Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Men in Black

Those who watched the webchat with Dr Nigel Calvert yesterday (and those who didn't can replay it online) will no doubt know more about swine flu than most other experts! He was superb - giving quick, concise answers to a myriad of questions. There was some very interesting stuff, not least a first figure on swine flu in Cumbria for some weeks. He estimated - and emphasised it could only be an estimate - that there are currently 600 swine flu cases in Cumbria. I also found interesting the comment from 'Brian' who said his mate had swine flu and the boss sent somebody round to take a swab. 'What's the point of that' asked Brian. What's the point indeed. Are employers going to then prescribe tamiflu or offer a course of treatment - or turn round and say "I don't care what your doctor says, you haven't got swine flu so get yourself back to work". Bizarre. It also had a flavour of Men in Black nipping round to swine flu cases echoing tales and legends in plague times past of strangers wandering the land. Dr Calvert, NHS Cumbria’s associate director of Public Health, said: "We have been asking a sample of people to take a swab so we can see what proportion of people getting tamiflu actually have the flu. I have heard of some employers who are doing swab tests. Many people with suspected swine flu will actually have some other infections like bad colds." I can understand doctors taking swabs - but company bosses?!

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