Outbreak of Swine Flu, Poor Journalism Hits Bangladesh

In my Google News, I caught today that a Bangladeshi Internet publication is reporting that there are 50,000 cases of swine flu that have developed in the last few weeks.   There is just one major problem with this story.  As far as I can tell, we don't actually know if Bangladesh has been hit by 50,000 cases of swine flu in recent weeks based on the reporting:

According to newspaper reports, at least 50 thousand people were affected by Swine Flu in Bangladesh during past several weeks, while only a few hundreds were brought into official record. Medical experts told reporters that, most of the Swine Flu patients in Bangladesh got cured at homes by taking conventional medicine for sold fever or viral fever.

I'm not saying Weekly Biz should rely on offical records, but at least they should ask some questions.  If these patients got cured at home, how do you know they had swine flu?  And since when do news sources cite other newspapers as sources on issues like 'is this country experiencing an epidemic in a new disease'?  Also, as far as I am aware, swine flu - or any flu - is not cured by fever medication; those treat symptoms.

In other words, do some reporting, for f's sake, so that people can actually know whether they should be worried and, if so, why.  Or at least do some googling--you could find your competitors writing more sensible things:

The news coverage about swine flu in Bangladesh may have you worried, but there's no reason to panic. You should definitely take precautions, like washing your hands by savlon liquid soap or detol or hot water a lot. Since swine flu is like the seasonal flu, so no reason to be worried. It is infectious disease but seasonal flu with runny nose also infectious. I think it creates the panic in the people only the NAME----THE SWINE FLU. If the electronic and print media broadcasting the disease as flu, nobody would be worried about it...

Back to your regularly scheduled programming...

By: on 16 Sep 2009