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Writer's Block: Swine Times

Are you worried about catching the swine flu? Do you have a plan for avoiding contagion or dealing with quarantine?

I'm not even going to answer this one*. I work for a big NHS hospital, and it's turned everything CRAZY. We're going to be one of the UK's main manufacturing sites for the oseltamivir infant syrup, and we're struggling to keep up with the questions from local healthcare practitioners, the PCT and NHSDirect.

Today was my worst day at work in a very long time. I don't often get stressed out, but I've never been so glad for the day to be over. -_-

* Not answering because I already have a big-aft post to upload later about "the HCP'S POV". You'd think the disease was infection millions of Brits ALREADY, not just... well... 8, so far.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
I hate to be the Devil's Advocate, but given what I've read about influenza outbreaks in the past (mainly the Spanish flu but others as well) I'd rather my country and hospitals be over-prepared than under-prepared. While it is rather unlikely, if you do have a full-scale outbreak it's really hard to play catch-up given the logistics involved.

This isn't you're garden variety cough and sniffles either, people have died of this and not just old people or babies, but healthy, young adults. And while most of the deaths have been in Mexico (where the care might have been sub-standard) there have also been some deaths in the States I believe.

With the Spanish flu people would literally go from feeling fine to being dead within a day and it was the primary virus that was doing the killing, not a secondary infection which is usually the case.

I'm not saying that we should all panic or run screaming through the streets or anything stupid like that, but I like to think we can learn from history. It's also reassuring to know that good people like you are working hard to stop this from turning into something potentially very nasty.
Apr. 30th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'd rather we be over-prepared, and I understand completely the need to BE prepared - I just have this unrealistic pipe dream that one day Joe Public would stop asking stupid questions, use common sense and actually LISTEN to the information they're given so it doesn't have to be spoon-fed to them individually all over again one-by-one. ;) It'd make it so much easier to GET prepared if we didn't have to keep saying "no you can't BUY Tamiflu" or "no, 'simple good hand hygiene' means WASHING YOUR HANDS. No, spraying Dettol Hard Surface Cleaner on them will probably just give you dermatitis, I mean 'soap and water' type washing. You know soap?"

The one confirmed death in the US was a 23-month-old toddler from Mexico, as I understand it, and the ACTUAL death toll in Mexico may be a bit lower than the press reports. (7 confirmed, the rest are all just "suspected" and could be unrelated.)

I don't know if I want to say the media's overplaying it, because most of my information has come from places like the HPA and the PharmSoc, not OMG TABLOOOIDS, but the information's not getting through very well. People seem to think they've got to stockpile enough paracetamol and baked beans to last out a nuclear winter, wearing a face mask is vital, and students are most likely to get the disease and spread it to them. (And by this I mean not just students in dorms who are RENOWNED for having their own little internal pandemics, in this country, but ALL university students EVERYwhere.)

But then, equally, I'm tired and grumbling about how crap my day has been is a sort of catharsis, so go figure. ;)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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