Just to keep things in perspective

One news outlet, picked up in today’s Drudge Report, excitedly reports that, since 2003, 100 people have died worldwide from bird flu. Just to get a little perspective, the world population stands at 6,504,897,740. Even I, a math nincompoop, can figure out that the death rate is infinitesimally small (which is not to say that it can’t grow exponentially). Keep in mind that the annual number of flu deaths in America alone is about 36,000 people. So, 100 deaths or not, I’ve decided I’m not yet ready to panic.

Talking to Technorati:

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  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    The problem isn’t the death rate, but the incubation period. Or rather, the good news is the incubation period. Because we know that it spreads from chickens, it is easy to guarantee a town or a person affected. Presumably someone doens’t fly to 50 cities after visiting his farm every weekend.

    A high incubation period would mean that bird to human, then human to human contact, would take a lot longer to find out about. This gives the virus more time to spread before CDC guarantines the area. I don’t know the exact details, but regardless, the virus still has not mutated. And without a high incubation time, it won’t have enough hosts to mutate with.

  • erp

    Darn it BW. Getting you (and about a billion others) to panic is the whole point of these “bird” bulletins. As soon it the panic is full blown, we’ll find out how Bush can be held responsible. Please get with the program, the suspense of how Bush pulled this off is killing me.

  • William

    As I remember, 80,000 people died in an earthquake in Pakistan last year . . . right? Is there a vaccination for that?

  • John Hetman

    I am still in self-quarantine from Legionnaire’s Disease and the more recent great SARS pandemic that threatened mass extermination of mankind. Can I come out yet? Or is it better to wait down here with my bottled water and filtered air system?

  • erp

    John, You might as well come up and restock. While you were down there, you totally missed the mad cow disease mini-panic and if you stay down there too long, you might not be able to keep up as the panics keep coming hotter and faster as the 2008 election approaches.

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