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03 July 2009 @ 10:39 pm
I KNEW my excursions into amateur epidemiology were worth it!  
We sent one of our subs home yesterday, despite being desperately understaffed. She dragged herself to the doctor today: definitely flu, probably swine! Oh the excitement!

So far, for those without serious pre-existing conditions, H1N1 2009 Influenza is proving less lethal than the 'normal' influenza that is doing the rounds of Australia this year, so it's actually the better option. And so far for me, my mild cold has apparently kept me a little too warm to incubate the virus, or so I am telling myself. I actually feel very good even for having another bloody cold. Ten minutes of clogged nose a day and a voice that sounds a little like a soprano Marianne Faithfull impersonator first thing in the morning, and that's IT.

NB, the above paragraph will probably come back to bite me and I will end up dragging myself to the doctor to beg for Tamiflu tomorrow morning desperately trying to get my act together before heading off to Pericles with pushdragon ...

Still, I was able to spend the day being reassuring, reminding people what the symptoms for flu actually are (as opposed to a probable case of dermatitis for one) and letting a few people know that, actually, treatments for some viruses do exist, and this is one of them. (After the 12th question asking why we weren't all being vaccinated, it is possible I may have said 'Good god, people, you are JOURNALISTS!', but that was the extent of me being snappish.)

For those keeping track, it's been about 2 months since it reached Australia, I think less than one month since the first death here, and my friend is someone who has not travelled within the period, nor been closely exposed to anyone who has. Which means that those public health officials who have pretty much given up on the quarantine make an excellent point for it no longer serving any purpose.

Bryoneybryoneybrynn on July 3rd, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
I hope you feel better soon, BB. :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 3rd, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
I would be quite happy staying exactly this unwell, as it is fairly minimally unwell and seems to be protecting me from the worse things that are everywhere!
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on July 3rd, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)

Well then, I hope you stay exactly as unwell as you are.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 3rd, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
pir8fancier on July 3rd, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
When all is said and done, I'd like to see some sort of study on the role of the media whipping this hysteria to ridiculous levels. In the U.S., on average, 36,000/people/year die of flu. That's far less than what this virus has generated. Feel better, my dear. I've always found that a few slugs of decent cognac does wonders!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 3rd, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
Well, yes and no on the media involvement ...

The first incidences of the disease came with increased fatalities among people who do not normally die from flu. That was what led to the new strain being isolated.

Our experience of wholly new strains of flu, to which resistance is even lower than normal new strains has been pretty bad over the last century, with Spanish flu setting the standard. So it was reasonable to try to contain the virus when it looked as though it could be very bad indeed. From that perspective, the media did an excellent job and made people worry enough to actually impose some level of self-quarantine, which is very hard to do!

As the epidemic became a pandemic, it became clear that the death rates in the general global population would not be vastly higher than for normal flus (certainly nothing like Spanish flu, or even the recent avian flu).

This was bad in some ways, as we seem to have largely given up on quarantines, however, it has meant that people with any flu are taking it far more seriously this year.

The upshot of it all will quite likely be that fewer people will die of any form of influenza this year, because people are so conscious of the whole thing and are seeking medical help, taking care of themselves and using Tamiflu.

So actually, the hysteria has been life-saving and good practice in case avian flu ever achieves aerosol transmission!

And I am going to opt for the sleep cure, which means good night from me!
uminohikariuminohikari on July 4th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
XDD H1N1 has been going around my town, and apparently it only lasts like, three days with a really low fever..
trichinopoly ash: dan: giant ballsaldehyde on July 5th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
get better soon, brammers!

*hugs b/c i miss you and feel out of the loop for not actively participating in hp fandom lately*