Thursday, August 13, 2009

Swine Flu update in Muscat Oman: What to do

Lots of chatter on the web about Swine Flu in Muscat, Oman.

We have at least 500+ reported cases so far based on latest trends I'd guess, but all seems under control so far. Mainly affecting expats plus jet setting Omanis. But we are seeing the outbreak kick in at a bad time: summer.

Summer means lots of AC, recirculated air, and people crammed inside to escape the heat. It's our equivalent 'germ season' to the European and North American winter.

What to do:
1/ Not yet sick?
- don't panic. So far it seems to be just like ordinary flu even if you succumb - it's bad, but hardly deadly (for most people).
- wash your hands. A lot. Avoid touching your face. Stay away (if you can) from crowds of coughing people and the airports.
- beware mistaking an ordinary cold for swine flu. Rapid onset, big fever and aches in flu. A runny nose, sore throat but little if any fever is just a cold (and also misleadingly known as 'Man Flu'). Don't take Tamiflu except under Drs orders. Side effects can be nastier than the flu.
- don't wear a mask. they don't really help if you're not sick.

2/ Already Sick?
- Stay away from me and everyone else. Treat your body fluids as toxic waste.
- Wash your hands a lot. Wear a mask in public (it does help to stop you from passing it on).
- Keep close family members in quarantine for 3 days somewhere else. Maybe they didn't catch it.
- Enjoy the time off work. Drink lots of fluids, including occasionally whisky.
- If you are old, young, immuno-compromised, super-duper sick, go to a clinic (free?) or Doctor.
- Don't take Tamiflu except under Doctors orders. Side effects can be nastier than the flu.
- Stay away especially from the old, young, and immuno-compromised.
- ring a little bell when out and about, making pig noises.

Photo: Oh, Try to avoid H1N1 testing labs. Leave that stuff to the professionals! [geek prize to anyone who can name the TV series this image is from]

Khaleej Times
Swine Flu Cases Cross 300 in Oman

13 August 2009
MUSCAT — The count of Swine Flu cases in Oman has swelled by nearly 90 in the last three days to cross 300, officials of the Health Ministry said, adding that they expect the figure to rise rapidly in the coming weeks. The ministry also clarified that there had been no deaths from H1N1 in 
the country.

“Eight-nine new cases have been reported from around the country. The total number of affected people (in Oman) now is 323,” a spokesman for the ministry told Khaleej Times on Wednesday after a meeting of the H1N1 Control and 
Follow-up Committee.

He said the authorities were bracing for a steady increase in H1N1 patients in the Sultanate as the outbreak spread to more and more countries around 
the world.

The condition of all the patients, including six in hospital, are “stable,” he added, urging the public not to be misled by rumours and “take information only from the right sources.”

He was referring to unconfirmed reports in recent days that a Swine Flu patient had died in Oman.


  1. Is the image from 'The Survivors'?

    If yes, then it's safe to assume I'm a geek and you're British :-)

  2. Thanks for the crisp and to the point scenarios. Love your expression style and appreciate the thought behind.

  3. One of my frnd owns a medical store here according to him he was able to sell more masks in two days than he did the lst 4 years . Masks are out of stock everywhere now .

    UD : Please visit my blog

  4. Update:
    Pregnant women should be added to the list of 'at risk'

    Dev, SP

    1/ Survivors - Correct!!! You ARE both a champion and quick off the mark geek. Congrats.

    2/ Hence British... hmmm... Nope. More a statement about where the google search went...

  5. I must admit I've been guilty of not taking this seriously. I think I'm ok living here. But now having stood in a queue for a Shawarma and someone behind me blasts out a sneeze, I'm concerned. It made me think...I've yet to see anyone here use a hankerchief! Add to that coming out of Lulu someone gobs a load...and it was a load by the sound effects, of spit on the kerb just by the exit doors. Now I'm not the paranoid type but I'm beginning to think with such habits and lack of hygiene I'm gonna get me one of those masks!


  7. There is a lot of overhyping . Just be careful

  8. Scarlet, Good and helpful. Still doesn't fill me with confidence when someone gobs or sneezes next to me!

  9. Hmmmm. My confidence ebbed a little today
    the grapevine is that 10 guys from the company next us have it and hse just issued a mask to me

  10. Avoid Lulu, plain and simple. That place is a veritable cesspit of swine flu if I ever saw one. Imagine 4000 people, most of them from India/Pakistan/Bangladesh, crammed into a single building, with recirculated air. Most of them recently travelled from home countries, no facilities there, living in shaed accomos. Add to that snot-nosed kids, exchanging flu virii like red colored skittles.

    Went there last friday, didn't go past the main door! Ugh!

    Scarlett: Our company issued masks to everyone. & the place I teach in just announced vacations till Eid! Woohoo! :)



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