Profiteers of Swine Flu

Only in her bedroom can Samantha Millard find some relief from the almost constant pain that racks her skeletal frame. Samantha’s problems started in December when she started to feel under the weather, called her GP’s surgery and was told to ring the NHS swine flu helpline.

Samantha did as she was bid and, after a brief chat on the phone, was diagnosed as suffering from the H1N1 virus.

As is government policy, she was prescribed the anti-viral drug Tamiflu, and her mother collected it for her.

But just three tablets into the course, Samantha suffered an horrific allergic reaction to the medication. She spent four weeks in hospital and has only recently returned home, but has been told it could be months, even years, before she recovers fully.

As if what Samantha experienced were not bad enough, her story has a final sting in the tail.

Tests carried out while she was in hospital showed that she didn’t have swine flu at all and so shouldn’t have been prescribed Tamiflu in the first place.

Her blistered skin is so sore that she has to moisturise it up to ten times a day, and her eyes are so painful and her vision so blurred that she can barely see.

The 19-year- old cannot read or watch TV. Instead, she closes two pairs of curtains to block out the light, lies down on her bed and listens to the radio hour after hour.

So much for the teenager’s dreams of becoming an air hostess. For Samantha, even going to the shops with her mother is a journey too far.

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