|This CNN article reports that an estimated 57 million Americans have contracted swine flu, resulting in 257,000 hospitalizations and may (extra emphasis on may) have killed as many as 17,000 people. Only 2,498 deaths due to the H1N1 virus are confirmed, but the CDC is estimating that it has killed as many as 15,000 more people.|
First of all, what? There are less than 3,000 confirmed deaths linked to a disease, but you are saying that it has actually killed more than 5 times as many people? If this were the African bush and our diagnosis techniques were straight out of the 19th century, I could see the need for such heavy estimation. But I’d like to think that doctors in America, with some of the most advanced equipment and training in the world, could tell if an extra 15,000 people had died from a particular disease.
Secondly, lets look closer at the numbers. With 57 million possible cases of swine flu, a quarter of a million resulted in hospitalizations. That means that if you got H1N1, you had a 0.45% chance of needing to pay a visit to your local hospital, which is less than half of one percent! Furthermore, under the highest estimation, the swine flu had a 0.0298% mortality rate, which is less than 3 hundredths of one percent. In reality, 0.004% of cases have resulted in death, or 1 in every 22,818 people. I don’t intend to belittle those who have passed as a result of this virus, but the H1N1 is no more dangerous than the regular seasonal flu. We have been sold on the idea of this bug ending humanity or stopping civilization in it’s tracks or whatever. These heavy estimations seem more like the CDC poorly covering their tracks for their over the top propaganda than actual data.