Monday, October 5, 2009

Fear and the flu

Michael Specter summarizes anxiety about H1N1 and the vaccine in this week's New Yorker. I was three years old by the end of 1976, when a swine flu outbreak among troops at Fort Dix prompted the Ford Administration to initiate a mass vaccination program.

A 2006 article discusses the CDC's perspectives and lessons learned from the 1976 swine flu.

I was talking to an epidemiologist friend recently about public perceptions of the state of the macroeconomics. I said it was about what would be the public perception of the state of epidemiology if H1N1 were to kill 10% of the population. But I messed it up: I should have said 5%, or the rise in the unemployment rate rather than its current level.