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The World That Cried Flu?

May 4, 2009

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Scott Cameron

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Just a week after the words "swine flu" made their first appearance on this site,Time magazine asks the question... Is this a case of the boy who cried flu?

Still, a little more than a week after the WHO first swung into high alert, it's easy to wonder whether H1N1 might turn out to be much ado about not that much.... If it does indeed turn out that H1N1 is just the normal flu by another name, we may look back on last week's rapid response with chagrin - and be that much less responsive the next time a new pandemic knocks on the world's door.

The next line of the article carefully states, "That would be a mistake."

The head of the World Health Organization is also firing back at critics who accused it of over-reacting. Margaret Chan told the Financial Times:

"We hope the virus fizzles out, because if it doesn't we are heading for a big outbreak." But she said: "I'm not predicting the pandemic will blow up, but if I miss it and we don't prepare, I fail. I'd rather over-prepare than not prepare."

Given the events of the past week, would you call the response over-reaction? Or responsible?

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