The WHO's askew flu fears

How bizarre! The World Health Organization has declared swine flu a "pandemic," signaling governments worldwide to launch emergency response plans.

The mildest pandemics of the 20th century killed at least a million people worldwide, according to the WHO's data, while old-fashioned seasonal flu strikes every nation yearly and kills an estimated 250,000 to 500,000. As of Thursday, when the pandemic was declared, H1N1 swine flu had killed only 144 people total -- fewer than succumb daily to seasonal flu annually. And in Mexico, where the outbreak began and where it has been the most severe, cases peaked quickly, in just four weeks.

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