I was in Beijing at the height of SARS. It was a horrible experience fearing the unknown. Something I would not want to experience again.
At that time news blockout was implemented all over China, so little do we know what was actually happening. We were in the shock of our lives when gallons of disinfectants were seen rushed inside the school campus. Then, the over populated Beijing turned into a ghost town.
Being discriminated was another thing to handle. Poor you, if you get sick at this time, no one would be willing to nurse you. We had to wear eleven layers of mask to protect ourselves. No one wants you home either, a companion of ours was booted out of a hotel after knowing they came from Beijing. While waiting for the incubation period to lapse, I too was quarantined. In consolation: we were quarantined in luxury in a suite room in five star hotel in Makati for a week and it was a taboo to say we came from Beijing.
Now, I'm worried about the non-rebookable, non-refundable flights I booked last week when Philippine Airlines slashed airline rates by 60%!
What now? Don't let paranoia kick in. Stay healty and get informed. Know more about A(H1N1) (swine flu virus):
swine flu: frequently asked questions
About the disease
WHO update as of 1 May 2009
How do people become infected with influenza A(H1N1)?
Outbreaks in humans are now occurring from human-to-human transmission. When infected people cough or sneeze, infected droplets get on their hands, drop onto surfaces, or are dispersed into the air. Another person can breathe in contaminated air, or touch infected hands or surfaces, and be exposed. To prevent spread, people should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing, and wash their hands regularly.
What are the signs and symptoms of infection?
Early signs of influenza A(H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhoea.
Regarding study of the first outbreak, have you received any feedback from the WHO team sent to Mexico to investigate the outbreak?
Teams are already sending epidemiological evidence but we will know more over the next few days.
Is there any confirmation of transmission between pigs and humans at this point?
Is there any information on the economic impact of the outbreak so far?
Why are we so worried about this pandemic possibility when thousands die every year from seasonal epidemics?
Seasonal epidemics occur every year and we are able to treat the virus with seasonal vaccines. A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic. It is a new virus and one to which the populations will have no immunity.