Wednesday, Egypt began slaughtering its entire pig population (some 300,000 pigs) as a precaution against swine flu even though no cases have been reported there. Farmers were infuriated and blocked streets and stoned vehicles of Health Ministry workers who came to carry out the government's order.
Normally, I do not do news stories here. I get enough of that in my real job. But, with all things considered, I thought I would make an exception.
And then the headlines read:
* Pig flu virus kills up to 86 people in Mexico
* Two people admitted to British hospital as 'precaution'
* Eight New York City children have 'mild form' of flu
* Canada and Spain confirm first cases
* 10 students in New Zealand 'likely' to be infected
* Reports of possible cases in Israel and France
* 1,300 others thought to have been infected
Where will it end?
Tennessee has one unconfirmed case of swine flu, involving a Williamson County child. 19 other cultures are currently being tested. There has been one confirmed case in Indiana, involving a young adult in northern Indiana.
Locally, we have certainly had our fair share of seasonal cases of influenza. So many kids have been absent from our schools, especially at the elementary school.
So far, there are no reported cases of swine flu in Kentucky, but Public Health Commissioner Dr. William Hacker says many are sick and being tested for it and it's reason to be concerned, but not panicky. He said this not the time to overreact, but be cautious.
Did he say it's not the time to panick?
Someone should have called the egyptians. Yesterday, 300,000 pigs went to market and none came home.
The World Health Organization says there are now 64 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States. None of the cases in the U.S. have been fatal.