Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Good News and Bad News About Swine Flu

The good news: It wasn't as bad as first feared. Yes, it is still out there and is still killing people, but not at the rate first suspected in Mexico. And while there are still fears of it mutating somehow, those are not yet a major concern. In short, there wasn't a disaster.

The bad news: The outbreak tested the international response to a pandemic, and the results were not good. Despite efforts to educate and quarantine, the flu spread rapidly through the international population. It's even popped up in Kuwait among US soldiers. If this had been a more serious strain of flu, the world economy would have been shattered by this outbreak.

While the flu is still dangerous, what we really should be fearing now is complacency that the systems in place will do the job if there is another outbreak. We have to hope that the various health administrations learn from this event and fix the problems in the system, so if the big bad flu ever hits, it won't be the end of everything.