Monday, May 04, 2009

it ain't over necessarily

The public health pros at Effect Measure have it right. When you see a potential emergency like swine flu or H1N1 come along, you don't wait to see if it's bad. You act quickly.

Say you see a fire in a wastebasket in your house, near a curtain. How do you respond? Do you just wait, comfortable in your assumption that it will burn itself out without further damage? Or do you dash to smother it before it can get out of hand?

Well that's what public health people in Mexico, the US and elsewhere are doing. I think it is too much to call it "overreacting", even IF swine flu aka H1N1 turns out to be less effective at spreading and less lethal than initial reports indicated.

Remember, for public health, "When public health works, nothing happens." And that's a good thing.

In any case, another concern is that this will be a prequel to a resurgence of swine flu during the normal flu season. That does happen - see 1918-19.



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