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Swine flu

April 27, 2009 - Steve Murch
It seems like if it is one thing it's another right now in terms of health scares.

The most recent, obviously, is swine flu. As of early Monday afternoon there are 73 confirmed cases worldwide.

While there are no confirmed cases in Michigan at this time, it certainly makes you take notice. I vaguely remember the threat in 1976 that turned out to be a hoax. Unfortunately, the cost to the government to produce vaccinces was very real. And high.

However, 1918 is a different story. That was no hoax, it was quite real.

The case-fatality rate for the pandemic was greater that 2.5 percent. It has been estimated that one in every three people in the world had been infected and had illness. My great-grandmother — my mother's grandmother — died of the swine flu. My grandmother was six months old at the time.

While health care and our knowledge of illness in general is far greater than it was nearly 100 years ago, the spread of the most recent swine flu is proof that we are susceptible at any time. I guess all we can do is follow the advice of the experts.


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