Archive for October 21st, 2009

H1N1 Response

October 21, 2009

The H1N1 virus is sweeping through the country.  There are lots of people who are getting sick, some are dying.  It is serious.  There is significant disruption that is being caused to schools, businesses, and lives.

There are two things that concern me about this situation.  The first is how many people will go to the doctor or even the hospital ER, at the onset of flu symptoms.  When I was growing up, the first response to flu symptoms, was to stay home from school on the couch, with the tv on, and 7up at hand.  It was only if we were sick for more than two or three days, or if our temperature went very high, that a visit to the doctor was in order.  If you do go to the doctor at the onset of flu symptoms, they will simply tell you to stay home, rest and keep hydrated.  This is a concern because of the strain that is being placed on the medical system from cases that do not yet warrant a visit to the doctor. 

The second concern is a little more serious.  The vaccine for H1N1 was rushed through research and production.  When something is produced quickly, under pressure, the chances of unforeseen consequences are increased.  There is a reason why drug research normally takes a long time before a new drug is introduced to the market.  I am sure that the medical professionals who are in charge, are acting in accordance with their best judgement.  They are certainly more informed about these matters than I am, but it still concerns me.   

I wonder what the final evaluation of our countries’ response to this illness will show us.   Did we respond correctly?  Only time will tell.