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Treat Swine Flu like ordinary flu - Indian Medical Association

New Delhi, Thu, 01 Jan 2015 NI Wire

In view of many case of Swine Flu appearing in the country Indian Medical Association today came out with public guidelines.

Releasing the guidelines, Padma Shri Awardee Dr Marthanda Pillai, National President & Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, IMA and President Heart Care Foundation of India said that Indian Medical Association endorses the views of WHO & Ministry of Health, Govt. of India that there is no need to panic and Swine Flu should be treated like any other normal flu.

A committee of expert constituted by Indian Medical Association consisting of Dr Anupam Prakash, Dr Charanjit Singh, Dr N K Yadav and Dr K K Aggarwal compiled a public statement regarding the status of flu in the country.

 ·         Swine Flu has not taken any epidemic shape this year. Till now there is no death reported in the city of Delhi as against 16 deaths in 2013. Reports of Swine flu arising in the last 2-3 weeks, need priority attention. Some 8-10 deaths have been reported primarily from Hyderabad (Telangana region) and one death from Ghaziabad region (who died after shifting to SGRH).

·         Swine flu is like ordinary flu, symptoms of which are- fever, coryza, cough, sore throat, bodyaches, and malaise. Occasionally, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and rash may also be present.

·         Severe breathlessness, blood on coughing are ominous signs and need investigation and/or hospitalisation. Symptoms ordinarily last for 1-2 weeks.

·         Cases of fever with coryza and breathlessness should not be neglected, and need admission in isolation and investigation for influenza (swine or otherwise). Influenza normally has its outbreaks intermittently especially seasonal outbreaks are common.

·          Influenza vaccines can prevent flu caused by human strains, which is recommended or- Children above 6 months; Adults > 50 years of age; Patients with pulmonary, cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic disorders and diabetes mellitus; pregnant females and Health care providers.

·          The inactivated vaccine can be given to the above groups. The Live attenuated influenza vaccine (intranasal spray) can be given only to persons aged 2-49 years (not to pregnant females).

·          Current seasonal influenza vaccines are not expected to provide protection against human infection with avian or swine influenza A viruses.  However, reducing seasonal influenza risk through influenza vaccination of persons who might be exposed to nonhuman influenza viruses (e.g. H5N1 viruses) might reduce the theoretical risk for recombination of influenza A viruses of animal origin and human influenza A viruses by preventing seasonal influenza A virus infection within a human host.

·         For lab testing the Govt has designated both Government and private labs. Positive tests only for these laboratories are considered confirmed.

·         There is no increased mortality in Swine flu compared to normal flu cases.

·         The Central Govt. Control Room Number is 23061469.

·         Swine Flu can be prevented by adhering to cough and respiratory hygiene.  One should not cough in the hands or handkerchief. One should only cough on the sleeves of the shirt or in a disposable paper.

·         Frequently hand washing should be done if hands get contaminated with Swine Flu secretions. 

·         Prevention is the key by: Avoid touching face (mouth and nose) with your hands; avoid touching or having close proximity with any person who is coughing or has cold/sneezing; avoid shaking hands and patients who have symptoms should stay indoors, avoid going to office/schools or in crowded locations till the time their symptoms subside.

·          Most Swine Flu patients can be managed at home based on the symptoms.

·         Drugs (Chemoprophylaxis) are only recommended for symptomatic individuals (on the discretion of a doctor); and pregnant ladies or hose suffering from concomitant illnesses (like diabetes, cardiac or respiratory illnesses or end-organ failures).

·         The antiviral medications are the first-line medicines for treatment of novel H1N1, H3N2, and H3N2v flu, and most cases are susceptible to Oseltamivir and Zanamivir.

Source: Indian Medical Association

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