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What is your personal experience of the current 'flu pandemic?
Thread poster: Sheila Wilson

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:43
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Nov 7, 2009

Here on ProZ we are a small cross-section of the world, so I thought it would be interesting to find out whether you or members of your entourage (family or friends) have been touched by this 'flu.

I personally know nobody who knows anybody who has suffered from it - hence my feeling that may be a storm in a teacup, media hype, a commercial windfall for those in the handwash gel / paper mask business, and a vast over-reaction of the health services who have an enormous responsibility to bear and are understandably reluctant to do anything other than go with the flow.

However, I am ready to believe that I may be understating things, under-reacting in response to what I see as others over-reacting. Please, please do not think I am insensitive to the fact that people have died of this strain of 'flu. I know people have died, and that their death is a tragedy for their family and friends. I simply doubt that this particular strain of 'flu is sufficiently virulent for all the healthy adults in the world to fear for their lives.

Please share your thoughts.


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Carole Paquis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:43
Member (2007)
English to French
My experience - in the UK Nov 7, 2009

I live in one of the 'hotspots' in the UK (Birmingham area). I know two or three people who had it. All mild cases. Most schools have been affected and we thought for a while that my daughter had it back in July (it was actually measles...another scary one these days).

I understand the interest of the medical world, as they have been waiting for it for quite a while, and this time round, they are a lot better equipped.

As far as fearing for my life... we can all go tomorrow from various terrible diseases (take your pick!), so I am not more worried about it than anything else.
There are some people in my family with very serious health problems, so I am more worried about that.

It doesn't mean I don't take it seriously...but I also had my car looked after recently because it is so easy to get killed on the road.

I guess it's all in the balance.


Carole


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Christina Paiva  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:43
Portuguese to English
+ ...
It is dangerous! Nov 8, 2009

My experience in Brazil (São Paulo):

The flu is dangerous especially for people who have delicate health, the elder, babies, people of any age with bad habits (crazy diets, undernourished, etc..)

One of my clients, a professor at the local Medical School told me once you get the virus - and this really surprised the physicians - the virus may take over the lungs very quickly, and if this happens it is very difficult to control.

My daughter had a strong flu this winter - don't know if it was THE FLU - but I decided to treat her at home (I have lots of experience with flu and pneumonia). Old fashioned treatment is the best way to treat the flu: stay in bed, sleep a lot, drink tons of water, chicken soup, tea & toast, humidified room, medication to control fever.. Two days and she was fine

What happened here is that people rushed to the drugstores to get the antiviral medication, which is as dangerous to your health as the disease itself, and should only be taken under medical advice!! Besides, it is very expensive!!!

Then, there is another issue: the flu symptoms go away if you take one of those miraculous pills, but the virus is still there.. They forget that the virus will spread if they go to work, take their children to school, etc..

My advice: keep a healthy life style, drink a lot of water, don't go to crowded places, this might prevent you from getting the flu. If you have the flu symptoms, don't panic. See a doctor ASAP, stay at home and get some rest.

HTH

[Edited at 2009-11-08 01:13 GMT]


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xxxAguas de Mar
My two cents Nov 8, 2009

Cristina is in Sao Paulo, towards the South; I am in Recife, towards the North, and I do not know anyone here who has had the H1N1 flu or died from it. I do know a bunch of people, including myself, who at some point or other have come down with a bad case of flu and recovered, but none of us can tell for sure if it was the H1N1 virus, because we did not take the tests. This said, there indeed have been some cases and some deaths in Brazil, like in most countries.

My sister lives in Mexico City. She says that the worst consequence of the virus so far has been an economic downturn after schools and most public venues were closed for almost two weeks last April/May. She also says that most of the people who died passed away because they were either misdiagnosed or waited too long to get medical treatment. The socioeconomic class has also been a factor in who dies from the disease. A large percentage of the casualties have been people without ready access to health care.

We also visited Orlando, Florida, last July, in what was probably the midst of the pandemic in the US. There were thousands of people, all of us grabbing the same handrails to go see Shamu, the dolphins' show, or to get into one or more of the other attractions. Had the virus been there, and had it been as contagious as some say it is, there would have been thousands of sick people, but apparently it did not happen.

I do not believe in conspiracy theories, but I do think that the impact of this disease has been overblown; with what purposes, I am not sure.

It also seems to have become something like fashion now. What ever happened to the SARS? Were the measures taken so effective that it has now been eradicated?

[Edited at 2009-11-08 04:08 GMT]


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Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 16:43
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
Nothing here... Nov 8, 2009

Hello,

I didn't see or know of anyone who have/had it. In Algeria few cases were detected and they were all related to people who came from Europe...

I'm not worried by the disease in itself as I'm worried about the fact that we don't have the "know how" to deal with this kind of disease...

All in all, I'd be more scared of dying in a car accident than of the disease, even though the papers are making a fuss over it...


Cheers !

MoH


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Lise Leavitt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:43
Member (2008)
Danish to English
+ ...
Family Nov 8, 2009

Here i the US I must say that many are extremely worried about this flu. All though experts say that this flu in proportions has caused very little deaths, compared to an ordinary seasonal flu. It is still very scary I think. I am not so much worried about the flu itself, but about what it possibly could turn into in terms of complications.

We, my husband and I do not have a health insurance, as he is one of the + 10% of Americans who has lost his job, and I simply cannot afford buying one atm. So, it could be very costly if things turn bad.

My sister in law and 3 kids, have already had the virus and tonight we all gathered for a family dinner. I guess I knew I was looking for trouble, but you have to keep on with your life right =) Well, her fourth and last kid turned up tonight looking very down under and I just read on her Facebook page that he was running a fever...soooo please wish me luck lol

I would like to know, what you think about the vaccines for these widespread diseases, do you approve? Do you think they should necessarily be administered to everybody, or mainly to the people at risk, such as small children, elderly and pregnant women?

Have a great Sunday =) L.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 18:43
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
It has started here Nov 8, 2009

Mostly affected of course are schools, daycare and the army. Interestingly the pandemic started in the North, in Lapland, and spread to the South gradually within two weeks.
At first people were taking it easy, but after a 8 year old girl died of H1N1, people started to line up for vaccination. Standing in line at zero degrees in the fog for many hours of course is not very healthy.
The population will be vaccinated gradually, first children and health-care personnel, then the rest. But order is breaking down as people start to panic.
I do not care much, H1N1 is like any flu, either you catch it or not. I usually get better within three days.

Stay well!
Heinrich


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Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 16:43
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
Good Luck Nov 8, 2009

Lise Leavitt wrote:

Here i the US I must say that many are extremely worried about this flu. All though experts say that this flu in proportions has caused very little deaths, compared to an ordinary seasonal flu. It is still very scary I think. I am not so much worried about the flu itself, but about what it possibly could turn into in terms of complications.

We, my husband and I do not have a health insurance, as he is one of the + 10% of Americans who has lost his job, and I simply cannot afford buying one atm. So, it could be very costly if things turn bad.

My sister in law and 3 kids, have already had the virus and tonight we all gathered for a family dinner. I guess I knew I was looking for trouble, but you have to keep on with your life right =) Well, her fourth and last kid turned up tonight looking very down under and I just read on her Facebook page that he was running a fever...soooo please wish me luck lol

I would like to know, what you think about the vaccines for these widespread diseases, do you approve? Do you think they should necessarily be administered to everybody, or mainly to the people at risk, such as small children, elderly and pregnant women?

Have a great Sunday =) L.



Hello,

Sorry to hear that...From what I heard the vaccines are experimental and the side effects are yet to be known, so if you' re healthy stay out of it....

I'm sorry to hear that you don't have an insurance as in the U.S. it's seems that free health doesn't exist...

Good luck anyway

Cheers,

MoH


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Direct contact Nov 8, 2009

I thought it was all bullocks (sorry) until one of my closest friends was in severe risk of dying because of swine flu (and a consequential pneumonia) only a few days ago. On the other hand, I had a chance to go to see him to hospital right after he came out of the ICU and I am alive and kicking, so it is not as easy to catch as we have been taught.

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alessandra bocco  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:43
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
My son just caught it Nov 8, 2009

Here in Italy this flu started only a few weeks ago and, as everywhere in the world, medias talked a lot about it. Some people died from it, but they all suffered from serious illnesses before and they would have probably died from other types of flus too.
Children at school are the most affected and my son just caught it last Friday. He was sick two days and today he's well again. Almost all his schoolmates had high temperatures for 2-3 days and that's all. They all came back to school normally. I'm waiting to see if we'll all get sick in our family... I think it's better to catch it now that during Christmas' holidays...
I don't know anybody who had serious problems because of this flu, my son's doctor didn't see any serious cases in these two weeks, so I really don't think it's worth vaccinating unless you have big health problems. Here nobody wants this vaccine. Antivirals and vaccines are a big business for pharmaceutical companies...mot more than this.
(I'm a biologist and I have worked for a pharmaceutical company, so I know what I'm saying!)


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:43
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
One friend of mine had it, but ... Nov 8, 2009

One friend of mine had pig flu recently and felt wretched, as one does with any flu, but she said her doctor wasn't absolutely sure it was indeed pig flu. She's OK again now.
I was offered the vaccine over the phone by my doctor's office, probably because I'm one of the "vulnerable" (elderly? bad habits? yes, certainly), but I declined it because I'd prefer to take my chances and ... a recent TV investigation I watched stated that something like 80% of National Health Service staff offered the vaccine have declined it - so ... what do they know???
Keep healthy, everyone!
Jenny


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:43
French to German
+ ...
No experience so far, but some history lessons... Nov 8, 2009

by a French M.D. (sorry, it is in French!):

http://openvideo.dailymotion.com/video/xawlts_grippe-a-h1n1-antoine-achram-docteu_lifestyle

Especially from 03:58 on :-S

[Edited at 2009-11-08 13:00 GMT]


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Davide Negro  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:43
English to Italian
+ ...
health insurance Nov 8, 2009

One thing I cannot understand about your country is why people suffering from serious illness are to be considered " dead man walking" if they cannot afford a health insurance, which is a priority issue and it should be made available to all of them.....

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:43
French to German
+ ...
... and a complete explanation Nov 8, 2009

in Spanish with English subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0JqQyl09zQ et seq.

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sarandor  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:43
English to Russian
+ ...
Mass vaccinations in public schools Nov 8, 2009

Our local schools will be giving H1N1 vaccines to children next week. School officials do not yet know what form of the vaccine they will get (nasal spray or injection). I hope for the spray because my 7-year old might refuse to get a shot.

I do not personally know anyone who got this flu. I've read somewhere that the H1N1 virus is the prevailing strain at the moment and that all new cases of flu will be presumed to be the swine one. One of my friends (born and raised in Holland) said that she is not afraid of the swine flu because she hasn't had any kind of flu since getting a severe form of Asiatic flu as a child.


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