06 August 2009

My name's BrYan, and I might be Infected

I don't really want to dishonour the latest suspected victim (and 2nd in South Africa) of the H1N1 virus, but this is something I need to post, since it relates directly to me, and I knew the guy that passed away suddenly, and he wasn't a frail dude by any stretch of the imagination.

"A spokesperson for the family of [name deleted] has advised the Division of Human Resources and Equity that Mr [name deleted]'s likely cause of death is related to the H1N1 virus which is commonly called Swine Flu. The University would like to reassure staff and students that there is no cause for panic and that the matter is being addressed by a high level team, convened by Professor Willem Sturm of the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine. This team will shortly publish guidelines for staff and students. In the meantime all staff and students are advised that if they are displaying flu like symptoms and feel concerned, they should seek medical advice."

What can I say? I've potentially been exposed. More interestingly, this guy died after a short visit to Swaziland. Where have I been just at the beginning of July? Swaziland. Coincidence? I think not! I am now starting to think my four-week long illness with 'flu was actually this H1N1 virus. Let's go over the facts:

  1. Throat infection / sore throat
  2. Coughing for weeks (still a minor cough now)
  3. Fatigue

"The internets" says that the symptoms of H1N1 are (with emphasis on the ones I've had):

What are the signs and symptoms of H1N1 (swine) flu in people?

The symptoms of H1N1 (swine) flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 (swine) flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with H1N1 (swine) flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, H1N1 (swine) flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

Hmmm... might I have contracted this virus after all? I'm starting to think not, because I don't seem to have enough of these symptoms to confirm the illness, and no-one else has contracted anything after being in contact with me. And apparently I wasn't contagious just by being around me.

This then leads me onto my second suspicion. If suddenly we get a whole lot of "service delivery protests" in areas that are quite obscure and isolated, and we have reports of police needing to use "rubber" bullets, and protestors going on the rampage, then I'm going to start to suspect that this whole H1N1 pandemic is nothing more than a very elaborate cover-up for the latest potential outbreak of you-know-what! Again, without trying to trivialise what happened just over a year ago - do you really think xenophobia was the true root of the unrest???

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