Friday, May 1, 2009



Pig germs that is.

*****This just in*****

I said you would all know more about this than I do and of course, you did. I've been left a comment by a new blogging friend who is currently under quarantine for the Swine flu. For news from the front lines, please read Crib Notes.

As a member of the medical community, I was bombarded yesterday with emails from hospitals, the health department, etc. regarding the swine flu.

I did a little research because I had visitors all day in my office and while I couldn’t get any real work done, I could entertain them with my opinions on the topic of the day: the swine flu and what I found is that in the US, swine flu symptoms don’t appear to be any worse than the seasonal influenza with which we are all acquainted.

My research which included the Center for Disease Control’s website tells me that an average of 36,000 people die each year in the United States from the flu. (Please pardon my laziness about linking but I’m sure you all know how to google) I was a little shocked by this number.

By contrast, we have 91 confirmed cases of the swine flu as of yesterday in the US. They are raising our Pandemic threat level, closing schools, and pharmacies are selling out of masks and anti-bacterial sanitizer. All this and the endless reports from the talking heads leaves me with one question. (or maybe a few more)

Why are we making such a fuss over the swine flu if it’s really no different than our average seasonal influenza? We don’t track that flu. We don’t panic each year at flu season. Is there something about the swine flu that we’re not being told? (I have a co-worker who has a conspiracy theory but then again, she’s a little over the top about these things) Either there is a missing link here or the CDC is just using this opportunity to practice for a bio-chemical warfare threat and getting the rest of us caught up in a frenzy in the process.

Any thoughts? Do you know something I don’t know? Well, of course you do.


Jan said...

I don't think it's so much the CDC creating the panic and hysteria as it is the media. Boy, they love to whip us in a frenzy.

As for me, I've decided to stop worrying about it. This morning I read (on a site that had been doing a great deal to whip me in a frenzy heretofore), that only 11 deaths, including the toddler in Houston, are confirmed as being swine flu. They have stopped calling it a potential pandemic and are now referring to it as an epidemic, are stating that the cases reported, as well as the deaths, in Mexico have not only leveled off but may have actually dipped in the last few days. They are reporting that it is not growing exponentially or geometrically as they had expected.

And it's no longer the top story on every freakin' news website I go to.

I guess I'll put off that subterranean fallout shelter a little bit longer.

only a movie said...

It does seem to be blown out of proportion. I am with snorkly kids all day and not too concerned. It makes sense to stay home if you have a fever, etc. Hmmm. Conspiracy theories crack me up - you should share!
SMB - I emailed you back the other day - just wanted to let you know.

Anonymous said...

I think it's finally something else to talk about other than the depressing economy so they are going to ride this one I'm just gonna go play some tennis :)

Beth Niquette said...

Ha! They've closed down a university near where I live because of on case of "suspected" swine flu.

I'm mystified by all this hoopla. I wonder if you aren't right--perhaps they're getting ready for some real threat of bio-chemical warefare. Nothing would surprise me.

And what better way to get to the United States, than through Mexico, where Mexican people pour over our borders every day?

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I had my flu shot a few months ago so am feeling fairly comfortable.

I Think somethignneeds to get done about our media though.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I really need to start chekcing my comments for typos....or not commenting until after my coffee is brewed.

Debbie said...

I too think the media has gone overboard on this one. I was with some friends last night and either people were joking about it or freaked out about it. Did you see Letterman last night? Reegis was on there, carrying his own large bottle of anti-bacterial gel in his coat pocket! It was pretty funny. We work at a Monetessori school and are used to washing our hands constantly. We have a few cases here in Maine and those schools and daycares are closed in those areas. It's a little crazy I think. No need to panic....if you get the flu...go to the doctor!

Duchess said...

Well, I'm watching it closely. Oxford University's plan is that if there's an official pandemic, with cases in Oxfordshire, we will all get sent home from work and get to stay home until it is all over!

So much the better if we get that extra vacation without anyone being all that sick... I say, bring on the panic!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Jan-I guess I should have also said that the flu in any form is no fun, can be quite dangerous and precautions should always be taken to avoid it. And if I'm going to post something, I should probably check the latest news...oops. But then I would be smart instead of just smart mouthed. *wink*

Got wine in that fall-out shelter?

Movie-She really is over the top in most things. Every time there is a hurricane off the coast of Africa, she is pleading with me to batten down the hatches and close the office.

MrsK-That's a fabulous idea.

BethN-Have you ever heard of them closing a school for our seasonal flu?

Pseudo-Not to add fuel to the fire but I'm told the flu vaccine didn't include the swine flu strain. EEK

Oh and no worries, I'm fluent in typos. I text with MLS and she has an iphone and texts without her glasses. LOL

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Debbie-Actually if you suspect you are a victim of the swine flu, they don't want you at the doctors but to instead send a specimen to the lab and lock yourself in at home until results are in.

Duchess-You really are clever. I think I shall change teams and vote for panic. I could use the time off.

Auntie, aka Dog Girl said...

Hey there girl,
I think the word PANDEMIC sounds scary...
And the media is going crazy with this.
BTW, when I hear the word PANDEMIC, I think of frying PAN.
Let's throw a couple PORK chops in a hot pan. mmmmmmm!

Erin Moore said...

This is craziness. Americans are funny, funny, creatures - aren't we?

We have no problem with the thousands of people dying every month from easily preventable diseases like malaria, but we're in a state of panic over 91 people with the flu.

I love America, but sometimes I really hate our preoccupation with nonsense.

Glad to hear your voice of reason after sifting through mounds of junk e-mail about the SF.

Lo said...

just to be safe, since i'll be traveling in two weeks to florida, i got a prescription for tameflu. or wahtever that's called. just a precaution. i feel fairly safe. i don't see what all the fuss is about... at first i was all flipped out. now i'm fine. it does scare me, tho, the thought that they're using this as their test run. hwere's my fallout shelter????

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, or holy pig, are we on the same wavelength today or what???

Anonymous said...

They can't threaten with the terrorist/Al Queda thingie all the time now... guess they needed something new to panic us about. Oh Brother!

The Blue Ridge Gal

Debbie said...

I find it confusing too. Of course, with the regular flu, we don't usually hear about so many deaths in such a short period of time, do we? I'm not panicking, but I am worried about our elderly family members.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I swear to GOD I don't know anything! Please don't torture me..ok?

Gaston Studio said...

I definitely think it's the media taking it over the top and I agree with Pseudo that something should be done about the media... I do my part by not watching/reading those that are sensational (which is pretty much of of the TV ones).

Oz Girl said...

I've been of the personal opinion that this has been blown out of the water from the get-go. The media is just over the top sometimes. Ridiculous.

OH, and if you want to linky my recent post WASTE NOTes in your next Money in the Bank post, I'm honored. :)

Hit 40 said...

I think what makes it bad is... no one has ever had this strain of flu in the U.S.

So... no one is immune to it. We may all get sick at once. This could overwhelm the health system.

LOL the pig pic!!! I am seen a couple jokes about pigs flying and fat lady singing (Rosaenne) So... is the end near???

Fragrant Liar said...

Yes, it's a mad, mad, mad world. ;)

midlife slices said...

Gaw....I get to this party late and see you've been talking about my stupendous texting without glasses skills.

I'm the BEST, right? Tell them.

I can text, drive, talk, and chew gum at the same time so what's the big deal if I text something about washing my hairy butt when I really meant that I had to go wash my hair AND GET my butt on the road. What's so hard to understand about that????? grrr....

smiles4u said...

I too think it's crazy and I said from the beginning that the media was going to have a hay day with this and they surely have. It doesn't do any good to get people so hysterical and scared.

Breathe said...

I posted a note on my blog we got from an ER doc in our area (epicenter for the H1N1...

tera said...

I've been telling people the same thing for days and days!

I suspect it is an attempt to get people off the topic of the stupid "fly by" of Air Force 1 in NY and the bailouts and some of the other things that are ticking people off these days.

Fragrant Liar said...

I guess you saw my friend Winter's blog about the letter she got from her doctor about the H1N1 virus. I think the next couple of days will be really telling, if all that's true.

Anybody else reading this, go to: regarding what the media is NOT saying -- YET -- about this virus.

thyme said...

I think I am going to say what everyone else did .... parents overprotectiveness for germs ultimately makes kids more vulnerable, and the same thing must go for viruses. We all know the stories of native Indians being felled by the European "common cold".. my opinion is spread it around, that wwill be the quickest way to protect everyone in the long run.

But I don't think it is chemical warfare, they did the same with bird flu, and I guess they did not know, this thing could be worse.

erin said...

I'm in Western PA in a suburbish town north of Pittsburgh and our Elementary School sent home a notice about the dangers of swine flu and how it can be prevented.
'Wash your hands, don't send your children to school if they have flu-like symptoms.'
Are you kidding me? That's our defense against this so called pandemic? They should have never bothered sending the stupid letter out in the first place.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Auntie-The pigs around here have four legs. Isn't that against your rule? *wink*

Erin-Things must look very different from your perspective.

Lo-Have a great time in Florida. Are you going to see the Mouse? I really was joking when I said they were practicing for something more serious.

C&B-Clear proof that great minds think alike. Did you see Tessa's?

Di-After reading Breathe's post, I feel a bit better about all the fuss. At least there is some info to the difference.

Debbie-What I find astonishing is that we don't hear about flu deaths at all. 36,000 a year! That's a lot.

Mona-Just keep decorating, Mona. You're much better off. *Muaaah*

Jane-But if we don't get our news from television, where do we get it? I don't have time to read the paper. Too many blogs to read. LOL

OG-I've got a post in the works. Consider yourself linked. Hopefully this weekend but ACK things are gettin out of control so who knows.

H40-I guess immunity is the key or lack thereof. We have had it here in the US before. But not on this level. Isolated cases only, I believe. (tho, I'm starting to wonder who you can trust when doing a little research)

Liar-That it is!

MLS-You are the best. And yes, she tells the truth. Hairy butt and all! LOL

Smiles-We just have to be smart, not in a panic and not over-react.

Breathe-Thank you for your link and info. This is the first I've heard of anyone giving the difference of SF. As you can see, you're linked.

Tera-I think the media will find anything they can sensationalize and then proceed to overkill the story. Grrrr. Oh and might I add that they often forget to get the facts.

Liar-Yes, I did and I linked her. *smile*

thyme-I think you misunderstood me. I didn't say I thought it is bio-chemical warfare, I joked that they were using this as an opportunity to prepare for that type of threat.

erin-Amen. If that's their plan. LOL

jlo said...

Thanks for the shout out!

And swine flu...yes, if I'm not going to die from it, what's the big deal?

Debra said...

First of all, I got your joke!
;-) I really don't understand the hoopla with this.

♥ Braja said...

I have no idea what this swine thing is, but I do know the medical alarms are so excessive...

Reader Wil said...

Well it's anew variety of the old flu and I never panic. Sometimes I get the flu and I always survive and never call the doctor. The food poisoning, which I got in Egypt was a lot worse and took much longer to disappear. Thanks for your post, which is as always witty.Thank you for visiting my blog. The Queen went today to a hospital to see some of the victims, the Crownprince and his wife Maxima to another hospital, and the queen's sister Margaret visited a third hospital.
The parents of the driver were in shock and very sorry for what their son did.He must have been at the end of his tether. They get psychological help like all the relatives of the victims.

Tricia said...

It's all sounding pretty asinine to me...and the whole idea of rushing to market with a vaccine that they won't even have used in clinical trials for very long makes me a little crazy. We won't be standing in that line, that's for sure.

If you can ignore the conspiracy theory part, which makes me itch, this article was really interesting,

Beth said...

The H1N1 has been fondly called the hiney virus in our home.

Vodka Mom said...

thank God I don't usually get sick.

oink oink.

Dave said...

The levels of alert make me snicker! I heard that Canada was at a "4". Last I checked "4" is small, yet the media bombards us with scales and colours of alerts.
It is, as you say, no more serious than a simple, but strong flu.
I hope the media finds something else to whip us up soon. Panic is not what we need at this time.

Blasé said...

You have very large pictures...with high definition..

Smart Mouth Broad said...

jlo-You're welcome and Congrats again.

Debra-Time will tell, I guess.

Braja-You've got enough to worry about without swine flu. Take care of you. Hugs.

Wil-Thanks for the update. My heart goes out to your country and their loss.

Tricia-Thanks for the the info. I will check it out.

Beth-Hiney virus. I love it!

Vodka-I bet you've built up quite an immunity living with all those 5 yo germs. Oink, oink!

Dave-Panic is never good but I guess we should be glad that this is our concern now instead of something worse.

Blase-Thank you or I'm sorry. I really have no idea if that was a complaint or a compliment. I'd love to know which.

Tessa said...

Really no point in me commenting, is there? You know what I (and Winnie the pooh) think of pig flu! LOL. Screw the media - they love something to write blaring headlines about, especially if they can get the great unwashed all riled up and crazy.

I had bacon for breakfast this morning, with poached eggs. That's the pig and the bird; maybe I'll go and nibble on TFH's ear to add human strain and I'll have had the H1N1 trifecta!

Anonymous said...