Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
"Student's Flu Death Raises Concerns at Nation's Universities," blares the headline of a Fox News story.
Turns out the student hadn't even started classes and had a serious underlying health problem, MS. That condition is especially important, because MS is often treated with immunosuppressive drugs. Such people are always among those most at risk for any infectious disease. Now add that yearly 36,000 Americans die of seasonal flu. And believe it or not, sometimes they're college students.
Yet, "The death of a college student from the flu has raised the alarm at universities throughout the country as the nation gears up for what is predicted to be a brutal flu season," says the article, which is accompanied by a photo of a student wearing what is probably a useless mask to ward off the dreaded disease. The article adds that, "numerous institutions are reporting seeing scores of students with flu-like symptoms just one week into the fall semester."
Ah yes, those ubiquitous "flu-like symptoms." And each time a story like this appears, you'll get thousands more cases of "flu-like symptoms" among perfectly healthy people.
Want to avoid getting psychosomatic swine flu? Read my piece in today's Philadelphia Inquirer about the panic-promoting President's Council report.