My toddler who has had a cough for a few days (that is not unusual, he has reactive airway issues and often sounds congested) suddenly started running fever last night. I am not at all a paranoid parent, but even I couldn't help but be a little worried about the Swine Flu when he awoke burning up with fever at 10 PM last night. An internet search on Swine Flu symptoms didn't make me feel any better.
Thankfully our pediatrician always gets the kids in the same day you call, so I was able to get him to the doctor this morning. They did a nasal swab with a Q-tip-like-thingy and then ran a 5 minute test in their lab -- negative for H1N1. I didn't even ask for the test; the doctor said any patient coming in with fever gets the test. My son was given antibiotics for a respiratory infection and is already doing better.
The kids coming in after us looked very, very sick. My daughter didn't understand why I kept lathering her down with antibacterial gel. In fact I nearly depleted my supply of the stuff, so we stopped by Target on the way home from the doctor and guess what was completely cleared from their shelves -- Hand sanitizer!
I majored in biomedical science in college and had a class on infectious diseases with this professor who got really excited when he lectured on the possibilities of major outbreaks. I bet wherever he is now, he just cannot contain himself! Back in that day (11 years ago) genetics, cancer, and HIV were the hot areas of medical science research, but that microbiology professor told us several times, "Microbes are on their way back!" So today, I tip my hat to you, Micro-professor man, not only for giving me an A in your class and loving my term paper on Ebola, but for your powers of prediction!
From Anthrax in 2002 to Bird Flu to Swine Flu, microbes are definitely back! We just pray you microbiologists invent a way to fight them!