Swine flu and the dramatisation of disease

Spiked
by Frank Furedi

04/28/09

There is nothing unusual about the outbreak of flu. Every year, thousands of people die from the flu, and, in normal conditions, society has learned to cope with the flu threat. From time to time, an outbreak of flu turns into a global pandemic, leading to a catastrophic loss of life. However, there is no evidence that the so-called swine flu, which has so far claimed a relatively small number of lives, will turn into a pandemic. Rather, what we are faced with is a health crisis that has been transformed into a moral drama...

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/6615/



The fajita flu

TCS Daily
by Dr. Henry I. Miller

04/29/09

Unfortunately, conditions in many countries are conducive to the emergence of new viruses — especially flu, which mutates rapidly and inventively. Intensive animal husbandry procedures that place poultry and swine in close proximity to humans, combined with unsanitary conditions, poverty, and grossly inadequate public health infrastructure of all kinds ­ all of which exist in Mexico, as well as much of Asia and Africa ­ make it unlikely that a pandemic can be prevented or contained at the source. The rapid and constant movement of goods and people around the world makes early containment virtually impossible. We saw this with the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in 2003, when within a matter of weeks, the disease spread rapidly from southern China to infect individuals in some 37 countries around the world, killing about 800; and in the current outbreak, in which New York City high-school students apparently brought the swine flu virus back from Mexico and infected their classmates...

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=042909A


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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