Streams

Swine Flu: Sorting Truth from Hyperbole

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mexican athletes wear face masks at the Nationals Olympics 2009 in Tijuana on April 26, 2009. The Mexican national games were canceled due to the outbreak of swine flu In Mexico. (Daniel Conejo, AFP/Getty)

Mexican athletes wear face masks at the Nationals Olympics 2009 in Tijuana on April 26, 2009. The Mexican national games were canceled due to the outbreak of swine flu In Mexico. (Daniel Conejo, AFP/Getty)

The swine flu outbreak in New York City is now at 28 confirmed cases and city health officials suspect 17 more. Mayor Bloomberg says the cases are confined to the students of Saint Francis Prep, in Fresh Meadows, Queens.

Students are believed to have been exposed to the swine flu virus while on a recent trip to Mexico. While the European Union has issued a travel advisory to Mexico, and to the United States, the mayor says people should not be afraid to visit.

Many New Yorkers are worried, as WNYC's Fred Mogul reports.

Brian Lehrer addresses the swine flu fears sweeping the nation in this morning's program. Listen to Lehrer's interviews with Anahad O'Connor, New York Times metro reporter, who describes New York's response to the outbreak and New York's Mexican Consul, Rubén Beltrán, who says his office has been busy fielding calls from local Mexicans about possible transmission of swine flu from travelers.

Student George Koutsothanasis stands in front of Saint Francis Preparatory School where he is a senior on April 27, 2009 in New York City. Saint Francis will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Student George Koutsothanasis stands in front of Saint Francis Preparatory School where he is a senior on April 27, 2009 in New York City. Saint Francis will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Lehrer continues his show with Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection & Immunity and professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, who offers his scientific expertise in explaining the swine flu outbreak.

John Hockenberry asks how this current outbreak compares to others throughout history on The Takeaway. He is joined by Philip Alcabes, professor of urban public health at Hunter College of the City University of New York, and the author of Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to Avian Flu.

Tags:

More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [5]

Swine Flu: What it Means for Travelers

[...] New Yorkers are being advised not to panic and to go about their normal routines, two schools where students have been diagnosed with flu have [...]

Jan. 18 2010 08:54 PM
jublez

I have been checking on this swine flu tracking website http://www.swine-flu-tracker.com/ on and off for the last couple of days now and its kinda scary seeing how it this strain of flu is spreading.

May. 01 2009 06:32 AM
Dean

nice one Jim, the voice of reason. I have seen people crying over the 'fear' that they might catch Swine Flu. Do the same people freak-out when a friend gets ...er...normal flu ? Of course not so why the scare mongering. F@cking sickens me. The media have ramped this up so much its ...oh I dunno, its crazy. We now have the govenmeant on board stoking the same fear. But thats their way isn't it - FEAR FEAR FEAR. Always works. You want some control, use our old friend FEAR. Create fear, control people. Sorry but I believe this is a crock of shit. Lets take Malaria or AIDS or...the list goes on. But theres now a level five on the pandemic scale or as they said on the news '1 below a pandemic'. Swine flu is easily treatable and I guess no more worrying than the flu I seem to get every 3 years or so. Theres 'Tamiflu' thats cheap and easy to get hold of.....

Sorry for the rant i'm just sick of this scare mongering. We'll all be here next week with the other 6.721 billion that live here.

Apr. 29 2009 04:17 PM
Mihai Danila

You're right; there's no reason to worry prematurely. But make no mistake: a pandemic is much easier to occur than we realize.

Apr. 28 2009 10:06 AM
Jim

The truth is that so far there have been almost 26,000 cases of influenza in the 50 states this influenza season. The influenza season is approaching its end. Most of these cases were caused by Types A and B viruses. The "swine" influenza, Type H1/N1 is no more harmful than either of these types. The fear is being stoked by the usual culprit (the media) but, in the case of the very late-season "swine" influenza outbreak, the WHO has joined the chorus of fear-mongers. Relax, people, I think we'll live through this one.

Apr. 28 2009 05:53 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.

Sponsored

Latest Newscast

 

 

Support

WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public

Feeds

Supported by