The Swine Flu: H1M1 a Media Pandemic or Major Medical Crisis?

According to the media, the Swine Flu is becoming a global pandemic, having spread North from the Mexican borders to affect 37 confirmed cases in Canada. But, is the Swine Flu really a major medical crisis or a media pandemic?

Perhaps the media is causing premature panic over the Swine Flu, indicating that it might end up impacting as many as 120 million people worldwide, but they’re also education the public about a potentially deadly disease even if not all of the facts are known. This week, popular paparazzi website and TV show, TMZ, asked Paris Hilton if she was worried about the Swine Flu. The response? “I’m not worried, I don’t eat that.” However, the next day when they encountered the heiress again and posed a similar question, she admitted that she was worried since she had studied up on the illness; perhaps an example of why they are trying to change the name from Swine Flu to H1M1 instead.

So while the media may be causing people, like Howie Mandell, a self-professed germaphobe to retreat into hiding, it’s inflicting enough fear into the public to encourage them to educate themselves about the disease and take the appropriate precautions. Is the media exaggerating about how widespread the Swine Flu might become? Only time will tell, since at this stage it’s too soon to determine just how many lives it will touch here in Canada and around the world.

About the author

Beth Hodgson is a freelance writer and editor ( based in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Writing to keep the public informed is her passion; and who doesn't love Canadian TV?
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