Was the Alarm over Swine Flu Justified?

May 4, 2009
by Bryan Walsh
TIME Magazine

It's easy to become inured to the CDC's unrelenting stream of advice on hygiene - on April 30, we actually had the President of the United States use a news conference to tell Americans to wash their hands more - but there is evidence that such elementary actions can be remarkably effective in slowing the spread of infectious disease. (Studies have shown that towns that instituted similar measures during the 1918 flu had death rates that were considerably lower than the norm.) "I think [the government] has been getting an A-plus for how they've communicated the threat here," says Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health.

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