Monday, October 26, 2009

Swine flu or H1N1 virus - does it affect people with arthritis more?

I have been keeping an eye about the latest developments of swine flu and checking the websites. The information on the Arthritis Care website is rather generic, I would say, compared to the information in Arthritis Foundation website which provided H1N1 information that is more specific to arthritis patients.
 Many of us would probably be on some immunosupressants which puts us on an increased risk for developing complications, and I hope these patients get the extra attention and immunisation required. 

Fortunately, I do not require any immunosuppressants for my RA. However, I am no stranger to the impact of infections on my symptoms. I have this joke that the H1N1 will not kill me, but the flare triggered for my RA would probably do it. Two months ago, ie end of August, I had a simple cold. Since then, I have been having morning stiffness and other fibromyalgia like symptoms on and off. I have been feeling very tired for these past two months and only begin to feel much better in the past week or so. That was just a simple cold which lingered for a while because I was so tired then. Imagine what a full blown flu would do! I have plenty of experience and know the effect all too well and really dread that.

What can I do not? I got myself - paid or it- the seasonal flu jab as soon as it was available, and I take extreme care of hygiene, especially hand hygiene to reduce the risk of flu transmission. I also avoided peak hours in packed trains and had opted for the buses (always looking out for those precious seats!) even though that meant longer journey times for me. I also keep warm! Hopefully the flu and cold viruses will have mercy and spare me!

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