by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Medical Editor Dr R. de Cocke
Swine flu fever is sweeping Thanet as more and more islanders panic about the pandemic that is predicted to kill up to half the world's population.
The QEQM hospital, local GP practices and pharmacies are on a high state of alert, with one Cliftonville pharmacist, who didn't want to be named, saying: 'We've stocked up on the anti-viral drug Tamiflu and now have more of that than we have methodone, which is a first.'
Sales of face masks at B&Q were also said to be up, and local shops report people stockpiling frozen chips and tinned Stella. 'We're down to our last case of 1664,' said one shopkeeper. 'We've ordered more from the wholesalers, but they're also short on supplies. It looks as if we'll be down to the White Lightning by tomorrow.'
Meanwhile the island's Chief Medical Adviser has warned people to be vigilant and report any unusual symptoms to their doctor. They include:
- Loss of appetite for burgers and kebabs
- Sudden urge to work
- Atypical use of consonants
One victim of the pandemic panic was last night recovering at Thanet Hospital. Celebrity millionaire Richard Eastcliff was said to be 'improving' after a fault occurred in the air filtration system of his fallout shelter in Ramsgate, rendering him unconscious. A spokesman for the hospital said he was now sitting up and joking with nurses. [He'll be dead by Thursday - Ed.]