An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
September 8th, 2012
People Fear EEE and West Nile, but not Influenza — Can Someone Explain Why?
OK, here’s a quick quiz — match the viral infection with the average annual US deaths:
|1. Eastern Equine Encephalitis||A. 36,000, mostly in the elderly|
|2. Influenza||B. < 10, mostly in the elderly|
I know, it was an easy one — 1 goes with B, and 2 with A. Here’s a good reference for more on flu deaths, if you don’t believe me.
I completely understand it’s been a bad year for arbovirus infections, in particular West Nile.
Yet as we’ve just had our first deaths from EEE and West Nile in the state, prompting widespread news coverage, mosquito spraying, and warnings from the Department of Public Health, the annual flu vaccine has quietly arrived.
And once again it’s remarkable how many people refuse the vaccine. Can someone please explain?