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CNN Fishes For New Fear, Pulls Up Typhoid

I’m stuck in the waiting room of an automotive service center as my car gets fixed, and CNN has been playing the same 8-10 news pieces over and over and over again for hours. One of those news pieces has to do with the looming American health threat of… typhoid. Typhoid? Typhoid.

CNN Reports on Typhoid in America March 24 2008
CNN Reports on Typhoid in America March 24 2008, Screen Capture

400 cases of typhoid in America in a year (actually, CNN’s statistics are off. It’s more like 325-350). 75% of those cases — 300 cases of typhoid — are contracted by Americans traveling abroad. That makes for 100 cases of typhoid a year in the United States. Not 100 deaths from typhoid fever — just 100 cases of typhoid fever of domestic origin in the United States.

CNN goes on to give people tips on recognizing typhoid fever in themselves and their loved ones, as if this were really anything close to a significant threat to Americans. There are more than 300 million people living in the United States. 100 cases of typhoid with domestic origin out of 300 million people is a very, very small number. 100 out of 300 million is just a bit more than 0.00003 percent. It’s one person in 3,000,000 in the USA who gets domestic typhoid. And CNN is spending its time on this, convincing us to be afraid of this?

Sheesh. This kind of fear we don’t need.

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