Free Markets, Free People
Seasonal flu kills 36,000 every year
Not to talk down the seriousness of the situation with the “swine flu,” but 13,000 people have died from seasonal influenza since January:
An outbreak of swine flu that is suspected in more than 150 deaths in Mexico and has sickened dozens of people in the United States and elsewhere has grabbed the attention of a nervous public and of medical officials worried the strain will continue to mutate and spread.
Experts are nervous that, as a new strain, the swine flu will be harder to stop because there aren’t any vaccines to fight it.
But even if there are swine-flu deaths outside Mexico — and medical experts say there very well may be — the virus would have a long way to go to match the roughly 36,000 deaths that seasonal influenza causes in the United States each year.
Since January, more than 13,000 people have died of complications from seasonal flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on the causes of death in the nation.
No fewer than 800 flu-related deaths were reported in any week between January 1 and April 18, the most recent week for which figures were available.
Let’s put things into perspective for a moment. The swine flu scare is something to be concerned about, but it’s not a reason to cook up asinine conspiracy theories or use the public’s fear to advance your big government agenda.