No need to be alarmed by the rise in influenza cases

Precautionary measures and prevention can ensure there are no complications
GREATER KAILASH, India - March 28, 2019 - PRLog -- The number of influenza A (H1N1) cases and deaths in India has risen sharply by about 6,200 and over 225, respectively, in a matter of three weeks. From 14,803 cases and 448 deaths till February 24 this year, the number of cases and deaths till March 17 has touched 20,977 and 677, respectively. Rajasthan continues to report the maximum number of cases and deaths, followed by Gujarat. Delhi falls third in the number of cases.

According to WHO, 98.3% flu infections are caused by influenza A, of which H1N1 accounts for 77.7% infections, and H3N2 for 22.3%. In India, people with flu are tested only for H1N1, with H3N2 testing done for only research purposes.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, "There is news of increase in the number of deaths due to H1N1. However, the need of the hour is to not panic but take adequate precautions. This will reduce the chances of mortality. Patients who have fever with coryza, that is, inflammation of the mucous membrane, and breathlessness should be kept in isolation and investigated for influenza. It is important that everyone takes vaccine for ordinary influenza. It will not prevent swine flu but will reduce its severity. Flu is usually caused by influenza viruses A and B. The strains vary each year. One may often confuse flu with a common cold as the symptoms are very similar. It is imperative to get a shot of the flu vaccine every year to prevent any incidence particularly in children, pregnant women, and older citizens."

As viruses adapt and change, so do those contained within the vaccines – what is included in them is based on international surveillance and scientists' calculations about which virus types and strains will circulate in a given year.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, "Flu is primarily treated with rest and fluid intake to allow the body to fight the infection on its own. Paracetamol may help cure the symptoms but NSAIDs should be avoided. An annual vaccine can help prevent the flu and limit its complications."

Some tips from HCFI

·   Those who are not sick should avoid close contact with people who are sick.

· People with flu should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

· Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

· Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Dr K K Aggarwal
Location:Greater Kailash - Delhi - India
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