Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu

I've been working the 6pm-4am shift for the past four nights at the County. The patient wait times are getting longer and we are hitting record numbers of patients seen. I attribute it to fears of Swine Flu.

The symptoms of swine flu aka H1N1 virus are:

Fever, cough, sore throat, rhinorrhea, body aches, headaches, and sometimes nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. (Essentially, your normal flu symptoms)

We get especially concerned if the patient has come from Mexico, San Diego, or the Imperial County in the past week or if the patient has been in contact with some from these areas in the past 7 days.

If the person has exhibited symptoms for less than 48 hours, I prescribe an antiviral. Turns out the cost is $92.99 bucks for Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or $63.99 for Relenza (zanamivir). *Epocrates

But here's the rub: a lot of my patients don't have insurance or have federally funded/state funded health insurance.

How the hell are they going to pay for it?

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