An article in the New York Times gives a clue as to why the Swine Flu is killing so many people in Mexico.

Mexicans may have been hit by a different, deadlier strain, or the flu may have infected more people who had other health problems, researchers speculate.

But one important factor may be the eclectic approach to health care in Mexico, where large numbers of people self-prescribe antibiotics, take only homeopathic medicine, or seek out mysterious vitamin injections. For many, only when all else fails do they go to a doctor, who may or may not be well prepared.

By now, the message should be out there: homeopathy doesn’t work. It’s had two hundred years to make its case, but we still have no reproducible studies that show that it works any better than a placebo.

In most circumstances, the consequences of using homeopathy (and indeed, any so-called alternative medicine) are not very serious, except for the waste of money. You take the pills, they do nothing, and you eventually get better on your own. But world-wide pandemics are not to be messed with, and relying on junk medicine can kill you.

Natural selection is great and all, but I’d rather not see it work this way.