So, while I'm sure this may surprise some, I am, in spite of my lack of formal study in the field, greatly interested in epidemic disease.
And thus it is, that the current Swine Flu bit fascinates me so.
The 1918 Influenza Pandemic was an amazing disease.... its death toll was of the sort that beggars the imagination.
And while none of the data thus far make this look like a repeat of 1918 as such, it is still fascinating.
The WHO website hasn't seen this much traffic in ages. And with things like the Pandemic Alert Level moving from Stage 4 to 5, the temptation to go a little crazy is there, no mistake.
But rather than letting this phase me much, I'm taking a perhaps not entirely healthy interest in watching how things pan out.
As of 6PM, Greenwich Meridian Time, the flu has been reported in nine countries. Here in the United States, we have 91 confirmed laboratory cases, with one death.
Mexico has seven verified deaths linked to the H1N1 virus.
The WHO's advice on this is as follows-
"WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.
There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness."
While this is interesting- and not to be ignored- wash your damned hands and don't fucking panic.
God bless the information age, when college students in Pig's Knuckle Arkansas can worry about flu cases in New Zealand.