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to think that if the media didn't make a big drama out of swine flu there'd be a lot less hysteria?

(129 Posts)
spicemonster Fri 17-Jul-09 20:34:54

You're as likely to die from swine flu as you are from ordinary flu according to Professor Azra Ghani, an epidemiologist at Imperial:

"Our best estimate, based on the cases that come to the health system is around 1 in 200 (deaths) at a maximum which is very similar to the estimate you would see for seasonal influenza but that doesn't take into account many of those milder infections where individuals may stay off for a few days or not display any symptoms at all."

So not very likely at all. And yet we have people jamming NHS Direct lines, flooding their GPs' surgeries and hysterically avoiding wedding/M&T groups/any other group occasion.

Now, while I want to shout 'get a grip' at them, AIBU to think that the media hysterically reporting that someone has died is massively contributing to this mass panic? If they reported every single death from flu every winter, there'd be just as much panic, surely.

It makes me really, really cross.

LuluMaman Fri 17-Jul-09 20:35:49



onepieceoflollipop Fri 17-Jul-09 20:38:05

I am tending to agree with you spicemonster.

I personally think that it must increase the worry for people who already have conditions such as asthma which make it more likely that swine flu will be more serious should they contract it.

There should be more balance (imo). Yes, people need to know the risks, how to prevent the spread of flu etc, but I do feel that some parts of the media are being over dramatic.

I am avoiding looking at headlines etc at the moemnt. Prof Ghani (from what you say anyway) seems to have a more balanced opinion.

Doodle2u Fri 17-Jul-09 20:39:24


Same about the 'Credit Crunch' & Recession.....shut the fuck up and we'll all start feeling confident a damn sight quicker!

fannybanjo Fri 17-Jul-09 20:40:03


<waves at Lulu> smile

LuluMaman Fri 17-Jul-09 20:41:19

hi fanny !! i text you t'other day, did you get it? hope you are well xxxxxx

poppy34 Fri 17-Jul-09 20:41:28

A post after my own heart yanbu

fannybanjo Fri 17-Jul-09 20:42:11

You are sort of NBU BUT have to be honest, my father has a serious heart condition and my Mum is terrified of him catching Swine Flu as your risk of catching pneumonia from it is higher if you already have a serious condition. So it may be okay for all us healthy folk to snort at the hysteria but for people who have it hard every day of their lives, the risk of catching it is pretty frightening.

fannybanjo Fri 17-Jul-09 20:42:59

I posted that before I thought about it

Lulu - I didn't get it!???

poppy34 Fri 17-Jul-09 20:43:14

The BBC medical bloke does a blog which is pretty sensible. Trouble is it's more indicative of the general level of sensationalist journalism around - sky, gmtv etc etc

fannybanjo Fri 17-Jul-09 20:44:26

Lulu I will start a thread on chat for us... grin

LuluMaman Fri 17-Jul-09 20:47:05


used2bthin Fri 17-Jul-09 20:47:15

I agree the media are making this feel very scary but I am also one of the people who is very worried. Yes normal flu can be just as deadly but those at risk would often be vaccinated against it (like my DD).

spicemonster Fri 17-Jul-09 20:47:41

But that's my point fannybanjo (love that name ) - if you're health-compromised in any way, then yes, it's alarming. In the same way as ordinary flu is alarming. But we don't get flooded with threads every winter saying 'AIBU not to take my baby to [insert event] in case someone has flu' do we? Flu is nasty, it can kill but only if you have underlying health problems. I was talking to someone yesterday who was told not to bring their DD into nursery today because she had a bit of a cough yesterday! World's gone mad angry

fannybanjo Fri 17-Jul-09 20:49:35

Then YANBU spicemonster - I think epidemic/pandemics bring out the worst in hypochondriacs!

daftpunk Fri 17-Jul-09 20:50:01

op; 1 in 200 will die? that corrrect?

foxinsocks Fri 17-Jul-09 20:52:22

I don't know spicemonster.

I remember when SARS was about to explode onto the scene and people were very worried. Same with major flu outbreaks.

We haven't had a widespread flu outbreak for a very long time.

onepieceoflollipop Fri 17-Jul-09 20:53:53

I wondered that, 1:200 is a very large number of people, especially if a large percentage of the population are expected to get swine flu (either mildly or more seriously)

OP, can you just confirm that figure please. If it's correct, then I am more worried tbh.

treedelivery Fri 17-Jul-09 20:55:08

As a woman who just had to ring around a whole load of mums of children under 4 and declare my swiney ways - I can say that I was met with nothing but sense and practicality.

So the media has failed in my neck of the woods - hurrah!

That said I am avoiding a family member who would do very well to avoid the flu, so in that respect the media has done a good job.

foxinsocks Fri 17-Jul-09 20:55:56

yes, I've read that statistic (1 in 200) which is similar to 'normal' flu I believe.

The difference here being how many people are likely to catch swine flu as opposed to normal flu.

(e.g. I've only ever had 'normal' flu once in my whole life!)

foxinsocks Fri 17-Jul-09 20:57:20

says 1 in 200 severe cases of swine flu may end in death

so not 1 in 200 of everyone who gets it I take it

daftpunk Fri 17-Jul-09 20:59:46

fox; 1 in 200 is very high....[worried]

(i've never had "normal" flu)

wannaBe Fri 17-Jul-09 20:59:58

I knew someone who wouldn't go to her local chinese restaurant because of fear of sars. hmm

spicemonster Fri 17-Jul-09 21:00:00

But foxinsocks - I remember when Beijing flu was happening (I got it). It was horrid but there wasn't mass panic, well not on the level there is now. And what I find really annoying/shocking/frankly distasteful about it is that people, like used2thebin's DD are not being vaccinated because there's just an absurd stampede which is causing our healthcare services to grind to a halt, putting those most at risk at even greater risk.

Here's some more info:

Flu expert Professor Peter Openshaw, of Imperial College London, says about one in every three people who become infected will not realise they have had swine flu because they will have had no or only very few symptoms.

"About 98% of people who get infected will recover fully without any hospital treatment so I think the public needs to be reassured."

"To put the scares in perspective, about half-a-million people die from common flus in an average year.

More than a million die on the roads. But governments are often more easily moved to tackle a short-term crisis than a long-term crisis, and on-going situations like road deaths don't register as news."

Still worried?

onepieceoflollipop Fri 17-Jul-09 21:04:24

We had this discussion at work the other day (about the highish proportion of people having it without realising)

My dd1 had cold type symptoms but her temp wasn't massively high. She had been at her sports day in very hot conditions and I suspected she had had a touch of heatstroke on top of a cold. (I even posted on here I think on a thread about suncream/heatwave at schools or some such similar thread) I do wonder now if it was mild swine flu. My nurse manager had similar (he wasn't in contact with my dd btw). He said it was like a cold but he felt odd.

I did keep dd off because she wasn't well enough to attend school, and also in the back of my mind I wondered if it was swine flu. We'll never know, and fortunately she doesn't have any underlying health conditions.

Surely I am not the only one who knows more than one person who may well have had it?

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