Apparently, I didn't need to go to Hong Kong to be exposed to AH1N1 Virus

June 13th, 2009 § 15

Funny how I begged out of a Hong Kong weekend with Joni and Maemae (and added another planet ticket to my growing list of wasted plane tickets) because I was feverish at the start of the week, and I didn’t want to run the risk of being exposed to AH1N1 when all along, I’ve been exposed to it already. Me, and my family, and some of my closest friends.

I knoooooow.

Dude. I know.

I know what you’re thinking, because I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

I could be carrying the virus too.


(The DOH has been very particular about not disclosing the names of these patients, so for the sake of anonymity, let’s just call my friend “J”. I don’t mind being called “R” when it’s my turn to be in your story, k? K! LOL.)

J was with us both Saturday and Sunday. At one point he even joked about having swine flu because, well, he’s an FEU student, and he was basically right in the middle of that outbreak when it happened. But when he started having high fever Sunday night, he couldn’t joke no more. He was brought to the hospital for check-up Monday afternoon and was tested for AH1N1, a standard procedure imposed on FEU students who are experiencing flu-like symptoms. He was sent home, and his family was advised to overdose on Vitamins C.

Tuesday morning, I woke up chilling with fever, and while I normally wouldn’t bother, paranoia brought me to Medical City because I desperately wanted to rule out the possibility.

Now there are two questions added to the standard spill for walk-in patients in the light of this ongoing epidemic: (1) Do you have any history of travel? and (2) Were you exposed to anyone who’s confirmed to have AH1N1?

Only if you answered YES to any of the two questions will they consider you an AH1N1 candidate. (Which kinda sucks, I mean, what if you’re not aware that you were exposed?)

And it didn’t help, too, that I was assigned to a doctor who wasn’t in the mood to be helpful.

Doc: Were you exposed to anyone who’s confirmed to have AH1N1?
Riz: Well, my friend was recently tested for it but we’re still waiting for results.
Doc: Yeah, I was only asking for confirmed cases. Were you exposed to anyone who’s confirmed… (repeats the question)
Riz: Not yet confirmed doc, but my friend..
Doc: Confirmed ba o hindi?
Riz: No.
Doc: Okay, you go take biogesic…


Anywayyy, the doctor, after some x-ray and blood test, only prescribed me antibiotics (no viral infection, only bacterial), and paracetamol.

By Friday I was already feeling better. J was already feeling better too — like me, no more fever, just cough.

But then, today, we heard the news. If the latest count to AH1N1 cases in the Philippines was 92, then as of a few hours ago, another case was just added to that. Our friend.

I know that by posting this, people would, most likely, start avoiding me/us for being potential AH1N1 carriers. :p But I’m blogging this anyway because I suddenly feel burdened to tell people that, take it from me, it’s not as monstrous as we all thought it to be.

It’s a strain of flu, not some vampire-venom that will make us run around like bloody zombies ala 28-days ready to devour our next victims. It takes the same symptoms of a normal flu, only, this one spreads faster. (Actually, they say more people die from the normal flu than from AH1N1.) You don’t even have to be in a hospital to recover. My friend, J, went through all of this in the comforts of his home, and not one of his family was infected, even. Also, if you’re curious, J was prescribed to take Tamiflu for the next 5 days (Go google it up!), not exactly a rare extract from the mountains of Timbuktu, but a normal over-the-counter flu medication.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying AH1N1 should be ignored. I’m saying, we have to stop being scared of it. The best way to cure it is to be immuned to it, they say. Overdose on Vitamins, drink lots of fluid, sleep 6-8 hours a day. As long as you keep your resistence up, you can be in a room ful of vampires AH1N1 patients and you won’t get infected. (A doctor friend I consulted prior to blogging this instructed me to take 10 tablets of Vit.C — 5 in the morning, 5 in the evening — and 4 liters of water a day.)

Now, if, by any chance, you start feeling any flu-like symptoms even after taking all the preventive measures, then don’t be scared to seek medical attention right away.

I gave up my Hong Kong trip because I didn’t want to be exposed to AH1N1, when apparently, it’s closer to me than I thought. But hey, I’m not scared of it anymore. You shouldn’t too. :)

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