“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within...”
Romans 12:2

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Hilary's Desk

Swinish thoughts on Medical Insanity

Hilary Butler - Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How's your day? Full of humour and irony? No? Well, let me make your day for you, or stuff it up, depending on your perspective. Consider the irony and illogic from the reportage team who wrote yesterday's New Zealand Herald articles on the swine flu. Let me join a few dots for you, following on from yesterday's blog serve.

1) Front page, Tuesday April 28, a story called A boy, a game and fears spread tell us:

they consulted a GP on Saturday about her son's mild respiratory symptoms

Question:

Is the GP now in quarantine and have his rooms been sterilized?

Down the bottom we read...:

About 100 people are in quarantine as they wait for the Melbourne laboratory test results.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service clinical director Dr Julia Peters said that if the service had been told - in line with outbreak-prevention protocols- that people on the flight had flu-like symptoms, health officials would have met the flight. "

Then nobody would have gone and played soccer."

Question:

Would the Health Officials and any airport contact personnel have then been put in Quarantine too? Why is it that only those on the aeroplane have been contacted?

2) Just across from that story, another one titled: Family: We feel under attack for spreading it  reads:

His mother said he saw a doctor before the game - the clinic waiting room was full of Rangitoto students from the Mexico trip - but was given no indication the family should be quarantined at home as they are now.

Question:

Was the practice decontaminated?  Were the practice staff put in quarantine, and the surgery closed for two days, while it was "decontaminated" of virus coughed and spread onto arm rests, seats, door handles etc?

3) Inside page two, in a story called Planes prime danger spot for bugs we are told:

The professor, who is the director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University of Otago, said a virus such as the swine flu would spread like the common cold.

"Mucus being spread by coughing, not washing your hands and then handshaking are very much the cause," he said. That included surfaces such as armrests and door handles if hands had not been washed properly.

Ministry of Health director of public health Dr Mark Jacobs said flu virus could survive on surfaces for up to a couple of days.

Professor Krause said it still wouldn't stop infection spreading by a carrier coughing directly on to someone or touching a surface, such as a toilet door, which was followed by the person rubbing their nose - and spreading the virus.

Any virus, coughed into air, will settle on someone, or something.  Anything. 

Do you see what I see?

Family consults GP:

another GP’s waiting room crowded with kids:

Health officials would have “met” the plane.

Virus survives for up to two days on armrests, door handles, and whatever else it’s sneezed upon.

And yet.....ONLY the kids and families are put into quarantine??

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Here's the reality. 

Ambulances in Mexico city are not answering calls to pick up people with swine flu. Their ambulances will become contaminated, and they might catch it and pass it on to their own families.  They know it.  The medical system over there is falling apart, because doctors and staff realise that current "best practice" doesn't work.

Here's a selection of comments from Mexico medical people as reported by the BBC. Please read them all:

 

The number of cases increases significantly every day. The number of fatalities is also increasing. At least three doctors are said to have died from swine flu. There is great fear among the medical community. We know that the situation is very serious and that we are at high risk of infection.

But we are more scared of carrying it into our homes and infecting our loved ones. One of my colleagues that was exposed chose to stay in a hotel rather than run the risk of infecting her daughters.

Dr Guadalupe
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I'm a specialist doctor in respiratory diseases and intensive care at the Mexican National Institute of Health. There is a severe emergency over the swine flu here. More and more patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit. Despite the heroic efforts of all staff (doctors, nurses, specialists, etc) patients continue to inevitably die. The truth is that anti-viral treatments and vaccines are not expected to have any effect, even at high doses. It is a great fear among the staff. The infection risk is very high among the doctors and health staff.

There is a sense of chaos in the other hospitals and we do not know what to do. Staff are starting to leave and many are opting to retire or apply for holidays. The truth is that mortality is even higher than what is being reported by the authorities, at least in the hospital where I work it. It is killing three to four patients daily, and it has been going on for more than three weeks. It is a shame and there is great fear here. Increasingly younger patients aged 20 to 30 years are dying before our helpless eyes and there is great sadness among health professionals here.
Antonio Chavez, Mexico City
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I work as a resident doctor in one of the biggest hospitals in Mexico City and sadly, the situation is far from "under control". As a doctor, I realise that the media does not report the truth. Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were. The official number of deaths is 20, nevertheless, the true number of victims are more than 200. I understand that we must avoid to panic, but telling the truth it might be better now to prevent and avoid more deaths.
Yeny Gregorio Dávila, Mexico City

What am I advocating?

Current methods of supposed infection containment as detailed by the Health Department in New Zealand, are illogical and unworkable in the bigger picture. 

No-one needs paranoia, but there is a huge need for home based common sense to be refound, and for a rethink on when sick people go to the doctor, and how that is managed effectively for the maximum benefit to the patient, and community.

Basic infection containment principles within the family, as a general rule in every day life, seem to have been disregarded by both the medical system and parents at large.  A culture has arisen where parents take their children to see doctors for everything, very early, instead of telephoning the practice, then keeping them at home and watching to see what will happen. 
 
The culture of blaming people for spreading disease, has to stop, when they are doing their very best to keep out of your way. 

A culture of healthy living, good nutrition, sound health principles, and proven home remedies needs to be a front line "medicine", to replace the notion that the medical profession is responsible for fixing everything.

No-one can blame people who unknowingly have mild disease, or are carriers, from passing something onto someone else. Every person on earth, will have passed on infections at some time or other.  That is life.  And, vaccinated people can also unknowingly be carriers and can unknowingly spread disease. 

Every day of the year, people who think they are immune, or don't know they have a disease, can spread it around without realizing they are doing so.  Meningococcal disease is the classic example of that, where actual serious clinical disease usually only occurs in 1 per 100,000 people with the other 99,999 simply getting natural immunity as the bacteria is swapped around amongst the whole community.

What I'm advocating is a sensible medical "education" system where people educate themselves about sensible home care, and know what to do in any infection, when, and why.  



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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