Seasonal flu to hit India hard in the coming year

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It is imperative to get vaccinated in a timely manner to avoid getting infected

New Delhi, 13 December 2017: Seasonal influenza outbreaks each year cause 3 million to 5 million severe cases and 300,000 to 500,000 deaths globally, estimates the WHO. Recent predictions by flu-trackers have indicated that seasonal flu will hit India and the rest of the northern hemisphere hard next year. This prediction is based on outbreak trends in the winter of the southern hemisphere, where Australia has reported record-high numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Seasonal flu shows a minor peak from December to February in India. It causes symptoms of fever, cough, breathlessness, lethargy, headache and nausea. Most people recover within a week without ill-effects, but complications such as pneumonia and multi-organ failure can kill people at risk, such as young children with respiratory problems, pregnant women, older adults above age 65 years, and those with chronic disorders such as asthma, lung diseases, heart disease and diabetes.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Most flu outbreaks happen in late fall and winter. The symptoms may not show up for a couple of days and thus, it is possible for a person to pass on the flu to someone even before this. 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, 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.”

Here are some tips to prevent spreading of seasonal flu.

  • 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.

Straight from the Heart: IMA-FOMA Resolutions

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IMA- FOMA (Federation of Medical Associations) Resolutions

April 6, 2017

  1. IMA will be the mother NGO for FOMA (Federation of Medical Associations).
  2. All Major-Medical Associations in India will be invited to become Hony. Member of FOMA through their President/Secretary or their nominee.
  3. IMA FOMA members will physically meet at least twice in a year and through e-connect as and when required.
  4. National President of IMA or its nominee (one of the past Presidents) shall be the President of IMA-FOMA.
  5. Hony. Secretary General of IMA or its nominee (one of the past HSGs) shall be the Secretary of IMA-FOMA.
  6. Presidents and Secretary Generals of various Organizations/Associations shall be the member of Management Board of IMA-FOMA.
  7. IMA will provide local hospitality for all the meetings and the travel arrangements shall be made by the respective Organizations/Associations, unless a meeting is hosted by one of the member association.
  8. IMA-FOMA will have IMA FOMA Action committee with representatives of all member Organizations/Associations.
  9. IMA-FOMA shall work on national issues of importance to medical profession.
  10. IMA-FOMA shall come out with Declarations/Statements/White Papers/Policies, Standard Treatment Guidelines etc. on regular basis endorsed by all member Organizations/Associations.
  11. IMA-FOMA Action Committee will interact with Govt. of India, Ministry of Health on regular basis on subject of common interest.
  12. IMA-FOMA shall create a local Google group to communicate on daily basis with all its members.
  13. IMA-FOMA will come out with joint initiatives with individual Organizations/ Associations and also group of organizations under IMA-FOMA on various health issues.

IMA-FOMA Delhi Resolutions

Prescription of Generic Name of the Drugs by Medical Professionals

IMA and FOMA appreciate the concern of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi about the availability, accessibility and affordability of quality economical drugs to the society.

  1. The judgement to choose a rational drug and its format vests only with the Registered Medical Practitioners. This right of the medical profession is sacrosanct.
  2. IMA-FOMA also wants the Government to strengthen Quality control mechanisms to ensure adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for patient safety.
  3. For a rational prescription, doctors should choose drugs generic-generic or generic – brand based on quality, efficacy and economy and write legibly and preferably in capital letters.
  4. IMA-FOMA recommends that Government should ban differential pricing of a drug under different brand names (generic-generic, generic- trade or generic- brand) by one company. (one chemical drug, one company, one price)
  5. IMA-FOMA will be meeting the President of MCI, Union Health Minister and Prime Minister of India about the views of the medical fraternity on this issue. All the constituent members of IMA-FOMA shall communicate these IMA-FOMA Delhi Resolutions to its members.

Reference

MCI Ethics Regulations Clause No. 1.5 states “All physicians SHOULD prescribe medicines with generic names, legibly and preferably in capital letters and he or she SHALL ensure rational prescription and use of drugs.”

IMA- FOMA Delhi Declaration 2017

  1. IMA- IMA-FOMA stands for ethical practice of medicine and has zero tolerance for unethical practices. Any payment where a service is not involved is deemed unethical.
  2. Sex selection and female feticide leading to conviction will invite disciplinary action by IMA- FOMA members. Any members, so convicted, will forfeit the membership of all IMA-FOMA organisations.
  3. IMA- FOMA advocates decriminalisation of medical practice. All legislations from IPC to POCSO should recognise absence of mens rea in medical practice or an intention to harm and jurisdiction of criminal prosecution of medical practice and medical negligence has to be discontinued.
  4. Doctors should be provided a single accountability window withdrawing the jurisdiction of multiple forums. Similarly medical establishment s should have single window registration facility.
  5. Practice of modern medicine and prescription of modern medicine scheduled drugs shall vest only with doctors of modern medicine.
  6. IMA-FOMA demands that Central legislation against violence on doctors, staff and hospitals be enacted.
  7. IMA-FOMA reiterates that the professional autonomy of MCI has to be retained. While amendments to the IMC Act are essential, NMC is unacceptable.
  8. IMA-FOMA endorses a common All India Final MBBS Exam and rejects NEXT.
  9. Standard Treatment Guidelines will emanate from the professional organisations led by IMA-FOMA.
  10. Clinical Establishments Act (CEA) has to be hospital-friendly eschewing License Raj for accreditation.