Wednesday, July 1, 2009

H1N1 (aka American flu) - Making it clear

The MOH has made a significant attempt in clarifying the situation with regards this 'pandemic'. So thank you, MOH.

For those who are still confused, I have tried to summarize the current understanding and to give a simplified common sense layman approach if you get any 'flu-like symptoms' below:

a] This is a new strain of an old 'flu' virus. It spreads pretty easily but at the moment does not seem to be 'dangerous' other than to some 'high risk people. These high risk people are:
- pregnant women
- patients who have immunological deficiences such as on steroids, on cancer treatments etc
- patients on dialysis
- very young children less than 1 year old

b] If you have runny nose, sore throat and even a cough, but no fever, just stay away from people and wear a mask. Take the usual cough/cold medications. If you need and MC, go see any GP.

c] If you have runny nose, sore throat, cough plus fever and or body aches etc, these would be considered a flu-like disease (what the MOH calls 'influenza like illness') and you are not in the high risk groups of people, this would probably not progress more than the usual seasonal flu. Stay away from people wear a mask, go to your GP and get an MC until you are better (probably 5-7 days).

d] If you have flu-like disease(as in [c]) and are very sick, as in weak, breathlessless etc... best you call 993 or just go to one of those PPC (Pandemic Preparedness Clinics). They have Tamiflu to issue, and if you need to be hospitalized, they will know what to do.

e] If you or your relatives are in the high risk group and who have flu-like disease, it is best you go to one of the PPCs where the doctor there can assess if treatment with Tamiflu is required. You can call 993, if you are very ill.


Anonymous said...

woah.....the earlier contacts/'suspect' cases had to take their own annual leaves while serving out the mandatory HQOs.....

Now it seems that anyone with flu like symptoms can potentially be issued with MCs of up to 7 rest at home.....
And hopefully they do not roam the streets or even go overseas during this period!

Seems like the initial batch of people affected had the raw end of the deal........

gigamole said...

I think various organizations had different ways of managing it. Many just dished out paid leave of absence.Now you lose your MC.:)

But it does seem to me that managing pandemics like this should require a national policy towards management of quarantines etc.

Perhaps the NTUC should look into this. How do you protect the rights and welfare of employees who want to do the right thing, or who are serving out a quarantine required by the State?