Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Close Encounter with Swine Flu

Swine flu took on a personal tone for me this week. My son felt very tired, had headache, fever of 102.7 degrees with sweats, then chills, body aches, runny nose, cough, and no GI symptoms 7 days ago. He didn't look good. I did a flu test on his nasal mucus. The result is to the left. The blue line is the negative control. You are supposed to wait 10 minutes before checking the results. I cleaned up the table and was about to go set the timer, when I glanced down at the dipstick. In no more than 2 minutes, the pink line was strongly present. My only son had swine flu.
I stayed much calmer than my wife, who wanted him taken to the ED. What for, I asked. He rested, ate and drank freely, blew his nose lots, and took OTC cold meds. I confined him to his bedroom, which we fumigated with Lysol spray several times per day. He had to wear a N95 mask outside of his room. I wore an N95 mask inside the house that weekend. The rest of my family refused to wear N95 masks. Since he had what essentially was a moderately bad cold, I did not give him Tamiflu for the recommended 5 days. We used lots of wipes, hand sanitizer, and changed his clothes and sheets daily. He stayed home from school 2 days. Therafter, since he did not cough or sneeze, he was just tired. None of my family got ill. None his 4 friends who carpool each day with us got ill. I wish the regular influenza was this mild. Still, I think people should get vaccinated to both swine flu and regular influenza. I am planning on getting vaccinated for swine flu, if the vaccine is ever available in South Carolina.

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