The swine flu is making headlines around the world.  Is there a reason to fear?  Or is it just more media scare?  Very good questions.  You read the comments on the major news stories and it seems to be about 50/50.  If the majority is correct, we still don’t have an answer.  The true answer is we’ll have to wait and see.

One thing we should know about viruses–I forget where I read this, this is my simple interpretation–is that the evolutionary goal for the virus is to live off it’s host, and have the ability to move from host to host.  If a virus is too harsh–and destroys the host before it has much time to transfer to other hosts–it will not  be very successful.  Therefore a particularly strong (potent) virus will kill it’s hosts too fast for much spreading around.  The most successful viruses live in their hosts for a while, make the host miserable while a little war plays out in the body, cause transmission via coughing and sneezing,  and then be defeated by the host’s immune system.  Therefore, this is my grand rule. 

Killer virus:  too strong, kills/isolates host to early, not very much transmission, dies out.

Lesser virus (common flu):  makes majority of people sick, kills only small percentage, mucho transmission, lives until everyone is immune (much longer life)

It looks like the current swine flu is very much like regular flu (at least in North America).  If it mutates (the real danger) into something bad it will unfortunately kill a bunch of people.  But it will be contained because of the much shorter transmission period.

My take anyway.