Sunday, August 23, 2009

More swine flu deaths in Oman. WHO updates H1N1 Advice. Oh, and do not take asprin for H1N1!

Another 2 deaths from H1N1 reported, bringing the official Omani total after the weekend to 4.

The best website on H1N1 I've come across so far is from the CDC or Centre for Disease Control in the US: "What to Do If You Get Flu-Like Symptoms".

Symptoms of H1N1
Similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with H1N1 also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Emergency Warning Signs
If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish or gray skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Severe or persistent vomiting
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Something I didn't know before was to AVOID TAKING ASPRIN- especially children under 18. There is a chance of a nasty side effect that is untreatable and can lead to brain damage called Reyes Syndrome. Instead use paracetamol or Ibuprofen.

Aspirin or aspirin-containing products (e.g., bismuth subsalicylate – Pepto Bismol) should not be administered to any confirmed or suspected ill case of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection aged 18 years old and younger due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome. For relief of fever, other anti-pyretic medications are recommended such as acetaminophen or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. For more information about Reye’s syndrome, visit the ' National Institute of Health website

Here's the updated advice from the World Health Organisation [WHO]. Its a good news/bad news story.

Good news: Early treatment with Tamiflu seems to help those in higher risk catagories - children less than 5yrs old, the elderly, pregnant women, immunocompromised and chronically ill (diabetes, for example).

The bad news: Tamiflu works best when given early at first onset, but about 40% of those that get super sick on day 5-6 are 'normal', ie not in the at risk catagory. Hmmm.

This is why the CDC do not recommend attending a 'Swine flu party', as lots of otherwise normal people have died from H1N1 (even if the odds are low).

What is CDC’s recommendation regarding "swine flu parties"?
"Swine flu parties" are gatherings during which people have close contact with a person who has novel H1N1 flu in order to become infected with the virus. The intent of these parties is for a person to become infected with what for many people has been a mild disease, in the hope of having natural immunity novel H1N1 flu virus that might circulate later and cause more severe disease.

CDC does not recommend "swine flu parties" as a way to protect against novel H1N1 flu in the future. While the disease seen in the current novel H1N1 flu outbreak has been mild for many people, it has been severe and even fatal for others. There is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will be for an individual or, equally important, for others to whom the intentionally infected person may spread the virus.

1 comment:

  1. UD
    Please see this link regarding a french guy who embezzled Dhs 14 Million and escaped to India by boat wearing an abaya.


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