Overselling swine flu

I’ve been wondering about swine flu since the time the English papers were full of panic-stricken reports that a perfectly healthy child had died of swine flu. Upon reading the details, it became clear that she had only died of it after first suffering through the medical equivalent of getting run over by a truck twice:

If you’ve been diagnosed “probable” or “presumed” 2009 H1N1 or “swine flu” in recent months, you may be surprised to know this: odds are you didn’t have H1N1 flu. In fact, you probably didn’t have flu at all. That’s according to state-by-state test results obtained in a three-month-long CBS News investigation.

What I don’t understand is why the medical authorities seem so determined to see an epidemic of one sort or another take place. First bird flu, now swine flu, and in two years time we’ll probably be instructed to quake with fear over the lethal dangers posed by Malaysian Spitting Frog Flu. I’ve never seen anything like the media coverage of medical matters like the last five years. Even the height of the AIDS scare was nothing like this.