Swine flu panic, it sweeps through doctor's offices and emergency rooms, schools, offices, and even through the heart of our not-so-stalwart, moronic Vice President.
Every year the regular flu virus kills 36,000 people. In the U.S., there's been ONE confirmed death from the swine flu, a 2 year old Mexican child. You know, because it's the very young, very old, and those with poor immune systems that are most susceptible. There are only 109 confirmed cases in this country, and the treatment is pretty much the exact same as treatment for the regular flu, but everyone's in an uproar.
Mer called me this morning and told me she was sick. "I know this sounds ridiculous, but my friend told me to look up swine flu on the internet, and I have the symptoms. Can we go to the doctor and get it checked out?"
I assured her she didn't have swine flu, if she was sick she could stay home from school, but let's wait and see before rushing off to the doctor because unless she had an infection, there wasn't much they could do for her. Besides, it's spring in the allergy capitol of the universe and we went from temperatures in the 90s to temperatures in the 50s this week. People always get sick in changing weather.
She went to school, walked into her class looking a little flushed and coughing. The teacher didn't even let her sit down before she sent her out of the classroom and to the clinic. The nurse called me and wanted me to take Mer to the doctor to get a nasal swab to test for swine flu, just in case. Could we get an appointment today because they won't let her back in school without a note from the doctor saying she doesn't have it. *headdesk* Okay.
We go to the doctor, who is right there with us in the eye-rolling. The office is hopping because EVERYONE thinks they've got frickin' swine flu. He looks her over and says he thinks she's got bronchitis and allergies, but if we want him to, he'll prescribe Tamiflu, which doesn't actually cure the swine flu but just shortens the length of time you have it and reduces symptoms.
I don't really want to give her a drug she doesn't need, and I ask about the nasal swab, explaining that she has to have a note declaring her swine-flue-free to go back to school. Dr. V rolls his eyes. "The nasal swab tests for the regular flu. The only way to test for swine flu is to do a blood draw, send it to the CDC, and wait a week for a negative result."
So we're in between a rock and a hard place. Mer doesn't have swine flu, but the doctor can't provide us a written statement saying that because she hasn't been tested. We have the Tamiflu prescription, but I'm not going to fill it until I talk to the school nurse. She needs to know she's giving out bad information, and that Meredith can't miss her night school class if she's going to graduate. I'll be damned if I'm going to have her sit out a week for no reason. She'll stay home tomorrow because she is sick, but come Monday, I want her back in school. God help them if they give me a hard time.
People need to chill out and try to look at this with a tiny bit of perspective. And WHO needs quit trying to scare people over bullshit.