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back to article Pig plague 2.0: Can't spell 'pandemic' without 'panic'

The internet has responded to the absolutely positively inevitable pandemic of swine flu with typical restraint and a decent sense of proportion, providing everything from context-sensitive maps to an iPhone application for those preparing to flee for the hills. The irksome fact that the majority of people who contract the new …

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Pirate

thanks

i just want to say thank you for some wonderful reporting over the years. Now all I can do is sit in the office waiting for the end. Damn you pigs, Damn you all to hell!

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Dead Vulture

Ah balance at last

Given the hysteria on the other side, obviously we need to balance that with the opposite - complete dismissiveness.

It wouldn't do just to write an objective summary of the facts. It's not a journalists job to report facts! He's there to get ad revenue via eyeballs!

Your analysis is pat and lazy anyway. It is reported that all the deaths have been people aged 20-50, which kind of rules out the idea that the deaths can be handwaved off because of course old people die of flu. Sorry, none of them were old. But why let the facts get in the way of a lazy hack getting his liquid lunch early?

Head over to the BBC's Have Your Say; at least they do some analysis of the deaths (e.g. suggesting they may be more due to Mexico's poor standard of living rather than the deadliness of the flu per se).

People were right. The media is going to die, and be replaced by user discussion. That's the only place any intelligent ideas are being discussed about swine flu right now. Oh yes, 95% of discussion posts are moronic, but the other 5% contain more insight than the entire mainstream media combined.

BTW, flu "even kills the healthy when combined with other diseases", does it?

I might suggest that someone with "other diseases" hardly counts as "healthy".

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Linux

Actually I'm more worried about the super flu

Seems the symptoms are that you feel perfectly fine....

Hey I feel perfectly fine NOW!!!

Nurse!

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Happy

I think the real issue here we can all agree is...

Does it turn people into zombies?

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Stop

Unwarranted Cynicism

Your cynical tone over this surprises me. This is a serious risk to health which urgently needs a government database and draconian new laws if they are to keep us, sorry "it", under control.

O

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Anonymous Coward

Please, please please.... !

Swine Flu....

Please can we have "Piggin contagious" ?

http://www.xystos.co.uk/Piggin/browse.aspx?category=10

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Bronze badge

artistic comment

http://xkcd.com/574/

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lightened my day

Very amusing, good show

"coughs" "splutters"

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Happy

Shut...Down...Everything

I'll be just fine here in Madagascar.

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Paris Hilton

No lasting harm

I got Pig Flu - didn't do much harm to me, just made my tail go curly...

Paris, 'cos she's a simple remedy...

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I say...

...pigs arse!

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Pirate

May I be the first to say...

W'ALL GON' DIE!!

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Bronze badge

Very good!

Yep sounds about right, the sheeple will panic because the various Daily Mail like media agencies around the world are telling them to.

The thing to bear in mind is who is dead and what was their health like when they died, prior to catching this infection? Were they immune from things like flu? If you live in a country with relatively poor health care and you have very little experience with flu/cold like diseases and infections surely these are big factors in what is happening?

Sitting here with a stinking cold, but then again I spent last week riding my bike 15 miles a day in ever increasingly cold weather, sweating like crazy so I am not at all surprises, definatley not bothering my GP, I have asthma too which makes any cold a major pain the wotnot!

Two cases in Scotland a pandemic does not make!

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Blog

The Grauniad even has a SwineFluBlog: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/apr/27/swine-flu

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Great article

I was wondering how long it would take for a scathing article from El Reg and this does not disappoint.

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Coat

I for one ...

... welcome our new viral, swine-flu overlords.

(Well, someone had to!)

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Coat

Fear-branding

While the Meeja(tm) continue to push this out as an apolcalyptic SWINE FLU MURDER DEATH KILL scenario, fear and panic (and unit sales) will increase.

Let's re-brand it the 'Wiggy-sniffles' - see how much interest that generates...

Mine's the one with the Tamiflu blister-pack in the pocket.

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Joke

Only kills young Mexicans?

Makes one wonder whether the drug cartels are using this as cover...

"Never mind the bullet hole in the back of their head Mr Policeman - there's a used Kleenex in their hand."

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Joke

Pig?

So does this mean the flu is being spread to non-muslims only? Or can they catch it too?

We need to contact The Sun so they can run an exposé on Mr Hook Hand, cos it's bound to all be down to him.

The headline could read: Hooky's Ham Fisted Attempt To Infect The World.

Also, See Page 3 Idol Contestants in their surgical masks!

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Boffin

It's OK, Broon says so!

From the Grauniad RSS:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/28/swine-flu-mexico1

"Swine flu 'can no longer be contained'"

"The prime minister, Gordon Brown, who will join a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee chaired by health secretary Alan Johnson today, said he would take "all urgent action necessary" to try to halt the virus,

Brown said he understood the "very real concern" of Britons but added that the UK was among the best prepared countries in the world."

So just like the UK being best positioned to weather the recession, we are reassured by our totally trustworthy and believable Prime Mentalist.

Time to stock up on Beechams and Hemlock as plan B, merthinks.

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Anonymous Coward

From one of the fora I frequent

The guts of a comment was:

There actually is a very, very small chance that this virus could cause severe illness and whenever this occurs hospitalization and even fatalities are reported. The likelihood of a pandemic is miniscule, but newspapers, governments agencies and the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals do their best work and make their biggest sales when people are scared.

Tamiflu is recommended for treatment and prevention of this influenza virus. The company which gets the drug's royalties (Gilead) has as a major stockholder--previously Chairman--one Donald Rumsfeld. Local pharmacies are already running low on Tamiflu. Connect the dots.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/governmentFilingsNews/idUKN2445216420090424

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/tamiflu.asp

http://money.cnn.com/2005/10/31/news/newsmakers/fortune_rumsfeld/

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE53O17O20090425

http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=200904251215dowjonesdjonline000319

And watch out for this:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/health-illness/treatment/medicine/medications/tamiflu-psych.htm

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Coat

Hmmm

So, what kind of DPS does this disease do? I need to know what kind of level of regen to cast in prep.

/kills self

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Coat

I remember...

The last time we had Swine Flu in Ireland it was called Blue Flu...

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Thumb Up

Hooray

For the sensible voice of reason. I thought the (other) media were told off for scare mongering over bird flu? Seems they haven't learnt their lesson.

Meanwhile, back at Whitehall bad news is being buried....

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Alert

its the end of the world as we know it

and i feel fine...

i think, cough hack splutter

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Twixt two stools

Okay there's no need for hysteria - yet (possibly). But...

It's worth remembering that this is the virus that caused the 1918-19 pandemic and it has shown itself to be capable of human -> human transmission. What is absolutely crucial is finding out how deadly it is. At the moment the figures from Mexico City suggest a relatively high level of mortality, whereas it's produced relatively minor symptoms elsewhere. What we need to know is how many infections there have been in Mexico and if the deaths are in excess to normal 'flu. Of course there's an outside possibility there are two forms going around.

And even if this is a relatively benign virus, it is clearly capable of spreading through the human population. It will continue to mutate and reassort as it passes through humans and pigs (and possibly birds), which means we're getting yet another warning that pandemic 'flu is a real threat - how many more warnings do we need before we start planning for them?

BTW. Whales can catch the 'flu virus - can you imagine how much snot they produce???

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Joke

@No lasting harm

Errr I misread that as "No lasting ham..."

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Coat

But .....

Has anyone studied the difference between boars and sows with the pig 'flu?

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there is a known cure

simply a matter of applying the correct oinkment

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Silver badge

Speaking of the Twitts

xkcd got there yesterday...

http://www.xkcd.org/574/

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I beleive the expert on PM on Monday...

..it will either get worse or it will get better, that is if it doesn't stay the same.

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Linux

Summat odd about this one

I heard on the news that it's killed only relatively fit people between 25 and 45.

Not the usual youngsters, oldies and those with respiratory complaints.

Woohoo - I'm in the clear! That'll show you fit young bu66ers!

Film/Book to watch/read whilst you wait for the end of civilisation as we know it.

The Stand - Stephen King

you'll find it on Amazon.

That is all.

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@The Fuzzy Wotnot

"sheeple"

I normally abhor internet contractions but this one is really good. I suspect in many sheeple's pockets, you will find a copy of the Daily Fail.

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Anonymous Coward

Media over hyping isn't helpful

but neither are articles like this.

Even if it isn't fatal in small numbers in western nations with decent health systems, it's still airborne, highly infectious and a very nasty flu.

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But....

... how is it going to affect house prices?

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Gordon to the rescue

"The prime minister, Gordon Brown, who will join a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee chaired by health secretary Alan Johnson today, said he would take "all urgent action necessary" to try to halt the virus,"

Just like you took all action necessary to halt the banking 'crises', by spending 3 generations worth of tax contributions.

Ah yes, well done Gordon. Your plan is brilliant. Deflect attention from the recession. Gordon's coming to save us from certain death.

You're my hero Gordon.

Not.

Fail.

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Anonymous Coward

That was quick

And Oz doesn't even have any confirmed cases yet!

http://www.smh.com.au/world/new-powers-to-tackle-swine-flu-20090428-akuk.html

How long before police and "health authorities" get sweeping new powers to inspect a person's home to see if sick people are being secretly harboured?

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Anonymous Coward

1918 pandemic?

I seem to remember a suggestion on a TV documentary that the 1918 pandemic had been proceded by a milder version of the same strain.

The suggestion being that the milder strain had primed the immune response increasing the chance for the Cytokine storm and hence been instrumental in increasing the fatality rate.

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Black Helicopters

Beware...

Those that survive will have to stay indoors at night,

lest they be killed by the brain-eating chair-throwing Pigmen.

-------

Pigmen Jerry! Pigmen!

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Silver badge

Watch...

For HM Govt to try sneaking some bad news out whilst everyone is running about in a flu panic...

Oh no, I just sneezed....I DON'T WANNA DIE!

Oh hang on, it's hay fever...

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Go

Gonna buy a dinghy...

Gonna sail her to Madagascar before they shut...down...everything.

Can hold a couple more, BYOB.

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Joke

Someone has to say it

YOU DIRTY SWINE!!!

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Pirate

OK, so what if ...

... it kills 10% or more of the world's population over the next couple of years? Would that be such a bad thing after it's all over? I mean, we'd achieve emissions reduction targets for sure. Houses would be cheaper. Buses and the Tube wouldn't be as crowded. Less need to elbow your way to the bar at the pub. And the queue for the ladies would be a bit shorter. There's always a bright side.

(/me Briefly wonders what it would be like if Sarah and I were the last two people on Earth ....)

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Black Helicopters

RE: Ah balance at last

"I might suggest that someone with "other diseases" hardly counts as "healthy"."

I disagree with this - I think when used, the word 'disease' creates the image of someone struggling their way through normal life, like an unfortunate, leprosy-ridden soul preparing to succumb to their fate. Perhaps if the correct terminology was used, such as the word 'condition' instead, it would be more true to fact.

Having been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 21 years, I am completely 'healthy', although my 'condition' means that , were I to catch flu, I would be more at risk of complications.

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Heart

Have to admit

This sounds like a useful purpose for Twitter. Just write an infinite loop to post to their feed: "Don't panic"

Once the message is in tweet form, I'm sure people will pay attention. Gotta love web 2.0 - it beats the heck out of thinking.

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Coat

er...

Much as the cynicism in this snoutbreak is probably justified it's also worth keeping an eye on the quality news sources (not Twatter) for information about pigageddon. If this does turn out to be the aporkalypse then you will feel pretty silly having pignored the warning signs.

Jokes aside these things take a while to develop so let's not dismiss it yet, but let's not panic either.

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@IndianaJ

Very true.

Wonder what tax we're going to be hit with to keep the bankers in the lifestyle they have become accustomed to while robbing us blind both before and after banks sunk and had to be bailed out by you and I

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Joke

But...

...what happens when ManBearPig gets the swine flu?

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Pan (dem) ic

Pan (dem) ic .. Odd.. Those dem's are in the middle of a panic.

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The Playmobil angle...

Just spotted in a comment on Radio 4's PM Blog (author: RxKaren):

Periodically throughout the past 5 years health and social care providers (PCTs, Hospitals, Social Services, Councils, etc) have got together for tabletop exercises where they pretend that there's been a disaster and shuffle the Playmobil figures around to cope with the crisis to see where the gaps in the current provision are. I've been told that it's a bit like Time Commanders without the fancy graphics and satellite view. Apparently they're quite good fun (I've never been on one).

(Additionally, since there's been discussion of potential new comment icons, how about a Playmobil one?)

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