No wonder people have little faith in the news media.
John Silveira just called me to point out a misleading news story now being
carried by CNN. The story claims the current swine flu scare has a long way to go to match the 36,000 flu deaths that occur annually in this country. It’s the 36,000 figure itself that is so misleading, because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lumps influenza AND pneumonia deaths TOGETHER. There are actually only about 1,000 deaths from flu each year, not 36,000.
Silveira wrote an extensive article about the potential for a flu pandemic in BHM’s Issue #97 (January/February 2006). Unfortunately we never put the article online and we are now sold out of that issue, but here’s a quote from page 58:
The CDC reports 36,000 influenza deaths a year. This is higher than the
number that occurred in 1968-69 (a pandemic year) when 34,000 died. So, why isn’t every year a pandemic year? Because the CDC lumps flu deaths and pneumonia deaths together. The actual number of flu deaths is about 1,000 a year, although in a bad year it can approach 3,000. Why are the flu and pneumonia deaths lumped together? I don’t know. But there are those who feel it’s a scare tactic provided as a favor to drug companies so they can sell flu vaccines.
This is why people read BHM, I think, because we try and research our facts before we print them.