1. Disease outbreak strikes
2. Media does lots of stories about disease and the rate of the outbreak.
3. Media wonders "Are We Prepared?!?!?"
4. Issue is politicized.
5. Threat subsides.
6. Celebrities raise money.
7. Outbreak becomes fodder for jokes. (Swine Flu is pretty good but then you remember Foot and Mouth)
This cycle can last as little as 4 months or as long as 18 months.
Bird Flu or SARS? Mad Cow or Foot and Mouth?
Of course none of this is to say that these threats aren't truly costly. Mexico is going through hard times.
But I'm going to start his one with some jokes.
Update: TPM's Daily Digest pretty much captures it.