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
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How the battle for religious freedom became a nonsensical free-for-all
- Sex can't explain the culture war
- This simple hack for slicing cherry tomatoes will astound you
- How a drafting error could doom Obama's carbon regulations
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
Subscribe to the Week