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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Flu bugged

Is she trying to scare me, or what?

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Health Commissioner Judy Monroe says the current swine flu outbreak is dangerously similar to a 1957-58 Asian flu pandemic in the United States.

Monroe says that pandemic struck young adults, schoolchildren and their families in 1957, then seemed to wane before striking older Americans early in 1958, causing the greatest number of deaths among the older age group.

But back then, a vaccine was not produced "in time to affect the course of the pandemic," and the effectiveness of the vaccine "during clinical trials was poor, between 53 percent and 60 percent." Even so, the illness landed large numbers in clinics and doctors' offices,  "but relatively few of them were sick enough to require hospitalization." About 45 million people (25 percent of the population) became infected, but only 19,000 died, a fatality rate of 0.04 percent.

Nice try, though.