Flu, or Something Else, Panics Ukraine
November 1, 2009 • 12:02PM

A panic is under way over H1N1 flu in western Ukraine, including quarantines and panic buying of drugs in Lviv, Ternopil, and other towns.

There are unconfirmed reports, and surging rumors, about it's being something other than, or in addition to, H1N1. Among the subjects of speculation: "typhus", or "hemorrhagic fever," or "pneumonic plague imported by the Americans to wipe out the Slavic people." Thirty-some people have died, most of them young, and there are rumors about their lungs being filled with blood.

A Ukrainian contact writes that the panic is intense. He has heard "typhus" from several people, as well as media, although the authorities deny that it's anything except for swine flu. While none of the characterizations of the outbreak has been confirmed, the level of panic and rumor begins to sound like the opening scenes of the LPAC "Dark Ages" video, recalling how people fled is desperation from the plague, brought on by insane economic policies.