Thursday, 11 July 2013

Swine Flu

My 14yo son fainted today and the 18yo bundled him up in the car, took him to the local doctors/hospital, sorted out the medical aid and called hubby who drove straight there.

Youngest was put on a drip and told he has Swine Flu, he is now at home and been told to rest for 3 days.

My 18yo is a star. I found the medical aid system, esp. in an emergency quite a complicated process, but 18yo has learnt well and managed the situation. I'm very proud of him.

I skyped with 14yo just now and he looks terrible, full of holes from blood tests and the drip, but as with all children, he's enjoying the attention despite feeling so poorly.

When swine flu broke in the UK in 2009, my 21yo son, then aged 17, worked at Malvern College, the school was closed due to confirmed cases and all the staff given Tamiflu. The 14yo, then 10, was a public at the prep school which was also closed, but he was unaffected.

The eldest child felt unwell, dizzy, temperature. So we called the Matron at the college who set the ball into motion. I don't know whether attitudes to swine flu have changed or it's just treated differently in South Africa, but this is what happened in the UK:

We were told to put eldest into isolation and wait for someone to come round to take blood samples.

A nurse arrived around 7pm, complete with mask and wearing a paper suit. She took blood samples, labelled them, placed them in a box, inside another box and sealed it with a label marked 'contamination' She then removed all her 'contaminated' clothing and put it in a yellow bag, that she left in our hallway with the box and told us someone would be round later to collect it all.

At midnight a guy turned up in van marked 'bio hazards' again in protective clothing, collected the sample and the waste bag, removed his contaminated clothing and put that in a yellow bag and shut the door on the van. He apologised for the lateness of the hour but he had to run each box up to the lab in Birmingham separately and he had several more trips  to Malvern to make.

Slight panic, an epidemic, more than a little worried. It took 10 days for the results to come back, eldest son didn't have swine flu, it was the tami flu that made him in and he was like a coiled spring being stuck in his room for so long.

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