Is the Fast Spread of Swine Flu Good?

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Missing in the furor over the fast spread of H1N1 (a.k.a. Swine Flu) is a look at the upside of the millions of reported cases.

The so-called Swine Flu is potentially dangerous as many people (including myself) have reported because it is apparently so easy to catch.

There are reports of an actual epidemic of Swine Flu in the UK, with up to 100,000 new cases in just the past week.http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/07/24/swine.flu.uk/

So, just what is the upside of this fast spread?

Simple, the current generation of H1N1 isn’t particularly dangerous – the vast majority of those who catch it get over it in a week or so even with no treatment – the fast spread and massive new numbers of infected individuals means that many more people will be immune this winter when experts are most concerned over its spread.

Even if H1N1 becomes more dangerous as it mutates, far more people will have had the weak version – the equivalent of having had a vaccine.

So, while people are suffering what is essentially a case of the sniffles in the summer, they are building immunity to what could be a much worse flu this winter and also making it less likely that H1N1 will spread quickly later in the flu season.

John McCormick is a reporter, /science/medical columnist and finance and social commentator, with 17,000+ bylined stories. He is a 38-year member of the National Press Club, retired emergency management coordinator, physicist, and member of the AAAS. He is a senior NewsBlaze writer who writes incisive, investigative stories.