The new swine flu: this is not a joke

The outbreak even hit Mexico's beloved national pastime — two sold-out
football matches Sunday — Pumas vs. Chivas and America vs. Tecos —
will be played in empty stadiums to prevent the spread of the disease.

Here is the story.  Some people are puzzled as to how human, pig, and bird strains of the flu have mixed together, but if you have spent any time in rural Mexico the answer is obvious: these creatures all live together in close quarters.

Here is my earlier study on how an economist should think about avian flu and pandemics.  You can follow the latest developments at Recombinomics and Crofsblog (the best blogroll on the topic) and Effect Measure.  Revere, an experienced professional, puts it simply:

There is ample room for serious worry. WHO is convening its expert
panel under the International Health Regulations to determine if the
pandemic threat level should be increased from phase 3 to phase 4. In
our view, this isn't even a close call. We are in phase 4 and if WHO
doesn't call it they risk being considered irrelevant and without

I will repeat the general point that public health is one of the best ways to spend government money, as it is (often, not always) a true public good.


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