Swine flu is back. A variant of the disease that killed almost 600,000 Americans in 1918 has resurfaced not quite a century later, though not for the first time.

Typicallly, swine flu affects one person every two years, so the seven cases in Texas and California are cause for alarm.

But not too much alarm. In 1976, President Gerald Ford, a weak incumbent campaiging to be elected to the office that had been bestwed upon him by the ITT and the Watergate scandals, ordered everyone in the country be vaccinated after swine flu killed a soldier. Pvt. David Lewis indeed turned out to be the only fatality of swine flu—but 500 people were killed or permanently sickened by the vaccine causing an alllergic reation. One employee at the CDC even predicted that, Project Censored noting “[h]e was fired from the FDA by Commissioner Alexander Schmidt for ‘insubordination.'”

So it’s important to take action, but more important to ensure it’s the right action.

(h/t Puck)