SINGAPORE (Mar 18): It started the day after I returned to Penang from Singapore, a visit filled with the usual shopping and dining, as well as catching up with friends and relatives. An earache prompted a quick visit to the GP, but it didn’t mar the family reunion dinner that night. But by the first day of Chinese New Year (Tuesday), it was obvious that the heavy coughing and phlegm was not the usual over-merrymaking, hangover or food-poisoning mishap. Still, I hung on with 4,000mg doses of paracetamol and an antibiotic course over the next two days, thinking it to be a bad case of the usual flu and believing that “this too, shall pass”.

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