Rubber, Meet Mr. Road



It appears that the world is on the cusp of the next influenza pandemic. The last influenza pandemic, Spanish flu, killed more than 40 million people worldwide.

I’m not going to reiterate all the facts that are available in most news articles, but from what I’ve read, it appears that swine flu will be the real deal. Sixty eight people are dead and more than 1000 are sick from the disease in Mexico. Swine flu has already made it to the US.

Here are the CDC’s recommendations for preventing spread of influenza. Among the most important: Keep your hands away from your nose and mouth and get immunized!

Which brings me to the reason for the post — a challenge/query to the antivaccinistsas.

Time to put up or shut up.

Going to get your influenza vaccines? Going to wear masks? Going to take Tamiflu and Relenza?

Are you just going to rely on the “natural immunity” of you and your families to get you through the influenza pandemic or are you going to be hypocrites and get in line for your vaccinations? Perhaps carve out some reason why it’s OK to get vaccinated for this type of influenza but nothing else?

Be interesting to see.

This Main Event is shaping up to be a battle between Charles Darwin and Jenny McCarthy.

I know who my bets are on …

13 Responses to “Rubber, Meet Mr. Road”

  1. Aaron In Florida says:

    Really? I mean, 62 deaths out of 1000 patients is still “only” a 6.2% mortality rate. Reading on the 1918 flu pandemic, it seems that about half the worlds population actually caught the bug, and about half of them died from it. Swine flu, while scary and being shoved in our face by the media, is no where near a 50% mortality rate. Now, maybe it’s because we have better medical care, but with all the crap going on down in Mexico right now, I’d be willing to bet that their healthcare system isn’t in peak form. So, given that, do you really think that swine flu is as dangerous as Spanish flu? Or is it, just like bird flu, being over-hyped by the media?

    My problem with all this is very simple: Flue is still flu. It’s just a nasty little virus. If you wash your hands religiously and, at worse, wear an aerosol mask when in public, what’re the chance you’re going to catch this and die?

    • WhiteCoat says:

      I can’t predict what the mortality rate will ultimately be once this virus is disseminated throughout the world – if a pandemic does occur.
      Realize that the most vulnerable populations – the young, infirm, and elderly – are not the ones being reported as mortalities. If 6.2% of healthy victims die, what percentage of infirm victims will die?
      Assuming a pandemic and assuming that only 30% of US citizens catch this bug (120 million people), if only 6% of those people die, we’re still talking about more than 8 million casualties. I don’t think I’d use the term “only” to describe the death of that many people.
      Be interesting to plot the death rates of those vaccinated versus those not vaccinated once a vaccine is available.

  2. Aaron In Florida says:

    Also, I just want to note that if a vaccine is offered, yes, I’ll be getting it, just like I always do.

  3. sleepyjosh says:

    In the main event, my money would be on Darwin hands down.

    IIRC–isn’t the flu vaccine pretty much the only one that still contains thimerosal? I just think throwing that little factoid into any question directed towards the “antivaccinistsas” (great term btw!) would trigger an even more amusing response from them!

  4. crankyprof says:

    WC, there a vax for this? I was under the impression that there was not — though it appears to react to Tamiflu/Relenza, and we have better hygiene/med care standards than Mexico…

  5. James says:

    Human H1N1 is antigenically very different from swine H1N1. However, the current seasonal flu shot would provide partial coverage for swine H3N2, just not swine H1N1.

  6. ArkieRN says:

    Allergic to eggs. Have to rely on herd immunity. Those antivaxer a$$es may be the difference between my living or dying.

  7. Basiorana says:

    When it comes out I will get it in a heartbeat. I don’t hold out hope for antivaxers, though. I suspect what will happen is they will assume their perfectly healthy non-poisoned kids will be fine, and then it will enter their communities and a healthy kid will die, and they’ll come up with excuses for it and the first wave will sneak their kids to the pediatrician. Then an other kid, and another wave, and it won’t take much more than 2 or 3 healthy people they know dying before this vaccine will be okay “just this once” with plenty of supporting distilled water… er, I mean homeopathy.

  8. Pattie, RN says:

    The reports I have read indicate that there is also an avian component to “this” swine flu, which scares the be-geezus out of me!

  9. Ya know, I got the vaccine for this muthuh when the scare came out in the late 1970’s. (Yeah, so my age is showing, and?) I was the “one in one hundred thousand” folks who “reacted” to the shot. Turned me off to further use.

    Right now, all I wanna know is whether the pain of the past is of value today or do I need to revist it once more ala repetition compulsion. (Cannot resist metaphors; occupational hazard.) Do you know if my original innoculation remains in effect, WC?

  10. Liz says:

    No flu shot this year, didn’t get around to it. It wouldn’t cover current flu anyway, according to reports.

    It’s only a matter of time until something comes along and takes out a large chunk of humanity. Earth is kinda like a giant petri dish. Once the organisms outgrow available resources (even if a lot of them are wasted), bye-bye.

    Population controllers, rejoice!

    Sorry to be so cynical, but death happens to us all. Only a matter of time.

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