Media is screaming hoarse yet again and there isn’t a given day when the front pages go without a mention of an H1N1 (swine flu ) death. Consequently, yet again there is widespread anxiety in the city, however, is this type of influenza really as lethal as it’s made out to be?
We decided to do a reality check and spoke to three senior medical professionals to better understand this infection and its repercussions.
Considered as one of the worst outbreaks of a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus H1N1 affected 2.70 lakh patients with since January. Of these, we understand over 5000 have recovered and about 10 patients are currently on ventilator support in Pune.
We spoke to Dr Suresh Nayak ( Senior Physician, Panel Consultant- Jehangir Hospital, Inamdar Hospital ), Dr Ravi Pratap ( Consultant, Head Of Emergency Medicine and Asst.Chief Of Med.Services, Columbia Asia Hospitals ) and Dr Mini Manoj ( Physician & Emergency Medicine Specialist ) to take their inputs…
Dr Suresh Nayak said,” it is a contagious infection which spreads rapidly. It is a seasonal flu. People suffering from chronic health issues are more likely to get affected. The symptoms are similar, although the flu’s symptoms are a bit more extreme. Swine flu is very contagious. The disease is spread through saliva and mucus particles. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth too often as this can lead to you contracting the disease and have proper sanitation and inculcate healthy habits.
Yes, It is over hyped. We lose so many lives to other conidtions like cardiovascular diseases, pneumonia, diarrhoea, tumours and tuberculosis etc.
Dr Ravi Pratap, opined, “It is a respiratory infection. there is some variation seen depending on the season. People of any age with certain medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes or those with weakened immune systems get affected easily. A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel sick for a few days, swine flu symptoms prolong. Try and avoid close contact with people who have the flu and have proper routine check-ups.
It is not really over hyped; it was an unfamiliar virus that is spreading quickly throughout.
Dr Mini Manoj, added,” it is a respiratory disease caused by influenza virus. it happens mostly during the rainy season between June to September. as it is contagious it spreads very quickly.
Swine flu exploits a weakened immune system and attacks major organs.
The flu multiplies inside the body, causing symptoms that include fevers and sore throats, people often gets mislead due to the similar symptoms.
If someone in your family has swine flu they should wear a mask ideally or cover their mouth and nose before sneezing and maintain thorough hand hygiene, before touching common objects. Even if they decided to buy N95 face masks that they can wear if they come into close contact with you, it could really make a difference to your protection, as well as helping to reduce the spread of the disease at the same time.
You could say that it is hyped up, but it does create more awareness about the flu….
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