There are plenty of great sites here on Scienceblogs that have talked about the swine flu, including Aetiology, the Scientific Activist, Greg Laden, Ethics and Science, and Effect Measure, among others.
But I’ve noticed, reading comments here and elsewhere, that people are really, seriously terrified of this. And yes, it can kill you if you don’t take care of it. But what does the swine flu mean for you? Here’s my rundown on it:
- Swine flu will not kill you if you treat it in time.
- You will not be asymptomatic. If you have swine flu, you will have (surprise) flu-like symptoms.
- It is about as contagious as the regular flu.
- There are — as of right now — less than 1,000 alleged cases worldwide.
And that’s it. It’s a bad thing that’s out there, but it’s so far from a “pandemic” that it’s laughable. Live your life as normal unless you get the flu (or flu-like symptoms), and then (and only then) should you call your doctor and read what the CDC has to offer. As of right now, we have a “whopping” 141 cases in the US, with one death. Making swine flu far, far less deadly and prevalent than getting struck by lightning.
So chill out unless you actually have the flu, and enjoy your Friday.