Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Kung Flu part 2

When the hospital got the lab results from my throat swab, they wanted me to come in. That was not what I wanted to hear. Ideally, they would have told me to eat plenty of donuts and take a nap a day and the cough would go away. That almost never happens.

Instead, they wanted me to stop taking the flu pills and cough syrup. I paid $5 for those drugs, and now I'm just supposed to throw them away. What's worse, they wanted me to buy another $5 worth of drugs. The new drugs are more specific.

“You have the avian influenza,” the doctor told me.

Bird flu. I caught bird flu. How that happened is anyone's guess. Apparently, people get it every year. It's not on the news because hundreds of people aren't dying from it, fortunately. My prognosis is very favorable. The new pills are supposed to wipe it out. After the last few pandemics that did kill hundreds of people, the doctors around here came up with better ways of treating it.

Before I came to Hong Kong, several people warned me that I would get some exotic disease. This was several years after SARS and right after the big swine flu outbreak. It's funny because Hong Kong is no more contagious than any other large city. No one covers their mouths when they cough or sneeze, so colds spread faster than rumors online, but this isn't the kind of place where people catch malaria or hepatitis. Hong Kong isn't exactly in the middle of a jungle.

But I'm pretty sure I would have never caught bird flu in Minnesota.

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