Here you’ll find the everything you need to know about swine flu. We recently reported that up to half of Americans could catch the virus, with the illness already spreading rapidly in colleges. Plus the Internet has helped spread panic to critical mass. And we’ve seen governments try (often ineptly) to stop the flu in its tracks.
Now there’s another unexpected side effect of efforts to control swine flu worldwide: A prison in Dorset thought they’d stave off the flu by stocking their bathrooms with antibacterial gel. But the prisoners learned pretty quickly that the gel contained alcohol, and began ingesting it.
One prisoner was discovered to be drunk after he gulped down a decent amount of the gel. The Guardian reports:
The Prison Service confirmed that this case was being investigated but meanwhile antibacterial gel pumps had been removed as a “precautionary measure”.
“The suspicion that was reported to us was that some of the inmates had drunk them. Of course some of the officers expressed concerns over potentially having to deal with prisoners who have had a drink,” [says Andy Fear, a member of the Verne’s Prison Officers Association]
Hospitals have also been battling the misuse of antibacterial gel, and in one case, it might have actually been responsible for someone’s death. Back in August, patients were reportedly making cocktails by mixing gel with orange juice or soda. [ed. note: They couldn't just round up some morphine? Sure tastes better.]
So as swine season approaches, the real question is, what is worse: Having people get drunk on antibacterial gel, or having them get swine flu? If you asked Dr. Sanjay Gupta , he’d probably say the flu.
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Image: flickr/ Brandon Hambright // The FireStarter Group
America’s favorite neurosurgeon/T.V. doc has caught the dreaded H1N1 (and so has his camera man). He was on a trip to war-torn Afghanistan when he started feeling sick and developed a painful cough and other symptoms, which he initially blamed on the stress of working in 100-degree heat in a bulletproof vest. However, his symptoms quickly escalated, and he was diagnosed with swine flu.
Dr. Gupta describes his experience on his blog, Paging Dr. Gupta:
I was nauseated and my entire body hurt. I tried to explain away my symptoms with lots of different excuses. You don’t sleep much while covering a war. My bulletproof jacket didn’t fit perfectly and was very heavy. There was a lot of dust and dirt, and maybe I had what the Marines referred to as the Kandahar Krud. It turned out to be none of those things.
You can read about his entire experience on his blog. Here’s wishing the good doctor a speedy recovery (though it sounds like he’s pretty much there already).
Still no word from the swine flu twitter feed about its latest victim.
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Doctors have long known that food, alcohol, stress, and hormones can cause migraines. And now, research shows that weather can too.
For years weather-related headaches were considered “clinical folklore,” until Harvard researcher Kenneth Mukamal conducted a “large-scale” study and found that fluctuations in temperature can contribute to or even cause the pain.
The researchers examined the headache complaints of over 7,000 patients admitted to Boston area ERs from 2000 to 2007, and compared them to weather patterns. In particular, Mukamal, a physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, used data from meteorological and pollutant monitors to see how the weather was three days before each patient’s visit.