Friday, May 1, 2009

Well, He's Not Oinking Yet*

I swear, the statistical bullet really comes up and bites you on the arse when you least expect it.

This article goes into more details, but to keep it simple there are now officially 141 cases of Swine Flu in the United States. The population of the U.S. (as of July 2008 and according to this site) is 304,059, 724. Now, I am no math genius, but I do have a calculator and when I divide 141 by the population you get 0.0000046%. That is the current percentage of our country's population that has Swine Flu.

Now, even taking that small percentage into account, if you live in one of the nineteen infected states (which is a 38% chance - who knew calculators would be such fun?!), then your likelihood of knowing someone with the Swine Flu would increase, right? Well, not necessarily, as the population of Washington State is 5,894,121. There are six cases in our state, which makes that only 0.000001% of our state's population. However, when the local news started telling us on Wednesday that two of those six cases were in our county (and M joked that the arrow on the map was directly pointing at our house), you have to figure that your chances increase again, right?

Again, not really. The population of our county is 635,655, which means that 0.0000031% of our population has Swine Flu. So really, our chances of knowing someone with the Swine Flu are about the same as everyone else. But surely, you must have figured out where this was going, right?

Yep. So, we know someone with the Swine Flu. I guess it's really not that odd, considering my affinity for being part of small statistical samples.

Okay, so we know someone who has the Swine Flu. But what would the odds be that we had seen that person during the incubation period of 1 - 7 days?

Well, if that person was your child's pediatrician and your child had been in their office for treatment of a sinus infection, then those odds go up rather dramatically. . . to say, oh, 100%. Fortunately, our pediatrician was all booked up on Friday, and we saw a different doctor. However, because we were still in the building and interacted with people that had interacted with her, we are still considered "exposed."

Now, nobody panic! (You mean, like I did, yesterday?) That incubation period of 1 - 7 days is up today and Will has shown no signs of the virus. He is still very nasally congested, but that has been the case for three weeks now. He has no fever, no chest congestion, and no nasty diapers. Believe me, we are watching him like the proverbial hawk. As of noon today, it will have been seven days and, according to the CDC, we can breathe a sigh of relief.

Of course, you know I will update you if anything should change, but it appears we are getting pretty darn good at dodging those bullets!

*I do not mean any disrespect by this title. I know there have been deaths from this virus and that it is not a laughing matter if you contract it. However, there is a point where one can either laugh or cry and I am choosing laughter.


Fertilized said...

Yes! Laughter! Oh katie ... the stat bullet SUCKS right now. I am so sorry

Joy said...

I wouldn't worry about the swine flu! It's just a regular flu strand with a scary name attached to it. Thousands die from the flu every year and so far only a few have died from this in the US. That's why flu shots are so important.

Glad Will is doing good!

Life in Eden said...

Oh my! I saw that story about the doctor! I would have thought it against the odds I knew someone who had that doctor! Crazy, such a dramatic week for you.

But I thoroughly agree with Joy. So far all the genetics indicate it is not the super scary virulent virus everyone was worried about (granted it can mutate, but hopefully not).

Hoping all his ills are over soon, and he can oink for fun.

Katie said...

No, I know, it's not as serious as they originally thought. It's still just icky to think about it, though. . . well, at least to me! :)

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

Damn, girl! You're pediatrician got it? Wow. I am SO glad to hear that Will seems to be in the clear! Keeping everything crossed that this is a very uneventful weekend for all of you! ((HUGS))

Amanda said...

So glad that Will dodged that bullet.

I hope your ped gets better quickly (and didn't spread it too much).