Thursday, May 14, 2009

Exposure to virus 'a bad idea'....Really?

I was quite amused reading about MOH Director of Medical Services, Dr Satku having been quoted as saying 'Generally, as a principle, it is not good practice to expose an individual to a contagious disease to gain immunity as any infectious disease might give rise to complications'.

Really, Dr Satku?

I think the good doctor meant well in defending his Ministry, but I think he is way off wrong.

Infections occur all the time, and being contagious have always spread through the community in some way or other. This is the way the community builds up 'herd immunity' to bugs. We are not talking about some serious illness, or devastating infection, rather in this case, a viral infection that has way less bite than the seasonal flu.

Dr Satku, in case you haven't noticed, we don't live in a sterile bubble.


Paul Ananth said...

I think that the concern is that seasonal H1N1 which is resistant to tamiflu might reassort with swine origin H1N1 which is susceptible, thus making Singapore the epicenter of the new "superbug" - tamiflu resistant swine origin H1N1 that disproportionately affects people under 60 with a similar mortality - about 0.4%

gigamole said...

Hi Paul,

Thx for dropping in.

I'm not so sure that there's any valid concern though re the present H1N1 since it seems pretty toohless. There is so much H1N1 around already that can reassort and mutate, that singling this unfortunate one out as if it is malevolent just doesn't make any sense. I don't put too much store in that Tamiflu sensitivity story anyway. All it does it to reduce flu duration by 1.3 days. Big deal.