I am not afraid to admit that I am a junky that needs a news fix at least once a day. As the banking crisis was unraveling my addiction got the best of me and I was up into the wee hours of the morning trying to understand as much as I could about financial obscurities.
The latest influenza scare has sent me on a new bender. I now know more than I probably should about genetic recombination and the 1918 pandemic. The most interesting things I have found about the current outbreak are this doctor's blog and his scary map that he keeps updating as cases are confirmed. And this page from the BBC which invited people in Mexico to e-mail descriptions of their experiences dealing with the outbreak.
People have e-mailed some pretty scary stuff to the BBC. It is somewhat surprising that a major media outlet like the BBC is willing to publish unconfirmed reports of fatalities more than double the "official" tally. If this situation continues to worsen it will be fascinating to see what role citizen journalists like this doctor and these anonymous e-mailers play in shaping public perception.
Coincidentally my sister, who holds an advanced degree in public health and has studied epidemiology, is currently in Mexico on vacation. If she has any interesting observations I will be sure to share them.