Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Inconsiderate, Selfish German Researcher With H1N1 Virus

THE German researcher who returned to Singapore from the United States with flu symptoms and only sought medical treatment a week later has come under fire from netizens who called him 'inconsiderate, selfish, and downright foolish'.

The 56-year-old man, who works at Biopolis, was diagnosed with the Influenza A (H1N1) virus on Monday night, becoming Singapore's 48th confirmed case.

His actions - which included going to work, shopping, attending a function held by the French ambassador and going to a concert- were slammed as 'inconsiderate' and 'downright foolish' by many netizens who were angered that he took his condition so lightly.

Said a poster named safety123, who was among more than 20 readers who gave their views in the discussion board on Wednesday: 'Sooner or later we will see the spreading (of the flu) in the community. For some of the cases, symptoms had been developed in the flight or before coming back, and were not detected at airport. They just did not care and are still moving about. (This is) inconsiderate!'

Another reader named Misnomer stressed that contact tracing would be difficult as the man had come into contact with several people during the week he was moving around

'Now the Ministry of Health will have to waste taxpayers' money tracking down the passengers on the plane, the audience in the concert, the waiters and waitresses at Clarke Quay, his colleagues, the shoppers, the store assistants and cashers and their families', wrote Misnomer.

Agreeing, another reader, GhostRider666, wrote: 'Now, it is hard to do contact tracing. It would be almost impossible to pinpoint who were there with him, Anyone who mingled with him in a crowded shopping centre or party could now be carriers of the H1N1 virus.

'And they could infect other people in Singapore. This might be the start of the disease spreading wildly on a tiny island like Singapore.'

The Ministry of Health said in a statement on Tuesday night that a number of recent patients engaged in 'extensive community activities' such as shopping, going to work and taking part in mass activities after arriving here.

In several earlier cases, patients also went to work, attending school and social gatherings, and took public transport even though they had flu symptoms and had returned from affected areas such as Melbourne.

MOH reminded the public not to travel if they were unwell.

June 17, 2009
By Diana Othman


Jasmin says,

Recently, my husband's friends came back from Australia. Own their own accord, they had decided to take a self impose 7 day quarantine, irregardless whether they were ill or not.... just in case.

I like that. I'm down with the flu right now. Baby went to the hospital last Thursday, and caught the flu at the paediatrician's clinic after getting his immunization jab. I hate hospitals. Sigh! I caught the flu from him, and so did my 2 year old niece. This is just a simple flu folks, so imagine what the Swine Flu can do to us all.

Take care, be safe, be considerate.

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