I visited China just as the SARS outbreak began getting serious international coverage in 2003, and I remained in the country until it all subsided. As such, I witnessed first-hand the real story of SARS in rural China--an epic that Western media has yet to stumble upon. Some of that is documented HERE.
The way the media is handling this new epidemic of the swine flu reminds me a lot of the SARS coverage. In general, it's all being overblown, seriousness exaggerated, and it is perhaps being used for political gains, much like the USA used their response to SARS (biased media coverage and government commentary) as a way to punish China for a variety of infractions--including their reluctance to help us with North Korea.
There is however, one serious item that no one is talking about--the cause of death in Swine Flu victims. This flu variant is said to be a recombination of DNA from a variety of related viruses, including the Swine Flu that has caused localized epidemics in China and N Vietnam in the last few years.
And here lies some cause for concern, if this is true. The Swine Flu in China that causes an outbreak in 2005, and a number of times since, is (or at least one variant is) a hemorrhagic fever. It liquifies tissue, causing internal and external bleeding, and death in less than 24hrs. The Chinese government quarantined entire villages when cases were found. Corpses of dead animals were incinerated. It's likely human corpses were as well, though I don't know for sure. The media was not allowed to cover the incidents. How do I know then? Someone close to me was in China at the time, and their neighbor was a butcher who died from the illness. They experienced events first-hand. Some information on the outbreaks is available online, thought it takes a little extra effort to find it with Google, as it never received mainstream media coverage.
It may be that these symptoms have not appeared in this new strain--and if so, thank God. But I do find it curious that no one is talking about the cause of death and how quickly people actually die, once they have contracted the illness.