Hype or Imminent Pandemic?


That is the question (these days, anyway). What is beneath this craze? Is it mostly hype because of an outbreak poorly handled by the Mexican government or actually, as a NPR health analyst called it yesterday, an “imminent pandemic?”

Newsweek currently has a poll on its homepage asking its readers if they think the swine flu hysteria is just a false alarm.

The basic fact that is fueling this question and puzzling us all: Why, still, are swine flu victims dying in Mexico and not the United States? We are still not sure, partly due to suspiciously limited information from the Mexican government on the home regions and professions of the dead, if the new cases of infection are really NEW or just surfacing because more people are on the lookout and seeking treatment. How sick and poor were the original victims, and what parts of the city or country did they live in? Ultimately, is this a question of an uncontrollable spread of swine flu or of sick, disadvantaged people lacking access to basic healthcare?

Time will soon tell.

Photo by Alfred Megally


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