Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu and the Flying Pig



Do you remember the Swine Flu outbreak of 1976? I vaguely do. Still it was surprising to read online that more people died from the rushed vaccine than from the actual illness.

To put current events into perspective, annually an average of 36,000 people in the U.S. die from a typical influenza season. (Check out for more information.) The last Swine Flu outbreak didn't come anywhere near that number of deaths. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was fewer than 100 people who died.

Regardless, I'm not being stupid -- I am diligently washing my hands and avoiding people with symptoms.

My biggest concern, which I admit is somewhat selfish, is how this outbreak is going to affect the marathons and half marathons being held this weekend. There are three big races in and around Columbus and I know at least one person entered in each -- Capital City Half, Cincinnati Flying Pig and Indy Mini Marathon.

I'm assuming/hoping that anyone who has anything remotely close to a flu symptom will stay home. You can't do a long-distance event with the flu! Still, there are always people who will go to an expo or stand in crowds cheering on their friends even if they aren't feeling well. Maybe with the added publicity, sick people will be more inclined to stay home.

On the local news they reported that a couple of ways to prevent getting the illness include keeping active and eating healthy foods. The typical marathoner/half marathoner does that -- especially close to race date.

So, let's all wash our hands, eat healthy foods and keep active.

Here's hoping that the outbreak dies down quickly, few people are infected and that it doesn't affect our races!


For many people influenza is like being pushed off a cliff. Neither the push (the flu) nor the fall (underlying condition) kills you.

It is the sudden stop.

(Quoted from:

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