Swine Flu: New York vs Texas

I was looking at the NYT Swine Flu tracking map this morning.

Multiple choice question: Which state is closer to Mexico?

a. New York
b. Texas

I thought it was Texas, but after examining the map I’m less sure. In New York the map reveals 50 confirmed cases, with 24 suspected. In Texas, it’s 26 and 0. This seems odd, to say the least.

Mrs. Bilbo and I can think of two possible reasons.Perhaps the New York people likely to have been infected are middle class students who have recently returned from vacations to Mexico. They have decent access to health care and readily seek out treatment when the are ill. Those more likely to be infected in Texas may be from the lower classes which do not have good access to medical treatment.

The other possibility if that public health service in New York is far better than that in Texas. We do know that New York has one of the premier public health services in the country, but we don’t know where Texas ranks.

It may well be a combination of these factors.

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