CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Contracts Swine Flu

By Andrew Gauthier 

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, reportedly contracted a case of the infamous H1N1 flu while reporting on the war in Afghanistan. Nothing keeps Gupta down for long, however, and on Wednesday, while he waited to return to work, the energetic journalist blogged about his experience.

“It started as a cough,” Gupta recalls. But, he continued, “it wasn’t the kind of cough where something is temporarily stuck in your throat. It wasn’t the kind of cough where simply clearing your throat would’ve been adequate. This was the kind of cough that hurts when you do it. A stinging pain that makes you wince and guard and hope that you don’t have to cough again anytime soon.”

Gupta, who almost never gets sick, said that this was “the sickest I have ever been.” He experienced “high fevers, the lack of appetite, terrible sinus congestion, body aches, and yes – that hacking, come out of the blue.”

Was it the dreaded swine flu? Not exactly. As Gupta notes, “the term swine flu is a misnomer, as this strain is made up of several different components, including swine, but also avian parts.”

Gupta’s (relatively) good news is that “it was a lot like… the flu – with a different name.” After a few days of Tylenol, sinus decongestants, fluids, and rest, Gupta says he was “back to normal.”

Gupta is a neurosurgeon based in Atlanta. He teaches at Emory University’s medical school, and hosts CNN’s weekend program, “House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.” Gupta was reportedly offered the job of Surgeon General in President Obama’s administration but withdrew his name from consideration to focus on his family and private practice.

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