What Do Marilyn Manson and Rachel Maddow Have in Common?

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Photo: Getty Images

Maybe you're apathetic about swine flu. Maybe you're just like, "I am a healthy New Yorker who goes to the gym six days a week, and I'm not going to let some hick virus that probably grew up on a farm take me down." Or perhaps you're like, "Whatever will be, will be." Or maybe you're just thinking, Well, if I get it, at least I won't have to go to work for a few days, in which case :(. But you'd better start caring. Because this swine flu means business. It is not afraid of anyone or anything. How do we know this? Because it's already taken down some of America's strongest, most important, most indefatigable personalities: celebrities.

The numbers are startling. The tally so far:

Rupert Grint, of the Harry Potter movies, was an early victim. Soon after, Rachel Maddow succumbed to the "stanky" flu. Dr. Sanjay Gupta contracted the new H1N1 virus while in Afghanistan, and wrote on his blog that it was the "sickest he'd ever been," and in short order, it was rumored that Anderson Cooper and Harry Smith were also afflicted. Marilyn Manson contracted it around the same time. "I know everyone will suggest that f***ing a pig is how this disease was obtained," he wrote on his MySpace page, which is exactly what everyone was thinking. "However, the doctor said, my past choices in women have, in 'no way' contributed to ... me acquiring this mysterious sickness." Perhaps not coincidentally, Kermit the Frog was also rumored to have swine flu around this time.

And today Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell, whom you'll remember as soon as you see his face, was forced to cancel several appearances with his old band after being felled by the illness.

In fact, it almost seems like more celebrities have had swine flu than normal people we know. Why might this be? A comment from famed Days of Our Lives star Lisa Rinna, whose entire family was afflicted, on Entertainment Tonight may hold a clue. "We had it before it came out," she said.

Celebrities. They get everything first.

Related: The 0.5 Pandemic [NYM]