In 2009, there was a lot of focus on H1N1 as the infection was isolated in a few countries. All attempts were made to quarantine and isolate those exposed to the disease as well as those who traveled from a known infected area.
Despite all the attempts made, the disease continued to spread. There are no more safe haven from the disease.
We continued to hear the statistics in the news in 2010 until mid 2010 when the disease is no longer headline news.
My family was personally affected by this disease. My dad was the first to be confirmed to have the infection. My daughter was later confirmed with the disease. My son was not confirmed but was given the Tamiflu treatment.
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I did not expect to meet this disease first hand and did not know how widespread it was.
Apparently within the first week of the year, there was already more than 2000 reported cases in Malaysia alone. When I spoke to the health providers in some of the hospitals, they have admitted a lot of cases.
H1N1 is now considered a community disease without quarantine procedures. What that means is when you are in a crowd shopping or in the movies, you could be sitting next to a person with the infection without knowing it.
There is less panic now because most of the hospitals have the vaccine (Tamiflu) to treat the disease.
Many still at high risk
However, that is not good enough for the elderly who may be too weak to fight this disease (especially if they have other ailments attacking their body).
For these people, they could take the precaution of getting vaccinated. Unfortunately, those who have allergy to egg are not able to do this this.
The following are those categorized as high risk:
Patients at Increased Risk for Complications
Prompt empiric antiviral drug treatment is recommended for persons with confirmed or suspected influenza who are at increased risk for serious morbidity and mortality. Based on currently available data, approximately 70% of persons hospitalized with 2009 H1N1 are in one or more of the following groups:
- Children (see below) younger than 2 years old
- Adults 65 years of age or older
- Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks postpartum (regardless of how the pregnancy ended [live birth, pregnancy termination, preterm birth, miscarriage, fetal death])
- Persons with certain medical conditions, described below.
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