Health Expert Gets Swine Flu

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

A short 24 hours ago we interviewed a healthy Ingham County Health Department employee Marcus Cheatham about swine flu myths.

How quickly things change.

"I thought I was coming down yesterday with a cold. I was bragging to everyone how I didn't have H1N1," Cheatham says.

Looks like he spoke to soon; his tell-tale symptoms Monday morning point squarely to a swine flu diagnosis.

"Fever of about 101, my back hurts, my hips and knees hurt, I've got a terrible cough," he says. "I'm not feeling too great."

But since Cheatham now has swine flu himself, he's going to follow his own advice he dishes out regularly on our news.

"I'm not going to get tested, I'm just treating this as swine flu," he says.

He didn't go into work today--- as not to infect his co-workers. He's also keeping a good distance from his wife and especially from his teenage daughter, who's most at risk.

"That's all you need to do is maintain social distance," Cheatham says.

And most importantly, he says, he is not going to the doctor.

"You don't want to go to the emergency room unless it's really something bad," Cheatham says, because you could needlessly infect other people.

He encouraged us to use hand sanitizer after meeting with him; we didn't shake his hand, and we avoided most contact with him.

"For the vast majority of us, you're going to be like me. You're going to be uncomfortable but not at death's door at all," Cheatham says.

For now, he'll follow his own rules: he'll rest, he'll drink lots of liquids and he'll return to work 24 hours after his symptoms are gone.

Cheatham says he'll still get the swine flu vaccine, because he can't be 100 percent sure he has swine flu and doesn't want to take any chances.

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