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)


iml said...

Some children have adverse reaction to Tamiflu. Cases have been reported in spore.

doc said...


as more side effects become evident with its widespread use, it's possible a stage may be reached to seriously consider if it's worthwhile using tamiflu at all.

eugene said...

My only concern is, are we capable to contain H1N1, if its mutates to other ugly forms of diseases....

let us keep our finger crossed,bro, i read in the chinese news the other WHO claimed that Malaysia has not reached the abyss yet as far as H1N1 is concerned, it stated if that did occure, the death could be totalling up to 250,000.

never mind like you said take it a lot of fluid,,thank doc

Bengbeng said...

doc, i dont know if i agree with u or not over here... suddenly BH is getting flu all over again. :( with running nose when hrs ago i thought he had recovered except for a cough

doc said...


mutate it will, & no one knows what the full extent of the pandemic will be, but we do what we can. MOH used to practise prevention, but now that the floodgates have opened, it's now changed to mitigation (aka containment, i think).

take care!

doc said...


the haze is not helping, but have faith.

God bless!