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Swine Flu Deaths Vs. Regular Flu Deaths

Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 08:32 AM EDT

After reading that a young man in Indiana died from what looks to be Swine Flu, and as regrettable as this is, does anyone bother to check what the normal flu does? At the end of April of this year, regular flu had been a factor in the deaths of over 13,000 people.

While new flu strains will evolve (or if you live in Texas or Utah, God changes the flu for whatever magical reason). These new strains could become a health care nightmare, but the fact that the regular flu kills tens of thousands seems to be almost unnoticed. This is not to say that a new flu strain with the potential to infect and kill untold numbers isn’t something to worry about, but it seems as if we all ignore the things that will actually kill us for whatever new and shiny disease/problem/weapon/terrorist that the news is pushing.

And that just seems a bit short sighted. Even looking at the staggering numbers killed by the Spanish Flu in 1918 (25 million + worldwide), the flu itself was often not the killer, but secondary bacterial pneumonia was. While medicine today would be better able to handle this, if a true pandemic broke out, lets face it, the “for-profit, run hospitals and everything health related as cheaply as possible” thinking leaves us wide open to massive deaths, and a system that would all too easily crumble under the burden of a true pandemic disease.

But hey, it is not like the health care industry cares if we live or die now, they sure as heck wouldn’t start caring during a pandemic (or to them, negative growth quarter). I’m sure they’d make some nice commercials though, saying how we are all in this together, and as we are watching these commercials they would be finding ways to dump as many sick people as they could.