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This Swine Flu thing is getting blown way out of proportion. So far it doesn't look any more dangerous than the typical flu that goes around every year.

Ahhh... but it sounds so exotic doesn't it?

Tell that to the Mexicans. Also, it is not that it's widespread, it is that it's deadly.

All flus are deadly Andyo. Tens of thousands of people die every year from the flu in the US alone. You don't see a nightly death count with the usual flu strains.

Yeah, people with weak immune systems can die from pretty much anything. This one is not killing people with weak immune systems.

From: http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2009/04/swinefluaquickoverview--an.php

while the cases in the US have been mild and no deaths have occurred that we're aware of, it seems in Mexico that young people are dying from this--a group that is typically not hard-hit by seasonal influenza viruses. Readers familiar with influenza and know the history of the 1918 influenza pandemic will recall that the "young and healthy" were disproportionally struck by that virus as well--so this knowledge is currently disconcerting and worrisome, but there are so many gaps in our information as far as what's really going on in Mexico that it's difficult to make heads or tails out of this data right now.

Yeah, no reason to panic (nobody here has suggested that), but it surely isn't a hoax either, nor nothing to be concerned about.

Sorry, link.

I get the fact that the shampoo article is meant to be at least partially silly, but I'm not sure exactly what the point is otherwise. Toxins are harmless? Everything, whether "natural" or synthetic is made up of chemicals; therefore chemicals cannot do harm (this is the usual bullshit argument of science fan-boys)? Fetuses are by definition inside the mother and therefore cannot be exposed to chemicals that the mother applies topically? So I shouldn't worry that my kid is playing at that abandoned PVC factory across the street? I don't get it.

Good to hear someone emphasizing coughing rather than just sneezing into the elbow--seems like the focus is always on sneezing. I will take being sneezed on rather than coughed on any day of the week.

Everything, whether "natural" or synthetic is made up of chemicals; therefore chemicals cannot do harm (this is the usual bullshit argument of science fan-boys)?
No, it's not the argument. It's an answer to those idiots who thing that because something is "chemical" is unnatural or harmful. Those pseudoscience fanboy ignoramuses are the ones bandying about that sort of crap in the first place.

After reading more of what Evans wrote, and the comments attached to them, I can't see how the Post could keep printing her stuff and expect to retain any credibility. Just about every column has at least an indirect reference to her book. I guess if they labeled them advertisements, they could get away with it.

No, it's not the argument. It's an answer to those idiots who thing that because something is "chemical" is unnatural or harmful. Those pseudoscience fanboy ignoramuses are the ones bandying about that sort of crap in the first place.

Did you even read the shampoo article? It seems to me to be just the sort of argument that was/is made by defenders of asbestos, lead-based paint, cigarettes, BPA, etc.

Did you read it?

Where do you get that anyone is making arguments that because chemicals are also natural, therefore they're all right?

Pseudoscientific new age nuts go saying that chemicals are unnatural therefore harm the body. Reasonable people only respond to that saying that chemicals are not unnatural. There is no "therefore chemicals are good". Where do you get that from?

In that article, somebody made an idiotic claim about shampoo. That it has chemicals is irrelevant to the claim that it's harmful or not.

In that article, somebody made an idiotic claim about shampoo.

OK, apparently you take the following piece of that article to be an idiotic claim (correct me if I'm wrong):

Apparently, she went on to point the finger at shampoo as a potential major problem in our society and raised a possible link between shampoo and childhood cancers.

I know a fair amount through previous employment and education about pediatric cancers, but I am by no means an expert. What I do know, though, is that many of them, particularly the childhood leukemias are among the murkiest of all cancers in terms of etiology (environmental exposures are generally high on the list of suspects). But as I said, I am no expert, nor am I a doctor, so the person writing the article (and perhaps you as well) know more about this topic than me. However, I feel quite certain that neither of you can say with any certainty exactly what exposures do and do not put a fetus at risk for developing leukemia during the first few years of life. Now, you might well doubt that it's anything as commonplace as shampoo, and I will certainly respect your right to do so and might even share that doubt myself. What's asinine to me is that the article, without even detailing what claim exactly Ms. Paltrow was making, then goes on (immediately following the above quote) to satirize the possibility of such a link and, in general, the supposed celebrity paranoia over toxins (celebrities being a quite stupid bunch overall, apparently). And I'm just left to think, what? That the author possesses some god-like knowledge of fetal development, biochemistry, oncology and the like that he can dismiss such an association out of hand without telling us what evidence he has to support this position? Please.

On the other hand, all this is wasted breath anyway, since I am assuming this was primarily intended as a humor piece.

Now that the Swine flu pandemic has gone away what are the governments doing in terms of further research to prevent this sort of thing in the future ? I simply do not think tamiflu will be enough for the next strain.

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