According to journalist, writer and awful web-site designer Michael Fumento the media may be taking us for a war-distracting hay-ride when it comes to the relatively unmysterious mystery disease known as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). In 'Super-Pneumonia' or Super Scare? Fumento makes the case that SARS is being hyped far out of proportion with its risks, and represents little more than a footnote in the history of minor pandemics. Is he right? He argues that SARS deaths have "virtually all" occured in countries with piss-poor health systems, which is at best a very cavalier interpretation of the numbers -- Canada and Australia, which by most measures enjoy health systems superior or equal to the United States, have experienced deaths, and the incidence of death compared against the estimated infected populations is hardly statistically insignificant. Moreover, the vectors by which the disease spreads have not yet been firmly established. These uncertainties aside, Fumento's reminder to keep things in perspective is timely: the sky is not yet falling, and we can rest relatively assured that SARS does not represent the second horseman of the coming apocalypse.

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