Monday, August 10, 2009
have we become a kiasu nation?
myth #1: taking flu vaccination or tamiflu tablets prevents one from getting H1N1 flu
fact: the current flu vaccine & tamiflu are effective against the common types of influenza A infection but NOT H1N1 (& certainly not against bird flu H5N1)
myth #2: when one has H1N1, taking tamiflu is the cure for it
fact : tamiflu has no beneficial effect on H1N1 (read here)
so, why are some people still taking tamiflu? the only benefit is that it will cure the common flu, so that if they have a flu & don't get better with tamiflu, then it is most likely H1N1. the downside is that with widespread & indiscriminate use, new resistant strains of the virus may emerge.
even the new H1N1-specific vaccine (read here) that is being tested now is only effective against the current strain of the H1N1 virus. by the time it becomes available in a few months, a new strain may have evolved, rendering the vaccine ineffective.
oh yes, closing schools also may not limit the spread of H1N1 during a pandemic. (read here)
what's really important are the back-to-basic concepts (which we all already know!) :
1) cultivate healthy lifestyle,eg. nutritious food, exercise & adequate rest
2) maintain personal hygiene, eg. wash hands frequently after contacts, cover nose/mouth when coughing/sneezing,
3) avoid, as far as possible, crowded enclosed spaces; otherwise, wear a mask.
by all means, take all the necessary precautions as detailed in the media & other sources of information, esp. with the sudden rise in fatalities, but let's not overdo it. a course of tamiflu treatment costs about RM150. think how much this will contribute to the coffers of its manufacturers Roche and Ranbaxy?
my 2 sen's worth.
maybe i should have titled this post : have we become a kiasi nation?
(kiasi = afraid to die)