Guy MacGibbon in Quarantine

Stuff.co.nz Senior Web Editor Guy MacGibbon has been quarantined by the Health Ministry after coming into contact with a swine flu carrier. He's blogging frequently during his ordeal.

The good news about Tamiflu

05:24pm 12 Jun 2009 13 comments

I got a couple of bottles of Irish Whiskey for my birthday that I've not yet opened. One's a Bushmills 10-year-old that I'm very curious to try and the other is my old standby Jameson's.

I'm going to responsibly enjoy a snifter now that I've read these magic words: "There are no known interactions between alcohol and Tamiflu."

http://medguides.medicines.org.uk/document.aspx?name=Tamiflu&use=Influenza&section=alcohol

This is more-or-less it. My 72 hours are up in about two hours. It's been fun in a slightly edgy, claustrophobic way. I'll keep an eye on comments but barring major developments, this is the last post.

Oink oink

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Sick? Don't panic, it's probably not swine flu

03:29pm 12 Jun 2009 3 comments

It's winter so there's plenty of regular seasonal flu around, so if you feel sick with flu-like symptoms, don't panic.

If you have symptoms of flu but have not travelled overseas or havn't been in close contact with someone who has travelled overseas chances are you don't have swine flu but just seasonal flu.

Call your GP for advice - don't bowl on in to the doctor.

If you have any questions about what to do if you think you have the flu, post them below and Regional Public Health have promised to help me with answers.

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Not a whole lotta stuff done

01:08pm 12 Jun 2009 2 comments

tina turnerI've had my third and final call from Regional Public Health. Only difference was a question about whether I'd had a swab. Later, after answering in the negative to questions about symptoms, I asked if I would or should get a swab.

The answer was no: swabs are prioritised and as I was completely free of symptoms, I'm at the bottom of a decent sized queue.

I've been clear on my complete absence of symptoms since my first post, yet I've lost count of the number of people who have said they hope I get well soon. The well-wishing is nice, but every "get well soon" is a gentle reminder that most people aren't really reading. I blame today's fast-paced world.

This blog has taken over my isolation, but I've had time for a few things I wouldn't otherwise have gotten round to.

Here's the list of achievements:

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In the news

09:02am 12 Jun 2009 5 comments

The World Health Organisation overnight declared a global swine flu pandemic.

swine flu map

Don't be too alarmed by the P-word - the pandemic designation does not indicate that swine flu has become any more virulent.

What has changed is that it is accepted that swine flu is entrenched in more than one region of the world.

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said: "... we are satisfied that this virus is spreading to a number of countries and it is not stoppable," she said.

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Lazy journalism

12:00am 12 Jun 2009 0 comments

Not everyone is thrilled about a journalist blogging from isolation, most people are indifferent, and a few regulars seem to really dig it.

This blog might be lazy journalism, but I have permission to be lazy. The Regional Public Health isolation guidelines specifically say to rest.

Journos can't win with the public. We're either scaremongering, or covering up.

So, swine flu hasn't yet amounted to much - and haven't the irresponsible beat-up merchants of the media copped it. But what if we'd gone soft on it, and thousands of people died?

With production of significant amounts of vaccine still a way off, it's not time to smugly dismiss the threat, any more than it is time to run around saying the sky is falling.

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