Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Ghost of Swine Flu Past

Jacob Goldstein over at WSJ's Health Blog recalls the swine flu "non-pandemic in 1976" and says the experience is relevant today.

"That year, more than 200 soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J., came down with the swine flu, and one died. Wary of a 1918-style pandemic, the Ford administration rushed out a vaccine," Goldstein writes. "But the new strain of flu didn’t spread widely, and the hastily made vaccine appeared to be linked to a neurological disorder in about 500 of the 40 million people who were vaccinated.

"That’s a reminder of the tightrope public-health officials must now walk, as they try to mount an aggressive response without using the kind of undue haste that can wind up harming the people they’re trying to help."

Gary Schwitzer resurrected some public service announcements promoting swine flu shots during the outbreak in the 1970s that are worth a look.

1 Comment:

  1. manny paul said...
    The World Health Organization raised its global alert level on the spreading swine flu virus Monday, but stopped short of declaring a global ...on swine flu worldwide

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