Sunday, June 14, 2009

Preparing for Flu and other diseases

Well people, my boy brought the bug home and after a couple weeks of fighting it he’s with pneumonia and so am I.

Schools here are mostly empty due to the Bronchiolitis and flu epidemic, A flu being the least of the concerns.
A doctor told me today that this same day he treated a school teacher, she had 5 students left in her class, many other schools have closed, some officially, some unofficially. As always authorities here choose to lie and the official number is 25 schools in Buenos Aires. Of course by now we are used to their lies.
The doctor told me he’s never seen anything like this in 30 years of practicing family medicine.
It was very comforting to have a well stocked stash, and not worrying about finding indispensables in the pharmacy, only doing it to rotate and buy more meds with the discount I get.
So people, I’m about to go to bed but wanted to drop a few quick points to keep in mind.

1)Health care insurance? Have it, love it. I pay dearly for mine, but I pick up the phone and a real doctor actually shows up in a matter of hours, this way I avid going to hospitals of offices where you can catch even more bugs in the waiting room.
Here that costs for this type of coverage is almost 300 USD a month, but having had to hospitalize my kid 3 times, I know its worth it. One of the times I barely made it to the hospital, so when people talk about the advantages of being a gas tank away from cities as a realistic survival advantage, I just shrug. Guess they are those type of people that don’t get sick or have to rush to the hospital or call an ambulance… Ever.

2)Have a well stocked supply of medicines and yes, that SPECIALLY includes antibiotics. Antibiotics save more lives than anything else, when you need them there’s no other substitute that comes nearly as close in terms of effectiveness. Spare me the don’t take antibiotics speech. When there’s a steady infection there’s no other way. I keep mostly amoxicillin, both for adults and kids. For pneumonia they gave me claritomycin, and they gave my son the pediatric version of the same drug as well, so I’ll get a few extra boxes of that as well. Before you ask about how to get antibiotics in USA, no idea guys. All I can suggest is having a serious down to earth chat with you doctor, hopefully its someone you trust or a close family friend. Tell him about your intentions of taking first aid classes and putting together a good first aid kid in case of emergencies.
Don’t forget ibuprofen and paracetamol, both for adults and kids. Again, this I had stocked already and came in VERY handy when my son had 41ºC fever a few days ago. Get BOTH, because with very high and persistent fever you may have to use both and rotate to keep the fever under control. Also baths slowly adding colder water and the good old wet cloth or bandana to the forehead, neck and wrists, so as to fight fever everyway you can. With such high fevers it’s important to keep the head from getting too hot. I also had several syringes for calculating the needed dose. The smaller ones I’ve fond to be indispensable for babies, slowly applying straight into the baby’s mouth, slightly pressing against the lip commissure, the infant has no other choice but to swallow the medicine.
Nebulization saline solution as well as Bronchiodilator drops. ONLY used when the doctor tell you so, but it would be awful to need it and not have it when you go to the pharmacy because they ran out. Specially saline solution, you use it a lot and it’s so cheap, no reason not to have 5-10 bottles, preferably much more.
Then of course you have your typical first aid kit supplies, but these are some important things needed that First aid kits sometimes don’t have.
About the nebulizator, its so important, specially for children, I have two just in case one brakes.

3)Preventive measures people, disinfectant gel/hand sanitizer (several bottles), as well as face masks. Don’t forget the good old soap, which works very well when used properly.
The doctor told me that I should use face masks when going outside, given how much bugs are out there and my problem, but he said it would be almost impossible to find masks these days, given the mass A flu hysteria. The doctor seemed very surprised and pleasantly so when I told him not to worry, that I already had masks covered.

4)Disposable tissue! You need this and you’ll use a lot of them. Remember not to use the same towel as the rest of the family.

5)Cover your mouth when coughing and try avoiding contact with healthy family members.

6)Get your flu shots! Not perfect but it covers some of the most common types.

7)Remember to drink lots and lots of water.
That’s what comes to mind right now but there’s of course much more, these are just the few basics that come to mind right now.
Take care.



Anonymous said...


I've read that previous global pandemics began with a mild hit in the spring (N Hemisphere) and followed with the actual, devastating killer in the fall/winter.

What do you think about this new A/H1N1? Supposedly it spreads best in warmer weather as opposed to the common flu, which is most effective in colder weather.

Do you think A/H1N1 will return BIGGER next season? Why or why not?


FerFAL said...

No idea man. That's a wild guess.

Sounds like after all it's just another flu and with propper medical care adn specific meidince if cought in time it's not that terrible. There's sure worse bugs out there in most 3rd world countries, and some of the southern US states.

If you ask me it seems that with a good inmune system summer would be eaier to get by than winter, when people may be fighting sometihng else and being a bit weaker and open to new bugs.

I think that the media histeria is MUCH better than the usual sheep drooling dumbness and people are worrying more. I beleive that will help, making the flu harder to spread than if no one mentions anytihng.


Don Williams said...

I've seen some scientists expressing concern if the highly infectious Swine flu spreads to Asia and mixes (i.e. in the same infected host) with the deadly but not very infectious avian flu.

If it is any consolation, Ferfal, you may pick up an immunity to the future flu season from this bout. Indications here in the USA are that older people (born prior to 1957) are showing much more resistance to the swine flu than young people because an older version of the swine flu spread in the 1950s.

Don Williams said...

PS Good luck --hope you and your family recover soon.

Don Williams said...

1) You must be very unlucky, Ferfal. Latest report from the Argentina government is that there are only 259 flu cases in all of Argentina, up from 215 a week ago:


2) Meanwhile, the news of WHO declaring a Pandemic had this little item:

"Fear has already gripped Argentina, where thousands of people worried about swine flu flooded into hospitals this week, bringing emergency health services in the capital of Buenos Aires to the brink of collapse. Last month, a bus arriving in Argentina from Chile was stoned by people who thought a passenger on it had swine flu. Chile has the most swine flu cases in South America.",0,5078528.story?track=rss

Just "worried about the flu", eh.

According to the news media, you don't really have the flu, Ferfal. It is all in your mind.

3) If one looks at the huge number of flu cases in Chile, the defense of their border by common Argentinians is understandable.
What is amazing is how governments collect huge amounts of taxes for "Defense" and yet do nothing to defend the country.

I have no quarrel with Mexicans or with immigrants but , In my opinion, Obama should have done much more to seal the US borders in order to DELAY the spread of the flu here until masks could be manufactured and millions of vaccine doses prepared.

Instead, he played politics and made the USA into a huge incubator for the spread of the disease worldwide --carried by the massive number of air flights leaving the USA each day. Far more air flights than leave Mexico.

And I say this as an Obama supporter.

FerFAL said...

Well Don, feels real enough. :)
A Flu cases in Argentina as of this morning. 644 Officially recognized that is.
But the common flu is crazy, its hard to find healthy people.
I dont remember ever seeing so many people sick, long lines at pharmacies and this morning on the news they said there's some med shortages becuase people are stocking up "just in case" there's none to be found later.
You just have to b careful, check with the doctor if sick. I think that if you keep things undercontrol and not let the disese unleashed, you do ok.


Anonymous said...

you and yours are in my prayers

Anonymous said...

Mexico has a lot less "reported" cases than the US. Somehow I get the felling that the US has more case becuase it is able to track and report better. In Mexico, who know?

Anonymous said...

A site I found that you can order antibiotics, etc. for "vetrinary" use is

Anonymous said...

Dr Mercola has quite a bit of info about flu and Vitamin D. If this link does not work, go to and type in flu and vitamin D

Anonymous said...

Pickup a copy of Where There is no Doctor.

Ampicillin and amoxicillin are generally interchangeable, yet I might favor ampicillin as it has not be overly prescribed. However it must be taken 4 times/day and is not as easily absorbed when taken with food. Cypromycin better targets respiratory aliments such as pneumonia, and eyrthomycin should be use by those allergic to the penicillins. When using penicillins, epinephrene should always be available for those who might be allergic.

Lidocane, a local anesthetic, is also a 'must have' when sewing up wounds. All of this may be purchased on the net from Canadian pharmacies, but only a 30 day supply is allowed by U.S. Customs. Be conservative and order only 90 capsules or less per month.

Get the book and certainly get the antibiotics. I'd start with Ampicillian and then Cypromycin.

Anon ymus