SGU Episode 234

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SGU Episode 234
November 15th 2009
H1N1 Update.gif
(brief caption for the episode icon)
SGU 233 SGU 235
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
DG: David Gorski
MC: Mark Crislip
JA: Joe Albeitz
Quote of the Week
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


Voiceover: You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, your escape to reality.

S: Good evening. This is Steven Novella, the host of the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, and this is a special episode about the H1N1 or Swine Flu, and the vaccine. For this episode, I am joined by several of my colleagues from Science-Based Medicine. So, joining me for this episode are David Gorski…

DG: Hello.

S: Mark Crislip…

MC: Hello!

S: …and Joe Albeitz.

JA: Hi there.

H1N1 Pandemic Update[edit]

S: Joe, we’re going to start by talking a little bit about the flu itself, influenza; a little bit of quick background on influenza; and, specifically, what we should be expecting this season with the flu.

Influenza Background (0:50)[edit]

JA: Sure. So influenza is nothing new. It’s a virus that we see every single year, and, on average, in the normal flu season, we’ve got about 5-20% of the population that gets infected, about 200,000 people [are] hospitalized, and about 30,000 people in the U.S. are killed from influenza and pneumonia subsequent to influenza.

(laughs) (laughter) [inaudible]

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Signoff (45:13)[edit]

S: This has been a special episode of the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe. I’d like to thank my colleagues at the Science-Based Medicine blog, Dave, Mark, and Joe, for joining me for this special report on the H1N1 Pandemic. You can read our writings on this topic and other topics of science and medicine at You can also listen to Mark Crislip on his podcast, Quackcast. I also contribute on similar topics to my personal blog, Neurologica, which you can find through the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe homepage, as well as through the Science-Based Medicine page.

Thanks for joining us for this special episode, and we’ll catch you next time at the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.

S: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by the New England Skeptical Society in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation and For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at For questions, suggestions, and other feedback, please use the "Contact Us" form on the website, or send an email to If you enjoyed this episode, then please help us spread the word by voting for us on Digg, or leaving us a review on iTunes. You can find links to these sites and others through our homepage. 'Theorem' is produced by Kineto, and is used with permission.

Today I Learned[edit]

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