Friday, December 26, 2008

A very cold spell

"Britain is in the grip of a flu outbreak greater than anything seen in the last eight years, with soaring numbers of people falling ill, new figures show." As soon as my eyes fell on the above sentence I could not help thinking that Britain's case is not an isolated one. The flu outbreak in Libya which started I believe sometime in mid-November is one of the worst I have ever witnessed.

I have no figures from the Secretariat of Health and I have not tried to find any to be honest, also I don't really think it is an epidemic. However, what I know for sure are what are my own eyes are telling me.

(1) At each public or private clinic/hospital I visit, there are rows upon rows of people coughing and sneezing waiting for their turn.
(2) People that have contracted the virus do not recover promptly and it either drags on or they have another cycle of flu with all the associated symptoms.
(3) in most people it no longer stops at the sniffles but it goes on to upper respiratory tract infection ( that's the mildest) if not bronchitis, pneumonia all sorts of breathing difficulties and the famous typical Libyan bujanb (maybe another Libyan blogger could volunteer to explain this term to non-Libyans :P )
(4) The bug it is not discriminating between age groups but school children, the elderly and the immuno-impaired are its earliest victims.
(5) People have been hospitalized and this is unusual as Libyans usually are too 'proud' so accepting to be admitted on the ward means it is serious.
(6) I am one of its victims and have been suffering for over a month now and I know it's bad because I've been privileged not to have caught the flu since 2005.
(7) I have so far bought for our household; prescription and non prescription cough remedies amounting to over 80 Libyan Dinars in addition to 6 types of antibiotics, 3 types of Panadol, Vitamin C effervescent galore.
(8) It had a big impact on schools and businesses
(9) I'm contemplating taking a flu shot next season even though I'm not convinced they are effective.
(10) Egypt recently had one more bird flu related death so could we be having a mix of both? or have I become paranoid ?

(11) oh and my GP is sick too!


MusicLover said...

Hope you get better. Even flu shots sometimes do not work.

DeVotchka-How it ends

Devotchka:We're Gonna Make It

7mada said...

Get well soon.

Highlander said...

Thank you Music Lover and 7mada :)

Chris in MB said...

Strange, it's been a very quiet flu season in these parts. Even common colds don't seem to be very prevalent this season.

Maya M said...

I am sorry you are ill. Do you practice inhalations? To my experience, they help in most respiratory infections. Because we in the temperate latitudes think that the sun always shines in Libya and people there hardly know how to fight cold :-), let me tell how I do it.
First, I heat about half a liter of water until boiling. Some recommend adding to the water chamomile, sodium bicarbonate or both; my doctor thinks (and I agree) that the active ingredient is the warm water vapour itself, so there is no need to add anything.
When the water is boiling, I remove the lid and put the pot on the table. I sit down in front of it, bow my head until my face is some 20 cm from the water (too small distance may result in burns) and put a towel on my head so that its corners fall to the table. This way, the towel forms a sort of tent covering my head and the pot. Then I breathe the warm vapour for several minutes, or as long as I can endure.

Highlander said...

Chris all the flu viruses seem to have moved here :P

Maya thanks for the tips, I tried inhalations, conventional medicine, homeopathic medicine and even old wives tales and herbal medicine - no success yet. Maybe I just need rest :P