CNN’s Sanjay Gupta went to Afghanistan to cover a story, and got infected with H1N1 influenza.
His blog post on the experience is quite eye-opening, and consistent with the cases that I’ve seen here. Much has been made on how the virus attacks younger patients with healthy immune systems. Dr. Gupta was previously healthy, but being sick from H1N1 was a miserable experience. Writing in his blog, he recounts that, along with his cameraman, “we both had high fevers, the lack of appetite, terrible sinus congestion, body aches, and yes – that hacking, come out of the blue. I am not someone who gets sick, really ever. And this was the sickest I have ever been.”
It’s worth pointing out that a sizable proportion of health care professionals don’t plan to get vaccinated against the H1N1 influenza or the seasonal flu. Even if Dr. Gupta’s experience isn’t enough to change your mind, consider the fact that infected doctors and nurses can potentially transmit the virus to sick patients.
At the very least, we need to get vaccinated for our patients’ sake.