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Why does regular flu take back seat?
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 11/7/2009 12:26 AM

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Is the media hype on H1N1 over emphasized? In my opinion, yes. According to the statistics, 36,000 people die a year caused by the regular seasonal influenza, when 4,100 have died so far due to the swine flu.

I, for one, am confused. Why don't we make as big a deal over regular flu every year as they are making over the swine flu? For example, doctor's offices do not test for the swine flu even when the patients come with most of the symptoms. Why is that?

The H1N1 has caused the surge in the doctor visits for flu-like symptoms. According to WebMD, those who do go to the doctor with flu-like symptoms won't have to wait for the test results. People who are seriously ill, or those with risk factors, will get treatment with Tamiflu or Relenza. Doctors will keep an eye on healthy people with mild symptoms, but likely will not treat them with antiviral drugs, as most people recover fully from the new flu in a week or so. If they're treating H1N1 like a normal flu bug, what's the big hype?

I feel that the media likes to over-exaggerate and maybe even hype up the outcome. Are they using scare tactics to get people to get the flu shot when in actuality they could be completely fine without getting it? I believe some people may contract this whether they get the vaccination or not. Is the vaccine really necessary if there's a possibility you'll get it anyway?

In my opinion, we need to go back to making people more aware of the regular influenza and how important it is to be vaccinated for that, along with the new strain of flu.

Emily Ferrell

Sugar Grove


Kaneland High School