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Vail Daily’s View: More to fear than swine flu

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail, CO, Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

VAIL, Colorado “-It’s wise to be prudent, Vail Valley. But when the “regular” flu kills in the neighborhood of 36,000 Americans a year, do we really need to go to Code Crazy Town over what appears to be a less virulent strain of the disease outside of Mexico?

The alerts, hotlines, press conferences, plan to kill all the pigs in Cairo just seems a bit, well, overdone.

Can you imagine the progress we’d make with, say, drunken driving with such attention? Your chances of surviving such drivers are more dire than this outbreak.

Murder is more common. The morning commute is far more dangerous. Our diets are more perilous than the swine flu pandamic.

Some perspective, please.

Plain old flu can be serious, and obviously deadly. So employ the precautions: wash your hands frequently, avoid people if you have flu symptoms, etc. The swine flu has the same symptoms as the flu-flu, mainly because it’s the flu.

The excitement is over the rare transfer of swine flu to humans, and then human-to-human transmission of the disease. But it’s not as if this has never happened before. The Centers for Disease Control describes an outbreak in New Jersey in 1976 as the most well-known case. A soldier died.

At the time this editorial was written, the CDC documented109 cases and one death nationwide, not counting two confirmed cases Thursday in Colorado. Locally, the hospitals, county public health and schools are watching closely for signs of the disease.

The pandemic could turn out to be as ferocious as the World Health Organization is worried about. But so far, the excitement is outpacing the evidence of real threat.

The most likely danger is from the swine flu scams already infecting our virtual world.

Understanding that the swine flu provides cause for concern, but less so than a host of everyday dangers, is the most prudent perspective of all.

The other lesson here is to get your news from a credible place, from an organization that practices true journalism and primary sources such as the Centers for Disease Control.

Vail Daily Editorial Board


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