General Question

Judi's avatar

What's the real deal with swine flu?

Asked by Judi (39803points) August 26th, 2009 from iPhone

I was at my diet class last night, which is at a hospital.
The health educator said that 50% of the US will get it and that ⅓ of those who get it will die from it .
I find this hard to believe. That is 1/6 of the US population.
I think she had her facts wrong. What is the truth?

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29 Answers

MrGV's avatar

I didn’t hear anything about ½ of the infected would die.

dynamicduo's avatar

I have heard no facts of that proportion whatsoever. Here in Canada the government will be ordering 50 million doses of vaccine but even that’s not enough to convince me that the flu poses any risk to myself.

Furthermore, the statistics from the CDC don’t show any sort of correlation with what your health educator says.

The burden is on them to provide the proof for the claim they make, and if they cannot then I’m afraid they have no credibility as far as I’m concerned.

ragingloli's avatar

total crap
the annual flu epidemic kills more than the oh so dreadful swine fluther

casheroo's avatar

No, their prediction is 90,000 will die of it. And like 34–37,000 die a year from regular influenza.

Really, I do know the flu is serious. I had influenza at 13, and I was so so sick. But, I’m here today because of modern medicine. It will mainly hurt the elderly, and the young. They are also saying pregnant women, but I think the biggest concern is dehydration…which is easy to get when pregnant, old, or very young. when you are sick If you are healthy, I wouldn’t worry about getting it…it’ll complete suck and definitely get Tamiflu but rehydration and rest is usually all you need for the flu.

Judi's avatar

Maybe it is just a scare tactic to get hospital employees to wash their hands. She acted like the info came from the hospital. (she said ⅓ would die, not ½)

Judi's avatar

I have heard that this flu was harder on people with STRONG imune systems. Young adults were at higher risk.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

I think this whole thing is blown out of proportion.
My high school was waaay overcrowded (like almost 5000 kids by now) and by then someone should’ve gotten it and closed the school down.
But that’s just me…

rebbel's avatar

The Dutch government bought millions of Tamiflu doses, and decided recently to not give it to all people (when they get the flu), but only to vulnerable groups (like the elderly, pregnant women and infants) because the side-effects of the medicin are worse then the symptons of H1N1.
Here, sadly of course, “only” two persons died of it untill now and they were both already seriously ill.
Up to now, i feel more sick by the, imo, over-exposure by the media.

markyy's avatar

Actually that is ¼ if I’m correct. Don’t you just hate when someone that has to teach you stuff makes such an uninformed announcement. Reminds me of high school.

@rebbel I think that’s because we just don’t have enough for everyone (Rumours about expiration dates and some of the new shipment will arrive late, if we get what we ordered anyway). I probably wouldn’t take the medicine anyway.

kevbo's avatar

I wouldn’t claim to know the real deal on any aspect of this, but there’s a thread of discussion about healthy people being more at risk due to the possibility of a cytokine storm being caused by the virus.

It’s a shame there’s so much conflicting information.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

My opinion of it is that it is all hype to push fast-tracked, mass vaccinations and a sloppy and rushed health care bill through congress.

CMaz's avatar

Do not kiss a pig. Unless you love her/him.

avvooooooo's avatar

I think its an overblown scare tactic. The media has gotten into the habit of calling everything flu-like swine flu when its not accurate. Not every flu thing is swine flu. The World Health Organization has said that people are no longer required to report swine flu since there are other flu-like things, as well as regular run-of-the-mill seasonal flu that will start occurring shortly and people shouldn’t be mislead into thinking that seasonal flu is swine flu just because they have flu-like symptoms.

rebbel's avatar

@markyy August 3,according to we had 5 million doses, and the Minister of Health ordered 34 million in June.
It is also where i read about not giving it to everybody.

janbb's avatar

@shilolo Where are you? What do you have to say about it?

scamp's avatar

I think your health educator should check the stats at the CDC before saying anything. Rumors like the one she/he is spreading is what causes wide-spread hystreia, and she/he should know better.

I work for a huge bio-medical lab, and in recent weeks, calls have died down for testing. But I’m sure they will pick back up once kids are all back in school.

I’ve been keeping an eye on this because I am allergic to eggs, and cannot get a flu vaccine.

markyy's avatar

@rebbel Like I said it are rumors. But in all fairness I would have thought it would be less than 5 million. By the way, if I’m not mistaken, all of those 5 million are used in this vaccinating the first vulnerable groups (and leave some to distribute in the pharmacies). And yes I know we ordered a huge amount in June but it won’t be actually ready and shipped before the end of this year.

Anyway lets not focus on our small little country :)

Saturated_Brain's avatar

0.4% is the mortality rate given by the WHO, which is much less than the 16.6% given by your health educator.

She probably got ⅓ and 0.4% mixed up, although how she managed to do that mystifies me.

Plus, if that many people would die from swine flu, we’d see panic levels so high it would seem like an alien invasion movie.

Aethelwine's avatar

My daughter just started kindergarten and they had a parent meeting that discussed the possibility of the health department coming in an giving the children the vaccination. I’m not quite sure if I want my daughter to have it. Would any of you allow this for your children? Do I need to start a new thread?

janbb's avatar

I think if the health department was prepared to give my child a vaccine for it or if I was elderly and offered it, I would take it. They say that children and the elderly will be the most vulneralbe. I work with hundreds of young adults and I am concerned – not panicked by any means, but concerned.

scamp's avatar

@jonsblond I would be hesitant to allow any vaccine for my daughter until I (and the giver of the vaccine) knew about the possible risks.

When my daughter was young, they wanted to give her a new vaccine, and I asked about the risks involved. the nurse answered, “We haven’t had any problems with this.” I asked here how many vaccines they had given, and she answered… “None.” I walked out the door!

I found a few articles where people are very concerned about the swine flu vaccine.

Those links are information on the swine flu vaccine from people who oppose it. There is a book about vaccine dangers in general, but that would be a different topic, so it should probably be discussed in another thread.

Aethelwine's avatar

@scamp Thank you so much for the information!

scamp's avatar

You’re very welcome! :)

Darwin's avatar

When I was in elementary school, a friend of mine’s father died from the flu. He was an otherwise healthy 36 yo man. I have never underestimated influenza since then.

JLeslie's avatar

B@!lSH$t. I don’t believe 50% of us will get it and a high percentage will die. They are saying that most people over 65 probably are less likely to get it. Statistically, it is not killing high percentages of people now, so I don’t think that will change. It might be more deadly than the typical flu, but still, it isn’t going to kill 50% of the people who get infected. We still have to wait and see what happens unfortunately, we can;t know for sure how much it will spread.

Remember, don’t touch your face.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Here is a video of 60 Minutes on the swine flu. Im not sure when this show aired, but it covers the swine flu scare of 1976.

mattbrowne's avatar

As soon as the vaccinations starts the likelihood for dangerous mutations will decrease sharply. So far the bugger has remained relatively harmless. But the potential is there. We’ve been lucky.

Apart from some sensationalism the media did well informing the public. It wouldn’t have been a good idea to belittle the novel H1N1.

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