The Flu Formerly Known as Swine

The Straits Times

May 4, 2009

H1N1 FLU OUTBREAK

Flu scare for NTU student

Undergrad returning from Mexico was admitted to CDC with running nose but tests show he’s clear

By Teh Joo Lin , Carolyn Quek , Lee Hui Chieh

AN UNDERGRADUATE who returned to Singapore last Friday from an exchange programme in Mexico caused a scare on Sunday, when he woke up with a running nose and was admitted to the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC).

The fear of a first infected patient here turned out to be a false alarm when laboratory tests showed that Mr Melvin Yang, 25, had not been infected by any Influenza A virus.

Mr Yang, who had been on self-imposed home quarantine, was not anxious because he thought that his running nose was probably due to his body adjusting back to the environment here.

But the third-year business student from the Nanyang Technological University decided to play it safe and call 993 for the special ambulance service to ferry him to the CDC, where he got his throat swabbed and blood sample taken.

‘I decided to do so as a precaution. I couldn’t just think that I was all right,’ he said.

He was kept overnight for observation in an isolation ward in the CDC, and said he should be discharged on Monday. ‘I’ve been told not to worry,’ he told The Straits Times from his room last night.

He is among three Singaporeans and two foreigners, who travelled here from Mexico in the last seven days, whom government officers have been monitoring over the phone.

One of the other Singaporeans has remained disease-free for seven days after returning home, and is now in the clear.

The other three people are also well, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

Nobody in Singapore has been found to have contracted the new Influenza A (H1N1) strain so far. Two more people who were unwell and had recent travel history were screened for the virus on Sunday, bringing the total number of such cases to 27.

 

Frankly, if I woke up and found my nose RUNNING, I would be damn scared too…

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