What about a “second wave” of swine flu?

Mr. Fumento,

I read your articles religiously. You recently attacked swine flu as hysterical overreaction.

Is it really? You talk about a bell curve when it comes to epidemics. how about talk of a second wave? Is it really hype as you say? Take a look at this link:

[It regards swine flu hospitalizations hitting a new high in California.]

What is your opinion on this?

This was the second wave, remember? It was predictable because the flu likes cold. After the first wave it got warmer then colder. But now it’s just steadily going to get colder. So the next “wave” will be next fall, by which time swine flu will BE our seasonal flu. Which is good, because it’s so much milder than the currently seasonal flu strains.

And regarding the link, there are four measurements of swine flu impact: infections, hospitalizations, deaths, and emergency room visits. Infections and deaths are the same, because they’re direct. But with hospitalizations and emergency room visits it simply means somebody made a decision based on worry. Also, the figure applies to only one state albeit the largest state. My data are for the nation as a whole and as of today, they show hospitalization rates have declined for the fourth straight week and indeed are less than half what they were just a week ago.