Prevention and precaution are key to avoiding disease like swine flu

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine, Social Health Community Comments Off

Medication for this condition should only be taken under supervision

New Delhi, 20 October 2018: There has been a spike in the number of positive H1N1 cases reported in Bengaluru in the month of September. October has been no different and the causes attributed to the increasing prevalence include change in weather and rains.There were 68 positive cases during the first week of October, which further increased by 21 in a matter of some days.

This disease is caused by a strain of the influenza A virus and was found to have been transmitted to humans from pigs. H1N1 can also be fatal if not treated on time. Its symptoms include a cough, sore throat, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Swine flu presents with fever of more than 1000 F with cough or sore throat in the absence of any other main cause. The diagnosis is confirmed with a lab test using rRT/PCR technique. Mild or uncomplicated flu or Swine Flu is characterized by fever, cough, sore throat, nasal discharge, muscle pain, headache, chills, malaise and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. In mild cases, there is no shortness of breath. Progressive swine flu is characterized by above symptoms along with chest pain, increased respiratory rate, decreased oxygen in the blood, labored breathing in children, low blood pressure, confusion, altered mental status, severe dehydration and exacerbation of underlying asthma, renal failure, diabetes, heart failure, angina or COPD.”

In the pregnant women, flu can cause more serious complications including death of fetus. Mild cases do not require admission, but progressive cases need to be admitted.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) is the treatment of choice but it should be taken under medical supervision. It must be given in the first 48 hours. It is given in severely low patients, pregnant women, underlying organ disease or age less than 5 years.”

Preventive health is one of the topics of discussion at the upcoming 25th Perfect Health Mela to be held from 23rd to 27th October 2018 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.

Some tips from HCFI

  • The standard prevention is respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and hand hygiene.
  • Hand washing should be performed before and after every patient contact or infectious material and before putting and after removing gloves.Hand hygiene can be done with a washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand drops.If hands are visibly soiled, they should be washed with soap and water.
  • Patients should be placed in a private room or area. The health care staff should wear a face mask while entering the patient’s room. When leaving the room, the health care workers should remove the face mask, dispose it off and then perform hand hygiene.
  • Patients should wear a surgical mask and should be aware of respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and hand hygiene.
  • Droplet precaution should be taken for seven days after illness onset or 24 hours after resolutions of fever and respiratory syndrome.
  • One should not cough in the hands, handkerchief but instead cough either in the tissue paper and dispose it off or in the side of the arm.