Thursday, November 12, 2009

H1N1 otherwise known as HINI (hi-nee)

I'm about a month late with this post as everyone has already posted but here I go.

H1N1 Flu has taken over my hospital. Between the politics of who gets the shot first, of whom is on influenza-type precautions and whom is not, and then the people storming the waiting room with a cough, it is driving me bananas.

Some are, in fact, very sick. And as typical with Emergency Departments* with the 'flu we don't really know if their respiratory distress is actually from Influenza, or if it's bacterial. Oftentimes it's both: a secondary infection with the primary immunosupression from the "Hi-nee". They get treatments for both bacterial and viral causes, and if they are not doing well, a trip to the ICU. Most of the people I've seen intubated lately for "influenza-type illness" are under the age of 50.

I know the media hype is going fanatical about who and who isn't getting the vaccine, the safety of it, and how the government is doing a piss poor job. All I have to say is that most of the 'flu can be prevented from people staying home when they are sick, from handwashing, and from the vaccine.

Getting the flu sucks. Getting this particular strain REALLY sucks (I have had it). Both my fiance and I were stuck in our house with 40C fever for 3 days and almost 3.5 weeks later I STILL have a mild cough.

Get the shot when you are able to. If you don't do it for you, do it for your children or your friend's children.

Oh and I've also learned that I look GORGEOUS in safety glasses, an N95, gloves, and a yellow disposable precautions gown :) One day I'll take a picture to show you.

* if Whitecoat would ever read my blog he would be so proud


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