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The original world nomad "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." - Confucius.

You type "Bird Flu" and "Symptoms" into Google ...

INDONESIA | Monday, 7 July 2008 | Views [5297]

But are they infected?

But are they infected?

To walk to the Sultan's Water Palace in Yogyakarta you have to pass through the bird market. As you approach, many of the shops only display bamboo bird cages and it passes through your mind that maybe they have removed all the birds because of the risk of bird flu. Not so, further into the market are fighting Cocks in huge cages and all manner of other birds ands the smells that go with them. We couldn't get through it fast enough.

Three days later Riu contracts a fever, has a heart rate of 142, has shivers and a headache.

When you type "Bird Flu" and "Symptoms" into Google, these are apparently symptoms of Bird Flu, which typical start 3 - 7 days after infection.

So what do you do? Fly home? Not a chance they are going to let you near a plane if they even suspect you've got Bird Flu. So you are stuck here in a foreign land and have got to make the best of it.

Tamiflu is the most commonly known drug to combat it, but apparently to increase your chances of survival the most you have to take it within the first 48 hours after symptoms appear. But this isn't exactly readily available because Governments all over the worlds have spent years stockpiling it.

Then, in the absence of evacuation or available Tamiflu we decided our best course of action was to locate and get the hospital with the most experience dealing with Bird Flu in the country. Immediately.


Jl Sunter Permai Raya, Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta 



It is a few hours by car from Yogyakarta. But as we waited and worried for the dawn to arrive so we could get to a hospital, we had to do our best to find out what it might actually be. Was this Bird flu or not? 

Maybe it was Encephalitis (http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/encephalitis.html) where symptoms can be fever, headache, loss of energy and a general sick feeling ... which also sounded pretty spot on. Then again it might be Dengue Fever (http://www.medicinenet.com/dengue_fever/article.htm) again with very similar symptoms. Then again it might just be the myriad of other viral infections that exist in the world today.

To judge by how hard it is to actually detect and diagnose (http://www.medicinenet.com/bird_flu/article.htm), this is just how a pandemic would start. 

People simply wouldn't or couldn't know.

The next morning the hotel and hospital reacted with a surprising swiftness: even whisper the word 'fever' and a Doctor magically appears in your room within 10 minutes. I don't think this was just because we are foreigners staying in a nice hotel either.

His questions were pretty focused on symptoms of Bird Flu, (so it wasn't just us) gave Riu a jab in his bottom and gave us some anti-botics saying if the fever hadn't passed by the next day we'd have to get a blood test done.

As it happens it did pass and Riu was as right as rain this morning, much to the relief of Mum and Dad.


Google on Bird Flu

Infectious Diseases Hospital

List of Hospitals in Yogyakarta

Tags: bird flu, doctor, google, hospital, indonesia, java, near miss, yogyakarta

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