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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 28, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Swine-flu deaths

Reports only scare people into getting flu shots

The news media have been diligent about reporting the deaths from swine flu, which have now reached 15 in the United States, with a worldwide total of about 100 [“Swine-flue death in Chicago reported,” News, May 26].

What about those 36,000 annual deaths from flu that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps warning us about every single year? Where are those thousands of deaths occurring and why aren’t they being reported? If there really are 36,000 deaths from common strains of flu annually, why aren’t they worthy of the same coverage as the swine flu which, so far, pales in comparison in terms of mortality rates?

I think the answer is that they really don’t exist. The CDC includes all deaths from pneumonia in its flu-death numbers, which is not accurate, but it’s a way to frighten people into getting flu shots.

— Carrie Thiel, Redmond

Comments | More in Swine flu / H1N1

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