‘Making’ news – Swine Flu

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As you know Swine Flu has been making headlines all over the world. The news channels and newspapers are going overboard as they try to use the little they know to increase their TRPs and come out on top.
Today we had a taste of how blasphemously inaccurate and blatantly false even top newspapers are. We saw this article about a child called Tharika. you can click on the clipping enclosed to read the full article
Indian+Express+21st+August.jpgVery emotional article! The only problem is that there is absolutely no truth at all. How do I know? Tharika is my patient and i am treating her (along with Praburam). Here are the facts:
1. She was admitted with fever on the 11th and not the 10th. (The closest the newspaper ever got to the truth!!)
2. She was never suspected to have swine Flu and had no symptoms even remotely suggestive of swine flu.
3. She was never sent to the Government Hospital – in fact the parents have never been there at all!
4. She was never tested for swine Flu and was never isolated either here or in the Government Hospital. She has been in the general paediatric ward at our hospital.
5. No tests were ever done in Chennai or even sent to Chennai.
6. She was confirmed to have typhoid based on tests done in the laboratory doen at our hospital!
7. The family faced more problems after the publication of this news item!
No-one contacted our hospital, me, Praburam, the family, the government hospital, the lab in Chennai, the health authorities or any doctor at any time about this patient. I wonder what their ‘sources’ are.
There was an immediate response and we had an inspection by a team of doctors and health personnel from the Government. As usual the truth triumphed and we had no problems at all.
I’ll end this blog entry with a clear warning – “Do not believe or act on anything the newspapers and news channels say”.
And if you’re really looking for something to read that says the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth try reading the BIBLE

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