We seem to be moving to the next stage in the morphing of the global Swine Flu crisis, as this Wall Street Journal piece describes:
"The United Nations public health agency raised its global pandemic alert level on Monday to "phase 4" from "phase 3," recognizing that the A/H1N1 virus is spreading from person to person and urging countries to prepare for a pandemic. Moving it up one notch, to "phase 5," would indicate that the virus is causing multiple outbreaks, or widespread human infection.
With multiple outbreaks in Mexico and human transmission now occurring in New York City, where people at a school in Queens were infected after some students traveled to Mexico, the disease has moved closer to that definition, Dr. Fukuda said."
As always in these types of situations, the mainstream media is almost ahead of the evolving reality, with almost every other report having the word "Pandemic" in it in one form or another. This Business & Media Institute piece is on point:
NBC’s Robert Bazell said the government didn’t “want people to panic,” but then panicked viewers saying “it appears to be an outbreak unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes.”
scary, hyped tone reflected how many in the media covered the swine
flu. Some media outlets hyped the threat with nearly constant coverage,
worst-case scenarios or comparisons to the 1918 Spanish flu, while many
others missed crucial points of the swine flu story, including the
former president’s work to prepare in case of a pandemic flu and the
issue of border security with
Some in the media are taking note of this heightened focus on "pandemic", as the article goes on to describe:
Though most media accounts were less hyperbolic than NBC and AP’s, the word pandemic cropped up in fifteen stories on the three networks in four days (April 25-28). During that same time, CNN used “pandemic” in 51 stories and Fox News Channel in 10 stories according to Nexis."
It's too much to ask of course, but it'd really be something if the media for once tried to keep pace with this story, rather than gallop way ahead of it.
In the meantime, for a more balanced perspective on the situation, check out this piece by Dr. Mercola on the Mercola medical site.