Don't panic, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. "Scientists and governments have wired humanity to expect and fear a contagious new superbug since the Spanish flu of 1918 killed some 50 million worldwide." But with "calm governance," transparency, and a lot of antiviral drugs, health officials should be able to contain the Mexican swine flu outbreak.
This could be the "hugely lethal flu strain" everyone fears, said The New York Times in an editorial, or it could be "yet another false alarm." The swine flu so far has killed 149 people in Mexico, and infected another 1,600 there and 40 in the U.S. "President Obama hit the right note on Monday when he said there is reason for concern and for a heightened state of alert but no cause for alarm."
A "big dose of caution" is wise, said USA Today in an editorial. "In 1976, a single death from swine flu in New Jersey and fears that the disease might have spread sent the government into overdrive. Almost overnight, it created a program to vaccinate all Americans." The epidemic never happened, and "the vaccine, it appears, turned out to be deadlier than the disease."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Surviving a plane crash
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: The man who would be caliph
- Ted Cruz and the most cynical, despicable political stunt of the year
- Everything you need to master Chinese cooking
- When men who abstain from pre-marital sex get married
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The greatest sniper duel in history is a myth
Subscribe to the Week