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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Swine flu: Why are nearly all deaths in the developing world?

Here is my most recent MercatorNet column:

Now that the World Health Organization has declared swine flu (virus H1N1) a pandemic, their first since 1968’s Hong Kong flu, we might consider how it emerged.

But first -- Panic Alert: [nonsense avoidance]: People who are not already frail will probably be sick for about 48 hours if they get swine flu. They will not likely die. Symptoms are typical flu symptoms. When visiting anyone in frail health, please observe all sanitary precautions that medical authorities advise, especially if the frail person is in a hospital already. Shouldn’t that tell us something?

So let’s not panic. The main message is, in a global society, we cannot have completely different health standards on the same continent. Now let’s talk about two cities -- Mexico City and Winnipeg, Canada, where the virus was first identified.

Health care differs greatly between the two. In Winnipeg, every sick person — rich or poor — just goes to “the hospital,” and is examined by a nurse practitioner and/or a physician who can order lab tests and a ward bed -- in an isolation unit, if necessary. It’s all tax-supported, so no one goes bankrupt using the system.

But it is all different in Mexico.

Yes, it is a tale of the difference between Canada and Mexico. Read more here.

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