CNN (May 7, 2009)
"Both people who died of swine flu in the United States had pre-existing health problems, federal health authorities said Thursday in a report.
"The 22-month-old child who died April 27 of the flu, also called H1N1, had neonatal myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease, said the report, which was written by a virus investigation team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. The child -- who was from Mexico and who fell ill while visiting relatives in Texas -- also had a heart defect, problems swallowing and chronic hypoxia, the report said.
"The 33-year-old Texas woman who died last week was pregnant when she became ill, the article said. She had been diagnosed with asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis...."
The new human/avian/swine flu, influenza A(H1N1), doesn't seem to be as deadly as the 1-death-for-every-14-cases kill ratio of the early cases indicated.
'Obviously,' it's some kind of a plot.
Here Come the Conspiracy Theories"Swine Flu A Hoax, But Martial Law All Too Real" (Alex Jones' inforwars.com (May 4, 20099)) is an example.
That date is exactly as given under the article's headline, by the way. It may have been written by a time traveler from the 201st century, but I think it's more likely that "May 4, 20099" is a typo.
The first three paragraphs give a pretty good idea of what the article's focus:
"The H1N1 virus itself has claimed less lives than a normal flu outbreak would be expected to kill, but the architecture of martial law in the form of draconian measures readied to combat a pandemic has been firmly locked into place.
"Health authorities are now toning down their apocalyptic predictions of a swine flu pandemic, after the virus proved to be milder than originally feared, but officials are warning that a deadlier form of the illness could return in autumn or winter.
"The gargantuan fearmongering engaged in by western governments, despite the virus killing just one 23-month-old toddler in the U.S., has set the standard for what we can expect to see when the next outbreak occurs, which officials are already proclaiming will be later this year...."
I'm old enough to remember the tail end of the period in American history when 'commie plots' were used to explain what was 'really behind' anything that a vocal and enthusiastic minority didn't like.
I remember all to well the decades when 'commies' were replaced by 'the military-industrial complex,' as another bunch of people got America's cultural microphone.
And, I've recently learned that, according to some people, space alien shape-shifting lizard people are running the world.
Me? I enjoy conspiracy theories - in fiction. I enjoyed watching "The Invaders," back in the sixties (the invaders were space alien shape-shifting mushrooms, sort of), and remember reading a science-fiction story or two with a similar premise.
But, that's entertainment.
I'm not willing to assume that "They" are behind events, unless there aren't reasonable alternatives to some vast conspiracy. Cool as that situation would be.
I've taken the trouble to read the "gargantuan fearmongering engaged in by western governments" - like the daily reports made available by the CDC. ("Swine Flu 2009" is my resource link page.)
And, honestly, what I read was rather didactic, practical, reports about a disease that was new, and therefore unknown. It had, in the earliest cases, killed one out of every 14 people infected.
This mutant swine flu was no "Satan Bug," but it was - in those first 900 or so cases - quite lethal enough to warrant attention.
As I've written before, there seems to be a deep-seated need to blame someone: the commies, the military-industrial complex, western governments, shape-shifting space alien lizard people, or whatever.
Good News, Not-so-Good NewsFirst, the good news. The American who died from influenza A(H1N1) had a number of serious medical problems before getting infected. Between her case, and a number of others, there's reason to believe that the first thousand (almost) cases were a fluke. Or the result of something other than the virus itself.
Now, the not-so-good news: the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said this about influenza A(H1N1): "...'We cna't [!] make any definitive projections about where this is going. It appears to be acting like a typical seasonal flu, only it's out of season. We shouldn't be seeing this much influenza and it's with a new virus and that's the cause fo [!]the concern.'..." (CNN)
Maybe Dr. Fauci's words are more "gargantuan fearmongering" - or maybe he's a medical professional whose job involves studying a new virus. One that had a respectable kill ratio at first, and which isn't acting the way 'the flu' should now.
Even in that first week, I didn't see reason to panic. (Think about it: does panic ever help?) But, I'm not going to assume that influenza A(H1N1) is a hoax, and that They are trying to take over the world.
There's Plenty of Fear Fuel for Conspiracy TheoristsI think there's a chance that some wild and wacky conspiracy theories are going to crop up in the next few months - possibly sooner. There's the scary disease (or hoax), and scary government agencies like the CDC are involved.
Adding more fuel to the fear fires, the World Health Organization is involved. That could mean the U.N. is behind this! To a dedicated c. theorist, anyway. "WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system." (About WHO) People who are a little crazy regarding the United Nations are likely to get quite imaginative, once they make the connection.
And, while conspiracy theorists are getting hot and bothered about how They are plotting to take over the world, researchers in the CDC, WHO, and related outfits will be keeping an eye on influenza A(H1N1).
List of posts relating to Swine flu 2009; and list of background resources: