib for a pandemic - not that I'm complaining, mind you! I'd much rather not have to deal with a full-blown, lock-the-country-down pandemic, thank you very much. I'm not saying it's not a killer either, I know two friends of friends who are among the 18,036 confirmed fatalities.

Question is, was it a damp squib because we jumped on it early and stamped it out? Would it have been that much worse if we had just treated it like another seasonal variation? Who knows. You either get accused of not doing enough if it's a biggy, or accused of overreacting if your efforts to contain it actually have the effect of limiting it significantly.

You know we could limit the spread of seasonal flu too. If everyone takes the same precautions that they were taking this time last year, we could drop the annual death toll from these kinds of illnesses. Washing hands, covering coughs, staying away from people if you are sick - all really basic stuff that we don't do enough of. It's a crying shame that more businesses can't give their staff the sick leave they actually need to prevent the spread of illness - I'm sure the cost/benefit analysis would show the value of it.

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