In 2009, I reported on the outbreak of the H1N1 flu in Mexico. When the media reported that the virus had been found in Mexico City, frightened residents stormed supermarkets to stock up on food and hid in their homes, only venturing out with surgical gloves and masks. Yet when I sought out the general director of the country’s largest public hospital, he told me it had only had four suspected flu cases, none of them confirmed.
“Cero casos confirmados,” I remember him saying.
This doctor at the center of it all thought the data didn’t warrant the panic. “There’s a generalized psychosis here,” he told me. Most media reports were portraying an Armageddon scenario in Mexico, yet right around when we published this piece on the doctor's comments the infection rate began to slow.
Here's the Bloomberg article we published:
Mexico `Overreacts' to Flu Risk as Infections Slow, Doctors Say
JENS ERIK GOULD
Jens Erik Gould is a political, business and entertainment writer and editor who has reported from a dozen countries for media outlets including The New York Times, National Public Radio and Bloomberg News.