Monday, 12 October 2009

Why all the interest?

I'd intended to start today on the coverage of the vaccine - but I need to get one thing off my chest first (if you'll pardon the flu analogy). Log on to any swine flu discussion on the net and there's always someone ranthing about how much coverage the subject is getting when "only 89 people have died" (and yes, we all acknowledge that a death toll of one is too many). The posters point out that 5,000 die each year from ordinary winter flu. So can I just remind everyone why the media is/are so interested in swine flu:

1. It's a pandemic. A global one. Rather than the more geographically-limited epidemics of winter flu

2. It's predicted that (worst-case scenario) 19,000 people could die.

The media can't start covering swine flu only when it gets to 5,001. The media needs to start educating and informing people now. That's why we should be interested in swine flu.

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