So You’ve Stopped Telling Porkies – Swine Flu

Just over two months ago Thailand’s Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai stated ‘There is no outbreak (H1N1) in Thailand,’ at the time he surely knew that the virus was incubating as he spoke. Below is a piece of information that may surprise some people, alarm others and hopefully help to put some misinformed entrepreneurs out of business.

“Although face masks have been given out in Mexico, there is no actual evidence that proves wearing a face mask will stop you getting the virus. It’s more effective to use tissues when sneezing and coughing and wash your hands regularly.”   source DirectGov

I have no wish to cause panic to any reader but lets get the facts straight, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) we are talking pandemic.

“An epidemic is a sudden outbreak of disease that spreads through a single population or region in a short amount of time.

A pandemic occurs when there is a rapidly-spreading epidemic of a disease that affects most countries and regions of the world.

Swine flu is now a pandemic. Pandemic flu occurs when an influenza virus emerges that is so different from previously circulating strains that few, if any, people have any immunity to it. This allows it to spread widely and rapidly, causing serious illness.”   source DirectGov

Thailand is now waking up to the fact that to fight it, you have at first got to admit it’s there. At first many countries strategy is to deny that any viral outbreak has occurred thus avoiding nationwide panic.  Media pressure can then accelerate a government into having to admit that an epidemic or pandemic is taking place. Once that news has broken then planning and resources can be put into place, education and facts are major tools in damage limitation from in this incidence the fight against swine flu.

“Although symptoms have generally proved mild, a small number of patients will develop more serious illness.  Many of these people have other underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung disease, that put them at increased risk.”   source DirectGov

Thailand’s position with its population size and initial H1N1 transmission source are very similar to the United Kingdom where I reside. Both countries have around 60 million citizens and tourist activity albeit entirely different in travel genre have similarities when considering the difficulty in controlling the spread of swine flu.

Thailand will know that with its daily arrival of tourists the inevitable H1N1 carrier will pass through immigration control and the UK has thousands of returning global holidaymakers as well as its EC foreign workforce who regularly commute back and forth between Britain and their homeland. Both countries face almost impossible tasks in smothering the advance of the Mexican virus.

“Up to 30 million Thais are likely to contract influenza type-A (H1N1) and up to 1,200 people could possibly die from it, the Public Health Ministry says.” source Bangkok Post

Thailand is experienced in dealing with a viral epidemic before as they proved with their control of the deadly SARS virus but culling chickens is easier than stopping coughs and sneezes. The rural villages of Thailand would seem much safer than the big cities but swine flu will spread to even the most far off Thai communities. Ease of travel will see to that.

Phase 6

The virus is continually spread amongst people globally, and WHO declares a pandemic.

“The number of confirmed cases of Swine Flu (H1N1) across the world continues to grow. The World Health Organisation’s current pandemic alert level is Phase 6. This is characterised by human-to-human spread of the virus in more than one WHO region. The alert phase refers to the geographical spread of the pandemic, not its severity.”   source DirectGov

Swine flu is coming to get you or someone near you so be prepared as best you can, if you are ignorant to the facts then please do yourself a big favour and click here DirectGov


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

14 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    As of this morning, there have been 18 deaths attributed to swine flu in Thailand.

    It seems to be picking off the weak…

    ‘The woman was described as overweight, as was the older man, who also suffered from kidney failure, high blood pressure, a lung infection and leptospirosis, according to the public health ministry.’

    I guess a threat of death is as good a reason as any for starting that new diet?

    My Thai teacher has now stopped using public transit.

    And while I’ve never been a fan of the SkyTrain, I have a beaut of a reason to avoid the pleasure.

    And I can now be smug about being a hermit 😀
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Thai 101 Learners Series: No Need to be Tongue-Thai’d Anymore =-.

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine thanks for your quick response but I was a little to quick myself, let me explain. The post you read was an earlier draft which I published by mistake and this one is the final draft which I have now uploaded.

    It does seem that swine flu has more severe effects on the people with underlying illnesses which I suppose makes medical sense, but you are right, now is the time to diet or get oneself fitter. The skytrain is definitely a no no at the moment and for the distant future. I hope the final draft makes a bit more sense.

  3. Mike says:

    Martyn, compared to the UK I fancy Thailand is not so well equipped to deal with the current outbreak.

    The same minister you quote also said no one would die in Thailand as a result of H1N1.

    There are a lot of headless chickens here in more sense than one!
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Cheapest-Flights: Thailand on a Budget. =-.

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Mike I wouldn’t say that the UK is over prepared to deal with a major pandemic, their policy seems to be let it burn itself out but keep business as usual, but I guess that’s the same the world over.

  5. Talen says:

    I have various problems with the CDC and WHO on this. This flu outbreak is being heralded as then next big killer much like the Avian flu outbreak which clearly wasn’t. While any flu should be taken seriously the problem here is the numbers.

    Over 400,000 people die yearly world wide from the normal flu strains in existence and yet it isn’t a pandemic whereas under 200 people have died world wide from the swine flu.

    In the past 2 decades the WHO and CDC have lowered themselves to fear mongering because they don’t know what is going to happen. As I said before any outbreak of flu should be taken seriously but to be honest chicken pox is much more of a pandemic than the swine flu.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..The Family Farm =-.

  6. Catherine says:

    Hmm… but since my comment talkes about swineflu does it still hold? 🙂
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Google Translates Documents and Email Too =-.

  7. Hoo Don says:

    Talen I read your post about your doubts over the H1N1 virus being over hyped and I fully understand your way of thinking, mine is not too dissimilar.Thousands of flu victims die each year in the UK and will continue to do so. This new flu strain does however continue to spread and up to now seems unstoppable but as yet is not wiping out all before it and I don’t think it will. I strongly believe that a large slice of the world’s population will catch it but the vast majority will only feel the normal flu type symptoms, it’s the ones with underlying illnesses that will be hit hardest and that will mount to a hefty toll.

    Catherine your comment still holds as I hope your avoidance of the skytrain still does. I’m looking forward to brushing up my Thai in your 101 series.

  8. Martin In Bulgaria says:

    Hi Martyn,
    Your post sends out a sensible message and certainly has made me more aware of the dangerous implications of this virus to those who remain ignorant of it. Unfortunately not everyhon reads your blog (although they should). It is up to repective Governemnts to protect their people.LOL

    I can’t see where it will end right now, can you?
    .-= Martin In Bulgaria´s last blog ..A Weekend Of Violent Storms In Skalitsa =-.

  9. Hoo Don says:

    Hello Martin, I hope everything is fine for you and Galia in Bulgaria. I hope it ends in good news and that it is all overhyped but I get the horrible feeling that it’s gonna get a lot worse yet. On a side note, I’m still having trouble getting the comments box up on your site, has anyone else reported this problem to you.

  10. Catherine says:

    I am staying well away from the skytrain! And away from most public places too.

    Today will be my first day out since last week as I’m getting really itchy to do something.

    Rikker’s series is brilliant, yes? I had a grand time coding them in from the pdfs 😉
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners: Chris Pirazzi =-.

  11. expatudon08 says:

    this is 3 days into my flu like symptoms as i can tell you first hand the figures are rubbish from what i have been told
    after been sent home from work this morning
    i phoned the swine flu helpline and then my doctors who informed me NOT to attend the surgery our at any hospital
    they checked out my medical history and informed me that they will see only patients with other medical problems that could be aggravated buy this virus
    so i may have the virus but will not be entered on to the figures do you see what i am getting at this thing is much bigger then any of us expected
    the flu seems to be no worse then normal flu but its spreading like wild fire
    hopefully i will make a full recovery and the child at my sons school who is a confirmed case will also

  12. Hoo Don says:

    John I hope you make a speedy recovery from your flu symptoms and get back to work quickly. As an asthmatic I would probably fall into the aggravated virus category but I hope I don’t need to play that card. I see what you mean about the untrue figures but that’s typical of the British and many other governments. Best wishes and a full recovery, look on the bright side you’ve got plenty of time now to do your blogging.

  13. expatudon08 says:

    thanks for the get well massage as i am under house arrest for a few days i decided to have a big clean up try get my paperwork in order then a form dropped on the mat this morning also so should have plenty to do
    my headache just wont go but apart from a few aches and pains i am doing well
    regards john

  14. Nasty alien says:

    Great post!! i love your post and your work …!
    i think if you’re feeling like this i would advice you to call your doctor to your house and let him see what’s wrong with you.
    Make sure you cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
    WASH your hands ALWAYS after the toilet even if you pee!
    I hope its not swine flu and i hope you best luck.
    .-= Nasty alien´s last blog ..Are aliens real – true or false =-.

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved.  WP Premium Plugin

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap