INSIGNIFICANTLY VIRULENT

Even as health workers are investigating 75 more cases of swine flu and while several schools remain closed, New York City officials are downplaying the seriousness of this somewhat peculiar threat. Richard Daines, Governor Paterson‘s health official, while conceding that the outbreak is “inexplicable” and that the state lacks an effective vaccine to combat such a virus, has determined that the situation is essentially unimportant: “an unseasonal flu in springtime.”

Governor Paterson himself stated that the “novelty” of the new strain, which “put the spotlight on a tiny group of New Yorkers,” did much to overstate the seriousness of the outbreak.

“The Centers for Disease Control Wednesday said New York had 51 of the country’s 91 confirmed cases. Most of them were located in New York City and at a single high school, Saint Francis Preparatory School in Queens, where students who became ill had traveled to Mexico last month for spring recess.” Earth Times

When one considers the fact that each year approximately 3 to 5 million people become dangerously ill, over 500,000 of these dying, worldwide during the two normal flu seasons (one per hemisphere), it’s hard to become very alarmed over this latest strain. I, for one, am in agreement with Mr. Daines…so far.

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