Korean Doctors Not Allowed to Talk to Media About Unkown Virus
It was the 93rd day since the 15-month-old baby girl had been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms, which turned out to be an unidentified acute lung disease that has claimed the lives of four patients since May.
“I went to Busan (where she was hospitalized) upon hearing the news, had her cremated and came back,” Jeon Hyo-taek, the father, told The Korea Herald on Tuesday outside Asan Medical Center in Seoul. In Korea, when a baby that young dies, he or she is usually cremated without any funeral service.
Jeon, an army officer, was calm and showed little emotion as he spoke. But when he tried to show mobile phone pictures of his beloved girl, his hands trembled.
He will mourn for Jin-ju later, he said. Now, he has a wife and another daughter to care for.
In intensive care units here at Asan, his 32-year-old wife Baek Hyun-jung and 6-year-old daughter Ju-young are struggling for their lives. Both are battling the same mysterious disease that took Jin-ju’s life.
Jeon’s family is the first reported case in which members of the same family have caught the disease. In the past two months, eight patients have been confirmed stricken with the disease that causes severe scarring and thickening of lung tissue. Seven of them were expecting or recently gave birth. Four of them died.
“At first, we didn’t know what was happening,” Jeon said.
Jin-ju first developed the symptoms ― coughing and difficulty breathing ― around the middle of March. Soon after, her mother and Ju-young showed similar symptoms and were hospitalized at the same hospital with Jin-ju in Busan.
On June 7, the mom and older child were transferred to Asan, where other patients with the disease are receiving treatment. By that time, Jin-ju’s condition had deteriorated to a point where she wasn’t able to make the transfer.
Last week, Baek received a lung transplant and is now recovering.
Ju-young, however, remains in a critical condition, relying on a respirator to breathe.
“It’s bad, very bad,” Jeon said, asked about the condition of his daughter.
Her lungs barely function. But for a little girl like her, the odds of survival for lung transplant surgery are low. Moreover, they don’t know how long she will have to wait for a suitable lung. He was told so by doctors.
The Korea Herald tried to talk to the doctors treating them, but to no avail. “We are not allowed to talk to the media regarding this disease,” a spokesperson at the Asan hospital said.
Have you been noticing the number of mutations that have been in the news as of late? Scarlet fever. E.coli. Viruses are on the rise. Stay tuned for more to come.
Hospitals will become overwhelmed by the sheer number of people that are infected. Boiling water is still the best defense against water born diseases, and should also be boiled to bathe with. People living in flooded areas should follow this precaution.
The animal kingdom will also suffer from the effects. Those with pets in the infected areas should boil their drinking water also. Pets that are permitted free range will become infected. Livestock will also be at risk from the new strains of bacteria that are in the toxic brew if permitted to drink the tainted water.
The Antijaboks have done their work. You are now forewarned of what to expect.