TVNZ beats up the swine flu

For a start so much for TVNZ on demand. I see the news at 6pm, then I want to see it again at 8pm so I head to my computer. Either the 6pm news is there somewhere amidst a bad navigation or I need to wait until tomorrow to see today’s news – either way it certainly isn’t ‘on demand’.

TVNZ swung into action when it looked like a group of 22 students from Rangitoto College ‘may’ have been exposed to the swine flu which is ‘sweeping’ Mexico City.

Hadyn Jones stood outside Rangitoto College in the dark reporting back to Peter Williams and Bernadine Oliver-Kerby. Why? Surely anyone who had the flu would be tucked up in bed.

Garth Bray was out at the Auckland International Airport so that we could see the doors that anyone who ‘might’ have swine flu would walk through.

And Lorelei Mason was (standing) in the dark somewhere else saying something more about ‘might’, ‘may’ and ‘perhaps’.

Now, there is no doubt that this could be serious. But there is, so far, little confirmation that the isolated cases in the USA, and even here at Rangitoto College are anything more than normal flu, or in the case of the Auckland contingent, the results of jet-lag and being subjected to the unhealthy air of a jetplane.

Roche will be happy. They have mountains of Tamiflu stock still waiting to be used from the avian-flu-scare several years back. And according to Roche (of course) Tamiflu is effective in combating the flu-like symptoms.

I’ll maintain normal precautionary measures like not kissing my workmates, using tissues to wipe and blow my nose, and washing my hands after anything that is slightly unsavoury.

I suggest we all calm down, especially TVNZ, and await developments. Hadyn, Garth and Lorelei – come back to the studio. You look silly out there.

In the meantime the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published the following table. The table shows people likely infected with swine flu, not dead but infected.

Human Cases of Swine Flu - so far
Human Cases of Swine Flu - so far

UPDATE: Ten of the 22 students from Rangitoto College have been confirmed as having Influenza A – this is NOT swine flu, but as TVNZ says (and hopes for the sake of a good story) it could be.