Recently, after we published the article, "Pandemic flu kills NC child," we received a complaint from a reader. "Your use of the word 'pandemic'...was disingenuous and I think quite unfortunate," the reader wrote. "There is no H1N1 pandemic. It is certainly a severe disease especially for high-risk patients, but there is no pandemic and barely an epidemic as of now. For sure your headline and the article were attention getting, but the exaggerated and incorrect use of the adjective destroyed its credibility."
We were correct to use the term 'pandemic,' which refers to the widespread nature of an infection, not the severity. Based on infections rates worldwide, the World Health Organization declared H1N1 influenza a pandemic in June. Read that article here. For a good Q and A on the subject from N&O reporter Sarah Avery, click here.