Flu Outbreak in Zimbabwe

There is a bug that has been going around lately, affecting children and babies. It’s some equatorial H3N2 bug from the pits of hell. It’s the worst kind of flu that results in bronchitis, fever and pneumonia. I have a two year old son and a five month old daughter who have gone through purgatory at the hands of this merciless flu bug. I am typing this blog from the pediatric ward. See, Miss Riley was admitted in hospital on Saturday evening. Calm down she is doing so much better now, but let’s talk about this rigid fatal virus that has given a lot of us parents sleepless nights!
It started with my son Malik, he got it from pre-school. He came back from school looking like a train wreck so, I figured he was tired and took him to sleep in his bedroom. Little King slept for six hours that afternoon, which is very strange because Malik is a hyper active child and takes power naps not the deep slumber of snow white. He does not rest, we even reduced his sugar intake. That day I had to wake him up and to my alarm he was burning, temperature going at 38℃. Right, so I gave him paracetamol for the fever and that night he slept with us, so I could closely monitor him. Following morning, I knew he was about to miss school for a couple of days. He started coughing, a dry cackling wheezy cough. So his dad rushed and got him over the counter cough medicine. His temperature had stabilized and I knew it was the onset of flu but I wasn’t aware that this was a different fatal kind of flu. The following day Miss Riley had a hot body, I administered paracetamol as well and her temperature stabilized in the same morning. So two of my kids were incubating this virus. Great! Just great.

Malik

Miss Riley began to cough the next day. So I cranked up the humidifier, mummy bear had this under control, I was rubbing Vick’s, making sure they had their medicine, I went to get chlopheniramine for extra measure. This flu was going down. While Malik seemed to make considerable improvement, Miss Riley’s health was deteriorating. Her immune system is not yet up to par, so she suffered from coughing fits and congested nose. The stuffy nose made it hard for her to breastfeed. I rushed to her pediatrician. We spent the day at the clinic, she was attached to a nebilizer all day! She got a shot of antibiotic, prescribed benylin chesty and nasal drops. After a week she had improved, but I was not satisfied. I went back to her pediatrician and we got another prescription of prednisolone tablets. Malik had recovered and was back to school within a week.
She finally stopped coughing and was back to her old bubbly self. Phew! 2 days later Missy Riley began to cough again, like come on! She was coughing out sputum and you could tell from her cough that mucus was lodged in her chest. It was that thick wheezing cough. Bronchitis. Saturday morning I gave her benylin and we went off to Harare sports club to watch cricket. For more than half the time, Miss Riley was sleeping in her pram which I thought was pretty awesome. The last thing you need at a cricket game is a cranky baby. All I am saying is never argue with maternal instinct. Somehow I felt something was wrong, instinctively I woke her up. She was weak and hyper ventilating. Recession. I didn’t hesitate we left the cricket game and rushed to the emergency room. Her pediatrician was called in and boom Miss Riley was diagnosed with pneumonia,bronchitis and fever. Little queen temperature was going at a crazy 39℃.
Miss Riley

It happened so fast *insert Mr. Crabs meme* all of a sudden there were tubes going in and out of her little body, drip, oxygen noozle and what note. Before I could wrap my head around everything that was going on, we were in an ambulance on our way to the hospital. I thought Miss Riley had slept a lot at the cricket game? No. She was unconscious! Everytime I think of this I tremble with fear. We got to Corporate 24 and the pediatric ward was packed. An outbreak. She got admitted, she was put on a nebilizer then oxygen. I had to take a moment to myself. I took off my wig, went outside and cried in the rain. I was out there like a 90s R&B music video. It was all too much to take at once. She is only five months. The next morning the recession had improved but she was still on oxygen. She began physiotherapy for her chest to drain the mucus. It came to a point were they had to suck out mucus from her chest with a suction machine. Watching a 15cm tube going down her throat while making choking sounds as they sucked out the mucus was traumatising. Her x ray came in and apparently her right lung was clogged with so much mucous it was hardly functioning. The level of oxygen in her red blood cells was so low her face, hands,and feet were a pale white. Saturation. Yesterday, she was finally removed from her oxygen and could breathe by herself. It has been five days of chest physiotherapy, nebilizer after nebilizer, oxygen, injections and medicine. She is finally back to her old happy self. We haven’t been discharged yet, apparently there can be a relapse episode. So she is under close monitoring until Friday then we can finally go home! Thank you Jesus! Sleeping on chair for almost a week is not easy while watching my baby fight for her life. Miss Riley is a champion, she is here to conquer the world. After this experience. I know nothing can bring her down. Anything for my baby, I will sleep on a bed made of needles if I have to! I miss Malik, I video chat with him everyday. Can’t wait to go home!

Parents please, if your child is sick, DO NOT SEND THEM TO SCHOOL! Quarantine your child until they have recovered. This virus is airborne,take heed, wipe down everything with a sanitizer. Things like door knobs, remote controls and toys. All this could have been avoided if patient zero had stayed home! Also, if your child has a fever, don’t be a ninja and try to get over the counter medicine. This bug is fatal, rush them to the clinic immediately. It starts like a common cold so please take note and pay close attention to your kids. Symptoms starts with a common cold, cough, fever, runny nose and worst case scenarios vomiting and diarrhea which lead to bronchitis/pneumonia. In Riley’s case, both. I haven’t heard of any deaths yet but let’s be alert and watchful! I don’t know maybe it’s the onset of the zombie apocalypse. I don’t want to cause unrest, but it’s time Zimbabwe starts including flu shots as a mandate in baby vaccines.
It has been a difficult week I even forgot to tell you that you that yours truly got an award for the Best Personal Blogger 2017/18 at Zimbabwe Blog Awards last Friday! Yay, I can finally add ” Award winning blogger on my bio” lol. Thank you for your support guys. Without you, Makaitah Rogue would just be another name. You guys made it great! I love you guys! Seriously, I do.

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