Friday, August 07, 2009

Swine Flu Deja Vu

You may think that swine flu is a term unheard of before 2009, but in 1976 a swine flu outbreak in the U.S. caused then President Gerald Ford to push for a new vaccination program. Instead, the strain only killed one person, an Army recruit who was the first patient to come down with the virus (and 25 more died from complications from the vaccine.) Health officials went into a panic, comparing it to a flu of deadly proportions not unlike the pandemic of 1918 which killed millions of people worldwide. After much ado about nothing, the incident became known as the swine flu fiasco.

It also created these funny propaganda commercials meant to scare people into getting a shot. The second one is even funnier if you close your eyes and pretend that you don't know what they're talking about is the flu. It makes it sound like our friend Betty really gets around!

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