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A video not to be missed. Prof. Hans Rosling calculates the ratio of news article coverage versus actual deaths in the context of the recent swine flu outbreak. During the last 13 days, up to May 6, WHO has confirmed that 25 countries are affected by swine flu, and 31 persons have died from swine flu. However, WHO data also indicates that about 60,000 persons died from TB during the same period. As Hans Rosling conducted a rough comparison with the number of news reports found by Google news search, he decided to issue an alert for a "media hype" on swine flu and a neglect of tuberculosis.

Watch the video below.

Thnkx Martin.



There's one more thing to consider:

TB is a solved problem. It persists because of poverty and administrative failure. And, it does not threaten developed countries to a large extent.

Swine Flu is an unsolved problem. It threatens anyone. Additionally, it could threaten to become bigger than TB and remain unsolved.

This the reason it warrants greater attention in the news somewhat justifiably I would think based on above?

Mon 11 May 2009 at 9:40 PM

Malaria is even worse isn't it? So it could be argued that he is hyping TB.

One thing is for sure, if those 24 hours newschannels took the time to do a more reflective programs analising what is happening in perpective (instead of the neverending flow of breaking news) everything would be better.

I personally lost hope on journalism and I'm choosing to whach more The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

Tue 12 May 2009 at 12:05 AM
Leonardo Santagada

TB is not a solved problem, for you it's not a problem maybe, but as Rosling shows, people still dies. And you know he acknowledges the fact that the risk of the disease spreading warrants a higher news report so it's already considered.

I don't even know why I'm writing this.

Tue 12 May 2009 at 12:06 AM

My father is an expert in the field of foreign animal disease. He is a doctor who works with the Dept. of Homeland Security in the USA to prevent foreign contaminants from entering. His experience reaches from natural anthrax outbreaks to counter-terrorism. So when Dad says that the (current) "swine flu" is hyped, I believe him. When we've got Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room dealing out the play-by-play, it's hard to admit that this hasn't become a media frenzy.

It would be a different story if it were to mutate in humans and be transferred back to a hog or bird and then mutate again. But again, that's a different story!

Tue 12 May 2009 at 2:09 AM

I just found this video on You Tube that really shows how germs and viruses spread. It is so cool. It's meant for kids but I even learned a lot!


Tue 12 May 2009 at 10:36 AM

I just found this video on You Tube that really shows how germs and viruses spread. It is so cool. It's meant for kids but I even learned a lot!


Tue 12 May 2009 at 10:42 AM

Breaking News: TB still a big problem! Also malaria, cancer, and a 1000 other things!

I don't think that's what news is.

Tue 12 May 2009 at 4:03 PM

We had the debate about what news is in Sweden last year when a mother of two small children were beaten to death by hear husband. This resulted in a minute notice in the local newspaper. Next day a man was attacked by a bear outside the same town and that filled the national media for a week. This resulted in a wild protest about the concept of news! The men in that area of the country got very upset that attacking your wife passed unnoticed while a bear attack gpt all attention.
TB is a continuous threat to the whole world by development of resistant strains among those receiving inadequate treatment. And note that our news/death meter show relevance up to above 1000 news/death. I issue an alert against the hype not against the news!
Hans Rosling

Wed 13 May 2009 at 9:56 AM

Hi all, i would entreat all of you to google out XDR-TB. its a new strain of mutated TB and for this the only cure is prevention. no warnings have been issued against these...but believe the data(which one can always get) , thanks to Prof. Rosling. XDRTB is spreading due to the improper vaccination and poor treatement..and thus have resulted into a highly resilient strain of bacteria.

Priorties of news has changes and is in the hands of god knows who?

PS: chck out also the video on youtube.

Tue 19 May 2009 at 8:15 AM

I understand that tubercolosis and other diseases like malaria, etc. are much more lethal for the world population as a whole. However, as a 32 healty male living in France, what is for me the probabililty in the future 6 months of catching swine flu, malaria and tubercolosis? I guess P(swineFlu) >>> P(tubercolosis) > P(malaria). Therefore, despite your nice and convincing graph, I ll still be quite worried this autumn. However I do agree that all the old media ( Tv) and new ones ( twitter) are pumping up the paranoia without control..

Tue 19 May 2009 at 7:16 PM

It's more than just developed world versus underdeveloped world... even in the US and Mexico the number of TB deaths in the same period was higher the number of swine flu deaths. Ongoing deaths from a known killer like this may not be breaking news, but wouldn't it be nice if the media provided some perspective once in a while?

Thu 04 Jun 2009 at 11:24 AM

Not only is TB, which WHO still proclaims a world Pandemic not "a solved problem" but the ignorance behind this statement could, according to some, have led to the millions of death in 1918.

Mon 08 Jun 2009 at 4:18 PM
Harry Calohan

Oh! This is perfect! Thank you for dispelling a few
misunderstandings I have seen about this recently.

Fri 12 Mar 2010 at 9:39 AM
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